MIT Researchers Develop Model To Predict Viral Mutations 🔬👨🔬💉🧬
Researchers at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) have developed a technique to model viral escape using models that were originally developed to model language. Basically, the model will be used to determine which sections of the viral surface proteins including those of HIV, SARS-CoV-2 and Influenza are more likely to mutate in a way that would enable the virus to evade the human immune system and escape. Additionally, this model can be used to identify sections that have low possibility of mutation, thereby making them good targets for vaccines.
A Multicolor Brain Atlas to Study Neural Networks🎆 🧠🔬
A novel coloring technique known as NeuroPAL (a Neuronal Polychromatic Atlas of Landmarks) has been engineered by scientists at Columbia University making it possible to identify every single neuron in the brain of a worm.
New Protein Discovered in Salmonella 🧫🔬🥩
The Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) estimate that each year in the U.S., there are about 1.35 million cases of salmonellosis. Research revealed that only one protein is responsible for why salmonella is infectious to humans.
Deep Learning Takes a Leap in Solving Protein Structures 💻🔬💡
One of the largest obstacles of drug development has been determining protein structure. While advances in laboratory equipment facilitated and improved the process, they were often costly and labor intensive. DeepMind, a Google owned company, developed a program called AlphaFold that was able to determine the 3D shape of a protein from its amino acid sequence. The program can accelerate drug discovery by allowing researchers to predict protein structures with the accuracy of methods like X-ray crystallography and cryo-electron microscopy (cryo-EM) in a fraction of the time and cost. The accuracy and ease of computation programs such as DeepMind are taking over the biotechnology industry as the programs are able to do multiple days worth of laboratory work in one run.
New Software Cuts Time and Cost from Gene Sequencing 📱💵🧬
Johns Hopkins University researchers have developed a new software that could revolutionize how DNA is sequenced, making it faster and less expensive to map anything from yeast genomes to cancer genes. The software could be used with portable sequencing devices to accelerate the ability to conduct genetic tests and deliver diagnoses outside of labs.
New Method to Stitch Together DNA can Assemble a Virus Genome in One Day 🧬🦠🧪
To understand how genomes work, some scientists design and build new ones – a process that can take months, or even years. Now, an improved method has drastically increased the number of DNA pieces that can be stitched together, allowing designer genomes to be built in a single day.
Virtual Reality Software Allows Scientists to Walk Inside Cells
Scientists from the University of Cambridge and a 3D image software company, Lume VR ltd, developed a software called vLUME, allowing super-resolution microscopy data to be visualized and analyzed in virtual reality. The software brings humans into the nanoscale and can be used to study everything from individual proteins to entire cells. The VR software could be used to understand fundamental problems in biology and develop new treatments for disease.