Top 10 Biomedical Research results in 2018

Every day, we are reporting on the latest and most cutting-edge biomedical research, some offering new ideas for treatment, some changing perceptions, and some that might inspire you. 

Over the past year, from hundreds of stories published around the world this year, we have compiled the top 10 outcomes of 2018 that attract the most attention and the most important ones. Come and have a look! 

The rankings are arranged in chronological order.

The Top 10 Biomedical Research results in 2018

“starve Cancer cells” to become a reality?

Nature,1 10 December.

Researchers from the Salk Institute in the United States have previously identified a protein called REV-ERB α and REV-ERB β that controls the recycling of intracellular fat production and intracellular nutrients. When REV-ERB levels are high in the body, Inhibits fat synthesis and the corresponding protein cycle in cells.

Using this as a breakthrough, the researchers wanted to see if activating REV-ERB in the body could counteract the growth of cancer cells by reducing the fat synthesis and autophagy that are necessary for their growth.

The first target was cancer cells from leukemia, breast cancer, colorectal cancer, melanoma and glioblastoma, and the result was yes!

They then went on to study mice with glioblastoma brain tumors, again successfully, and without harming the normal somatic cells of the mice.

The researchers speculate that human cells are perfectly capable of adapting to their rhythmic behavior, while “insatiable” cancer cells do not, making it possible to “snipe” cancer cells with precision.

More than 100 drugs affect intestinal microflora

Nature,3 month 19.

Researchers from the European Molecular Biology Laboratory chose 1079 FDA-approved drugs for human use as experimental settings to see if they would affect the human gut microflora.

Among 1079 drugs, there are 835 kinds of targeting drugs, 156 kinds of antibacterial active drugs (including 144 kinds of antibiotics and 12 kinds of anti-infective drugs) and 88 kinds of antiviral, fungal and parasitic drugs.

The subjects were 38 species of bacteria and 40 species of bacteria from 21 genera in the human gut. Fecal samples from healthy people from three continents were collected from 31 of 60 sequenced species, 4 diseased probiotics, 1 probiotic and 2 symbiotic Clostridium spp.

Of the 156 antibacterial drugs, 78 per cent affected at least one intestinal flora, while 27 per cent of the remaining drugs affected at least one intestinal flora. In all, about 40 drugs had an impact on more than 10 intestinal flora.

The current results are in vitro experiments, although in vivo concentrations will be higher may be greater, but still need to further improve the experiment to obtain the results.

Breakthrough in Breast Cancer Vaccine

Science Translational Medicine,4 11 March. 

The team, from the University of Pennsylvania’s Perelman School of Medicine and the University of Pennsylvania’s Abramson Cancer Center, used autologous dendritic cells, which are made up of oxidized whole tumor cell lysate (OCDC), for immunotherapy. 

The researchers studied 25 patients with advanced breast cancer. They took peripheral blood from patients with advanced breast cancer. The appropriate immune cells are screened and cultured into large numbers of dendritic cells, which can ingest infectious pathogens, tumor cells, and other “dissidents” to elicit specific immune responses. 

The researchers exposed the cultured dendritic cells to the patient’s tumor extract and activated them. They then re-injected the dendritic cells, which contained tumor cell “fragments”, into the patients and observed them after six months of treatment. The two-year survival rate was 100 per cent. 

The untreated control group had only a 25% survival rate, with one patient remaining disease-free for five years. 

The researchers will carry out further experiments on a larger scale.

Successful Development of Oral Insulin

PNAS,6 25 March.

Oral use of insulin will destroy its original polypeptide structure, so diabetes must be used by subcutaneous injection of drugs, inconvenient and painful.

Scientists at Harvard University have developed an insulin drug that can “survive” gastrointestinal acid, proteolytic enzymes in the gut, the mucus layer in the intestine, and tight junctions between intestinal parietal cells. He uses ionic liquids of choline and folic acid to encapsulate insulin, which is itself rewrapped in acid-resistant enteric clothing to protect its fragile payload and deliver it through the gastrointestinal tract to the bloodstream.

The drug not only has high safety but also can effectively circumvent the gastrointestinal barrier and significantly enhance the absorption of oral insulin.

The formulation is biocompatible, easy to produce and can be stored at room temperature for up to two months without degradation, which is longer than some injectable insulin products currently on the market. The method could also help transport other protein drugs, and the researchers will move on to the next animal experiment.

Gene Detection of Acute Myeloid Leukemia

Nature,7 month 9. 

Acute myeloid leukemia (AML) has the lowest five-year survival rate among the four leukemias. The mortality rate of patients over 65 years old is as high as 90%. Early prevention and treatment is the key point. 

The Cornell Institute, in collaboration with the European Forward-looking Survey on Cancer and Nutrition, completed a collection by big data, who sequenced DNA from blood samples from 124 patients with acute myeloid leukemia. They were compared with 676 people who did not have acute myeloid leukemia or related cancers and were followed up for 10 to 20 years. 

The study found that people with acute myeloid leukemia have special genetic changes, ARCH, DNMT3A and TET2, TP53, U2AF1 these gene mutations, and these mutations account for a greater proportion of their blood cells. 

The researchers say their results now make it possible to genetically test for risk about five years before the onset of the disease, and they will do further experiments to improve accuracy.

New targets for Alzheimer’s treatment discovered

Nature,7 25 March. 

As previously thought, the accumulation and deposition of β-amyloid is a major pathological marker of Alzheimer’s disease. The researchers, from the University of Virginia, found that an important reason for the high concentration of beta-amyloid is the blockage of lymphatic vessels in the meninges. 

In 2015, the same study at the University of Virginia found the presence of meningeal lymphatics, and in this case, The researchers also found that the meningeal lymphatic vessels are important conduits for metabolizing waste from cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) (CSF) and interstitial (ISF)-including beta-amyloid. They injected the cerebrospinal fluid of mice with the photodynamic drug visudyne to ablation the meningeal lymphatic vessels. They found that disrupting the function of the meningeal lymphatic vessels caused large amounts of harmful proteins to accumulate in the brain and also induced cognitive impairment in the mice. 

In turn, the researchers designed a molecular hydrogel containing vascular endothelial growth factor C (VEGF-C) to enhance the ability of lymphatic vessels to remove macromolecules. They found that the treatment significantly increased the flow of lymphatic vessels in the meninges of mice with Alzheimer’s disease, increased the efficiency of their transport of large molecular metabolic wastes, and significantly increased brain perfusion. In turn, the learning and memory abilities of these mice were improved. 

This suggests that the cognitive ability of patients with Alzheimer’s disease is closely related to the ability of meningeal lymphatic vessels to remove macromolecular metabolic waste, and the meningeal lymphatic vessels may be the best new target for the prevention and treatment of Alzheimer’s disease.

A drug that permanently hypnotizes cancer cells

Nature,8 month 1.

Researchers at the Walter and Eliza Hall Institutes used KAT6A/B inhibitors as a new entry point for cancer. These two inhibitors do not directly target DNA, but inhibit histone acetylation by inhibiting histone lysine acetyltransferase. And finally through epigenetic modification inhibit tumor transcription, without affecting the tumor DNA on the premise that the stop of transcription, falling into permanent sleep.

The researchers conducted experiments in zebrafish liver cancer and mouse lymphoma models and found that they not only enhanced cancer cell death, but also curbed the growth of mouse lymphoma cells and effectively delayed the recurrence of cancer. And because it doesn’t work on DNA, it doesn’t harm normal cells. Researchers will speed up the study as soon as possible so that it can enter the clinic as early as possible.

Important influencing factors of Aging

Science,8 3 March. 

Researchers from the Icelandic Heart Society have teamed up with American researchers to conduct a serum survey to investigate the effects of serum proteins on aging. They found that by linking the circulatory system of young mice to that of aging mice, the decayed organs of aging mice were miraculously improved, suggesting that serum proteins in the blood played an important role in controlling aging. 

They compared the serum proteins of 5457 volunteers over the age of 65 with short-chain sequences that bind to aging-related proteins and found that the serum protein net did have an effect on aging. 

The seroprotein network is a general term that contains a number of highly interacting serum proteins. Researchers have found a total of 27 different seroprotein network modules, all of which play an important role in the process of aging and even death. The researchers will then take a closer look at these readily available proteins.

2018 Cancer Annual report

CA-A Cancer Journal for Clinicians,9 21 March. 

The CA-A ‘s big data report, which covers 185 countries and regions, has once again aroused great attention and discussion. 

The highest rates of cancer globally are lung and breast cancer, accounting for 11.6 percent of all cancers, followed by prostate and colorectal cancer, the report said. Lung cancer is also the leading cause of death, followed by colorectal cancer, stomach cancer and liver cancer. 

By sex, the three most common cancers with the highest fatality rates were lung, prostate and liver cancer in men, and breast, colorectal and lung cancer in women. 

Due to the lack of reliable cancer registration systems in low-income countries, data for less developed regions are missing from the report. 

This report is comprehensive and very suitable for researchers in the field of oncology.

Brown Fat provides satiety

Cell,11 month 17.

Researchers at the Technical University of Munich in Germany have explored the key to feeling full on a diet low in sugar.

Brown fat in the human body is different from ordinary white fat, it consumes energy is a special pathway, with the aid of pancreatic juice.

The researchers found that the secretin receptor is highly expressed in brown adipose tissue and activates the cellular cAMP-PKA signaling pathway by binding to the corresponding receptor in brown adipose tissue. Inducing brown fat breakdown, Activation of heat-producing protein-uncoupling protein 1 (UCP1) produces heat, which is transmitted as a signal to the brain, causing the high expression of anorexia neuropeptide POMC and inhibiting the overeating neuropeptide AgRP, causing the brain to produce a sense of satiety.

That is, in this new feeding pathway of the gut-brown-fat tissue-brain axis, brown fat tissue breaks down not to replenish energy, but to warn the brain not to continue eating, and vice versa. The aim of reducing food energy intake can be achieved by targeting this pathway.

Overall, cancer treatment, gene sequencing, intestinal flora and other areas are still the current research focus. 

The 2018 Nobel Prize in Physiology and Medicine has also been awarded to two scientists in the field of cancer immunotherapy, and researchers are still grappling with the longstanding problem of cancer.

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