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Author: Chris Hopkins

Disease Modeling

The Application of Hypersensitivity Assays to the Discovery of Therapeutics

Using Humanization we can take advantage of the ancient biology between humans and other organisms to create stand-ins – patient avatars – for drug screening studies. In this blog, we will focus on models of inborn errors of metabolism (IEM), as these genetic conditions can lead to hypersensitivity to the metabolite. Since stressor condition hypersensitivity can be used to detect favorable drug effects, IEM model systems are ideal tools for phenotypic screens to find molecules that alleviate the metabolic stress occurring from the deficiency. We discuss the model organisms used in hypersensitivity screens, and why they are advantageous to drug discovery. Ultimately, showcasing this approach’s potential to be widely generalized to many genetic disorders.

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Disease Modeling

The Good, Bad and the Ugly of Reactive Oxygen Species

Reactive oxygen species (ROS) are free radicals that have been found to extend lifespan at low levels, however, they are lethal at higher doses. So is the saying ‘what doesn’t kill you make you stronger’ true? Or should free radicals be avoided as much as possible? In this article we discuss the current paradoxical findings, and focus on genetic disorders such as Progeria which is characterized by rapid aging and elevated ROS levels.

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