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Home Is Where the Microbes Are

A study published today in Science reports provides a detailed analysis of the microbes that live in houses and apartments.

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Mice Study Shows Efficacy of New Gene Therapy Approach for Toxin Exposures

New research led by Charles Shoemaker, Ph.D., professor in the Department of Infectious Disease and Global Health at the Cummings School of Veterinary Medicine at Tufts University, shows that gene therapy may offer significant advantages in prevention and treatment of botulism exposure over current methods. The findings of the National Institutes of Health funded study appear in the August 29 issue of PLOS ONE.

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“K-to-M” Histone Mutations: How Repressing the Repressors May Drive Tissue-Specific Cancers

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A paper from a laboratory at the Stowers Institute of Medical Research reports the first animal model created to assess the molecular effects of two different histone H3.3 mutations in the fruit fly Drosophila. The study from a team led by Investigator Ali Shilatifard, Ph.D. published in the August 29, 2014 issue of Science, strongly suggests that these mutations actually could drive cancer and identifies interacting partners and pathways that could be targeted for the treatment of cancer.

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Zombie Bacteria Are Nothing to Be Afraid Of

Scientists at Washington University in St. Louis have obtained the first experimental evidence that there are at least two fail-safe points in the bacterial cell cycle. If the fail-safes are activated, the cell is forced to exit the cell cycle forever. It then enters a zombie-like state and is unable to reproduce even under the most favorable of conditions. Drugs that trigger the fail-safes are already under development.

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New Tool Aids Stem Cell Engineering for Medical Research

A Mayo Clinic researcher and his collaborators have developed an online analytic tool that will speed up and enhance the process of re-engineering cells for biomedical investigation. CellNet is a free-use Internet platform that uses network biology methods to aid stem cell engineering. Details of CellNet and its application to stem cell engineering are described in two back-to-back papers in the journal Cell.

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NYU Researchers Identify Process Producing Neuronal Diversity in Fruit Flies’ Visual System

New York University biologists have identified a mechanism that helps explain how the diversity of neurons that make up the visual system is generated.

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Research Reveals Mechanism Behind Cell Protein Remodeling

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The remodeling of a kitchen or bathroom changes the appearance of the room and improves its functionality. As investigators at Rutgers Cancer Institute of New Jersey and Rutgers and Princeton Universities have demonstrated, a similar concept comes into play in remodeling proteins found within a family of cancers that does not respond well to cancer-treating drugs -- cancers driven by what is known as activated Ras.

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EMBARGOED

A reporter's PressPass is required to access this story until the embargo expires on 1-Sep-2014 9:00 AM EDT

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Attacking a Rare Disease at its Source With Gene Therapy

The two main treatments for MPS I are bone marrow transplantation and intravenous enzyme replacement therapy, but these are only marginally effective or clinically impractical, especially when the disease strikes the central nervous system. Using an animal model, a team has proven the efficacy of a more elegant way to restore aberrant protein levels in the body through direct gene transfer.

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Gut Bacteria That Protect Against Food Allergies Identified

The presence of Clostridia, a common class of gut bacteria, protects against food allergies, a new study in mice finds. The discovery points toward probiotic therapies for this so-far untreatable condition

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