ISB News

Malaria Researchers’ Findings May Have Implications for Preventing Spread of Deadly Disease

ISB researchers and their collaborators are using systems biology approaches to learn how the malaria parasite is able to transfer to humans via the bite of an infected mosquito. The information they have uncovered may help identify new ways to prevent people from contracting the deadly disease.

Using Blood to Predict Gut Microbiome Diversity

Predicting the alpha diversity of an individual’s gut microbiome is possible by examining metabolites in the blood. The robust relationship between host metabolome and gut microbiome diversity opens the door for a fast, cheap and reliable blood test to identify individuals with low gut diversity.

New Diagnostic Method Predicts Therapy Response in Lung Cancer Patients

By using single-cell analysis to measure metabolic activities in rare disseminated tumor cells taken from non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) patients, ISB researchers and their collaborators can accurately predict how patients will respond to various cancer therapies, and how treatments will impact a patient’s physiological performance and survival.

Reconstructing 'Ötzi' the Iceman’s last meal

Members of the Moritz lab, as part of an international consortium centered in Bolzano Italy, reports this week in Cell, “Current Biology”, a multi-omic approach to identify the stomach contents and microbiome of the 5300 year old Mummy, Oetzi, the Iceman from the Oetzal Alps on the Austrian/Italian border.

Adaptive Prediction of Yeast

New Study on How Microbes Learn to Predict the Future

In a study published in Genome Biology and Evolution, researchers at Institute for Systems Biology (ISB) designed an experiment to evolve novel adaptive prediction capability in yeast by repetitively exposing it to caffeine, followed by a toxin. Remarkably, the yeast cells learned the structure of this novel environmental pattern within as few as 50 generations to use caffeine as a cue for anticipating and mitigating lethal effects of the toxin.

Pioneer 100 Study

Institute for Systems Biology and Arivale “Pioneer 100 Study” Establishes Foundation for New Industry of Scientific Wellness

Institute for Systems Biology and Arivale “Pioneer 100 Study” Establishes Foundation for New Industry of Scientific Wellness. Personal, dense, dynamic data clouds enable novel insights into mechanisms of wellness and disease, new approaches to biomarker discovery, and the empowerment of individuals to enhance their own health.

New Study: Using Single-Cell Technology to Predict Cell Behavior

In a study published in PLOS BIOLOGY, researchers at Institute for Systems Biology (ISB) explain how they developed a new theory for predicting cell-fate decisions and demonstrate, for the first time, that cells indeed undergo a critical transition – or tipping point – when they commit to a particular lineage. Jan. 9, 2017 3 Bullets: ISB researchers developed a new theory that uses state-of-the-art single-cell technology to make predictions about…

New Study Identifies Organ-Specific Biomarkers for Acute Liver Injury

ISB scientists recently published a study in the Journal of Proteome Research that presents results from a study on identifying organ-specific blood biomarkers for acute liver injury due to over-exposure to acetaminophen. From the summary: 3 Bullets: Finding organ-specific blood biomarkers for disease that are clinically useful is challenging. New study identifies organ-specific blood biomarkers for acute liver injury caused by over-exposure to acetaminophen. ISB researchers use the powerful, targeted…

Baliga Lab: New Publication in ‘Nature Microbiology’

The Baliga Lab and colleagues at Center for Infectious Disease Research published (online in advance of print) this landmark study today in the journal Nature Microbiology: Seattle researchers created a genetic blueprint of the cunning tuberculosis bacteria, then used it to predict and rank potential drug targets 3 Bullets: Researchers at the Institute for Systems Biology and Center for Infectious Disease Research have deciphered how the human pathogen Mycobacterium tuberculosis…

Dr. Kristian Swearingen, ISB research scientist.

Dissecting Mosquitoes is Hard!

Photo by Hsiao-Ching Chou Dr. Kristian Swearingen is a research scientist in the Moritz Lab at ISB. He and his collaborators just published a paper in PLOS Pathogens that describes potential new targets for malaria vaccines. Read his article about the research. Asked about the challenge of having to dissect thousands of mosquitoes, he commented: When we started this project, my collaborators collected all the parasites and I focused on…

New Research on IBD from ISB’s Family Genomics Group

Our Family Genomics group and collaborators analyzed the whole genome sequences of five families with high burden of inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) in order to elucidate the genomic architecture of IBD. Read about the research here… 3 Bullets: In medical genetics it is an unsolved question to what degree complex diseases are influenced by rare variants with potentially large effects in relation to the many common and weak-effect variants that…

The 5300-year-old Helicobacter pylori genome of the Iceman

ISB’s Moritz Group, which specializes in proteomics, collaborated on research related to study pathogens from the stomach content and microbiome of Ötzi, a glacier mummy from the European Copper Age. The results were published in Science. Read the article here. Institute for Systems Biology collaborates with researchers worldwide to study pathogens in the stomach content and microbiome of the 5300 year old European Copper Age glacier mummy “Ötzi” and discovers…

Learning From Microalgae as ‘Biofactories’

In a newly published research, members of the Baliga and Price labs share discoveries from their studies of Chlamydomonas reinhardtii – Chlamy for short. Excerpt: To the casual observer, algae may appear to be a nuisance. But for researchers, photosynthetic microalgae and other microbes have the potential to become sustainable biofactories that can economically produce renewable biofuels and a wide variety of other valuable commodities. One such group of microalgae…

Researchers determine architecture of a macromolecular complex regulating gene expression and DNA repair

General transcription factor TFIIH plays central roles in gene transcription and DNA repair ISB researchers and collaborators map the architecture of the TFIIH complex using powerful crosslinking-mass spectrometry (CXMS) technology and integrative modeling Structural maps provide critical insights into how mutations in TFIIH subunits lead to disease phenotypes By Jie Luo and Mark Gillespie The expression, or transcription, of genes controls the identity and function of a cell. DNA damage…

A Mixture of Markers from Two Distinct Cell Types Indicates Poor Prognosis in Breast Cancer

3 Bullets: Identifying the most aggressive cells in cancer (cancer stem cells) is essential for designing effective therapy and predicting patient outcomes. Using single-cell analysis techniques, researchers at ISB and Luxembourg Centre for Systems Biomedicine have identified the molecular signatures of two types of malignant breast tissue cells. Researchers found an interesting twist: the two cell types “cooperate” to increase malignancy potential and they promote a third hybrid stem-cell type….

Genetic Switch May Help Marine Microalgae Respond to Higher CO2 Levels

3 Bullets Rapid climate change, including ocean acidification caused by increasing carbon dioxide (CO2) levels, is predicted to affect the oceans, sea life, and the global carbon cycle. Marine microalgae, including diatoms, are responsible for converting CO2 into oxygen and biologically usable carbon through photosynthesis. How these organisms will respond over the short and long term to rising CO2 is unknown. Growth experiments and transcriptomic analyses performed by UW and…

The Most Powerful Tool for Reconstructing a Gene Network

Scanning EM of bacteria being eaten by white blood cell Photo Credit: Adrian Ozinsky 3 Bullets: Nearly a decade ago, ISB’s Baliga Lab published a landmark paper describing cMonkey, an innovative method to accurately map gene networks within any organism from microbes to humans. Two new papers describe the benchmark results of cMonkey and also the release of cMonkey2, which performs with higher accuracy. Using this approach, genetic and molecular…

Baliga Lab: A Global Map To Fight Tuberculosis

3 Bullets: The disease progression of tuberculosis is extremely complex and it’s poorly understood. ISB and Seattle BioMed researchers have made an important step by developing a comprehensive map of gene regulation in tuberculosis. A resulting open-access web portal offers any scientist the ability to mine the collected data. By ISBUSA Tuberculosis (TB) remains a top global health threat due to its remarkable complexity in disease progression. To help understand…