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Diagnostics Microbiology and immunology, Oncology, Technology and innovation

Research Roundup

Oncotarget: Acquired
Though human papillomavirus (HPV)-related oropharyngeal squamous cell carcinoma is on the rise, palliative treatment is still the norm. However, researchers have developed a new droplet digital PCR-based assay to detect HPV16 circulating tumor DNA and found that long-term changes to HPV16 ctDNA can predict treatment response earlier than standard imaging (1).

Reservoir Cells
TCF1+ tumor-specific CD8+ T cells have been found in lung tumors throughout their development (2). Though most intratumoral T cells change with tumor progression, many tumor-specific CD8+ T cells found in tumor-draining lymph nodes were stable over time, regardless of changes within the tumor microenvironment.

Photo Finish
Using photoimmobilized proteins, researchers have developed an automated microarray diagnostic system for detecting SARS-CoV-2 protein-specific antibodies (3). The test yielded superior sensitivity to conventional chromatography and demonstrated its usefulness for rapid serodiagnosis and immune status assessment of viral infectious diseases.

Safety Assurance
Use of organs donated by people with HIV to recipients with HIV is increasing – and a new study provides some reassurance when it comes to resistance risk (4). The researchers found that, though HIV drug resistance mutations are common, resistance that could affect integrase strand transfer inhibitor-based regimens is rare.

Face-to-Face
A new machine learning facial analysis tool may detect risk of genetic syndromes in children with an average accuracy of 88 percent (5). Accuracy was higher in white and Hispanic children than in Asian and African children; however, it remained at 82 percent or higher for all groups.

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  1. CT Haring et al., Oncotarget, 12, 1214 (2021). PMID: 34194620.
  2. KA Connolly et al., Science Immuno, [Online ahead of print] (2021).
  3. H Kashiwagi et al., B Chem Soc Jpn, [Online ahead of print] (2021).
  4. WA Werbel et al., Clin Infect Dis, [Online ahead of print] (2021). PMID: 34453519.
  5. AR Porras et al., Lancet Digit Health, [Online ahead of print] (2021). PMID: 34481768.

About the Author

Olivia Gaskill

During my undergraduate degree in psychology and Master’s in neuroimaging for clinical and cognitive neuroscience, I realized the tasks my classmates found tedious – writing essays, editing, proofreading – were the ones that gave me the greatest satisfaction. I quickly gathered that rambling on about science in the bar wasn’t exactly riveting for my non-scientist friends, so my thoughts turned to a career in science writing. At Texere, I get to craft science into stories, interact with international experts, and engage with readers who love science just as much as I do.

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