Many studies have shown that body site and inter-personal differences shape the composition of the human skin microbiome, but we still have a poor understanding of how extrinsic (e.g., lifestyle) and intrinsic (e.g., age) factors influence its composition. By integrating several host factors and microbiome information, the authors showed that the skin microbiome of an average North American population is predominantly shaped by demographic, lifestyle, and physiological factors.
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Mantle cell lymphoma (MCL) is an uncommon B-cell non-Hodgkin lymphoma (NHL) that is incurable with standard therapies. The genetic drivers of this cancer have not been firmly established and the features known to contribute to differences in clinical course remain limited. To extend our understanding of the biological pathways involved in this malignancy, we performed a large-scale genomic analysis of…
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In this manuscript, the authors describe a completely synthetic, efficient, and highly reproducible means for generating human T-ALL de novo from normal cord blood progenitors. They show that these synthetic leukemias appear indistinguishable from tumors arising spontaneously in human patients and undergo clonal evolution in vivo with acquisition of secondary mutations that are seen recurrently in natural leukemias.
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Cancer cells usually exhibit aberrant cell signaling and metabolic reprogramming. However, mechanisms of crosstalk between these processes remain elusive. Here we show that in an in vivo tumor model expressing oncogenic Drosophila Homeodomain-interacting protein kinase (Hipk), tumor cells display elevated aerobic glycolysis. Mechanistically, elevated Hipk drives transcriptional upregulation of Drosophila Myc (dMyc; MYC in vertebrates) likely through convergence of multiple perturbed signaling cascades. dMyc induces robust…
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CuATSM, a copper homeostasis regulating compound, has been used as a PET-imaging agent for hypoxic tumours in humans. Recent studies have shown that the application of this molecule remarkably extends the lifespan of mice with mutant superoxide dismutase 1 mutations (mSOD1), one of the major ALS genetic models. CuATSM used in this model system by our collaborators has shown a remarkable level of motor neuron preservation. We have now expanded these previous studies and have reported that CuATSM applied in our BSSG model at the same time prevents most of the deleterious aspects of BSSG alone.
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Read the Publication This week we profile a recent publication in EBioMedicine from the laboratory of Dr. Edward Conway (pictured, centre) at the UBC Centre for Blood Research. Can you provide a brief overview of your lab’s current research focus? I am a professor of Medicine and Director of the Centre for Blood Research at UBC. The overall goal of…
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PURPOSE This study investigated therapeutic potential of integrated genome and transcriptome profiling of metastatic sarcoma, a rare but extremely heterogeneous group of aggressive mesenchymal malignancies with few systemic therapeutic options. METHODS Forty-three adult patients with advanced or metastatic non-GI stromal tumor sarcomas of various histology subtypes who were enrolled in the Personalized OncoGenomics program at BC Cancer were included in…
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Fixation Effects on Variant Calling in a Clinical Resequencing Panel

Formalin fixation is the standard method for the preservation of tissue for diagnostic purposes, including pathologic review and molecular assays. However, this method is known to cause artifacts that can affect the accuracy of molecular genetic test results. We assessed the applicability of alternative fixatives to determine whether these perform significantly better on next-generation sequencing assays, and whether adequate morphology…
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Abstract Background Azithromycin reduces pulmonary exacerbation (PEx) risk in cystic fibrosis (CF) but not all individuals benefit. The goal of this study was to discover blood protein biomarkers predictive of clinical response to azithromycin treatment in CF children and adolescents. Methods Novel proteomic technologies were applied to examine 188 serum and plasma proteins from 40 CF subjects randomized to azithromycin…
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Mature blood cells derive from primitive cells through a complex and poorly understood process that involves an interplay of transcription factors and epigenetic modifications. We now show that multiple human hematopoietic progenitor phenotypes display a common repressive H3K27me3 signature (R>0.97) together with their mature lymphoid, but not their differentiated monocyte and erythroid progeny.
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