Ancient enzyme could boost power of liquid biopsies to detect and profile cancers

Researchers are developing a new tool for liquid biopsy that can detect RNA biomarkers from cancer cells in a patient’s blood much more accurately and completely than other existing methods. This could soon provide doctors with a more complete picture of an individual’s disease, improving their chances of finding the best treatment, while also sparing […]

Stress can lead to risky decisions

Making decisions that require weighing pros and cons of two choices is dramatically affected by chronic stress, neuroscientists have discovered. In a study of rats and mice, they found stressed animals were far likelier to choose high-risk, high-payoff options. They also found that impairments of a specific brain circuit underlie this abnormal decision making. Source: […]

Kill switches for engineered microbes gone rogue

Stable autonomous kill switches ensure biocontainment of living microbes designed as devices for medicine or the environment. New research outlines two new types of kill switches that address these challenges. The new kill switches are self-sufficient and highly stable in bacterial populations that evolve, and they last over many generations. They can ensure that only […]

Discovery of a promising medication for amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS)

A drug used to treat schizophrenia has the potential to slow the progression of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), a fatal neurodegenerative disease for which there is currently no effective cure. After six years of research on several animal models and a few patients, researchers discovered that pimozide stabilizes the disease in the short term. A […]