Skip to main content
Premium Trial:

Request an Annual Quote

Science Presents Malaria Cell Atlas, More

A Wellcome Sanger Institute team presents the first high-resolution atlas of malaria parasites' gene expression across their entire life cycles in Science this week, providing a resource that may help efforts to combat the disease. The scientists built the so-called Malaria Cell Atlas by profiling the single-cell transcriptomes of thousands of individual Plasmodium berghei parasites, and used the resource to precisely define developmental stages of single cells from three different human malaria parasite species including parasites isolated directly from infected individuals. The open-access atlas is expected to help "inform the development of much-needed new drugs, vaccines, and transmission-blocking strategies," the authors write. GenomeWeb has more on this, here. 

Researchers from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology have developed DNA-containing hydrogels that can be programmed to change using CRISPR gene-editing technology. As reported in Science this week, the system uses RNA-guided Cas12a nuclease enzymes to target and cleave DNA complementary to the guide-RNA spacer sequence within the hydrogel, which in turn triggers specific changes in its material properties. The scientists demonstrate their approach with four applications: branched polyethylene glycol hydrogels releasing DNA-anchored compounds; degradable polyacrylamide-DNA hydrogels encapsulating nanoparticles and live cells; conductive carbon-black–DNA hydrogels acting as degradable electrical fuses; and a polyacrylamide-DNA hydrogel operating as a fluidic valve with an electrical readout for remote signaling. The work shows the potential of the hydrogel technology in a variety of areas including tissue engineering, bioelectronics, and diagnostics.

The Scan

Positive Framing of Genetic Studies Can Spark Mistrust Among Underrepresented Groups

Researchers in Human Genetics and Genomics Advances report that how researchers describe genomic studies may alienate potential participants.

Small Study of Gene Editing to Treat Sickle Cell Disease

In a Novartis-sponsored study in the New England Journal of Medicine, researchers found that a CRISPR-Cas9-based treatment targeting promoters of genes encoding fetal hemoglobin could reduce disease symptoms.

Gut Microbiome Changes Appear in Infants Before They Develop Eczema, Study Finds

Researchers report in mSystems that infants experienced an enrichment in Clostridium sensu stricto 1 and Finegoldia and a depletion of Bacteroides before developing eczema.

Acute Myeloid Leukemia Treatment Specificity Enhanced With Stem Cell Editing

A study in Nature suggests epitope editing in donor stem cells prior to bone marrow transplants can stave off toxicity when targeting acute myeloid leukemia with immunotherapy.