Green fluorescent protein (GFP) was isolated from the jellyfish Aequorea victoria in the early 1960s. On its way to earning Osamu Shimomura, Martin Chalfie and Roger Tsien a Nobel prize in 2008, this protein and variants derived from it have illuminated countless scientific explorations and shed light on many previously dark secrets of biology, proving almost indispensable in life science research. A plethora of variants and new fluorescent proteins are building on the legacy of this versatile molecular biology tool.
Each year, 1.27 million deaths are caused by drug-resistant microbes. These bugs are currently developing resistance at a faster rate than new drugs are developed. In 30 years’ time, if this innovation gap continues, 10 million people are forecast to die each year from infections that were once treatable. Such a toll would surpass even cancer as a cause of mortality. With such a grave threat to human health, why isn’t more being done? Why aren’t more antibiotics being developed?
The immune response is orchestrated. There are mechanisms to activate and deactivate activities. Myeloid-derived suppressor cells (MDSCs) are immune cells that act as regulators of immune responses. They are important in several diseases including tumor growth and the response to cancer therapies, Graft-Versus-Host Disease (GVHD), various autoimmune diseases, and COVID-19. Novel drugs developed to modulate MDSCs are showing promise with ongoing clinical trials for COVID-19 and some cancers.