Keyword: Vanderbilt University
The week’s biotech discoveries include an insulin-related gene mutation and the news that previously ignored brain structures could govern obesity.
Mutations in a gene called KRAS are found in up to 25% of lung cancers, 45% of colon tumors and 90% of pancreatic cancers. Yet after three decades of research, no effective treatments targeting KRAS mutations have been developed. Germany’s Boehringer Ingelheim hopes to turn around that streak of bad luck via a partnership it has formed with Vanderbilt University.
An NIAID-funded team has discovered a Zika antibody that reduces mother-to-fetus transmission of the virus in pregnant mice. This research could lead to the development of vaccines or other therapeutics against the virus.
Researchers have found 110 antiviral targets and several existing drugs that may hit them using gene-trap insertional mutagenesis and a computational framework.
Recently, it has become apparent the gut microbiome can influence obesity and metabolic disorders. Researchers now show that by introducing engineered gut bacteria into mice they can protect them against obesity.
Two major academic medical centers have been given a 7-year, $26.5 million cash boost from the U.S. government to help weed out inefficiencies in clinical studies.
Natural killer (NK) cell-mediated therapy remains a promising way to treat cancers of the blood. Now scientists at Vanderbilt University Medical Center report an important factor--Kruppel-like factor 2 (KLF2)--whose absence holds back NK cells from carrying out their job of clearing invading cancer cells.