Archive for the ‘biotech/medical’ category

Jul 24, 2021

Sirtuins Anti Aging. Revisited. What they are. Why you should care. How you can benefit

Posted by in categories: biotech/medical, life extension, neuroscience

Good day to you all.

Sirtuins are once again, making headlines. From a longer lifespan, again, through to helping old and dormant hair follicles to grow new hair, and of course a discourse between certain personalities on twitter, they continue to stimulate the interest and promise so much…

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Jul 23, 2021

Clinical Course and Risk Factors of Disease Deterioration in Critically Ill Patients with COVID-19

Posted by in categories: biotech/medical, neuroscience

The severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) began in December 2019 and rapidly spread to other provinces in China as well as other countries. In this study, 262 patients diagnosed with moderate to severe SARS-CoV-2 pneumonia in Wuhan, China, were analyzed. Data were compared between survivors and nonsurvivors. Of all the 262 patients, 23 (8.8%) patients died and 239 (91.2%) were discharged. The median age was 63.5 years and 46.9% of patients were male. The main complaints were fever (83.6%), cough (63.4%), and fatigue (49.2%) in the surviving group, while there were more complaints of dyspnea (39.1%) and shortness of breath (56.5%) in the nonsurviving group. The main comorbidities were hypertension (35.5%), diabetes mellitus (16.4%), and coronary artery disease (9.9%). Morbidity is higher in elderly patients with more comorbidities. Patients were mainly treated with nasal cannula (93.9%), while the nonsurviving group received more invasive mechanical ventilation (39.1%). Arbidol (80.9%), ribavirin (36.6%), oseltamivir (38.9%), interferon (16.4%), and ganciclovir (14.5%) were used for the antiviral treatment. In the nonsurviving group, the number of white blood cells (WBC) was significantly increased and lymphocytes were decreased, and lymphopenia was more common. The levels of aspartate transaminase (AST), brain natriuretic peptide (BNP), creatine kinase isoenzyme MB (CK-MB), lactate dehydrogenase (LDH), and C-reactive protein (CRP) were also significantly increased in the nonsurviving group. The adjusted hazard ratios (HRs) for association of known variables for all-cause mortality due to the coronavirus disease 2019 were 2.467 (95% confidence interval[CI], 1.007−6.044; p = 0.048) for shortness of breath and 1.025 (95% CI, 1.001−1.049; p = 0.042) for AST. Elderly patients with more comorbidities and complaints of dyspnea and shortness of breath had increased risk of death. Patients with lymphopenia and high levels of WBC, AST, BNP, CK-MB, LDH, and CRP may be more likely to deteriorate.

Human Gene Therapy.

Jul 23, 2021

Health Canada Provides Positive Feedback on Tetra Bio-Pharma’s Application for ARDS-003 to be Studied in COVID-19 Patients at Risk of Developing Acute Respiratory Distress Syndrome

Posted by in categories: biotech/medical, health

Tetra’s trial will be the first worldwide drug which involves the use of an injectable sterile synthetic cannabinoid in patients infected by COVID-19. Tetra will use this study to demonstrate that its ARDS-003 drug can help prevent the acute respiratory distress seen in serious complications of COVID-19.

The proposed study is a randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled trial to evaluate the safety, tolerability, pharmacokinetics, and preliminary efficacy of ascending doses of ARDS-003 in hospitalized COVID-19 patients with pneumonia and at risk of developing acute respiratory distress syndrome.

Seeking guidance on clinical study protocol to be conducted in patients with COVID-19 is a pre-requisite of the Health Canada regulatory process for COVID-related trials. The Office of Clinical Trials of Health Canada’s Therapeutic Products Directorate acknowledged that Tetra’s extensive nonclinical data, including genotoxicity, safety pharmacology and toxicities studies, assessing the safety and pharmacokinetic profile of the investigational drug meet the authority’s requirements for a New Molecular Entity and granted the Company the approval for filing a clinical trial application in patients infected with Sars-CoV-2 (COVID-19). The authorities also agreed on the proposed study design, target population, and primary and secondary objectives and endpoints of the study in severe COVID-19 patients. To this end, contingent to Health Canada’s accelerated review process for Covid-related trials, the Company’s drug ARDS-003, will be evaluated in COVID-19 patients.

Jul 23, 2021

Rapid sequencing saved a mysteriously ill baby in record time

Posted by in category: biotech/medical

When an infant presented mysterious symptoms, doctors sequenced his genome — and got answers in under two days.

Jul 23, 2021

Rapid new bioprinting method unlocks potential of human tissue transplants

Posted by in categories: 3D printing, bioprinting, biotech/medical

Scientists from the University at Buffalo have developed a rapid new 3D bioprinting method that could represent a significant step towards fully-printed human organs.

Using a novel vat-SLA-based approach, the team have been able to reduce the time it takes to create cell-laden hydrogel structures, from over 6 hours to just 19 minutes. The expedited biofabrication method also enables the production of embedded blood vessel networks, potentially making it a significant step towards the lifesaving 3D printed organs needed by those on transplant waiting lists.

“Our method allows for the rapid printing of centimeter-sized hydrogel models,” explained the study’s lead co-author, Chi Zhou. “It significantly reduces part deformation and cellular injuries caused by the prolonged exposure to the environmental stresses you commonly see in conventional 3D printing.”

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Jul 23, 2021

Volumetric Bioprinting of Complex Living‐Tissue Constructs within Seconds

Posted by in categories: bioengineering, bioprinting, biotech/medical, life extension, robotics/AI

Bioprinting in seconds.

Biofabrication technologies, including stereolithography and extrusion-based printing, are revolutionizing the creation of complex engineered tissues. The current paradigm in bioprinting relies on the additive layer-by-layer deposition and assembly of repetitive building blocks, typically cell-laden hydrogel fibers or voxels, single cells, or cellular aggregates. The scalability of these additive manufacturing technologies is limited by their printing velocity, as lengthy biofabrication processes impair cell functionality. Overcoming such limitations, the volumetric bioprinting of clinically relevant sized, anatomically shaped constructs, in a time frame ranging from seconds to tens of seconds is described. An optical-tomography-inspired printing approach, based on visible light projection, is developed to generate cell-laden tissue constructs with high viability (85%) from gelatin-based photoresponsive hydrogels. Free-form architectures, difficult to reproduce with conventional printing, are obtained, including anatomically correct trabecular bone models with embedded angiogenic sprouts and meniscal grafts. The latter undergoes maturation in vitro as the bioprinted chondroprogenitor cells synthesize neo-fibrocartilage matrix. Moreover, free-floating structures are generated, as demonstrated by printing functional hydrogel-based ball-and-cage fluidic valves. Volumetric bioprinting permits the creation of geometrically complex, centimeter-scale constructs at an unprecedented printing velocity, opening new avenues for upscaling the production of hydrogel-based constructs and for their application in tissue engineering, regenerative medicine, and soft robotics.

Jul 23, 2021

Don’t give blood, grow it in a lab

Posted by in category: biotech/medical

Circa 2011

Donations aren’t enough to sate the world’s need for red blood cells. So a UK firm is working to grow them in a lab.

Jul 23, 2021

New Gene Therapy Developed That Could Be Effective Against Many Types of Cancer

Posted by in categories: biotech/medical, genetics

Mount Sinai researchers have developed a therapeutic agent that shows high effectiveness in vitro at disrupting a biological pathway that helps cancer survive, according to a paper published in Cancer Discovery, a journal of the American Association for Cancer Research, in July.

The therapy is an engineered molecule, named MS21, that causes the degradation of AKT, an enzyme that is overly active in many cancers. This study laid out evidence that pharmacological degradation of AKT is a viable treatment for cancers with mutations in certain genes.

AKT is a cancer gene that encodes an enzyme that is frequently abnormally activated in cancer cells to stimulate tumor growth. Degradation of AKT reverses these processes and inhibits tumor growth.

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Jul 23, 2021

Immune Macrophages Use Their Own ‘Morse Code’

Posted by in categories: biotech/medical, military

In the language of Morse code, the letter “S” is three short sounds and the letter “O” is three longer sounds. Put them together in the right order and you have a cry for help: S.O.S. Now an NIH-funded team of researchers has cracked a comparable code that specialized immune cells called macrophages use to signal and respond to a threat.

In fact, by “listening in” on thousands of macrophages over time, one by one, the researchers have identified not just a lone distress signal, or “word,” but a vocabulary of six words. Their studies show that macrophages use these six words at different times to launch an appropriate response. What’s more, they have evidence that autoimmune conditions can arise when immune cells misuse certain words in this vocabulary. This bad communication can cause them incorrectly to attack substances produced by the immune system itself as if they were a foreign invaders.

The findings, published recently in the journal Immunity, come from a University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA) team led by Alexander Hoffmann and Adewunmi Adelaja. As an example of this language of immunity, the video above shows in both frames many immune macrophages (blue and red). You may need to watch the video four times to see what’s happening (I did). Each time you run the video, focus on one of the highlighted cells (outlined in white or green), and note how its nuclear signal intensity varies over time. That signal intensity is plotted in the rectangular box at the bottom.

Jul 23, 2021

DeepMind creates ‘transformative’ map of human proteins drawn

Posted by in categories: biotech/medical, robotics/AI

DeepMind is using its AI prowess to accelerate scientific work.

AI research lab DeepMind has created the most comprehensive map of human proteins to date using artificial intelligence. The company, a subsidiary of Google-parent Alphabet, is releasing the data for free, with some scientists comparing the potential impact of the work to that of the Human Genome Project, an international effort to map every human gene.

Proteins are long, complex molecules that perform numerous tasks in the body, from building tissue to fighting disease. Their purpose is dictated by their structure, which folds like origami into complex and irregular shapes. Understanding how a protein folds helps explain its function, which in turn helps scientists with a range of tasks — from pursuing fundamental research on how the body works, to designing new medicines and treatments.

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