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Archive - Jan 27, 2017

Rebalancing Gut Microbiome Lengthens Survival in Mouse Model of Lou Gehrig’s Disease (ALS)

A bacterial by-product known to be important in maintaining gut health may slow the progression of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), a progressive, neurodegenerative disease. Researchers at the University of Illinois at Chicago (UIC) College of Medicine report that in a mouse model of ALS, the compound butyrate helped correct a gut microbiome imbalance and reduced gut leakiness - both symptoms of ALS. The treated mice also lived longer compared to mice that weren't given butyrate. The finding was reported online on January 24, 2017 in Clinical Therapeutics. The article is titled “Target Intestinal Microbiota to Alleviate Disease Progression in Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis.” ALS, also known as Lou Gehrig's disease, slowly destroys the motor neurons that control movement. Patients gradually lose the ability to walk, speak, and swallow -- and eventually, to breathe. Conventional treatments include physical therapy and medications, but researchers have recently started looking to the gut as a new target for intervention. "The brain and the gut are linked, so it's not too surprising that the health of the gut can impact the functioning of neurons," says Jun Sun, Associate Professor of Gastroenterology and Hepatology at UIC and corresponding author of the paper. In March 2016, she and her coworkers were the first to identify a gut component to ALS progression. The gut microbiome - the myriad bacteria, viruses, and other microbes that make the gut their home - when in balance, helps maintain health, starting with the gut lining. Leaky gut in ALS may lead to increased inflammation. Reducing this gut-associated inflammation has been a goal of clinicians and researchers, and rebalancing the gut microbiome has shown promise in small-animal studies. Dr.

Data4Cure's AI-Powered Biomedical Intelligence Cloud Features New Tools for Multidimensional Disease Mapping and Immune-Oncology Research

On January 24, 2017, Data4Cure, Inc., announced a series of updates and new case studies using its Biomedical Intelligence® Cloud - a semantic data-driven discovery platform designed to continuously grow knowledge from a multitude of genomic, molecular and clinical data that are accumulating rapidly in the field. These updates were presented at a session hosted by Data4Cure at the Precision Medicine World Conference (PMWC) in Mountain View, California. The company's Biomedical Intelligence® Cloud now includes new tools for immune-oncology research, improved applications for mapping the molecular basis of disease, and a new multidimensional version of the company's molecular stratification engine. Data4Cure's platform is powered by CURIE™, a dynamic biomedical knowledge graph that is continuously updated with information dynamically extracted from a variety of data sources. Cross-referencing tens of thousands of datasets and bioinformatics analyses, literature, clinical trials, and external databases, CURIE provides immediate data-driven answers to over 100 million biomedical questions. "CURIE understands biology," said Janusz Dutkowski, Ph.D., CEO, Data4Cure, who chaired the PMWC session. "It combines advanced machine learning, systems biology, and semantic search capabilities providing a new way to make discoveries. Our platform allows biological and clinical researchers to leverage diverse datasets to discover relationships between entities in a molecular system, and uncover how these entities and relations are affected by the disease and environment, and how they respond to drug interventions." CURIE is used by multiple applications running on Data4Cure's Biomedical Intelligence Cloud.

Biotech Visionary Leroy Hood Honored with National Academy of Sciences Award for Chemistry in Service to Society

On January 24, 2017, the National Academy of Sciences (NAS) announced that Leroy E. Hood, M.D., Ph.D., President and Co-Founder, Institute for Systems Biology, Senior Vice President and Chief Science Officer, Providence St. Joseph Health, will receive the prestigious 2017 NAS Award for Chemistry in Service to Society. Dr. Hood is a biotech visionary who has revolutionized biology and medicine in a career that spans five decades. Among his many accomplishments, Hood invented, commercialized, and developed multiple chemical tools that address biological complexity, including the automated DNA sequencer which spearheaded the Human Genome Project. Dr. Hood’s earlier research work at Caltech led to the development of four DNA and protein sequencers and synthesizers, all of which became core instruments for contemporary molecular biology. Later, Dr. Hood’s lab developed the ink-jet oligonucleotide synthesizer, a core technology for DNA chip synthesis and large-scale DNA synthesis, and the first instrument capable of global single-molecule analysis of DNA and RNA molecules. Beyond these innovations, Dr. Hood shepherded a cross-disciplinary approach to chemistry and biology, which led to the establishment of the Science and Technology Center for Molecular Biotechnology through the National Science Foundation, as well as the creation of the first cross-disciplinary department of biology, the Department of Molecular Biotechnology (MBT) at the University of Washington, Seattle, efforts which have influenced everything from academic research to K-12 STEM education. Dr. Hood was an early proponent and advocate for the Human Genome Project, and directed the Human Genome Center’s sequencing of portions of human chromosomes 14 and 15.