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Recent advances

Charles Cole, Ashley Byrne, Anna E Beaudin, E Camilla Forsberg, Christopher Vollmers
RNA-sequencing (RNA-seq) is a powerful technique to investigate and quantify entire transcriptomes. Recent advances in the field have made it possible to explore the transcriptomes of single cells. However, most widely used RNA-seq protocols fail to provide crucial information regarding transcription start sites. Here we present a protocol, Tn5Prime, that takes advantage of the Tn5 transposase-based Smart-seq2 protocol to create RNA-seq libraries that capture the 5' end of transcripts. The Tn5Prime method dramatically streamlines the 5' capture process and is both cost effective and reliable...
March 14, 2018: Nucleic Acids Research
Robin Patel, Ferric C Fang
Recent advances in microbial diagnostics are providing clinicians with information about microbes causing infections and their resistance to antimicrobial agents more rapidly than ever before. Diagnostic stewardship refers to the appropriate use of laboratory testing to guide patient management, including treatment, in order to optimize clinical outcomes and limit the spread of antimicrobial resistance. Fulfilling the promise of diagnostic stewardship requires a seamless partnership between clinical laboratories, pharmacists, and infectious diseases clinicians, so that appropriate tests are ordered and diagnostic information is translated into appropriate management in real time...
March 14, 2018: Clinical Infectious Diseases: An Official Publication of the Infectious Diseases Society of America
Piotr Klukowski, Michal Augoff, Maciej Zieba, Maciej Drwal, Adam Gonczarek, Michal J Walczak
Motivation: Automated selection of signals in protein NMR spectra, known as peak picking, has been studied for over 20 years, nevertheless existing peak picking methods are still largely deficient. Accurate and precise automated peak picking would accelerate the structure calculation, and analysis of dynamics and interactions of macromolecules. Recent advancement in handling big data, together with an outburst of machine learning techniques, offer an opportunity to tackle the peak picking problem substantially faster than manual picking and on par with human accuracy...
March 14, 2018: Bioinformatics
Olivier Barbier, Maelle Racle
Introduction: The current evolution of surgical practices is increasingly trending toward hyper-specialization. For military surgeons, their practice in France does not differ from their civilian counterparts. In contrast, in external operations, they have to deal with specific war injuries in austere conditions. They are also required to take care of local populations. Therefore, specific training is necessary, and the French Military Health Service Academy (Ecole du Val-de-Grâce) Paris has set up a specific training called Advanced Course for Deployment Surgery (ACDS) in 2007...
March 14, 2018: Military Medicine
Kelsey A Herrmann, Heather T Broihier
Although retrograde neurotrophin signaling has provided an immensely influential paradigm for understanding growth factor signaling in the nervous system, recent studies indicate that growth factors also signal via cell-autonomous, or autocrine, mechanisms. Autocrine signals have been discovered in many neuronal contexts, providing insights into their regulation and function. The growing realization of the importance of cell-autonomous signaling stems from advances in both conditional genetic approaches and in sophisticated analyses of growth factor dynamics, which combine to enable rigorous in vivo dissection of signaling pathways...
March 13, 2018: Current Opinion in Neurobiology
David M Thal, Ziva Vuckovic, Christopher J Draper-Joyce, Yi-Lynn Liang, Alisa Glukhova, Arthur Christopoulos, Patrick M Sexton
G protein-coupled receptors (GPCRs) are the largest superfamily of cell surface receptor proteins and are important drug targets for many human diseases. In the last decade, remarkable progress has been made in the determination of atomic structures of GPCRs with over 200 structures from 53 unique receptors having been solved. Technological advances in protein engineering and X-ray crystallography have driven much of the progress to date. However, recent advances in cryo-electron microscopy have facilitated the structural determination of three new structures of active-state GPCRs in complex with heterotrimeric G protein...
March 13, 2018: Current Opinion in Structural Biology
Nelson S Yee
Progress has been made in the treatment of gastrointestinal cancers through advances in systemic therapies, surgical interventions, and radiation therapy. At the Multi-Disciplinary Patient Care in Gastrointestinal Oncology conference, the faculty members of the Penn State Health Milton S. Hershey Medical Center presented a variety of topics that focused on this sub-specialty. This conference paper highlights the new development in systemic treatment of various malignant diseases in the digestive system. Results of the recent clinical trials that investigated the clinical efficacy of pegylated hyaluronidase, napabucasin, and L-asparaginase in pancreatic carcinoma are presented...
March 16, 2018: Biomedicines
Camilla Björkegren, Laura Baranello
Although our knowledge of chromatin organization has advanced significantly in recent years, much about the relationships between different features of genome architecture is still unknown. Folding of mammalian genomes into spatial domains is thought to depend on architectural proteins, other DNA-binding proteins, and different forms of RNA. In addition, emerging evidence points towards the possibility that the three-dimensional organisation of the genome is controlled by DNA topology. In this scenario, cohesin, CCCTC-binding factor (CTCF), transcription, DNA supercoiling, and topoisomerases are integrated to dictate different layers of genome organization, and the contribution of all four to gene control is an important direction of future studies...
March 16, 2018: International Journal of Molecular Sciences
Elisa Fiume, Jacopo Barberi, Enrica Verné, Francesco Baino
Nowadays, bioactive glasses (BGs) are mainly used to improve and support the healing process of osseous defects deriving from traumatic events, tumor removal, congenital pathologies, implant revisions, or infections. In the past, several approaches have been proposed in the replacement of extensive bone defects, each one with its own advantages and drawbacks. As a result, the need for synthetic bone grafts is still a remarkable clinical challenge since more than 1 million bone-graft surgical operations are annually performed worldwide...
March 16, 2018: Journal of Functional Biomaterials
Sweet Ping Ng, Joseph M Herman
Pancreatic cancer is a devastating disease with poor survival outcomes. Recent studies have shown that the addition of radiotherapy to chemotherapy in the setting of locally advanced pancreatic cancer did not improve overall survival outcome. These studies commonly utilize conventional radiotherapy treatment fractionation and technique (typically 3-D conformal radiotherapy or intensity modulated radiotherapy). Although no clear benefit in overall survival was demonstrated in those studies, those who received radiotherapy did have a clear benefit in terms of local control...
March 16, 2018: Cancers
Kyle L Brown, Billy G Hudson, Paul A Voziyan
PURPOSE OF REVIEW: The purpose of this review is to highlight recent advances in understanding the molecular assembly of basement membranes, as exemplified by the glomerular basement membrane (GBM) of the kidney filtration apparatus. In particular, an essential role of halogens in the basement membrane formation has been discovered. RECENT FINDINGS: Extracellular chloride triggers a molecular switch within non collagenous domains of collagen IV that induces protomer oligomerization and scaffold assembly outside the cell...
March 15, 2018: Current Opinion in Nephrology and Hypertension
Hanrui Zhang
PURPOSE OF REVIEW: Lysosomal acid lipase (LAL), encoded by the LIPA gene, is an essential lysosomal enzyme that hydrolyzes cholesteryl ester and triglyceride delivered to the lysosome. This review highlights the novel pathophysiological role of LAL, the functional genomic discoveries of LIPA as a risk locus for coronary heart diseases (CHD), and the clinical advance in therapies for LAL deficiency. RECENT FINDINGS: The essential role of LAL in lipid metabolism has been confirmed in human and mice with LAL deficiency...
March 15, 2018: Current Opinion in Lipidology
Dimitar Popmintchev, Benjamin R Galloway, Ming-Chang Chen, Franklin Dollar, Christopher A Mancuso, Amelia Hankla, Luis Miaja-Avila, Galen O'Neil, Justin M Shaw, Guangyu Fan, Skirmantas Ališauskas, Giedrius Andriukaitis, Tadas Balčiunas, Oliver D Mücke, Audrius Pugzlys, Andrius Baltuška, Henry C Kapteyn, Tenio Popmintchev, Margaret M Murnane
Recent advances in high-order harmonic generation have made it possible to use a tabletop-scale setup to produce spatially and temporally coherent beams of light with bandwidth spanning 12 octaves, from the ultraviolet up to x-ray photon energies >1.6  keV. Here we demonstrate the use of this light for x-ray-absorption spectroscopy at the K- and L-absorption edges of solids at photon energies near 1 keV. We also report x-ray-absorption spectroscopy in the water window spectral region (284-543 eV) using a high flux high-order harmonic generation x-ray supercontinuum with 10^{9}  photons/s in 1% bandwidth, 3 orders of magnitude larger than has previously been possible using tabletop sources...
March 2, 2018: Physical Review Letters
Jejoong Yoo, Aleksei Aksimentiev
In contrast to ordinary polymers, the vast majority of biological macromolecules adopt highly ordered three-dimensional structures that define their functions. The key to folding of a biopolymer into a unique 3D structure or to an assembly of several biopolymers into a functional unit is a delicate balance between the attractive and repulsive forces that also makes such self-assembly reversible under physiological conditions. The all-atom molecular dynamics (MD) method has emerged as a powerful tool for studies of individual biomolecules and their functional assemblies, encompassing systems of ever increasing complexity...
March 16, 2018: Physical Chemistry Chemical Physics: PCCP
Srabanti Ghosh, Laurence Ramos, Hynd Remita
Materials are the key roadblocks for the commercialization of energy conversion devices in fuel cells and solar cells. Significant research has focused on tuning the intrinsic properties of materials at the nanometer scale. The soft template mediated controlled fabrication of advanced nanostructured materials is attracting considerable interest due to the promising applications of these materials in catalysis and electrocatalysis. Swollen hexagonal lyotropic liquid crystals (SLCs) consist of oil-swollen surfactant-stabilized 1D, 2D or 3D nanometric assemblies regularly arranged in an aqueous solvent...
March 16, 2018: Nanoscale
Guido Kobbe, Thomas Schroeder, Rainer Haas, Ulrich Germing
Allogeneic blood stem cell transplantation (aBSCT) still is the only curative therapy for patients with myelodysplastic syndromes. While it carries the hope for cure for some patients, it may result in severe toxicity and death from complications or recurrent disease in others. Recent developments have improved patient and donor selection as well as technical aspects of the transplant procedure and post-transplant care, including early detection and treatment of relapse. Areas covered: This review will discuss current stratification tools to identify suitable patients, donors and transplant techniques...
March 16, 2018: Expert Review of Hematology
Kun Liu, Chunlan Song, Aiwen Lei
Electrochemical oxidative cross-coupling with hydrogen evolution has become an environmentally friendly and efficient way to form new bonds. Direct electrosynthesis by anodic oxidation has been developed for the synthesis of complex molecules. However, in some cases, redox catalysts were needed to avoid over-oxidation and to achieve better reaction selectivity. Recently, the use of iodine as a mediator to achieve indirect electrochemical reactions has drawn increasing attention. This review article gives an overview of the recent development of iodine mediated electrochemical oxidative coupling reactions...
March 16, 2018: Organic & Biomolecular Chemistry
Ekaterina A Dolgopolova, Allison M Rice, Corey R Martin, Natalia B Shustova
In this review, we highlight how recent advances achieved in the fields of photochemistry and photophysics of metal-organic frameworks (MOFs) could be applied towards the engineering of next generation MOF-based sensing devices. In addition to high surface area and structural tunability, which are crucial for efficient sensor development, progress in the field of MOF-based sensors could rely on the combination of MOF light-harvesting ability, understanding energy transfer processes within a framework, and application of MOF-based photocatalysis towards sensing enhancement...
March 16, 2018: Chemical Society Reviews
Kheireddine El-Boubbou
Magnetic nanoparticles (MNPs), particularly made of iron oxides, have been extensively studied as diagnostic imaging agents and therapeutic delivery vehicles. In this review, special emphasis is set on the 'recent advancements of drug-conjugated MNPs used for therapeutic applications'. The most prevalent preparation methods and chemical functionalization strategies required for translational biomedical nanoformulations are outlined. Particular attention is, then, devoted to the tailored conjugation of drugs to the MNP carrier according to either noncovalent or covalent attachments, with advantages and drawbacks of both pathways conferred...
March 16, 2018: Nanomedicine
Meiguang Xiong, Suyun Wang, Yan-Yi Wang, Yong Ran
The cGAS-MITA pathway of cytosolic DNA sensing plays essential roles in immune response against pathogens that contain DNA or with DNA production in their life cycles. The cGAS-MITA pathway also detects leaked or aberrant accumulated self DNA in the cytoplasm under certain pathological conditions, such as virus induced cell death, DNA damage, mitochondria damage, gene mutations, which results in autoimmune diseases. Therefore, the cGAS-MITA pathway must be tightly controlled to ensure proper immune response against pathogens and to avoid autoimmune diseases...
March 15, 2018: Virologica Sinica
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