Cell-free DNA (cfDNA) was discovered in human blood plasma as early as the middle of the 20th century, but it ...
BIOMEDICAL JOURNAL OF PIROGOV RNRMU (MOSCOW, RUSSIA)
Our immune system is capable of “remembering” pathogens. This phenomenon is exploited to establish protection against infection by vaccination. Vladimir Guschin of Gamaleya Research Institute of Epidemiology and Microbiology (Moscow) et al. describe the contemporary approaches to studying population immunity, propose a system for serological surveillance in Russia and in the original research report the first results of the clinical trial of GamTBvac, a candidate recombinant vaccine against tuberculosis. Ekaterina Merzlyak of the Institute of Bioorganic Chemistry et al. study the repertoires of T-cell receptors in patients with autoimmune vasculitis following treatment with cyclophosphamide.
Though translational medicine is a relatively new concept, it is currently widely discussed in the scientific community. It aims to investigate a crucial aspect of research work: translation of basic research into clinical practice. What do we do to cut expenses and time spent on the development of novel drugs and diagnostic techniques? What amendments should be introduced to the legislation? Does it mean that the system of medical education must be reformed? Denis Rebrikov of Pirogov Russian National Research Medical University and Vadim Tarasov of Sechenov First Moscow State Medical University talk about these challenges in the review.
Microbes are ubiquitous. We have learned to deal with their pathogenic effects by developing antibiotics, antiviral and antimycotic drugs, but they evolve so rapidly that we are sometimes forced to step back. Valentin Makarov of A. N. Belozersky Research Institute of Physico-Chemical Biology MSU and his colleagues discuss the role and prospects of high throughput sequencing in the identification of emerging pathogens. The issue also contains 8 original articles on the evolution of infections.
The human body is inhabited by hundreds of microbial species and strains. Together, these microorganisms are termed “the microbiota”. Study of these microbial communities is by no means less ambitious than the Human Genome project. It this issue, Andrey Chaplin of Pirogov Russian National Research Medical University et al. talk about the current state of research on the gastrointestinal and genitourinary microbiota; Natalia Zakharevich and Valery Danilenko of Vavilov Institute of General Genetics provide their rationale for a method of correcting the imbalances in the gut microbiota composition; and Anna Krasnenko of Genotek e propose a library preparation protocol for further sequencing with Illumina.
Several thousand drugs for gene therapy are being tested clinically. Targets for them are, as a rule, protein-coding genes. But the accumulation of knowledge about RNA and the role of RNA of various types in cellular processes makes these molecules also promising targets. Alexandra Filatova (Research Centre of Medical Genetics, Moscow) et al. talk about long noncoding RNA; Yulia Mogulevtseva (RSAU–MAA named after K. A. Timiryazev) et al. give an example of the use of RNA interference in the treatment of psoriasis; Ivan Chicherin (Lomonosov Moscow State University) et al. talk about the possibility of creating a technology for editing mitochondrial DNA based on CRISPR/Cas9.
Noninvasiveness is an attractive advantage of any diagnostic technique, including liquid biopsy, a method for the analysis of cell-free DNA circulating in patient’s blood that holds special promise for cancer research. Maxim Filipenko of the Institute of Chemical Biology and Fundamental Medicine (SB RAS, Novosibirsk) reports achievements in this field. Ekaterina Sokolova of BIOCAD (Moscow) and her fellow researchers present a modified multiplex PCR technique developed to estimate the degree of cfDNA fragmentation. Elena Tyschik and her colleagues of Kulakov National Medical Research Center for Obstetrics, Gynecology and Perinatology (Moscow) analyze the abundance of exRNA of VEGF isoforms in patients with breast cancer.