Life Science Newsletter – 7/2/2018

In this issue: synthetic T cells on the way, flight or fight in diabetics, new human gene tally ignites debate, evidence of viruses in Alzheimer’s, more learning causes myopia, gene testing for prostate cancer, how colon cancer escapes the immune system, three genes for brain size, and more…


UCLA researchers develop synthetic T cells that mimic form, function of human versionThe availability of such cells — with properties similar to those from humans and other animals — should help scientists accelerate research on therapies for cancer and autoimmune diseases.

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Fight-or-Flight Response Triggers White Bloods Cells, Increases Heart Attack Risk in People with Diabetes

Stress hormones can save lives, or take them. Released during an emergency or in pressure situations, stress hormones can gang up with white blood cells to fight infections or lead to heart attacks.

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Axsome Therapeutics Initiates Phase 2 Trial of AXS-05 in Major Depressive Disorder

First patient enrolled in the ASCEND study
Trials in two mood disorders now underway with AXS-05

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New human gene tally reignites debate

Some fifteen years after the human genome was sequenced, researchers still can’t agree on how many genes it contains.

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Study of inflammation’s link to diseases wins NIH grant

In the coming decades, David Beebe expects the public to become more and more aware of the links between chronic inflammation and a whole host of ailments.

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Motif Bio Submits NDA for Iclaprim

Motif Bio plc , a clinical-stage biopharmaceutical company specialising in developing novel antibiotics, announced the completion of its rolling submission of a New Drug Application (NDA) to the U.S. Food & Drug Administration (FDA) for iclaprim, a targeted, Gram-positive investigational antibiotic, for the treatment of acute bacterial skin and skin structure infections (ABSSSI).

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NIH-funded study finds new evidence that viruses may play a role in Alzheimer’s disease

Additional research needed to determine if role is causative.

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Study finds spending more time in education causes myopia (short-sight)

Myopia, or short-sight, is one of leading causes of visual disability in the world. The global prevalence is rising rapidly and has reached epidemic levels in the developed countries of East and Southeast Asia.

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Tonix Pharmaceuticals Presented New Data Related to Suicidal Ideation and Behaviors in Military-Related PTSD from the Phase 2 AtEase Study at the American Society of Clinical Psychopharmacology

Clinical Benefit of Tonmya, an FDA-Designated Breakthrough Therapy for PTSD, was Evidenced in AtEase

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Mayo urologists study post-surgery opioid prescribing patterns to standardize practice

Urologists from Mayo Clinic have identified unwarranted variation in post-surgery opioid prescribing patterns and have taken steps to create a standardized approach across Mayo Clinic campuses in Arizona, Florida and Minnesota.

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Gene testing could identify men with prostate cancer who may benefit from immunotherapy

Scientists have identified a pattern of genetic changes that could pick out men with advanced prostate cancer who are likely to benefit from immunotherapy.

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Meet Three New Genes That May Have Influenced Human Brain Size

Three brain development genes are found only in humans and may have helped drive the rapid expansion of the brain starting roughly three million years ago.

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Breast cancer: Microproteins essential for cancer growth

Breast cancer is one of the leading causes of death in women worldwide. In order to develop new therapies, it is necessary to understand exactly how breast cancer cells function.

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New drug halves hearing loss in children following cancer treatment

Results from the Cancer Research UK funded SIOPEL-6 clinical trial show that giving sodium thiosulphate (STS), after a type of chemotherapy called cisplatin, reduces hearing loss by nearly 50% in children treated for hepatoblastoma*, a childhood liver cancer.

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Maternal depressive emotion associated with children’s sleep problems

Maternal depressive mood during the prenatal and postnatal periods is related to child sleep disturbances, according to recent pilot data from a longitudinal cohort study in kindergarten children.

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Prostate cancer DNA test identifies men with six-fold increased risk

A major new study of more than 140,000 men has identified 63 new genetic variations in the DNA code that increase the risk of prostate cancer.

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