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Victor Ssempijja remembers there being many fatherless households in his hometown in Uganda during his childhood. In fact, he says he could count the number of complete families on just his fingers. The other fathers had died of HIV and associated complications. 

“I actually grew up thinking that men were not supposed to live long,” he said. 

A blue head formed from a digital pattern

Used successfully in several industries, digital twins have the potential to forge a path toward advances in cancer care and research. By melding computational science with the field of medicine, scientists aim to use digital twins to ultimately predict the effect of new therapies on cancer patients by using computer models without harming actual humans.  

Scientist stands in front of a machine

Two scientists and their colleagues have uncovered a key activity driving a rare and deadly type of kidney cancer called hereditary leiomyomatosis and renal cell carcinoma (HLRCC). 

Their study explains how altered metabolism “rewires” these cancer cells, allowing them to be more aggressive and malignant. 

Researchers from the Sequencing Facility and Biomedical Informatics and Data Science Directorate at the Frederick National Laboratory (FNL) collaborated with the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and other research centers across the U.S. to conduct a benchmark study establishing best practices for high-throughput single-cell RNA sequencing.  

Chest CT scans

Publicly available data sets related to COVID-19 are appearing in an unexpected place—the Cancer Imaging Archive (TCIA), a project of the Division of Cancer Treatment and Diagnosis of the National Cancer Institute. 

A photo of a scientist sitting in front of a work station labeling tubes

As the Frederick National Laboratory for Cancer Research (FNL) expands its serology efforts in response to the COVID-19 pandemic, the biomedical research institution formed a new section dedicated to those efforts and the evaluation and standardization of immune responses to vaccines, infections and cancer.

A scientist stands in front of a machine

On February 25, the Biotech Connector series will highlight exciting research on liquid biopsies with two talks by local investigators. Liquid biopsies are highly sensitive blood tests that can detect fragments of tumor DNA, also known as circulating tumor DNA (ctDNA), in the blood—providing critical information about the tumor without an invasive tumor biopsy.

A black and white hand-drawn comic

RAS proteins reside on the inner cell membrane, where they use a lure like a fly fisherman to bring partner proteins to the membrane, leading to cell growth. Researchers at the Frederick National Laboratory for Cancer Research (FNL) used multiple experimental techniques along with a computer simulation to understand how KRAS functions at the inner side of the cell membrane and discovered an unexpected, dominant orientation of the protein on the membrane. 

3D model of SARS-CoV-2

The Frederick National Laboratory (FNL) is providing scientists across the country with a key antigen used in antibody tests for the coronavirus after finding that the antigen is exceptionally sensitive and can be made rapidly and at low cost. This helps meet a pressing need for accurate testing.

A photo of a medicine vial with a white label and a clear liquid

The Food and Drug Administration has approved a monoclonal antibody developed at the Vaccine Research Center of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID), part of the National Institutes of Health, for the treatment of Ebola virus in adults and children. The approval was granted in late December.

The antibody, called mAb114 or ansuvimab, is marketed as Ebanga by Ridgeback Therapeutics LP of Miami, which licensed the antibody and manufacturing processes from NIAID.

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