LIVING IN LOCKDOWN

Today at 20.15pm, four CSIC scientists will answer the questions about how #COVID19 lockdown has affected our food and our home, and how to deal with it in the future.

Scientists have created new mouse models to validate a new cancer target

A team of Spanish researchers has succeeded in developing new genetically modified mouse models to try to validate a new pharmacological target against cancer.

This important advance has been achieved by a team of researchers from the Cancer Research Center of the University of Salamanca and the CSIC and the Center for Biomedical Research in Cancer Network (CIBERONC), coordinated by Dr Xosé Bustelo.

One of the main challenges in the fight against cancer is to find, among all the genes potentially involved in the development or malignant properties of cancer, the best possible therapeutic targets.

According to the Oxford University: Dexamethasone reduces death in hospitalised patients with severe respiratory complications of COVID-19

“On 8 June, recruitment to the dexamethasone arm was halted since, in the view of the trial Steering Committee, sufficient patients had been enrolled to establish whether or not the drug had a meaningful benefit. A total of 2104 patients were randomised to receive dexamethasone 6 mg once per day (either by mouth or by intravenous injection) for ten days and were compared with 4321 patients randomised to usual care alone. Among the patients who received usual care alone, 28-day mortality was highest in those who required ventilation (41%), intermediate in those patients who required oxygen only (25%), and lowest among those who did not require any respiratory intervention (13%).

Dexamethasone reduced deaths by one-third in ventilated patients (rate ratio 0.65 [95% confidence interval 0.48 to 0.88]; p=0.0003) and by one fifth in other patients receiving oxygen only (0.80 [0.67 to 0.96]; p=0.0021). There was no benefit among those patients who did not require respiratory support (1.22 [0.86 to 1.75; p=0.14).

Based on these results, 1 death would be prevented by treatment of around 8 ventilated patients or around 25 patients requiring oxygen alone.Given the public health importance of these results, the researchers are now working to publish the full details as soon as possible.”

Researchers uncover drivers of healthy gut maintenance

Researchers at the Francis Crick Institute have found two genes that regulate the differentiation of stem cells in the small intestine, offering valuable insight into how the body develops and maintains a healthy gut. 

Cells in the lining of the small intestine are replaced around every five days, the quickest rate for any organ in the body. This fast replacement helps the lining cope with the damage it suffers as a result of breaking down food and absorbing nutrients.

This process, which is important for the healthy functioning of the small intestine, is supported by the stem cells in a part of the small intestine called the crypt.