The impact of CRISPR-Cas9 technology is undeniable. Yet, it is not without limitations. As such, researchers have since adopted modifications to the original technology as well as alternatives that address some of these limitations.
Increasingly, the key roles of biophysical cues in modulating stem cell response have been studied in vitro. Based on the ability of cells to actively sense and react to their microenvironment through mechanotransduction systems, these studies have shown that the growth and differentiation of stem cells can be controlledâ€”even in the absence of biochemical stimuli such as growth factors. These reports further suggest that the stimulation delivered by biophysical cues actually have advantages over biochemical stimuli.
Among the five classes of therapeutics, peptides represent a unique niche of pharmaceutical compounds within the protein class. The excitement surrounding peptide therapy arises from their distinct physical and biochemical features that present an opportunity for therapeutic intervention that can specifically target a wide range of cells and manipulate their response on a molecular level. However, challenges around their pharmacokinetics, notably poor stability have hampered more widespread use. Addressing these issues will release a new wave of drugs for urgent medical challenges such as anti-microbial resistance.
The effect of Covid on pregnant women is of great importance particularly in relation to the development of cytokine storms and the harmful effects these can have. A recent study published in Nature Immunology reported on maternal SARS-CoV2 infection and transmission of cytokines and antibodies to the neonate.
A healthy immune system is essential for defending against pathogens. However, it can also present as a liability rather than an asset. The greatest threat to survival in some of the most critical COVID-19 cases and other medical emergencies isnâ€™t the infection itself, but rather an uncontrolled immune response to the infection that the human body sometimes generates. Understanding the genesis of a cytokine storm is key to developing strategies to prevent the immune system spiraling out of control.