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COVID and "gain of function" research: should we create monsters to prevent them?
This article was originally published on our sister site, Freethink. "I was intrigued," says Ron Fouchier, in his rich, Dutch-accented English, "in how little things could kill large animals and humans." It's late evening in Rotterdam as darkness slowly drapes our Skype conversation. This fascination led the silver-haired virologist to venture into controversial gain-of-function mutation research
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We are EleutherAI, a decentralized research collective working on open-source AI research. We have released, among other things, the most powerful freely available GPT-3-style language model. Ask us anything!
Hello world! We are EleutherAI , a research collective working on open-source AI/ML research. We are probably best known for our ongoing efforts to produce an open-source GPT-3-equivalent language model . We have already released several large language models trained on our large diverse-text dataset the Pile in the form of the GPT-Neo family and GPT-J-6B . The latter is the most powerful freely-
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His First Time Walking on a 600 Foot Highline | Pushing the Line
Stream Pushing the Line on discovery+ ► https://www.discoveryplus.com/show/pushing-the-line About Pushing the Line: A young crew of daredevils spend their days risking their lives to break records on ropes stretched 500 feet in the air. At night, camp is all about parties, hook ups and break ups. Subscribe to Discovery: http://bit.ly/SubscribeDiscovery Follow Us on TikTok: https://www.tiktok.com/
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This Week's Awesome Tech Stories From Around the Web (Through July 24)
ARTIFICIAL INTELLIGENCE The Ethics of a Deepfake Anthony Bourdain Voice Helen Rosner | The New Yorker "The new documentary 'Roadrunner' uses AI-generated audio without disclosing it to viewers. How should we feel about that? …On Friday, to help me unknot the tangle of ethical and emotional questions raised by the three bits of 'Roadrunner' audio (totaling a mere forty-five seconds), I spoke to tw
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Weekend reads: Former dean sent herself threatening letters; what it costs to sue for defamation; what a highly cited paper is worth
Before we present this week's Weekend Reads, a question: Do you enjoy our weekly roundup? If so, we could really use your help. Would you consider a tax-deductible donation to support Weekend Reads, and our daily work? Thanks in advance. The week at Retraction Watch featured: 'Tortured phrases', lost in translation: Sleuths find even more problems … Continue reading
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Nanotechnology and immortality
Will we achieve immortality through the use of nanotechnology by 2080 ? When will we see nanobots circulating our bodies, destroying cancer cells and curing diseases ? submitted by /u/LeopardLast6367 [link] [comments]
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Thermodynamic profile of mutual subunit control in a heteromeric receptor [Biophysics and Computational Biology]
Cyclic nucleotide-gated (CNG) ion channels of olfactory neurons are tetrameric membrane receptors that are composed of two A2 subunits, one A4 subunit, and one B1b subunit. Each subunit carries a cyclic nucleotide-binding domain in the carboxyl terminus, and the channels are activated by the binding of cyclic nucleotides. The mechanism…
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Mechanism of the formation of proton transfer pathways in photosynthetic reaction centers [Biochemistry]
In photosynthetic reaction centers from purple bacteria (PbRCs) from Rhodobacter sphaeroides, the secondary quinone QB accepts two electrons and two protons via electron-coupled proton transfer (PT). Here, we identify PT pathways that proceed toward the QB binding site, using a quantum mechanical/molecular mechanical approach. As the first electron is transferred…
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Toxic mercury rides rivers into the sea
Nature, Published online: 23 July 2021; doi:10.1038/d41586-021-02026-3 Research suggests that rivers are a bigger source of mercury in coastal waters than is the atmosphere — a finding that contradicts some global models.
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Early antiviral response in the nose may determine the course of COVID-19
How early is the course of COVID-19, mild or severe, determined? In Cell, researchers examined nasal cells sampled from patients at the time of diagnosis, looking for differences between those who developed severe disease and those who experienced a mild illness. Cells from patients who developed severe COVID-19 exhibited a more muted antiviral response. If the early stages of infection can determ
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We are scientists leading and working with NASA citizen science projects to study Earth through the use of artificial intelligence. Ask us anything about NASA's citizen science, how we're using artificial intelligence in our projects, and how and why you should join our efforts!
This event will feature NASA-funded GLOBE Observer, NeMO-Net, and Soundscapes to Landscapes citizen science projects. The GLOBE Program asks citizen scientists to submit observations of the world around them using in-app tools (clouds, mosquito habitats, land cover, and trees). Currently, photos submitted using the GLOBE Observer app of mosquito habitats and larvae will be used by NASA scientists
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Accelerated expansion of pathogenic mitochondrial DNA heteroplasmies in Huntington's disease [Genetics]
Mitochondrial dysfunction is found in the brain and peripheral tissues of patients diagnosed with Huntington's disease (HD), an irreversible neurodegenerative disease of which aging is a major risk factor. Mitochondrial function is encoded by not only nuclear DNA but also DNA within mitochondria (mtDNA). Expansion of mtDNA heteroplasmies (coexistence of…
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Active dendrites enable strong but sparse inputs to determine orientation selectivity [Neuroscience]
The dendrites of neocortical pyramidal neurons are excitable. However, it is unknown how synaptic inputs engage nonlinear dendritic mechanisms during sensory processing in vivo, and how they in turn influence action potential output. Here, we provide a quantitative account of the relationship between synaptic inputs, nonlinear dendritic events, and action…
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The salience of choice fuels independence: Implications for self-perception, cognition, and behavior [Psychological and Cognitive Sciences]
More than ever before, people across the world are exposed to ideas of choice and have opportunities to make choices. What are the consequences of this rapidly expanding exposure to the ideas and practice of choice? The current research investigated an unexamined and potentially powerful consequence of this salience of…
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Arrest of WNT/{beta}-catenin signaling enables the transition from pluripotent to differentiated germ cells in mouse ovaries [Developmental Biology]
Germ cells form the basis for sexual reproduction by producing gametes. In ovaries, primordial germ cells exit the cell cycle and the pluripotency-associated state, differentiate into oogonia, and initiate meiosis. Despite the importance of germ cell differentiation for sexual reproduction, signaling pathways regulating their fate remain largely unknown. Here, we…
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Treg-expressed CTLA-4 depletes CD80/CD86 by trogocytosis, releasing free PD-L1 on antigen-presenting cells [Immunology and Inflammation]
Foxp3-expressing CD4+CD25+ regulatory T cells (Tregs) constitutively and highly express the immune checkpoint receptor cytotoxic T-lymphocyte-associated antigen-4 (CTLA-4), whose Treg-specific deficiency causes severe systemic autoimmunity. As a key mechanism of Treg-mediated suppression, Treg-expressed CTLA-4 down-regulates the expression of CD80/CD86 costimulatory molecules on antigen-presenting
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Exploring the origins of the indentation size effect at submicron scales [Applied Physical Sciences]
The origin of the indentation size effect has been extensively researched over the last three decades, following the establishment of nanoindentation as a broadly used small-scale mechanical testing technique that enables hardness measurements at submicrometer scales. However, a mechanistic understanding of the indentation size effect based on direct experimental observations…
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Benthic jellyfish dominate water mixing in mangrove ecosystems [Ecology]
Water mixing is a critical mechanism in marine habitats that governs many important processes, including nutrient transport. Physical mechanisms, such as winds or tides, are primarily responsible for mixing effects in shallow coastal systems, but the sheltered habitats adjacent to mangroves experience very low turbulence and vertical mixing. The significance…
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Wireless, battery-free, subdermally implantable platforms for transcranial and long-range optogenetics in freely moving animals [Neuroscience]
Wireless, battery-free, and fully subdermally implantable optogenetic tools are poised to transform neurobiological research in freely moving animals. Current-generation wireless devices are sufficiently small, thin, and light for subdermal implantation, offering some advantages over tethered methods for naturalistic behavior. Yet current devices using wireless power delivery require invasive stim
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Galectin-3 promotes noncanonical inflammasome activation through intracellular binding to lipopolysaccharide glycans [Immunology and Inflammation]
Cytosolic lipopolysaccharides (LPSs) bind directly to caspase-4/5/11 through their lipid A moiety, inducing inflammatory caspase oligomerization and activation, which is identified as the noncanonical inflammasome pathway. Galectins, β-galactoside–binding proteins, bind to various gram-negative bacterial LPS, which display β-galactoside–containing polysaccharide chains. Galectins are mainly presen
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Dopaminergic brainstem disconnection is common to pharmacological and pathological consciousness perturbation [Neuroscience]
Clinical research into consciousness has long focused on cortical macroscopic networks and their disruption in pathological or pharmacological consciousness perturbation. Despite demonstrating diagnostic utility in disorders of consciousness (DoC) and monitoring anesthetic depth, these cortico-centric approaches have been unable to characterize which neurochemical systems may underpin consciousnes
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Multiple flat bands and topological Hofstadter butterfly in twisted bilayer graphene close to the second magic angle [Physics]
Moiré superlattices in two-dimensional van der Waals heterostructures provide an efficient way to engineer electron band properties. The recent discovery of exotic quantum phases and their interplay in twisted bilayer graphene (tBLG) has made this moiré system one of the most renowned condensed matter platforms. So far studies of tBLG…
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MYO1F regulates antifungal immunity by regulating acetylation of microtubules [Immunology and Inflammation]
Opportunistic fungal infections have become one of the leading causes of death among immunocompromised patients, resulting in an estimated 1.5 million deaths each year worldwide. The molecular mechanisms that promote host defense against fungal infections remain elusive. Here, we find that Myosin IF (MYO1F), an unconventional myosin, promotes the expression…
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Observation of others' threat reactions recovers memories previously shaped by firsthand experiences [Psychological and Cognitive Sciences]
Information about dangers can spread effectively by observation of others' threat responses. Yet, it is unclear if such observational threat information interacts with associative memories that are shaped by the individual's direct, firsthand experiences. Here, we show in humans and rats that the mere observation of a conspecific's threat reactions…
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Repeating caldera collapse events constrain fault friction at the kilometer scale [Earth, Atmospheric, and Planetary Sciences]
Fault friction is central to understanding earthquakes, yet laboratory rock mechanics experiments are restricted to, at most, meter scale. Questions thus remain as to the applicability of measured frictional properties to faulting in situ. In particular, the slip-weakening distance dc strongly influences precursory slip during earthquake nucleation, but scales with…
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Metastability and discrete spectrum of long-range systems [Physics]
Long-lived quasi-stationary states (QSSs) are a signature characteristic of long-range interacting systems both in the classical and in the quantum realms. Often, they emerge after a sudden quench of the Hamiltonian internal parameters and present a macroscopic lifetime, which increases with the system size. Despite their ubiquity, the fundamental mechanism…
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Historical language records reveal a surge of cognitive distortions in recent decades [Computer Sciences]
Individuals with depression are prone to maladaptive patterns of thinking, known as cognitive distortions, whereby they think about themselves, the world, and the future in overly negative and inaccurate ways. These distortions are associated with marked changes in an individual's mood, behavior, and language. We hypothesize that societies can undergo…
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Notch-Jagged signaling complex defined by an interaction mosaic [Biochemistry]
The Notch signaling system links cellular fate to that of its neighbors, driving proliferation, apoptosis, and cell differentiation in metazoans, whereas dysfunction leads to debilitating developmental disorders and cancers. Other than a five-by-five domain complex, it is unclear how the 40 extracellular domains of the Notch1 receptor collectively engage the…
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Young workers want good communication, not perks
Some of today's young workers, those ages 21-34, place more value on having respectful communication in the workplace over trendy work perks, a study finds. "Leaders and managers are the ones who have the power to help foster that connection of meaningful work, determine what employee well-being means, and how to communicate that meaning in a respectful way to their employees," says Danielle LaGr
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This Luxurious Body Pillow Lets You Wake up Feeling Transformed
Did you know that the average person spends about 7 years trying to fall asleep ? If that doesn't surprise you, you may be one of the 50-to-70 million Americans who suffer from sleep problems . Luckily, one of the easiest ways to build a more effective bedtime routine is to sleep in a more comfortable position. And one of the best ways to do this is by using the Yana Sleep Body Pillow. What's The
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RNA tweak leads to 50% more food from crops
Manipulating RNA allows plants to yield dramatically more crops and increases drought tolerance, researchers report. In initial tests, adding a gene encoding for a protein called FTO to both rice and potato plants increased their yield by 50% in field tests. The plants grew significantly larger, produced longer root systems, and were better able to tolerate drought stress. Analysis also showed th
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Why four-legged animals are better sprinters
Scientists have studied the characteristics determining the maximum running speed in animals. The model they developed explains why humans cannot keep up with the fastest sprinters in the animal kingdom. Based on these calculations, the giant spider Shelob from 'The Lord of the Rings' would have reached a maximum speed of 60 km/h.
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Reverse optogenetic tool developed
A new optogenetic tool, a protein that can be controlled by light, has been characterized by researchers. They used an opsin — a protein that occurs in the brain and eyes — from zebrafish and introduced it into the brain of mice. Unlike other optogenetic tools, this opsin is not switched on but rather switched off by light. Experiments also showed that the tool could be suitable for investigatin
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Bio-based coating for wood outperforms traditional synthetic options
Researchers have used lignin, a natural polymer abundant in wood and other plant sources, to create a safe, low-cost and high-performing coating for use in construction. As there is a global urge to meet the rising sustainability standards, this new coating has great potential to protect wood, whose use in construction is continually increasing. The new coating is non-toxic, hydrofobic, it retains
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American Society for Colposcopy and Cervical Pathology discusses updated American Cancer Society guidelines on cervical cancer screening
Last year, the American Cancer Society (ACS) issued an updated set of guidelines for cervical cancer screening – emphasizing the shift toward screening with primary human papillomavirus (HPV) testing. While the ACS recommendation accounts for a transition period to implement primary HPV screening, additional factors should be considered to operationalize these guidelines, according to a special wh
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How racial bias can limit Internet access for people of color
Coffee shops and casual restaurants are an important part of American life. Even beyond the food and drinks they sell, they offer us a place to use the restroom or rest our feet while we're out and about, and they provide internet access to those on the go, those in need of a temporary office, or those who don't have an internet connection at home. Many of us take for granted that a nearby Starbuc
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Policing the digital divide: How racial bias can limit Internet access for people of color
A new study from the Annenberg School for Communication at the University of Pennsylvania investigated the ways that institutions control who has access to Wi-Fi. The findings indicate that powerful institutions and privileged people use quality-of-life policing — the report and/or arrest of individuals engaged in nonviolent offenses such as loitering, noise violations, and public intoxication —
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Strategies for disseminating guidance to dentists during the COVID-19 pandemic
Ruth Lipman, American Dental Association (ADA) Science and Research Institute, Chicago, Ill., U.S., presented the poster "Strategies for Disseminating Guidance to Dentists during the COVID-19 Pandemic" at the virtual 99th General Session & Exhibition of the International Association for Dental Research (IADR), held in conjunction with the 50th Annual Meeting of the American Association for Dental
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High school student presents on oral-health impact profile 5: analyzing a private practice adult population's distribution
Hiba Nasir, Wayzata High School, Plymouth, Minn., presented the poster "Oral-Health Impact Profile 5: Analyzing A Private Practice Adult Population's Distribution" at the virtual 99th General Session & Exhibition of the International Association for Dental Research (IADR), held in conjunction with the 50th Annual Meeting of the American Association for Dental Research (AADR) and the 45th Annual Me
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Cascaded metasurfaces for dynamic control of THz wavefronts
Electromagnetic (EM) waves in the terahertz (THz) regime contribute to important applications in communications, security imaging, and bio- and chemical sensing. Such wide applicability has resulted in significant technological progress. However, due to weak interactions between natural materials and THz waves, conventional THz devices are typically bulky and inefficient. Although ultracompact act
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New insights into immune responses to malaria
Advanced technologies have been used to solve a long-standing mystery about why some people develop serious illness when they are infected with the malaria parasite, while others carry the infection asymptomatically.
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Blushing plants reveal when fungi are growing in their roots
Scientists have created plants whose cells and tissues 'blush' with beetroot pigments when they are colonized by fungi that help them take up nutrients from the soil. This is the first time this vital, 400 million year old process has been visualized in real time in full root systems of living plants. Understanding the dynamics of plant colonisation by fungi could help to make food production more
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Why do holidays feel like they're over before they even start?
For many people, summer vacation can't come soon enough – especially for the half of Americans who canceled their summer plans last year due to the pandemic. But when a vacation approaches, do you ever get the feeling that it's almost over before it starts? If so, you're not alone. In some recent studies Gabriela Tonietto , Sam Maglio , Eric VanEpps and I conducted, we found that about half of th
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Topology in biology
A phenomenon known from quantum systems could now make its way into biology: Researchers show that the notion of topological protection can also apply to biochemical networks. The model which the scientists developed makes the topological toolbox, typically used only to describe quantum systems, now also available to biology.
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The impact of climate change on Kenya's Tana river basin
Many species within Kenya's Tana River Basin will be unable to survive if global temperatures continue to rise as they are on track to do – according to new research. A new study outlines how remaining within the goals of the Paris Agreement would save many species. The research also identifies places that could be restored to better protect biodiversity and contribute towards global ecosystem res
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More Protein Folding Progress – What's It Mean?
I last wrote about Deepmind's efforts to predict protein folding and structure here , with their AlphaFold software. AlphaFold really performed very strongly in the 2020 protein folding challenge, and that got a lot of attention. Well, they've recently published a great deal of detail on how they did this, released their source code, and they've announced that they're going to be releasing their
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Four themes identified as contributors to diseases of despair in Pennsylvania
Financial instability, lack of infrastructure, a deteriorating sense of community and family fragmentation are key contributors to diseases of despair in Pennsylvania communities, according to Penn State College of Medicine and Highmark Health researchers. The researchers conducted four focus groups in Pennsylvania communities identified as having high rates of despair-related illnesses.
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Air Force Research Lab Says Force Fields Are "on the Horizon"
Shields Up! The Air Force Research Lab (AFRL) seems to be working on bringing a staple of science fiction weaponry — the force field — into reality. The announcement arrived as part of a new AFRL report on the future of directed energy weapons — you know, lasers and stuff — and how they might be used by the military in the coming decades. The report concedes that developing a missile defense forc
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What's riskier for young soccer players, practice or game time?
For young soccer players, participating in repetitive technical training activities involving heading during practice may result in more total head impacts but playing in scrimmages or actual soccer games may result in greater magnitude head impacts. That's according to a small, preliminary study released today that will be presented at the American Academy of Neurology's Sports Concussion Confere
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The Books Briefing: The Dark Side of Athletic Perfection
Baseball, like many sports, sometimes seems as though it's leaving the realm of human athleticism and instead marching toward an almost technical optimization. Steroids (illicitly taken) have made some players stronger than ever. Sabermetrics, which involves the detailed statistical analysis of baseball data, has turned the artistry of staffing a team into mere mathematics, a phenomenon that the
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Fatal flaw uncovered in green pigmented concrete
As Xi'an Jiaotong-Liverpool University researchers completed their research on colored architectural concrete, they found a surprising result—green pigmented cement had impurities that produced porous, poor quality concrete. Meanwhile, red and blue pigments had little effect.
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How caring for children can help Aboriginal Elders during lockdown
Pandemic-induced lockdowns have provided stories of both hardship and resilience. This extends to families in the community caring for children in out-of-home care, a group which has weathered unique challenges as children are physically and sometimes virtually cut off from contact with their biological families.
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The Atlantic Daily: Is the California Dream Dead?
Every weekday evening, our editors guide you through the biggest stories of the day, help you discover new ideas, and surprise you with moments of delight. Subscribe to get this delivered to your inbox. California, to some, is a model of what America could be. But two of our California-based writers worry that the Golden State's exceptionalism is failing. The California dream is dying. The state
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Novel imaging agent identifies biomarker for iron-targeted cancer therapies
A new radiotracer that detects iron in cancer cells has proven effective, opening the door for the advancement of iron-targeted therapies for cancer patients. The radiotracer, 18F-TRX, can be used to measure iron concentration in tumors, which can help predict whether a not the cancer will respond to treatment. This research was published in the July issue of The Journal of Nuclear Medicine.
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"Noisy" gene expression may help improve stem cell therapies
As reported in the journal Science, Leor Weinberger and his team at Gladstone Institutes have discovered a pathway they named discordant transcription through repair (DiThR, pronounced "dither"). The DiThR pathway appears to boost the noisiness of gene expression in stem cells and enhance their ability to differentiate.
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