Phage therapy: a “modern” approach against antibiotic resistance

phage therapy

A 15-year-old girl with cystic fibrosis who suffered from an antibiotic-resistant mycobacterium infection has been treated thanks to a "modern" therapeutic approach, phage therapy. Not so modern actually, given that the first experiments date back to the 20s of the last century. But it has only recently been rediscovered and proposed as a valid alternative to antibiotic therapy, especially in the case of resistant bacteria, which are going to become more and more threatening.

Phage therapy, antibiotic resistance

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Even dolphins suffer from Alzheimer’s disease

dolphins alzheimer

Intelligent and curious, they love to interact with each other and also with humans. We look more like dolphins than we think ... for better and for worse. They are in fact the only wild species in the world in which a form of Alzheimer has been found, which is similar to the human one. A "natural" model that has raised the interest of scientists, opening a new line of research that helps to combat the disease even in humans.

Alzheimer, dolphin

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Bi-specific antibodies, like a bridge between cancer and immune system

bites

Monoclonal antibodies are specialized bullets that target only specific molecules. Some antibodies recognize proteins expressed by tumor cells, while others bind receptors on the surface of immune cells. What if they can do both? A class of antibody called BiTE (bi-specific T cell engager antibodies) is able to simultaneously bind a T cell and a cancer cell, forming a bridge between the two and thus helping the former destroy the latter.

Bi-specific antibodies

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Nanobodies from alpacas can fight solid tumors

nanobodies alpacas CART

They are funny to look at, mild and intelligent: that was what we knew about alpacas until 1989. That year, two students discovered by chance one important feature that has long remained unknown. This and other species belonging to camelid family have "miniature" antibodies: smaller than ours and those of most mammals, they can reach even the most difficult targets. Researchers at Boston Children 's Hospital used the so called “nanobodies” to make CAR-T cells better at solid tumors. The study has been published in the journal PNAS.

nanobodies, fight solid tumors

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White sharks genome reveals secrets about wound healing and cancer

sharks

White shark: their only name inspires fear. Not only are they the most dangerous sharks in the world, but they also got a few tricks up their sleeve: their wounds heal very fast; they are long-lived and rarely get cancer. Now, their genome has been fully decoded for the first time, revealing the molecular secrets of white shark’s extraordinary adaptation. The findings are reported in the journal Pnas.

white shark, genome reveals

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