1. Early life acquisition of AMR in newborn children from low and middle-income countries
In a new study published in Nature
Microbiology, Dr. Maria Carvalho, Dr. Kirsty Sands and a network of
international colleagues decided to look at the presence of antibiotic
resistance genes (ARGs) in the gut microbiota – the collection of microbes that
are present in the human gut – of mothers and their babies from 7 LMICs in
Africa and South Asia.
They recruited 35,040 mothers and 36,285
neonates from LMICS. From there, they collected 18,148 rectal swabs, which were
used to grow the bacteria present in these samples and assess the presence of
clinically important ARGs in the microbiota of mothers and their babies. The
authors found that a large number of samples carried genes linked to antibiotic
resistance, suggesting that AMR is far more widespread in these settings than
Dr. Maria Carvalho, Dr. Kirsty Sands et. al,
Antibiotic resistance genes in the gut microbiota of mothers and linked neonates
with or without sepsis from low and middle-income countries, Nature
A technique developed by the lab of George Q.
Daley, MD, Ph.D., in the Boston Children’s Hospital Stem Cell Program, could make
CAR T-cell therapy more widely accessible.
It can be difficult to gather enough
functional T cells from a patient’s blood, and manufacturing CAR T cells for each
individual patient is expensive and takes time — time patients may not have on
their side. Using induced pluripotent stem cells (iPS cells), Daley and his
colleagues developed a method to make generic CAR T cells that could be
produced at scale for use in multiple patients.
While iPS cells are, in theory, a limitless
source of different cell types, Daley, first author Ran Jing, Ph.D., and their
colleagues had to overcome the challenge of deriving mature, fully functioning
T cells from which CAR T cells could be made. In the past, researchers have
struggled with this because of the tendency for iPS cells to produce immature,
embryonic cells in the Petri dish.
Ran Jing, George Q. Daley et. al, EZH1
repression generates mature iPSC-derived CAR T cells with enhanced antitumor
activity, Cell Stem Cell, 4-Aug-2022, DOI: 10.1016/j.stem.2022.06.014,
To provide a more thorough understanding of
the biological underpinnings of CLL and its molecular subtypes, scientists set
out to construct a map from the largest CLL dataset to date.
A newly constructed map of the landscape of
genetic changes in chronic lymphocytic leukemia (CLL), a type of cancer of the
blood and bone marrow that exists in diverse forms and arises from various
causes, provides a better understanding of this complex malignancy that could
lead to more accurate prognoses for patients, improved diagnostics, and novel
treatments. The work is published in Nature Genetics
To build the CLL map, the team analyzed
variations in genetic sequences, gene expression patterns, and chemical
modifications to DNA—or genomic, transcriptomic, and epigenomic data—from 1,148
Catherine Wu et. al, Molecular map of chronic
lymphocytic leukemia and its impact on the outcome, Nature Genetics, 4-Aug-2022,
4. Engineered E Coli from stool which can survive a hostile gut environment long enough to treat the disease
Now, a group of researchers from the
University of California, San Diego, successfully engineered E. coli collected
from both human and mice gut microbiomes and showed that they have the
potential to treat diseases such as diabetes. Their finds are published in the
The team first collected stool samples from
the host and extracted E. coli for further modifications. “We say to the
bacteria: Hey, we will give you a new superpower, which you may not even
benefit from, but we will put you right back into the environment that you
thrive in,” says Zarrinpar.
The superpower that the team gave to these
specific bacteria is a protein called bile salt hydrolase (BSH). After a single
treatment in mice, E. coli with BSH were found throughout the entire gut of the
mice and they retained their BSH activity for the entire lifetime of the host.
The group also show that the BSH activity was able to positively influence
diabetes progression in mice.
Amir Zarrinpar et. al, Intestinal Transgene
Delivery with Native E. coli Chassis Allows Persistent Physiological Changes, Cell, 4-Aug-2022, DOI: 10.1016/j.cell.2022.06.050