The ryanodine receptor is a channel is of key importance in heart muscle contraction and is the target for hundreds of disease mutations that cause arrhythmia. Circulating adrenaline ultimately leads to the activation of kinases (PKA, CaMKII) that can phosphorylate the ryanodine receptor. This then facilitates its opening, such that calcium ions are released more readily. In this study, the authors determined the high-resolution crystal structures of the PKA kinase bound to its interaction domain in the ryanodine receptor channel.
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Stress Can Lead to Heart Failure

When encountering a charging predator or participating in a triathlon, the human heart responds by beating faster to increase blood supply to muscles. It is a natural and well-understood reaction to stress. However, there are times when emotional or physical stress causes the heart to beat with an irregular or abnormal rhythm, a condition called arrhythmia that is the focus…
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As a surgeon scientist, Dr. Alan So’s interest in research is to meld both bench side research and clinical research. In this paper, he found that, given the prevalence of sonic hedgehog pathway overexpression in cancers and in bladder cancer specifically, GLI inhibition with antisense oligonucleotides is a promising new treatment modality for urothelial carcinoma.
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AbCellera today announced the addition of leading researchers from the Vaccine Research Center  at the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID), part of the National Institutes of Health,  and Ichor Medical Systems (Ichor) to its Pandemic Prevention Platform (P3) team. AbCellera assembled the consortium in response to a high-priority initiative from the U.S. Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) to enable rapid response to…
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Protein Potential

Protein analysis is a bit like studying a stellar object with space probes. Since the 1930s, Pluto was a fuzzy, grainy image, until New Horizons provided a much sharper view of the planet. Similarly, modern protein analysis is able to zoom in close to the action — and could soon be getting as much attention as genetics. “People think the action happens…
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While poor hygiene may be a deal breaker in human relationships, in bee colonies it can be a matter of life and death. Which is why, for two weeks in May, a lab at UBC runs a high-tech matchmaking service for bees: swipe right for hygienic bees, swipe left if not. “Certain worker bees exhibit something called ‘hygienic behaviour,’ where…
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An international clinical trial has found that a new drug for Huntington disease is safe, and that treatment with the drug successfully lowers levels of the abnormal protein that causes the debilitating disease in patients. In the study published today in the New England Journal of Medicine, researchers from UBC and their colleagues have demonstrated for the first time that the…
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Regulatory programs that control the function of stem cells are active in cancer and confer properties that promote progression and therapy resistance. However, the impact of a stem cell-like tumor phenotype (“stemness”) on the immunological properties of cancer has not been systematically explored. Using gene-expression–based metrics, we evaluated the association of stemness with immune cell infiltration and genomic, transcriptomic, and…
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In order to diagnose a cancer, pathologists use a variety of techniques to analyze the features of a tissue biopsy. This works best when the specimen being analyzed is of high quality, contains many cells and has clearly identifiable features. Unfortunately, this is not always the case, and rare cancers are especially difficult to diagnose using traditional diagnostic methods. Cancers…
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