Merck’s Ebola Vaccine is 100% EffectiveEbola Vaccine

An extremely effective Ebola virus vaccine created by Merck was recently tested in Guinea with 100% effectiveness. Though the vaccine is late for the worst part of the infection, the results are so promising that Merck will hold a stockpile of 300,000 doses in case of emergency. The vaccine has not been approved by any regulatory agencies yet, has potential negative side effects such as headache and joint pain, and is only effective against the most common strains of Ebola virus, but is still be considered a triumph. Read more about this vaccine in the New York Times article, or the original paper in The Lancet.


Metformin and Syrosingopine Cancer TreatmentCombination of Metformin and Syrosingopine May Help Fight Cancer

The anti-diabetic drug metformin that is massively prescribed for type 2 diabetic patients taken in conjunction with the antihypertensive drug syrosingopine have been shown to “interact synergistically to kill a broad variety of cancer cell types while demonstrating no activity against nontransformed cells.” Metformin has the anti-cancer property of inhibiting the electron transport chain of mitochondria and preventing ATP production. Syrosingopine was shown to enhance this property of metformin, increasing the rate of cancerous cell death. See the original paper here.

TIGIT Immune CheckpontThe Immune Checkpoint TIGIT has Been Highlighted in Recent Papers

TIGIT receptors are another form of T-cell receptor that has been highlighted in cancer immunotherapeutics. These receptors contain both immunoglobulin domains and receptor tyrosine kinase domains. TIGITs are found on many different immune cell types, but their functions do vary from cell to cell. Most lymphocytes do express TIGIT, most often serving as an inhibitory immune checkpoint much like CTLA-4 or PD-1. Check out this article about the mechanism of TIGIT receptors published in Cell. Image credit to New York Structural Genomics Consortium (PDB).

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