June 2023- Volume 19, Issue 6

In this Issue

Editor's Focus

A 3D illustration of T cells attacking and killing cancer cells in CAR T cell therapy.

Science Milestone: Driving T cell therapy

Science Milestone: Driving T cell therapy

The pioneering immunology discoveries that birthed CAR T cell therapy and reshaped the battle against cancer. 
A row of test tubes filled with chemicals of various colors and marked with toxicity symbols.

Thinking long term for lab safety

Thinking long term for lab safety

Research safety programs should address not only immediate hazards, but daily laboratory activities that could cause adverse effects down the road.

Microbiology

An elderly man lies in a hospital bed in a dimly lit room.

A living antibiotic: Bdellovibrio bacteria attack and destroy human pathogens

A living antibiotic: Bdellovibrio bacteria attack and destroy human pathogens

As the antibiotic resistance crisis grows, scientists eye a predatory bacterium as a potential therapeutic.
A woman wearing grey holds a pink diagram of the female reproductive system.

The vaginal microbiome is finally getting recognized

The vaginal microbiome is finally getting recognized

Vaginal dysbiosis has long been a taboo subject, but studying and optimizing the vaginal microbiome could be a game changer for women’s health.

Clinical Trials

A fluorescent image shows a black background with a layer of blue blobs at the top, a layer of small multicolored shapes below that, and green intestinal tissue at the bottom.

Designing a therapeutic gut microbiome

Designing a therapeutic gut microbiome

Seeking complexity and control, researchers developed a drug consisting of 148 bacterial strains — the largest consortium of its kind to enter clinical trials.
Tippi Mackenzie, who is sitting next to a window and wearing a white lab coat, holds a baby dressed in pink. The baby’s mother, Nichelle Obar, sits facing both her baby and Mackenzie.

An in utero stem cell transplant for alpha thalassemia

An in utero stem cell transplant for alpha thalassemia

Alpha thalassemia was once a fatal diagnosis. Now, a clinical trial tests if administering a mother’s stem cells in utero may cure kids before they’re born.

Regenerative Medicine

Three teeth on a piece of gauze with dental instruments next to them.

Stem cells take root

Stem cells take root

Dental stem cells’ regenerative powers can help heal more than just teeth.
An older woman in a purple shirt smiles as she does a push up.

Keeping older muscles strong

Keeping older muscles strong

From stem cell-recruiting gels to hormone cycle restoration, Tracy Criswell has big ideas about how to combat age-related decline in muscle regeneration.

Immunotherapy

A biodiffusion chamber with a circular white membrane is shown on the right, and a dime sits next to it on the left, demonstrating that they are of similar size.

Immunotherapy implants turn brain tumors against themselves

Immunotherapy implants turn brain tumors against themselves

Using tiny chambers that release signals from a patient’s own tumor, scientists trigger immune cells to mount a personalized attack against the cancer.
A drawing of a woman holding up a magnifying glass to her eye, and inside the magnifying glass are multiple small red cancer cells and a central cancer cell with neoantigens, represented by little lines.

In search of the neoantigen

In search of the neoantigen

The dream of oncology is precise targeting to destroy cancer cells while avoiding harm to healthy tissues. Identifying the unique proteins of a tumor might finally help reach that goal.
A multiplex immunofluorescence image of the mesenchymal colorectal tumor shows irregularly shaped green patches surrounding irregularly shaped patches dotted in pink, light blue, and yellow against a black surface.

Color coding colorectal cancer

Color coding colorectal cancer

Researchers captured a multicolored image of an aggressive colorectal tumor, revealing a unique biomolecular profile, growth mechanism, and drug target.
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