- N Engl J Med 2022; 387:753-756
Genomes have different types of genetic variation, and many changes are assumed to be “silent” — that is, they have no effect on biology, health, or fitness. A recent study shows that it is not that simple.
- N Engl J Med 2022; 386:2523-2525
The overrepresentation of a silent variant in KRAS led investigators to explore whether this mutation was biologically relevant (it was) and could be exploited in a mouse model to treat KRAS-mutant cancer.
- N Engl J Med 2022; 386:2334-2336
Modified autologous T cells have been successfully used to treat tumors in a small proportion of patients. How can this general approach be used to treat more patients? A recent study of lymphoma, modeled in vitro, points to a potential approach.
- N Engl J Med 2022; 386:1950-1952
A recent study of mouse models implicates dopaminergic nerve terminals in the amygdala in releasing the brakes on rapid-eye-movement sleep and on cataplexy in a mouse model of narcolepsy. REM sleep is believed to have a role in processing emotional memories and is under investigation in persons with post-traumatic stress...
- N Engl J Med 2022; 386:1755-1758
Fluorescence-activated cell sorters identify cells on the basis of the total fluorescence (the biomarker of interest is tagged with a fluorescent marker). A new method that sorts cells on the basis of the pattern of fluorescence and can identify cells with specific morphologic characteristics may prove helpful in drug discovery.
- N Engl J Med 2022; 386:1576-1578
Autologous chimeric antigen receptor T cells, which are engineered to bind and kill cells that express a specific antigen, are effective in the treatment of certain cancers. A recent study involving a mouse model shows that CAR T cells can be generated in vivo and may reduce fibrosis after myocardial...
- N Engl J Med 2022; 386:1372-1374
How do pathologic stimuli result in fibrosis and the development of calcific nodules, which compromise the biomechanical integrity of the aortic valve and lead to stenosis? A recent study of a mouse model underscores the need to better understand how pathways critical to early developmental stages contribute to stenosis.
- N Engl J Med 2022; 386:1184-1186
Gene therapy for disorders affecting muscle, such as Duchenne’s muscular dystrophy and myotubular myopathy, has been challenging, in large part owing to the difficulty of delivering the therapeutic gene to cells within the mass of muscle tissue. A recent study of the adeno-associated virus capsid provides a candidate vector for...
- N Engl J Med 2022; 386:992-994
Genetic landscaping and T cells are all the rage when it comes to tumor biology. Put them together and you get a comprehensive view of the T cell in the context of different types of cancer. The authors of this commentary provide a framework for a study of the RNAome...
- N Engl J Med 2022; 386:793-795
When wounds of intermediate depth occur, hair-follicle stem cells migrate to the wound and adopt the function, form, and gene-expression pattern of epidermal stem cells. However, a mouse model showed that these hair-follicle stem cells maintain an epigenetic memory that may be key to their improved capacity for faster healing...
- N Engl J Med 2022; 386:596-598
Clonal hematopoiesis of indeterminate potential (CHIP) is relatively common in older persons and is a risk factor for malignant blood conditions and cardiovascular disease. A recent study of a zebrafish model provides insight into how CHIP may evolve and implicates a positive feedback cycle.
Basic Implications of Clinical Observations: A Possible Role for Anti-idiotype Antibodies in SARS-CoV-2 Infection and VaccinationN Engl J Med 2022; 386:394-396
The authors hypothesize that anti-idiotype immune responses may contribute to rare adverse events, such as myocarditis, after SARS-CoV-2 vaccination, as well as to sequelae of Covid-19 that persist after the resolution of infection.
- N Engl J Med 2022; 386:188-190
A recent study involving murine stem cells showed a recapitulation of the entire female germline life cycle, which resulted in fertilizable mouse oocytes in culture. Among approximately 200 resultant two-cell embryos transferred into pseudopregnant dams, 5% resulted in live offspring.
- N Engl J Med 2021; 385:2579-2581
This year’s Nobel Prize in Chemistry was awarded to Benjamin List and David MacMillan in recognition of their contributions to the efficient synthesis of enantiomers. Their discoveries have affected pharmacology and alleviated environmental pollution.
- N Engl J Med 2021; 385:2392-2394
This year’s Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine was awarded to David Julius and Ardem Patapoutian for identifying molecules that relay sensation of capsaicin pepper, temperature, and physical force. They thus provided the first insights into how animals sense hot and cold temperatures, mechanical force, and the pungent chemicals in...
- N Engl J Med 2021; 385:2191-2194
Over a matter of months, the application of artificial intelligence and machine learning to the prediction of three-dimensional protein structures resulted in an explosion of knowledge that augurs well for accelerating the identification and targeting of “druggable” proteins.
- N Engl J Med 2021; 385:2005-2007
Ever notice that hunger whets temper? A recent behavioral and neurologic study of mice delineates a neural circuit that may undergird the connection between hunger and mood.
- N Engl J Med 2021; 385:1807-1809
A growing body of evidence supports aberrant splicing as both a cause and a potential Achilles’ heel of cancers, especially when it comes to the effects of immune-checkpoint inhibitors.
- N Engl J Med 2021; 385:1623-1626
This year’s Lasker Basic Medical Research Award goes to Drs. Deisseroth, Hegemann, and Oesterhelt for their contributions to developing optogenetics: a means of activating or suppressing neuronal activity and thus an indispensable tool for neuroscientists.
- N Engl J Med 2021; 385:1436-1438
Although the production time (11 months) of the messenger RNA vaccines against SARS-CoV-2 infection set a record, the preclinical research undergirding them spanned decades and was challenged by lack of funding. The 2021 Lasker–DeBakey Clinical Medical Research Award goes to Drs. Drew Weissman and Katalin Karikó, pioneer researchers of modified...