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Kill Switches for Engineered Microbes Gone Rogue

Past efforts at Harvard's Wyss Institute for Biologically Inspired Engineering led by Core Faculty members Pamela Silver and James Collins have created "kill switches" in bacteria that cause them to commit suicide in laboratory conditions when they are not wanted anymore. "We needed to take our previous work further and

In the Fight Against Viral Infection, Spelling Counts

Now, scientists have found that a key similarity between our genes and those of many viruses -- a way of spelling out the genetic code -- has likely allowed viruses to evade our cellular defenses. Paul Bieniasz, a Rockefeller professor and Howard Hughes Medical Institute Investigator who led the work,

New Molecule Shows Promise in HIV Vaccine Design

"An obstacle to creating an effective HIV vaccine is the difficulty of getting the immune system to generate antibodies against the sugar shield of multiple HIV strains," said Lai-Xi Wang, a professor of chemistry and biochemistry at UMD. "Our method addresses this problem by designing a vaccine component that mimics

New Targets for Anti-Malaria Drugs

In the current study, researchers sought to uncover the role of plasmepsins IX and X, two of the 10 types of plasmepsin proteins produced by P. falciparum for metabolic and other processes. They created malaria parasites that lacked plasmepsin IX or X under experimental conditions and compared them to those that had

Seemingly Acute Viral Infections Can Persist

New findings from the University of Pennsylvania suggest a mechanism that may explain how viruses can linger. Products of viral infection called defective viral genomes, DVGs for short, which have been known to be involved in triggering an immune response, can also kick off a molecular pathway that keeps infected

Quick Test may Speed Antibiotic Treatment Combat Drug Resistance

Described in Scientific Reports, NIST's prototype sensor provides results in less than an hour, much faster than conventional antimicrobial tests, which typically require days to grow colonies of bacterial cells. Delayed results from conventional tests allow dangerous infections to progress before effective treatments can be found and provides a time window

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