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Alzheimer’s Disease Research: What’s on the Research Horizon?

It’s been over 100 years since Dr. Alois Alzheimer first described a patient’s increasingly severe condition of memory loss, changes in personality, and sleep disturbance as a “peculiar severe disease process of the cerebral cortex”. His report referred to distinctive plaques and neurofibrillary tangles in the brain histology, which are now considered as the fundamental …

The Important Role In Vivo Bioluminescence Imaging Plays in COVID-19 Research

In February 2020, just before the World Health Organization (WHO) declared COVID-19 a global pandemic, WHO Director-General Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus stated that bringing the outbreak under control would necessitate harnessing the power of science. “There are questions we need answers to, and tools we need developed as quickly as possible,” he said. Indeed, researchers …

CRISPR genome editing has become a powerful tool for studying gene function, and in recent years the CRISPR-Cas9 system has been adapted to generate two new gene expression-modulating technologies: CRISPR activation (CRISPRa) and CRISPR interference (CRISPRi). CRISPRa and CRISPRi screens have been shown to be powerful tools within immortalized cell lines, but deploying them at scale in …

Radiolabeled α-Bungarotoxin Sheds Light on Role of Neuronal Nicotinic Receptors

One protein family that has been implicated in various neurological conditions is the nicotinic acetylcholine receptor (nAChR) family. These pentameric ligand-gated ion channel proteins are widely expressed in the central and peripheral nervous systems and are activated by the binding of acetylcholine (ACh). nAChRs have been linked to Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s disease, substance dependence, addiction, …

Next-generation Antimalarials Urgently Needed to Reach Malaria Elimination Targets

Earlier this year, the World Health Organization (WHO) announced that over one million African children had received one or more doses of the world’s first malaria vaccine, RTS,S/AS01 (RTS,S).1 If widely deployed, the WHO estimates that the vaccine, which is the result of 30 years of research, could save the lives of an additional 40,000 …

Now We Have a COVID-19 Vaccine, Are Treatments Really Needed?

When the World Health Organization declared the COVID-19 outbreak a pandemic in March 2020, it was clear that the novel coronavirus posed a significant threat to global health. Little was known about how the virus spread, who the disease affected most, and how to best prevent transmission. Researchers around the world mobilized resources to gain …

In recent years, the therapeutic potential of ribonucleic acid (RNA) has been thrust into the spotlight, with research in this area now thriving. Several RNA-based therapies have been authorized and approved – including some of the first COVID-19 vaccines – and many more are currently in the pipeline. Although most RNA drug approvals have only …

Could Nanomedicines Be the Answer to Treating Brain Cancer?

Although cancer treatment has come a long way in recent years, prognosis for patients with brain cancer still remains poor. For the most prevalent and aggressive form, glioblastoma, there is currently no curative treatment available. One of the major challenges to treating brain cancers is the inability of drugs to penetrate the blood-brain barrier (BBB) …

Gene Therapy as an Emerging Modality to Address Rare Diseases Treatment

Research shows that rare diseases (RD) impact the lives of estimated 300 million people worldwide. The good news is new advances in gene therapy seem to offer us a chance to treat rare diseases in a different way. The number of people living with a RD may seem small, but their treatment continues to be …

Model Systems of Human Lung Tissues and Immune Responses Enable In-Depth Studies of Immune Responses to SARS-CoV-2 Exposure

As SARS-CoV-2 spread across the globe in early 2020, researchers from around the world mounted an unprecedented collective campaign to elucidate the mechanisms of the novel virus and the disease it caused, COVID-19. While the majority of COVID-19 cases range from asymptomatic to moderate, a significant portion of patients suffer from severe disease and over …

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