In the third week of February, we are bringing you news of funding into a major research initiative launching in the UK to help understand the phenomenon known as “Long COVID”. At the heart of the study is the use of a digital platform within which participating patients will be given access to self-report symptoms, quality of life, and work capability. There’s also articles focused on the use of machine learning to help mental health diagnoses; and to pinpoint disease related genes. As well as a Q&A with the head of 500 Women Scientists; and research updates on Parkinson’s, IBD, and antibiotic-resistance.
New Machine Learning Tool Helps Pinpoint Disease-Related Genes and Functions
A new tool, dubbed GeneWalk, uses a combination of machine learning and automated literature analyses to indicate which genes and functions are most likely relevant to a researcher’s project. The tool promises to increase the speed and efficiency with which researchers can gain new insights into the genetics of disease and devise treatments.
Organs-on-a-Chip Device Connects Gut Microbiome with Parkinson's Disease
In many ways, our brain and our digestive tract are deeply connected, and recent studies have even suggested that the bacteria living in our gut can influence some neurological diseases. To help researchers better understand how this gut-brain axis communicates, Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) researchers have developed an “organs-on-a-chip” system that replicates interactions between the brain, liver, and colon.
Q&A: 500 Women Scientists Head on Supporting Women of Color in STEMM
500 Women Scientists is a grassroots organization started by four women who met in graduate school at CU Boulder and who maintained friendships and collaborations after jobs and life took them away from Boulder. More than 20,000 women of STEM and supporters from more than 100 countries have signed in support of 500 Women Scientists, pledging to build an inclusive scientific community dedicated to training a more diverse group of future leaders in science and to use the language of science to bridge divides and enhance global diplomacy.
Switching on Tissue Repair in IBD
In inflammatory bowel disease (IBD), the immune system attacks the cells that form the lining of the gut. This causes pain and discomfort. In a new study, scientists have identified a type of immune cell that can initiate repair of the gut lining following inflammation. Importantly, they have discovered a way to switch the cells from promoting inflammation to promoting repair.