Life Sciences – July 2019

Life Sciences Stories

Recent articles you may have missed

From Jen Heady, Vice President at Greenough Brand Storytellers

CRISPR mic drop

Ever since Chinese scientist He Jiankui’s CRISPR babies announcement, you can’t go into a conversation on CRISPR without raising questions on how to regulate genome editing. STAT reporter Andrew Joseph reports that several senators recently introduced a resolution supporting international germline editing guidelines. But how do scientists feel about regulating CRISPR? Brett Robb, scientific director for RNA and genome editing at New England Biolabs, and Becky Fu, PhD fellow at UC San Francisco, give the perfect response in an interview with Technology Networks: “We believe that we should approach the application of CRISPR technology to human health as we would with any new technology.” Mic drop.

Read the full STAT+ story (paywall) | Read the full Technology Networks interview

Cancer is for the dogs

In a recent story for WIRED, Michele Cohen Marill introduces the concept of “comparative oncology,” where human and animal medicine collide. Canine clinical trials are now underway to test preventative cancer vaccines, and the results could spur progress in human cancer research. Marill’s piece is another reminder that there’s so much more to the cancer research story than we see on our evening news.

Read more in WIRED

Genetic testing – the new normal

A Cleveland Clinic healthessentials blog post poses an important and surprisingly polarizing question: “Should you get the genetic test for Alzheimer’s disease risk?” Based on social reactions, it’s clear not everyone wants to know. But it’s likely that as costs drop for genetic tests, and we can detect more biomarkers, we’ll be confronting the “do you want to know?” question more regularly.

Dr. Richard Hodes, director of the National Institute on Aging, believes blood tests will soon be used to select candidates for federally funded Alzheimer’s studies. He recently commented on “very promising” new results presented at the Alzheimer’s Association International Conference in a story for the Associated Press.

Read the full Cleveland Clinic blog | Read the full AP story

Beyond CAR-T

How do you one-up cutting edge immunotherapies that use a patient’s own immune system to target and fight cancer? Dr. Kole Roybal at UC San Francisco is developing synthetically engineered “Synthetic Notch” receptors that could dramatically advance cell-based immunotherapy research, eventually giving oncologists new ways to precisely target cancers, including harder-to-target mutations. It’s no wonder the research won the 2018 NIH Director’s New Innovator Award.

Read more in a recent blog post from NIH Director Francis Collins