• Gio. Mag 23rd, 2024

ONE VACCINE, MANY CANCERS

In a new study published in Blood Advancesresearchers from the UChicago Pritzker School of Molecular Engineering’s Hubbell Lab created with a novel approach to develop in-situ cancer vaccines that could increase the effectiveness of immunotherapies in Acute myeloid leukemia and other blood cancers.

“We are trying to come up with cancer vaccine approaches that could be more easily scaled and applied, in other words, one type of vaccine that works with a number of cancers,” said Prof. Jeffrey Hubbell, the Eugene Bell Professor in Tissue Engineering at PME. AML is a type of blood cancer that forms in the soft marrow of the bones, typically attacking cells that would otherwise form the key component of the body’s immunodefense system, white blood cells.

Some vaccines work by preventing specific cancers from developing, such as the human papilloma virus (HPV) vaccine that protects against a virus that can cause cervical cancer. Other vaccines are therapeutic vaccines, meaning to prime immunity to attack existing cancers. This new research falls into the latter category.

MICROPLASTICS, ALGAL BLOOMS, SEAFOOD SAFETY ARE PUBLIC HEALTH CONCERNS ADDRESSED BY NEW OCEANS AND HUMAN HEALTH CENTERS

Millions of tons of small pieces of plastic, referred to as microplastics are finding their way into the world’s oceans. These microplastics, ranging from the size of a width of a pencil to smaller than a sesame seed, often get eaten by fish and shellfish and are passed to humans through seafood consumption.

They also act as microscopic sponges, attracting, concentrating, and carrying pollutants into new environments. These plastic particles and other factors, including a warming climate and more extreme weather events, are affecting the health of our waterways.

To address plastics and other problems that could affect human health, the NIH and the U.S. National Science Foundation (NSF) are jointly funding four new Centers for Oceans and Human Health and renewing two centers as part of a marine-related health research program.

STRETCHABLE E-SKIN COULD GIVE ROBOTS HUMAN-LEVEL TOUCH SENSITIVITY

A first-ever stretchy electronic skin could equip robots and other devices with the same softness and touch sensitivity as human skin, opening up new possibilities to perform tasks that require a great deal of precision and control of force. The new stretchable e-skin is developed by researchers at The University of Texas at Austin.

“Much like human skin has to stretch and bend to accommodate our movements, so too does e-skin,” said Nanshu Lu, a professor in the Cockrell School of Engineering’s Department of Aerospace Engineering and Engineering Mechanics who led the project. “No matter how much our e-skin stretches, the pressure response doesn’t change, and that is a significant achievement.” The new research was published in Matter.

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