Kerafast

Microbial ‘vampires’ killed by light

Vanderbilt University researchers have discovered a way to destroy Staphylococcus aureus (staph) using light in combination with an enzyme-activating small molecule. The research was published this summer in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (PNAS). Staphylococcus aureus (staph) is the leading cause of hospital-acquired infections. Though about 30% of healthy people carry the 

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New telomere findings with implications for human aging and cancer

An international team of researchers recently discovered a mechanism that regulates the identification and repair of critically short telomeres, the structures that protect chromosome ends from degradation. The new research, published in Cell, cites our DNA-RNA Hybrid [S9.6] Antibody and has implications for both human aging and cancer. The role of telomeres Telomeres are found 

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The CETSA Technique for Drug Discovery

Traditionally, drug discovery groups have monitored target engagement in cells by looking at impacts in downstream signaling following treatment with a compound against a particular target. However, because proteins often participate in multiple signaling pathways, and compounds can bind to proteins aside from the target (called off-targets), looking only at downstream signaling can be convoluted 

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What’s a Patient-Derived Xenograft?

Here at Kerafast, we recently added the first patient-derived xenograft model to our online platform. Developed at Virginia Commonwealth University, this xenograft was derived from a 74-year-old female patient with non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) and fully characterized in an Oncotarget journal article. The xenograft’s addition to our catalog prompted us to ask the question: 

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Studying bat immunity to better understand SARS and MERS

A Kerafast providing lab from the University of Saskatchewan recently published a paper exploring why bats are immune to SARS and MERS, respiratory diseases that cause serious and often deadly illness in humans. The lab of Dr. Vikram Misra has determined that bat cells employ a unique mechanism to suppress inflammation when infected with viruses, 

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Researchers discover link between gastrointestinal infection and Parkinson’s disease

Parkinson’s disease (PD) is a neurodegenerative disease resulting in the loss of the neurotransmitter dopamine as nerve cells slowly die. One function of dopamine is to regulate motor control. Consequently, as PD progresses, individuals may experience tremors, rigidity, difficulty walking, slowed movement and cognitive decline. There is no cure for PD and current treatment relies 

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More ticks and more tick disease

Tick-borne disease and the number of ticks are on the rise globally, especially in the United States, thanks to a milder winter in many regions. Ticks are arachnids, and live on a variety of mammalian host species. Ticks bite, attach and live on their mammalian hosts as they feed on their blood. During their attachment, 

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New findings on limb growth in the fruit fly

Research from IRB Barcelona has revealed new information about the role of the Dpp gene (BMP in humans) in the wing development of the fruit fly Drosophila melanogaster. The study, published this July in the journal eLife, found that Dpp is necessary for tissue growth but its gradient does not regulate wing growth. These findings 

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Sequencing the Human Immune System

 This spring, one of Kerafast’s providing investigators, Dr. James Crowe, Jr. of Vanderbilt University, spoke at TEDxNashville about the human immune system. His talk discussed how the body is able to defend against the constant threat of infectious pathogens and highlighted a new research project to sequence all the antibodies in the entire human population. 

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