Category Archives: In The Lab

HARVARD: ‘NANOBODIES’ EVOLVED FROM SYNTHETIC ANTIBODY FRAGMENTS

A new approach developed by Harvard Medical School researchers uses yeast to rapidly evolve synthetic antibody fragments called nanobodies with the aim to find variants that are effective at binding to selected antigens, including SARS-CoV-2. The antibodies are intended for use in diagnostic tests and disease treatments. Read the full story: https://hms.harvard.edu/news/antibody…SHOW LESS

Cancer: Aging & Tumor Microenvironments

Professor Ashani Weeraratna has been studying the cancer microenvironment in her lab for the past 17 years. Taking into account that the tissues in our bodies change as we age is important when researching cancer biology. She hopes that gaining a better understanding of how the growth of cancer cells is affected by their direct cellular ‘neighbourhood’, especially when we age, could be key to developing better treatments for patients with cancer. Read more in

MEDICINE: HOW VACCINES ACTUALLY WORK (VIDEO)

Vaccines are medicines that train the body to defend itself against future disease, and they have been saving human lives for hundreds of years. Vaccines are medicines that train the body to defend itself against future disease.

Radiotherapy: ‘What Is Theranostics?’ (Video)

What is Theranostics? Dr. Martin Pomper, Director of the Nuclear Medicine and Molecular Imaging division at Johns Hopkins, describes the mechanisms of a groundbreaking cancer treatment that combines imaging and molecular radiotherapy. With this method, radiopharmaceuticals can specifically target cancer cells while sparing most normal tissues. To learn more visit Nuclear Medicine Radiotheranostic Center: https://www.hopkinsmedicine.org/radio…

COVID-19: ‘WHY VARIANTS ARE SPREADING FASTER’

As highly transmissible coronavirus variants sweep across the world, scientists are racing to understand why these new versions of the virus are spreading faster, and what this could mean for vaccine efforts. New research says the key may be the spike protein, which gives the coronavirus its unmistakable shape. Illustration: Nick Collingwood/WSJ

PROTEIN VACCINE: NOVAVAX PRIMES IMMUNE SYSTEM TO MAKE ANTIBODIES (VIDEO)

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ANALYSIS: MULTIRESISTANT BACTERIA THAT OUTSMART ANTIBIOTICS (VIDEO)

Antimicrobial resistance is one of the greatest medical challenges of our time. Among the causes are industrial livestock farming, poor hygiene in hospitals, and the misuse of antibiotics. This documentary looks at approaches to fighting multiresistant strains of bacteria.

Each year 33,000 people in Europe die after becoming infected with bacteria that are resistant to antibiotics. Hygiene specialist Dr. Ron Hendrix has been working for years to prevent outbreaks of infectious disease in hospitals. Dr. Hendrix says that he and other experts in the Netherlands recognized early on that they’d have to fight the spread of bacteria just as actively as they would the actual infection.

Hendrix has convinced a number of German hospitals to re-open their diagnostic laboratories, as well. In the early 2000s, many of these labs had been shut down as a cost-cutting measure. And farmers in Denmark voluntarily chose to sharply reduce their use of antibiotics, after evidence showed that intensive livestock farming caused multiresistant bacteria to multiply.

Infectious disease specialist Dr. Patrick Soentjens was able to convince Belgium’s health ministry to allow the use of “phages” to treat stubborn antimicrobial resistant pathogens. Phages are special viruses that kill bacteria. Dr. Soentjens is certain that this well-known, but largely forgotten option could save many lives. Belgium has become the first western European country where phages have been officially recognized as a legitimate medical treatment.