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Volume 21 Issue 5, May 2022

Therapeutically harnessing extracellular vesicles, inspired by the Review on p379.

Cover design: S. Harris


  • The International Rare Diseases Research Consortium (IRDiRC) is a global collaborative initiative launched in 2011, aimed at tackling rare diseases through research. Here, we summarize IRDiRC’s vision and goals and highlight achievements and prospects after its first decade.

    • Lucia Monaco
    • Galliano Zanello
    • David A. Pearce


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News & Analysis

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Research Highlights

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  • In this Review, Quintana and colleagues discuss astrocytes, a type of glial cell that could be manipulated to treat neurological conditions. Potential astrocyte targets, and the progess made towards developing astrocyte-directed therapies, are highlighted, along with their potential pitfalls. They also propose a novel nomenclature for astrocyte subsets.

    • Hong-Gyun Lee
    • Michael A. Wheeler
    • Francisco J. Quintana
    Review Article
  • Natural products derived from bacteria are an important source of potential new drug compounds, such as antibiotics and anticancer agents, but how to efficiently mine this resource remains a challenge. In their Review, Hemmerling and Piel discuss newly developed computational tools and strategies to access biosynthetic novelty in bacterial genomes. They consider the opportunities and challenges associated with different bacterial sources, including cultivated, ecology-based and previously untapped bacterial ‘dark matter’.

    • Franziska Hemmerling
    • Jörn Piel
    Review Article
  • The past decade has witnessed rapid growth in the field of extracellular vesicle (EV) research, and the potential of harnessing EVs in the treatment and diagnosis of diseases is now well recognized. Here, Cheng and Hill provide an overview of the physiological and pathological roles of EVs, discuss how they could be therapeutically exploited and consider the associated challenges.

    • Lesley Cheng
    • Andrew F. Hill
    Review Article
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