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?
Naked mole rats possess many characteristics and adaptations that have made them exciting model species for the study of aging, aging-related diseases, and cancer resistance.
Tissue remodeling and homeostasis are the processes that modulate and maintain the size and shape of tissues. Phagocytosis plays an important role in these processes. A recent publication in PNAS provides evidence that a mutation that reduces the efficiency of phagocytosis may lead to abnormalities in brain development that are associated with enlarged brains seen in some instances of autism.
Cochlear implants can help restore hearing, but without functional sensory ganglion neurons to integrate the implant with the brain, their performance is limited. At present, there are no approved medications specifically targeting sensory recovery.
It is accepted wisdom that the visual sense is the dominant of the five senses for us humans. A notion that also has translated into sensory research. Or as the author of a paper in 2019 asked “Why Is There So Much More Research on Vision Than on Any Other Sensory Modality?” in which he observed that more textbook and journal article inches are spent on vision than on any other sensory modality across multiple disciplines ranging from biomedical sciences to perception and cognitive psychology.
Chemotherapy, using chemicals that are particularly toxic to rapidly dividing cancer cells, is the most commonly used cancer treatment, often in combination with surgery and/or radiotherapy. However, the side effects of chemotherapy are severe. Exosomes may offer a way of better targeting chemotherapy to cancer cells.
Biological discovery and crisis can both give rise to entirely new fields of study. In this article, we assess the impact of Covid on research output in 2020 and the rise of technologies such as CRISPR and cell reprogramming that have shaped the last 20 years.
Many cancers have developed an efficient way of blocking the body’s natural immune response by overexpressing a protein called programmed death ligand-1 (PD-L1). Antibodies that neutralize PD-L1 are highly effective in some patients. Exosome-based diagnostics can predict responders.
Times of crisis can precipitate rapid technological development and the Covid-19 crisis is presenting an opportunity for new therapeutic modalities. Pfizer/BioNTech and Moderna’s Covid vaccines which both rely on RNA have been ground-breaking. Could Covid-19 also clear the path for the first exosome therapeutics?
Despite iPSCs having potential in many biomedical applications, there are currently major challenges that need to be addressed to unleash the full potential of iPSCs for disease modelling, both in clinical settings and their use for safety pharmacology to provide more effective and safer regenerative therapy.