Biotechnology

  • Princeton faculty Brangwynne, Sly; arts fellow Okpokwasili awarded MacArthur Fellowships

    Thursday, Oct 4, 2018
    by by Jamie Saxon, Steven Schultz and Molly Sharlach

    Two Princeton professors — one who explores the interior structures of cells, and another who mathematically defines thresholds between shifting, complex systems — have been awarded 2018 MacArthur Fellowships. Choreographer and performer Okwui Okpokwasili, a Hodder Fellow in the Lewis Center for the Arts, also received an award.

  • In the tissues of a tiny worm, a close-up view of where genes are working

    Tuesday, Sep 25, 2018
    by Molly Sharlach, School of Engineering and Applied Science

    Scientists have long prized the roundworm Caenorhabditis elegans as a model for studying the biology of multicellular organisms. The millimeter-long worms are easy to grow in the lab and manipulate genetically, and they have only around 1,000 cells, making them a powerful system for probing intricacies of development, behavior and metabolism.

  • From 'sea of mutations,' two possible cancer links rise to the surface

    Wednesday, Aug 8, 2018
    by Molly Sharlach, Office of Engineering Communications

    By analyzing data from thousands of patients, Princeton researchers have identified genetic mutations that frequently occur in people with uterine cancer, colorectal cancer or skin cancer — an important step toward using genome sequences to better understand cancer and guide new treatments.

  • MacMillan lab finds new way to bond molecules that could speed drug discovery

    Monday, Aug 6, 2018
    by by Amy Carleton

    Bringing new drugs to market takes time. Laboratory testing, clinical research and U.S. Food and Drug Administration review — and all the steps in between — add up to 17 years, on average, for research evidence to reach clinical practice.

    But what if organic chemists could speed up that process by providing medicinal chemists with new tools that would facilitate selective molecule activation to support drug discovery?

  • Method reveals how hidden DNA mutations affect tissues

    Thursday, Jul 26, 2018
    by Adapted from the Simons Foundation

    In a development with implications for better understanding disease, researchers have created a computational system to predict the effect that mutations in noncoding DNA — sections that don’t produce proteins — have on tissues and cells in the human body.

  • Researchers apply computing power to track the spread of cancer

    Tuesday, Jul 3, 2018
    by Molly Sharlach, Office of Engineering Communications

    Princeton researchers have developed a new computational method that increases the ability to track the spread of cancer cells from one part of the body to another.

    This migration of cells can lead to metastatic disease, which causes about 90 percent of cancer deaths from solid tumors — masses of cells that grow in organs such as the breast, prostate or colon. Understanding the drivers of metastasis could lead to new treatments aimed at blocking the process of cancer spreading through the body.

  • Timing is key for bacteria surviving antibiotics

    Monday, Jul 2, 2018
    by Molly Sharlach, Office of Engineering Communications

    For bacteria facing a dose of antibiotics, timing might be the key to evading destruction. In a series of experiments, Princeton researchers found that cells that repaired DNA damaged by antibiotics before resuming growth had a much better chance of surviving treatment.

    When antibiotics hit a population of bacteria, often a small fraction of “persister” cells survive to pose a threat of recurrent infection. Unlike bacteria with genetic resistance to antibiotics, evidence suggests that persisters stay alive in part by stalling cellular processes targeted by the drugs.

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