Connect with us

Biotechnology

Jurassic fossils from northeastern China reveal morphological stasis in the catkin-yew

Avatar

Published

on

The Taxaceae are a distinct conifer family widely used in ornamental horticulture and are an important source of chemotherapeutic drugs (e.g., Paclitaxel). Fossil evidence of Taxaceae is based mainly on isolated leaves or leafy shoots for which the reproductive structures are unknown. However, several more complete fossils with attached seed-bearing structures show that Taxaceae had diverged from other conifers by the earliest Jurassic and were probably diverse during the Jurassic and Cretaceous.

Dong and colleagues add to knowledge of early Taxaceae based on well-preserved fossils from the Middle-Late Jurassic (~160 Myr) Daohugou Bed in eastern Inner Mongolia, northeastern China. The material includes the terminal portion of a leafy shoot with attached seed-bearing structures, and a leafy shoot with two-orders of branching in which each ultimate shoot has a terminal conical bud. The fossil leafy shoots have opposite and decussate leaves. Attached seed-bearing structures arise singly from the axil of a normal vegetative leaf and consist of a short, naked axis bearing a single terminal seed that is enclosed by pairs of opposite and decussate bracts.

These fossils bear a striking resemblance to the leafy shoots and seed-bearing structures of extant catkin-yews Amentotaxus and only differ in having shorter seed-bearing axes. Assignment of the fossils to the living genus is also supported by cladistic analyses based on morphological characters of living and fossil Taxaceae. These fossils are among the most completely known of all fossil Taxaceae. Extant catkin-yews are endangered and have very restricted distributions in Eastern Asia. The Daohugou fossils document that among the diverse extinct Mesozoic Taxaceae were ancient catkin-yews. Like Ginkgo biloba, the catkin-yews are living fossils that have undergone little morphological change since the Middle-Late Jurassic.

###

See the article:

Dong C., Shi G., Herrera F., Wang Y., Herendeen P.S., Crane P.R., 2020. Middle-Late Jurassic fossils from northeastern China reveal morphological stasis in the catkin-yew. National Science Review, nwaa138. DOI: 10.1093/nsr/nwaa138

Link: https://doi.org/10.1093/nsr/nwaa138

Source: https://bioengineer.org/jurassic-fossils-from-northeastern-china-reveal-morphological-stasis-in-the-catkin-yew/

Biotechnology

How a protein promotes pancreatic cancer metastasis

Avatar

Published

on

Pancreatic cancer, one of the most lethal human cancers, is known for it its lack of blood vessels, which creates an environment of low oxygen, or “hypoxia.” While studying how pancreatic tumors adapt to hypoxic stress, scientists at Sanford Burnham Prebys Medical Discovery Institute pinpointed a protein that appeared to be driving metastasis.

Removing the protein, called PPP1R1B, in mice significantly reduced pancreatic cancer’s ability to spread to the lung and prolonged the animals’ lives, the team reported in the journal Gastroenterology.

Based on the results, the researchers argued that PPP1R1B could be a novel drug target, and that inhibiting it could help treat pancreatic cancer.

In response to hypoxia, cells usually activate the hypoxia-inducible factor (HIF) family of transcription factors. Increased expression of H1F1A is often linked with poor patient outcomes in some cancer types, including breast and colorectal cancers.

The Sanford Burnham Prebys researchers suspected that the same correlation would hold true in pancreatic cancer. But to their surprise, mice genetically modified to lack H1F1A instead had more aggressive pancreatic cancer and lived much shorter than control animals did. These H1F1A-negative mice also showed evidence of increased local invasion into nearby tissues, as well as metastasis to distant organs.

RELATED: How a Seattle Genetics cancer drug could help lupus patients with kidney damage

To understand what was driving the cancer cells’ invasiveness, the team screened for proteins that acted differently in the two types of mice. One protein stood out: PPP1R1B. Increased levels of PPP1R1B have been reported in several cancers and associated with poor prognosis, but its role in pancreatic cancer wasn’t clear.

By studying several human pancreatic cancer cell lines, the researchers also found that decreased H1F1A was correlated with increased PPP1RB and high metastatic growth.

The scientists then removed PPP1R1B in pancreatic cancer cells and injected them into mice. PPP1R1B depletion led to significantly reduced lung metastasis as compared with animals that got unaltered cells, the team reported. Further analysis revealed that the protein promoted metastasis in pancreatic cancer by reducing p53, which is a well-characterized regulator of cell division and a key tumor suppressor protein.

The 2019 Nobel Prize in physiology or medicine went to three scientists for their work on HIF’s mechanisms, and inhibitors of H1F1A are being developed to treat cancer. They include Seattle Genetics’ PX-478 and Merck & Co.’s MK-6482, a HIF-2α inhibitor developed by Peloton Therapeutics that recently showed promise in a phase 2 study in kidney cancer.

The Sanford Burnham Prebys team believes targeting PPP1R1B could be a new treatment strategy for pancreatic cancer. “With this proof-of-concept data, we can start drug screens that identify an inhibitor of PPP1R1B, which, if successful, may help more people survive pancreatic cancer,” said Anindya Bagchi, the study’s corresponding author, in a statement.

Source: https://www.fiercebiotech.com/research/how-a-protein-promotes-pancreatic-cancer-metastasis

Continue Reading

Biotechnology

Autolus CMO Peddareddigari departs to return to the US

Avatar

Published

on

Autolus chief medical officer (CMO) Vijay Peddareddigari is leaving the company to return to the U.S. The British CAR-T biotech disclosed the departure alongside news that Nushmia Khokhar, who crossed paths with Peddareddigari at Johnson & Johnson, has stepped up to a clinical SVP position.

Peddareddigari joined Autolus as CMO in 2016. The timing of Peddareddigari’s arrival meant his spell at Autolus covered the period in which the biotech built out its clinical-phase pipeline, which now features four CAR-T cell therapies against targets including CD19, CD19xCD22, TRBC1 and GD2. The cell therapies feature technologies designed to provide more control over safety and efficacy.

In a statement, CEO Christian Itin said Peddareddigari “played a key leadership role in establishing and executing the clinical development strategy” for Autolus’ cell therapies.

Having guided Autolus through its early moves into the clinic, Peddareddigari is now leaving the company and returning to the U.S. Peddareddigari worked at MD Anderson Cancer Center before taking up posts at sites run by GlaxoSmithKline and J&J in the Philadelphia area.

The departure of Peddareddigari comes at the same time as the promotion of Khokhar to head of clinical development. Khokhar, like Peddareddigari, joined Autolus from J&J, where she was global clinical leader for daratumumab, the anti-CD38 blockbuster sold as Darzalex. Itin said Khokhar “has been instrumental in overseeing the development of our clinical programs” since joining in 2017.

Autolus disclosed the changes to its clinical development team in a statement that also revealed the appointment of Jay Backstrom to its board of directors. Backstrom has headed up R&D at Acceleron Pharma since late last year. Prior to that, Backstrom spent around a decade at Celgene, where he rose to the rank of CMO.

Read more on

Source: https://www.fiercebiotech.com/biotech/autolus-cmo-peddareddigari-departs-to-return-to-us

Continue Reading

Biotechnology

Fauci: Political pressure won’t interfere with FDA decisions on COVID-19 vaccines

Avatar

Published

on

The FDA has vowed not to let political pressure to approve a COVID-19 vaccine as soon as possible interfere with the regulatory process, Anthony Fauci told Reuters. Fauci’s comments come ahead of an election season in which the availability of a vaccine could influence the vote.

While some companies have expressed hopes that they will win approval for COVID-19 vaccines by the end of the year, the consensus is that the FDA is unlikely to authorize a product before the U.S. goes to the polls in early November. The likelihood that a vaccine will nearly, but not quite, be ready for market in the run up to the election has raised concerns that political pressure may lead the FDA to authorize a product prematurely.  

However Fauci, the director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, is confident the FDA will decide whether to approve a vaccine or not on the strength of the evidence alone.

“They promise that they are not going to let political considerations interfere with a regulatory decision,” Fauci said. “We’ve spoken explicitly about that, because the subject obviously comes up, and the people in charge of the regulatory process assure us that safety and efficacy is going to be the prime consideration.”

Fauci went on to say he is “certain of what the White House would like to see” but is yet to see “any indication of pressure at this point to do anything different than what we’re doing.” 

Approving a vaccine before sufficient data are available to evaluate its safety and efficacy could cause harm. Notably, as the most closely watched prophylactics ever, postapproval safety problems with the COVID-19 products could significantly exacerbate existing vaccine hesitancy. 

President Donald Trump said this week that the approval of a COVID-19 vaccine in time for the election “wouldn’t hurt” his prospects but denied that was his motivation. “I want to save a lot of lives,” Trump said. Trump is optimistic the U.S. will have a vaccine against the coronavirus before the election, putting his stance at odds with the consensus of other observers. 

Read more on

Source: https://www.fiercebiotech.com/biotech/fauci-political-pressure-won-t-interfere-fda-decisions-covid-19-vaccines

Continue Reading
AR/VR16 mins ago

Guide for the correct implementation of Virtual Reality in the educational system and universities…

AR/VR16 mins ago

These 3 Factors Stand in The Way of VR Mass Adoption

AR/VR57 mins ago

‘Firefox Reality’ VR Web Browser Comes to PC in Preview Version

Gaming2 hours ago

Server status – Is Fall Guys down?

Gaming2 hours ago

Evening Reading – August 6, 2020

AR/VR3 hours ago

Gravity Lab Rolls Onto Oculus Quest 20th August

AR/VR4 hours ago

Freerunning VR Experience Stride Steps Into Early Access This Month

Gaming4 hours ago

Grounded update 0.1.1 patch notes squashes bugs

Blockchain5 hours ago

BAT, Stellar Lumens, VeChain Price Analysis: 07 August

Payments5 hours ago

This Week in Fintech ending 7th August 2020

Biotechnology5 hours ago

How a protein promotes pancreatic cancer metastasis

Biotechnology5 hours ago

Autolus CMO Peddareddigari departs to return to the US

Fintech5 hours ago

FinTech Connect

Fintech5 hours ago

Australian FinTech – Connecting the Australian FinTech industry to the world

Biotechnology6 hours ago

Fauci: Political pressure won’t interfere with FDA decisions on COVID-19 vaccines

Fintech6 hours ago

Duena Blomstrom

Covid196 hours ago

A Cooking Camp Chef’s Recipe For Remote Education: Make It Ambitious

Fintech6 hours ago

Clarus Financial Technology

Fintech6 hours ago

Core Banking Software Solution & Wallet Engine | SDK.finance

Blockchain6 hours ago

Analyst Explains Reasons Bitcoin Price Could Fall Back to Lower $10Ks

Gaming6 hours ago

Horizon Zero Dawn PC impressions: The disappointing side of Decima

Gaming7 hours ago

Turn Based Strategy RPG ‘Warhammer Quest: Silver Tower’ Releases Next Month on iOS and Android with Pre-Registrations Now Live on Google Play

Networks7 hours ago

VMware gets into apps with Bluetooth-pinging COVID-safe-office tools

Semiconductor7 hours ago

ams’ VCSELs used in Ibeo’s solid-state LiDAR for Great Wall Motor

Biotechnology8 hours ago

AbbVie cuts Editas CRISPR pact it inherited from Allergan

Gaming8 hours ago

Dr Disrespect Was Banned From Twitch, But Now He’s Coming Back On YouTube

Payments8 hours ago

Cambodia payments fintech Clik lands $3.7m

Payments8 hours ago

Interview with John O’Neill of Silent Eight on how to use AI in financial services

Start Ups8 hours ago

Beauty brand MyGlamm acquires women-centric platform POPxo

Publications8 hours ago

UK digital bank Starling’s losses doubled in 2019 — but it expects to break even this year

Gaming8 hours ago

Microsoft Explains Why xCloud Won’t Be On iOS After Prematurely Ending Testing

Payments8 hours ago

Fintech funding rebounds in Q2 but deal numbers continue to fall

Start Ups9 hours ago

Home remedies for constipation – Immediate cure

Publications9 hours ago

Trump issues executive orders banning U.S. transactions with WeChat and TikTok in 45 days

Payments9 hours ago

Why isn’t Ethereum Classic worth $0? Macro investor asks after 51% attacks

Gaming9 hours ago

‘The Pathless’ from Giant Squid and Annapurna Interactive Gets an Extended Gameplay Showcase Ahead of Its Release This Year on Apple Arcade

Gaming9 hours ago

All announcements, trailers, and reveals from PlayStation State of Play August 2020

Cyber Security9 hours ago

Notice of Class Action Settlement RE Google Plus

Blockchain9 hours ago

Two Macro Calls That Could Propel Bitcoin to $14,000 This Year

Cyber Security9 hours ago

Ransomware attack on COVID 19 Ventilator manufacturer Boyce Technologies

Trending