Patterns in combat: Using old cues in the battle against cancer

Reading time: 5 minutes Manisit Das As humans, we are naturally programmed to recognize patterns. They help us detect cues in our surroundings and aid our decision making. We associate camouflage patterns with battle dress, assortments of red and green with the holidays; these recognition events help us to put things in boxes in our …

Bacteria in Cancer therapy: Friend or Foe?

Reading time: 5 minutes Varshit Dusad Bacteria are our unallied neighbors, which depending upon circumstances chooses to be our friend or foe. While bacteria such as E.coli have often been the workhorses for molecular biology studies, they have other uses as well. Surprisingly, they have enormous potential for cancer therapy. No, I am not talking …

Predicting the future: when cancer drugs only work for some patients

Reading time: 5 minutes Shaye Hagler The discovery of accelerators and brakes in our immune system in the early 1990s was fundamental to designing the cancer immunotherapy platforms we use today, which is why it won the 2018 Nobel Prize in Medicine or Physiology. Now, immune checkpoint inhibitors like anti-PD-1 can work in tandem with …

Are humans immune to CRISPR/Cas9 gene editing?

Reading time: 4 minutes Morgan McSweeney CRISPR-Cas9 is the molecular gene editing system that has inspired hopes for a solution to genetic disease. By studying how bacteria use the CRISPR-Cas system to defend themselves against bacteriophages (viruses that infect bacteria), scientists have developed methods to use those same molecular scissors to cut out human genes …

When good cells go bad: White blood cells may aid in tumor recurrence

Reading time: 4 mins Sara Musetti “I lit up like a Christmas tree, Hazel Grace.” This line, from John Green’s bestselling novel The Fault in Our Stars, hits hard. A young teenage survivor of cancer has had a widespread relapse picked up in one of his many routine scans since going into remission years earlier. …