For the first time,
scientists have designed a phage combination therapy that can precisely target
and suppress gut bacteria associated with inflammatory bowel diseases (IBD).
Elinav et. al compared the
gut microbiota compositions of 537 IBD patients to healthy controls enrolled in
cohort studies in France, Israel, the U.S., and Germany. The team found IBD
patients, despite their differences in geography, ethnicity, and diet, tend to
have a group of Klebsiella pneumonia (Kp) strains enriched in their gut,
especially in those who are experiencing disease flare-ups. When transplanting
the Kp into mice, the team found that mice developed severe intestinal
inflammation and tissue damage, suggesting that these Kp strains may contribute
to the worsening of IBD.
Next, Elinav and his team
scanned and isolated thousands of bacteriophages from environmental samples.
Bacteriophages are viruses that can target and infect bacteria. They identified
some 40 phages that appear to be effective against the IBD-contributing Kp
strains, including strains that have already developed phage resistance.
Eran Elinav et. al,
Targeted suppression of human IBD-associated gut microbiota commensals by phage
consortia for treatment of intestinal inflammation, Cell, 4-Aug-2022, 10.1016/j.cell.2022.07.003
2. A new and easy rapid test to easily diagnose Cancers and heart disease
Imperial researchers have
built a new easy-to-use test that could diagnose non-infectious diseases like
heart attacks and cancers more quickly.
The new test works by
detecting molecular signals in the body called biomarkers, which are already
used in things like COVID-19 testing where the presence of SARS-CoV-2 genes
indicates COVID-19. There are also
biomarkers for non-infectious diseases: for example, prostate-specific antigen
(PSA) in the blood can sometimes act as a biomarker to indicate the presence of
The new test, called
CrisprZyme, has been developed by a team of researchers led by Imperial College
London, MIT, and Max Delbrück Center for Molecular Medicine in Berlin.
CrisprZyme builds on CRISPR
diagnostic tests, which use RNA to detect biomarkers in biological fluids like
blood or urine. In their current form, these tests detect RNA and then amplify
this RNA by creating many copies so that the signal is easier to read.
Dr. Marta Broto et. al,
‘Nanozyme-catalysed CRISPR assay for preamplification-free detection of
non-coding RNAs, Nature Nanotechnology, 4-Aug-2022, DOI: 10.1038/s41565-022-01179-0
3. Distinct genomic characteristics of breast cancer in women with PTEN hamartoma tumor syndrome
researchers have uncovered genomic characteristics of breast cancers associated
with PTEN hamartoma tumor syndrome (PHTS) that differentiate them from sporadic
breast cancers. The findings, published in the American Journal of Human
Genetics, have important implications for the personalized management of
PHTS-related breast cancers.
cancers often develop at a younger age and may progress more aggressively than
their sporadic counterparts, but they are treated similarly, which underscores
the need to better understand any underlining genomic differences between
PHTS-associated and sporadic breast cancers.”
To address this need, the
researchers performed exome sequencing on samples from 44 women with germline
PTEN mutations who developed breast cancer and compared the data to samples
from women with sporadic breast cancers.
Charis Eng et. al, Exome Sequencing Reveals a
Distinct Somatic Genomic Landscape in Breast Cancer from Women with GermlineÃ‚Â
PTENÃ‚Â Variants, American Journal of Human Genetics, 4-Aug-2022, DOI:
4. Hyaluronic acid, a naturally occurring compound, which awakens stem cells to repair damaged muscle
A new study published in
the journal Science reveals a unique form of cell communication that controls
Scientists have now
shown that a natural substance called hyaluronic acid, which is used in
cosmetics and injections for osteoarthritis, is the key molecule that manages
this fundamental interaction.
“When muscles get damaged,
it is important for immune cells to quickly enter the tissue and remove the
damage before stem cells begin the repair,” said Dr. Jeffrey Dilworth, senior
author of the study. “Our study shows that muscle stem cells are primed to
start repair right away, but the immune cells maintain the stem cells in a
resting state while they finish the cleanup job. After about 40 hours, once the
cleanup job is finished, an internal alarm goes off in the muscle stem cells
that allows them to wake up and start repair.”
Dr. Jeffrey Dilworth et.
al, JMJD3 activated hyaluronan synthesis drives muscle regeneration in an
inflammatory environment, Science, 4-Aug-2022, DOI: 10.1126/science.abm9735