10x Genomics Launches BEAM to Improve and Streamline Antibody and T-Cell Receptor Discovery; Barcode-Enabled Antigen Mapping (BEAM) Screens Multiple Antigens Against Thousands of B- or T-Cells to Identify Novel and Rare Antigen-Specific Repertoires

On November 9, 2022, 10x Genomics, Inc. (Nasdaq: TXG), a life sciences leader focused on mastering biology to advance human health, today announced the commercial availability of BEAM (Barcode-Enabled Antigen Mapping), a kitted solution for antibody and T-cell receptor (TCR) discovery. Built on top of 10x’s industry-leading Chromium Single Cell Immune Profiling product, BEAM’s proprietary antigen screening approach is fast and robust, delivering hundreds of antigen-receptor pairs with single cell gene expression. The combination of robust screening; simple, fast, and validated workflows; and, comprehensive interrogation of each cell has the potential to greatly accelerate and improve therapeutic discovery. “As nearly every disease involves the immune system in some way—whether it’s an infectious disease, autoimmunity, cancer, or inflammation—it’s critical to have a fundamental understanding of the immune response in order to fully understand the disease,” said Ben Hindson, PhD, Co-Founder and Chief Scientific Officer of 10x Genomics. “BEAM enables researchers to gain more insight than ever into the immune system’s basic mechanisms at high throughput and resolution, which can help translate the power of the natural immune response into the next wave of powerful, life-saving therapeutics.”

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Dana Farber’s Kornelia Polyak Wins Prestigious American Cancer Society Award

Kornelia Polyak, MD, PhD, a breast cancer researcher at Dana-Farber Cancer Institute and Professor of Medicine at Harvard Medical School is the recipient of the American Cancer Society’s prestigious Research Professor Award. The award was announced October 12, 2022 as part of 89 new Extramural Discovery Science (EDS) research grants totaling $54.3 million. The grants will fund investigators at 65 institutions across the United States starting January 1, 2023. The ACS Research Professor Award is a highly honorific award given to investigators who have made seminal contributions that have changed the direction of cancer research. The award recognizes their exceptional track records in the areas of research, mentoring, and service.

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Study Sets Basis for Identifying Exosome-Carried Biomarkers of Latent Malaria Vivax Infections; Using Mouse Model, Research Team Characterized Protein Profile of Exosomes Released By Liver Cells, Where Latent Form of Parasite Hides

A new study led by scientists at the Catalan Institution for Research and Advanced Studies (ICREA) in Spain and the IGTP uses a mouse model with human liver cells to characterize proteins associated with the latent form of the malaria parasite Plasmodium vivax. The findings lay the groundwork for identifying biomarkers of latent malaria vivax infections and moving forward in eliminating the disease. The study was published on October 1, 2022 in Molecular & Cellular Proteomics. The open-access article is titled “Mass Spectrometry Identification of Biomarkers in Extracellular Vesicles from Plasmodium vivax Liver Hypnozoite Infections.”

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Scientists Reveal an Unexpected Gene in Transparent Worms; Homolog of Human Nucleolin Found in C. elegans Opens New Window on Diseases Such As ALS and Alzheimer’s; Findings Impact Fields of Phase Separation and Nucleolus Analysis

In new peer-reviewed research published November 3, 2022 in Nature Communications, Emily Spaulding, PhD, and Dustin Updike, PhD, reveal the homolog of a well-known human protein, nucleolin, to be present in the tiny, transparent roundworm, C. elegans. The open-access journal article is titled “RG/RGG Repeats in the C. elegans Homologs of Nucleolin and GAR1 Contribute to Sub-Nucleolar Phase Separation.” Nucleolin is linked to human neurodegenerative disease and cancer– but the new finding challenges recent theories of the role structures inside the nucleus may play in such disorders–and surfaces a powerful new tool for researching the function of nucleolin and how it does contribute to disease.

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Early Diagnosis Tool for Childhood Kidney Disease: Analysis of Urinary Extracellular Vesicles (EVs); New Technique Can Detect Damage to Children’s Kidneys Earlier Than Current Tests

Early diagnosis of chronic kidney disease (CKD) is key to managing progression of the disease. A new technique analyzing urine extracellular vesicles (uEVs)–cell-derived nanoscale spherical structures involved in multiple biological functions–in urine samples identifies changes in the kidneys earlier than conventional methods and can also predict renal function decline. A team at the University of Tokyo studied urine samples from children with and without CKD. They found that the size and content of uEVs change with decreasing kidney function. This proof of concept could help with developing new urine tests that can catch the disease earlier, as well as the development of similar tests for other diseases. The work was published online on November 8, 2022 in iScience. The open-access article is titled “Urinary Extracellular Vesicles Signature for Diagnosis of Kidney Disease.”

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OncoHost to Present Proteomics-Based Biomarker Model for Clinical Benefit to Immunotherapy in NSCLC Patients at Society for Immunotherapy of Cancer (SITC) 2022 Annual Meeting

OncoHost, a global leader in next-generation precision oncology for improved personalized cancer therapy, has developed a novel predictive model for clinical benefit of immune checkpoint inhibitors (ICI) in non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) patients. The model is based on proteomic profiling of pre-treatment blood samples, combined with machine learning analysis, that accurately predicts clinical benefit probability at twelve months, outperforming the predictive capabilities of the existing PD-L1 biomarker. The study was conducted using OncoHost’s first-of-its-kind PROphet® platform, and will be presented as a poster at the Society for Immunotherapy of Cancer’s (SITC) 37th Annual Meeting (which is being held November 8-12, in Boston). The OncoHostposter will be presented in the poster hall at SITC on November 10 and 11, 2022, between 9:00 and 21:00 EST and will be available in the Journal for Immunotherapy of Cancer (JITC) supplement. This information was provided in a news release posted by OncoHost on November 7, 2022.

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Testing by Chromosomal Microarray Analysis Expands Options for Exploring Causes of Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS)

A genetic test known as chromosomal microarray analysis (CMA) could help identify the cause of sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS) or its counterpart in older children, known as sudden unexplained death in childhood (SUDC), finds a study led by researchers at Boston Children’s Hospital. The researchers, led by Richard Goldstein, MD, Ingrid Holm, MD, MPH, and Catherine Brownstein, MPH, PhD, call for making CMA routine in investigating SIDS and SUDC. They published their study findings online on November 7, 2022 in the journal Advanced Genetics. The open-access article is titled “Copy Number Variation and Structural Genomic Findings in 116 Cases of Sudden Unexplained Death between 1 and 28 Months of Age.” “We think we have enough information to say that CMA is worth considering when a child has died without explanation, and worth exploring further as a way to understand these deaths better,” says Dr. Goldstein, who directs Robert’s Program on Sudden Unexpected Death in Pediatrics at Boston Children’s and was a senior author on the study.

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Ancient DNA Analysis Sheds Light on Early Peopling of South America; Study Provides Most Complete Genetic Evidence to Date of Complex Migration Routes in Ancient Central and South America

The first southern North American groups entered South America and spread through the Pacific coast settling the Andes (yellow arrow). At least one population split occurred soon after, branching the first groups that settled the Atlantic coast (green arrow) from the groups that gave rise to the ancient populations of Southern Cone. New Migrations may have then emerged along the Atlantic Coast, with a possible origin around Lagoa Santa, heading north toward Northeast Brazil and Panama, and south to Uruguay. Eventually, Uruguay and Panama were linked by a south-to-north migration route closer to the Atlantic coast (purple double-headed arrow). (Credit: Florida Atlantic University).

The Americas were the last continent to be inhabited by humans. An increasing body of archaeological and genomic evidence has hinted to a complex settlement process. This is especially true for South America, where unexpected ancestral signals have raised perplexing scenarios for the early migrations into different regions of the continent. Many unanswered questions still persist, such as whether the first humans migrated south along the Pacific coast or by some other route. While there is archaeological evidence for a north-to-south migration during the initial peopling of the Americas by ancient Indigenous peoples, where these ancient humans went after they arrived has remained elusive. Using DNA from two ancient human individuals unearthed in two different archaeological sites in northeast Brazil–Pedra do Tubarão and Alcobaça–and powerful algorithms and genomic analyses, Florida Atlantic University researchers in collaboration with Emory University scintists have unraveled the deep demographic history of South America at the regional level with some unexpected and surprising results.

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Ancient Genomes Reveal Hidden History of Human Adaptation

The use of ancient DNA, including samples of human remains around 45,000 years old, has shed light on a previously unknown aspect of human evolution. Dr. Yassine Souilmi, Group Leader at the University of Adelaide’s Australian Centre for Ancient DNA, co-led the new study published in Nature Ecology and Evolution on Ocober 31, 2022. The open-access article, is titled “Admixture Has Obscured Signals of Historical Hard Sweeps in Humans.” “It was widely believed the genetics of our human ancestors didn’t change due to environmental pressures as much as other animals, due to our enhanced communication skills and ability to make and use tools,” Dr. Souilmi said. “However, by comparing modern genomes with ancient DNA, we discovered more than 50 cases of an initially rare beneficial genetic variant becoming prevalent across all members of ancient human groups.”

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Researchers Reveal Exosome-Related Reason Why Shingles Can Cause Strokes

Artistic depiction of exosome

Scientists investigating why people who have had shingles are at a higher risk of stroke, now believe the answer lies within lipid vesicles called exosomes that shuttle proteins and genetic information between cells, according to new research from the University of Colorado Anschutz Medical Campus. The study, published on October 6, 2022 in the Journal of Infectious Diseases, details the mechanisms behind the link between shingles and strokes. The article is titled “Zoster-Associated Prothrombotic Plasma Exosomes and Increased Stroke Risk.”

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