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News of note-GSK-supported lung map reveals asthma targets; a new way to fight the cold



GSK-supported lung charts reveal new targets in asthma
Scientists from the Wellcome Sanger Institute supported by GlaxoSmithKline and others have made a comprehensive map of the human lung that reveals important differences between normal and asthmatic patients. Using samples from 17 people, the team analyzed 36,000 different cells from the lungs and nasal passages and track the specific genes that were active in each. They then compared the results to different cell types found in six patients with asthma. Among the discoveries was a new mucus-producing cell state, they reported in the journal Nature Medicine. They believe their findings could help researchers identify new targets for asthma medicine. (Release)

An antiviral to attack the cold?
Researchers at Leuven University in Belgium have discovered a compound that they believe could promise treatment of picorna virus, which includes rhinovirus that causes colds. The compound works by placing itself in a pocket on the virus's surface which prevents them from undergoing the rapid mutations that allow them to replicate, spread and sometimes become resistant to antiviral drugs. The researchers were able to generate several variants of the drug, which they believe could offer a way to fight many different types of picorna viruses, they reported in the journal PLOS Biology. (Release) Antibody cocktail could allow for the transplantation of mismatched organs. Stanford researchers have discovered that a combination of six antibodies could adequately prepare mice to receive blood and stem cells from any donor, whether immunologically. matched. Then, the animals could take organ or tissue transplants that matched the donor cells. They did not require ongoing immunosuppression, the researchers reported in Cell Stem Cell magazine. Antibody cocktails worked by eliminating several types of immune cells in the animal's bone marrow. The researchers plan to test the antibody mixture in a large animal model followed by transplantation with mismatched stem cells, hoping to proceed to human testing. (Release)

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