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‘MARRVEL’: a new way to compile big data in a human-centric way
Articles / Gene variants database search

‘MARRVEL’: a new way to compile big data in a human-centric way

When a group of researchers in the Undiagnosed Disease Network at Baylor College of Medicine realized they were spending days combing through databases searching for information regarding gene variants, they decided to do something about it. They created MARRVEL (Model organism Aggregated Resources for Rare Variant ExpLoration) to help not only their own lab but … Continue reading

It’s all connected: circadian clock, microbiome and response to diet
Articles / circadian clock / Microbiome

It’s all connected: circadian clock, microbiome and response to diet

Disrupt the circadian clock, and metabolism will change. Alter the microbiome and, again, metabolism will change. Would altering the circadian clock affect the microbiome? Dr. Derek O’Neil, a postdoctoral fellow in obstetrics and gynecology at Baylor College of Medicine took on the project to answer this question and he found the first evidence that a … Continue reading

Out of the body and into bone-in culture: new technique tests drugs for metastatic cancer
Articles / breast cancer / Metastasis

Out of the body and into bone-in culture: new technique tests drugs for metastatic cancer

For many cancer patients, the problem is metastasis – the dissemination of tumor cells to other organs – after the primary tumor has been eliminated. Metastases, however, tend to respond differently than the primary tumor to the treatment in part due to residing in a different organ with a different microenvironment. Recreating biological microenvironments in … Continue reading

Sometimes, scientists solve medical mysteries in a day’s work
Articles / Human genetics

Sometimes, scientists solve medical mysteries in a day’s work

It all began on a Thursday, the day Dr. Daryl Scott goes to clinic to visit patients. One of the patients was a young male with intellectual disability, developmental delay, macrocephaly (enlarged head) and very flexible joints. The genetics lab indicated that the patient did not seem to have any known genetic changes that could explain … Continue reading

‘Superbugs’ might have found their match: Bacteriophages can combat antibiotic-resistant bacteria
Antibiotic-resistant bacteria

‘Superbugs’ might have found their match: Bacteriophages can combat antibiotic-resistant bacteria

Envision the following possible future clinical scenario: a patient in a hospital develops an antibiotic-resistant bacterial infection that is untreatable or only treatable with the most toxic of antibiotics. During the 48 hours it takes to identify the bacterial species and strain, physicians and scientists also screen a library of bacterium-killing viruses at hand, select … Continue reading

Image of the Month: Lipid droplets in the transparent worm C. elegans
Model organisms

Image of the Month: Lipid droplets in the transparent worm C. elegans

  Meet Caenorhabditis elegans, a 1-millimeter-long, transparent, free-living roundworm that is the center of attention of many research laboratories around the world, including Dr. Meng Wang‘s lab at Baylor College of Medicine. C. elegans is a simple organism that nonetheless shares essential characteristics with human biology. The worm starts its 2 to 3 week long lifespan … Continue reading