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Science & Nature Reviews, October 2021. Part II

Science & Nature Reviews, October 2021. Part II
ChemDiv shares reviews on Nature and Science Journal articles that we found the most exciting this month. Here is the second part of the October reviews. Today we observe Drug Research, Physiology, and Oncology.

Drug research

Edara, V. V., Norwood, C., Floyd, K. et al. Durability of mRNA-1273 vaccine-induced antibodies against SARS-CoV-2 variants. Science 373, 1372-1377 (2021)

There is no doubt that mass vaccination against SARS-CoV-2 offers the most efficient public health intervention to control the pandemic, however, the necessity of revaccination raises questions among a large part of the population. One of the reasons is that SARS-CoV-2 mutations may diminish vaccine-induced protective immune responses, particularly as antibodies decline over time. There are several effective and used mRNA vaccines at this moment, for example, Moderna’s and Pfizer/BioNTech’s. In new research, scientists assess the effect of SARS-CoV-2 different variants (Alpha, Beta, Gamma, Epsilon, Delta) on antibodies elicited by mRNA vaccine over 7 months, as data on the durability of such responses was limited in most prior studies. The data obtained inform the potential need for revaccinations.


Jin, W., Wood, D.L.Opposing roles of the immune system in tumors. Science 373, 1306-1307 (2021)

The role of the immune system in cancer formation has long been of interest to scientists. New researches on the pages of “Science” demonstrate how the immune system can perform opposite functions during tumor development, contributing to both promoting and constrainment. The first research group examined the development of pancreatic tumors. They discovered that long after the complete resolution, a transient inflammatory event primes pancreatic epithelial cells to induce tumors. Although the link between inflammation and cancer has long been known, the study illustrates an epigenetic mechanism of this event. Conversely, another group explores the opposing role of the immune system in constraining tumor development through targeting tumor cells. Study of the influence of the immune system on tumor development may lead to improved strategies for cancer prevention and therapy.

Drug research

Roth, A. Human microphysiological systems for drug development. Science 373, 1304-1306 (2021)

Microphysiological systems are in vitro tools(such as tissues/organs on chips) to recapitulate the biochemical, electrical, and mechanical properties of organ or tissue function. These structures are necessary to understanding the mechanisms of disease and accelerating drug development. It is known that in some cases, the three-dimensional structure of an organ or tissue affects the biological processes and functions of cells. Microphysiological systems yield cell-culture models that can display three-dimensional architecture, multicellular interactions, tissue-tissue interfaces and other important options. On pages of “Science” microphysiological systems are seen as a tool to identify potential therapeutics for diseases, including COVID-19.


Jardine, L., Webb, S., Goh, I. et al. Blood and immune development in human fetal bone marrow and Down syndrome. Nature 598, 327–331 (2021)

Human bone marrow is established as the site of lifelong blood and immune cell production from 11–12 post conception weeks. However, yet almost nothing is known about fetal bone marrow development. On pages of “Nature” scientists detail the haematopoiesis, - the formation of blood cellular components, - and the development of fetal bone marrow. They also identify the alteration of these processes in Down syndrome. A better understanding of human developmental haematopoiesis has the potential to inform regenerative and transplantation therapies.

Reviewed by Maria Golubenko
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