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Chronix Biomedicals serum DNA assays monitor disease activity and treatment response in MS

Story Summary: In the study, researchers applied advanced analytical techniques developed by Chronix to identify genomic DNA fingerprints in the bloodstream of 28 MS patients known to have relapsing or stable disease as compared to 50 healthy volunteers. D. , Professor of Pathology at Vanderbilt University and a co-author of the study noted, The data from this study suggests that the Chronix quantitative blood test provides a simpler, safer and more cost effective approach to assessing the activity of investigational new drugs for MS. Development of new MS drugs is currently complicated by the fact that disease status is monitored using dye-enhanced MRI scans that are expensive and are associated with occasional toxicities. In addition, they can only show neurological damage after it has occurred, while the Chronix approach provides a real time measure of disease activity. The newly published MS data follows earlier work that demonstrated the ability of Chronixs serum DNA-based assays to diagnose mad cow disease and chronic wasting disease in live animals, conditions that until now could only be diagnosed using post-mortem biopsies. Eventually we intend to offer testing services that will allow physicians to monitor ongoing disease status and response to treatment in their patients with MS and other chronic neurological conditions. The findings demonstrated that the Chronix approach was able to detect invasive breast cancer with high diagnostic sensitivity and specificity, even at the earliest stage when tumors are very small. Dr. Clerici is a member of the Chronix Medical Advisory Board and has an equity position in the company. It has developed proprietary technology that measures and categorizes DNA sequences circulating in the serum that are associated with specific changes in disease and health status. Using advanced genome analysis methodology, proprietary data tools and disease-specific databases, Chronix has demonstrated the utility of its diagnostic and prognostic approach in a chronic neurologic disease, in breast cancer and in multiple myeloma. Using advanced genome analysis methodology, proprietary data tools and disease-specific databases, Chronix has demonstrated the utility of its diagnostic and prognostic approach in a chronic neurologic disease, in breast cancer and in multiple myeloma. The company plans to offer its serum DNA-based assays in a CLIA laboratory setting. The company plans to offer its serum DNA-based assays in a CLIA laboratory setting….Read the Full Story

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  1. Study shows Chronix technology using serum DNA can identify early presence of disease
  2. Newly Published Data Shows Chronix Biomedicalas Serum DNA Assays Can Detect Early-Stage Breast Cancer
  3. Transgenomic and Power3 Medical Report Identification of Abnormal Serum Proteins in Parkinsons Disease


Recommendation and review posted by Bethany Smith

New investigation supports correlation between XMRV and prostate cancer

Story Summary: com215-239-3798Novel XMRV retrovirus diagnostic test developedPhiladelphia, PA, April 5, 2010 The recently discovered retrovirus, xenotropic murine leukemia virus-related virus (XMRV), has been identified in some prostate cancer patients. This assay has been rigorously confirmed by two independent labs and two independent technologies (PCR and FISH), thus confidence in the accuracy of the test is high. Dr. Petros comments, The public deserves to know if the next blood transfusion or organ donation will give them XMRV retrovirus, an infection which lasts for life, and could possibly be related to prostate cancer. We have reported serologic evidence of infection and that the serology correlated with tissue-based assays. Robust clinical assays are needed to detect XMRV infection, and much work remains to be done in determining whether XMRV is indeed an oncogenic virus or simply an associated epiphenomenon. The article is XMRV Infection in Patients With Prostate Cancer: Novel Serologic Assay and Correlation With PCR and FISH by Rebecca S. Arnold, Natalia V. Makarova, Adeboye O. Osunkoya, Suganthi Suppiah, Takara A. Scott, Nicole A. Johnson, Sushma M. Bhosle, Dennis Liotta, Eric Hunter, Fray F. Marshall, Hinh Ly, Ross J. Molinaro, Jerry L. Blackwell, and John A. Petros….Read the Full Story

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  1. XMRV Is Present In Malignant Prostatic Epithelium And Is Associated With Prostate Cancer, Especially High-Grade Tumors
  2. Powerful HIV drugs inhibit retrovirus linked to prostate cancer, chronic fatigue syndrome
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Recommendation and review posted by Bethany Smith

Clinical trial to test whether vaccine can effectively treat melanoma

Story Summary: The cancer typically begins in a mole, but can also lodge in other pigmented tissues, such as in the eye or in the intestines. The vaccine being tested is called OncoVEX, initially developed to combat herpes virus. Researchers discovered accidentally that the vaccine attacked cancerous tissue when it was inadvertently placed in a Petri dish of tumor cells. Response rates for those therapies are at best about 15 percent, according to Kaufman. Eight of the 50 patients were free of disease by the end of the trial period, which consisted of vaccination every two weeks, for a total of up to 24 injections or until disease disappeared. Four more patients were rendered disease-free after surgery or further vaccination of new lesions. These are the best results to date for any vaccine developed for melanoma, but they need to be confirmed in a larger population. The Phase III trial will enroll a total of 430 patients at centers across the U. S. As with the earlier trial, the vaccine will be injected directly into tumor nodules every two weeks for up to 24 treatments. BioVex, in Woburn, Massachusetts, which makes OncoVEX, is funding the study. Rush University, with more than 1,730 students, is home to one of the first medical schools in the Midwest, and one of the nations top-ranked nursing colleges. Rush University also offers graduate programs in allied health and the basic sciences. Rush University also offers graduate programs in allied health and the basic sciences….Read the Full Story

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Recommendation and review posted by Bethany Smith

Researchers discover new approach for identifying smokers at highest risk for developing lung cancer

Story Summary: Although this biomarker is successful at diagnosing lung cancer, it does not identify the signaling pathways underlying these gene expression changes. This finding is significant as these cells can be obtained in a relatively non-invasive fashion from the airway of smokers at risk for lung cancer, and does not require invasive sampling of lung tissue where lung tumors normally arise, said Spira, who is also an associate professor medicine and pathology at BUSM. The BUSM researchers then went on to validate their findings by measuring the biochemical activity of this pathway in the airway epithelial cells from an independent group of smokers with and without lung cancer. We found that this PI3K pathway gene expression activity is decreased in the airway of high-risk smokers who had regression (or improvement) of their premalignant lesions following treatment with a potential lung cancer chemopreventive agent known as myo-inositol, and demonstrated that myo-inositol inhibits the PI3K pathway in lung cancer cell lines, he added. Funding for this study was provided by the National Institutes of Health….Read the Full Story

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  2. Gene Is Linked To Lung Cancer Development In Never Smokers
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Recommendation and review posted by Bethany Smith

Scientists find out why living things are the size they are — and none other

Story Summary: Then they identified which genes were turned off simultaneously in multiple organs with age. These same genes are progressively turned off during the maturation process, causing growth to slow. This process occurs simultaneously in multiple organs, which explains why organs all stay in proportional size as the body grows. This important work answers the question of why any animal including us has a certain size, said Gerald Weissmann, M. D. , Editor-in-Chief of The FASEB Journal, As this study shows, growth is dictated by organ development, and no one wishes their organs to be abnormally large or small. org) is published by the Federation of the American Societies for Experimental Biology (FASEB). The journal has been recognized by the Special Libraries Association as one of the top 100 most influential biomedical journals of the past century and is the most cited biology journal worldwide according to the Institute for Scientific Information. FASEB comprises 23 societies with more than 90,000 members, making it the largest coalition of biomedical research associations in the United States. FASEB enhances the ability of scientists and engineers to improvethrough their researchthe health, well-being and productivity of all people. FASEBs mission is to advance health and welfare by promoting progress and education in biological and biomedical sciences through service to our member societies and collaborative advocacy. Details: Julian C. Lui, Patricia Forcinito, Maria Chang, Weiping Chen, Kevin M. Barnes, and Jeffrey Baron. Coordinated postnatal down-regulation of multiple growth-promoting genes: evidence for a genetic program limiting organ growth. 1096/fj. fasebj. org/cgi/content/abstract/fj. org/cgi/content/abstract/fj….Read the Full Story

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Recommendation and review posted by Bethany Smith

Considering diabetes treatment, experts say 1 size does not fit all

Story Summary: Seeking to address this critical health issue, an international multidisciplinary group of experts just issued recommendations for individualized treatment in a consensus statement to be published in the April 2010 issue of the Endocrine Societys Journal of Clinical Endocrinology & Metabolism(JCEM). The group consisted of experts in diabetes epidemiology, physiology, genetics, clinical trials and clinical care. Recent advances in genetics such as the identification of the responsible genes for several forms of Maturity Onset Diabetes of the Young (MODY), now referred to as monogenic diabetes, have established precedents linking specific drug therapies to defined subtypes of diabetes patients, said Robert Smith, MD, of Brown University in Providence, R. I. and co-author of the statement. Not only should these registries collect material for future biomarker and genetic analysis, but registries should be designed to specifically address the heterogeneity of diabetes with hypotheses generated by examining existing data. Develop new clinical trials – Future randomized studies of diabetes therapies should, by design, collect phenotypic information relevant to response to therapy. Develop new technologies – Targeting therapy toward more appropriate subgroups of patients will require increasingly accurate and efficient methods to measure markers for diabetes heterogeneity and heterogeneous response to treatment….Read the Full Story

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Recommendation and review posted by Bethany Smith

Searching for brains defenses to ward off infections, prevent memory loss

Story Summary: They will examine brain tissues to explore the possibility that the beta defensins contribute to degenerative brain diseases and in particular Alzheimers disease (AD). Chronic inflammation within the aging human brain and in the brains of individuals suffering from a variety of neurodegenerative diseases, including Alzheimers disease, is now recognized as a major contributor to neuronal cell death and subsequent decline in cognitive function, said Wesley M. Williams, a neurobiologist and researcher in the Department of Biological Science at the dental school. While the blood-brain barrier generally blocks harmful pathogens from reaching brain tissue, Williams said not all parts of the brain have this protection. Beta defensins are found in the skin and in lung, kidney, intestines, mouth, stomach, and vagina. Whenever a wound occurs in these areas, the beta defensins kick in to fight off infection. Some 20-beta defensins are known to exist in humans, other mammals and plants. This study is among a number of funded projects by the University Center on Aging and Health supported by the Presidents Strategic Initiatives Fund and McGregor Foundation, located in the Frances Payne Bolton School of Nursing and under the direction of Diana Morris, that encourage interdisciplinary research projects among campus researchers. Case Western Reserve University is among the nations leading research institutions….Read the Full Story

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Recommendation and review posted by Bethany Smith

Sunlight May Help Protect Men From Kidney Cancer

(HealthDay News) — Men with jobs that expose them to high levels of sunlight are less likely to develop kidney cancer than those with little or no sunlight exposure at work, says a new study.

Previous research suggests that vitamin D, which is obtained from sun exposure and certain foods and supplements, may help prevent some cancers. Vitamin D is metabolized and most active within the kidneys.

This new study included 1,097 male and female kidney cancer patients and 1,476 healthy people in Europe who were interviewed about their work history and other demographic information.

Men with the highest levels of work-related exposure to sunlight were 24 percent to 38 percent less likely to have kidney cancer than other men. This association between job-related sunlight exposure and kidney cancer risk was not seen in women.

The study is published online March 8 in the journal Cancer. Read more…

Ayurtox for Body Detoxification

Recommendation and review posted by Bethany Smith

Scientists at the German Cancer Research Center discover key molecule for cancer initiation

Story Summary: It is what is called the subventricular zone, a tissue structure lining the lateral ventricles. This is where neural or brain stem cells reside, which are responsible for generating new neurons if needed. Functioning of the stem cells thus appears to depend on the presence of this protein. As a result, cell division activity in the subventricular zone increased, the cells left their habitual environment called stem cell niche, and started forming glioblastoma-like tissue lesions. Therefore, we are now able, for the first time, to hold brain stem cells directly responsible for the formation of brain tumor stem cells, Gunther Schutz explains. The researchers expect to be able to develop new therapies to treat glioblastoma on the basis of these results from fundamental cell biology research. Tlx seems to play its fatal role not only in mouse brains. Therefore, we can now try to develop therapies that are directed very specifically against Tlx producing cells, said Schutz describing the next steps. jpgFigure caption: Mice overexpressing Tlx develop glioma initiating lesions Photography: Haikun Liu, German Cancer Research Center The German Cancer Research Center (Deutsches Krebsforschungszentrum, DKFZ) is the largest biomedical research institute in Germany and is a member of the Helmholtz Association of National Research Centers. More than 2,000 staff members, including 850 scientists, are investigating the mechanisms of cancer and are working to identify cancer risk factors. In addition, the staff of the Cancer Information Service (KID) offers information about the widespread disease of cancer for patients, their families, and the general public. Published on: 2010-04-04Limited copyright is granted for you to use and/or republish any story on this site for any legitimate media purpose as long as you reference 7thSpace and any source mentioned in the story above. Published on: 2010-04-04Limited copyright is granted for you to use and/or republish any story on this site for any legitimate media purpose as long as you reference 7thSpace and any source mentioned in the story above. Please make sure to read our disclaimer prior to contacting 7thSpace Interactive. If you wish submit your own press release, click here….Read the Full Story

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Recommendation and review posted by Bethany Smith

New genetic risk factors for aneurysms identified by Yale-led team

Story Summary: The massive study of intracranial aneurysms involved more than 20,000 subjects and was published in the April 4 online edition of the journal Nature Genetics. The new study, the second by Yale researchers published within the last 15 months, brings to five the number of regions of the genome that have been found to contribute to the nearly 500,000 cases of this devastating disorder diagnosed worldwide annually. They searched across the entire genome for changes in the genetic code that were shared more often by aneurysm patients than by unaffected individuals. The median age when aneurismal hemorrhagic stroke occurs is 50 years old, and there are typically no warning signs. Without a way to diagnose aneurysms prior to these events, physicians have been mostly left to respond after the fact, once the damage has largely been done, Gunel said….Read the Full Story

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Recommendation and review posted by Bethany Smith

U of I scientist says slimming soybeans are on the horizon

Story Summary: Study reveals new genetic culprit in deadly skin cancer– 30 Aug 2009 — Drawing on the power of DNA sequencing, National Institutes of Health researchers have identified a new group of genetic. New technique could eliminate inherited mitochondrial disease– 26 Aug 2009 — Researchers have developed an experimental technique with the potential to prevent a class of hereditary disorders passed. Whats more, we have identified the specific peptides (digested proteins) that do this, and we are now beginning to understand the mechanism behind it. She had learned from her previous research that administration of soy protein caused weight loss in laboratory rats, but she wanted to know exactly why it happened. She incubated human fat cells in the lab, treated them with soy hydrolysates from 15 soy genotypes containing varying amounts of beta-conglycinin, and then measured the amount of fat that accumulated. As we increased the concentration of beta-conglycinin, we saw more inhibition of lipids and less accumulation of fat. She then compared the activity of beta-conglycinins with glycinins and found that hydrolysates from beta-conglycinins inhibited almost 50 percent of lipid accumulation in the fat cells. For years weve known that soy protein is a good source of essential amino acids. Soy helps us maintain muscle mass, and its peptides make people feel full so they dont eat as much, she said. Now it appears that products made from soybeans selected for this particular protein profile may also help limit fat accumulation. But researchers at the University. The investigators say that strains of the common. — full story– 16 August 2009Scientists at St. Jude Childrens Research Hospital have identified inherited variations in two genes that account for 37 percent of childhood acute lymphoblastic leukaemia (ALL), including. — full story– 16 August 2009Scientists at St. Jude Childrens Research Hospital have identified inherited variations in two genes that account for 37 percent of childhood acute lymphoblastic leukaemia (ALL), including….Read the Full Story

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Recommendation and review posted by Bethany Smith

Only women with Western Swedish breast cancer gene run higher risk of ovarian cancer

Story Summary: The study, published in the journal Acta Oncologica, shows that the increased risk of ovarian cancer is linked to a known mutation in women with breast cancer in Western Sweden. The research team had previously identified a special mutation in the breast cancer gene BRCA1 originating with some distant forefather on Swedens West Coast many generations back. Their research results reveal that women diagnosed with breast cancer who do not have this mutation do not run an increased risk of ovarian cancer. There is also research under way in the cancer genetics field which may mean that, in future, patients can receive more specific screening, and that cancer patients can expect a more personalised treatment, says Karlsson, who believes that this work could lead to fewer screenings and fewer side-effects from cancer treatments. — full story– 29 July 2009Researchers at Dana-Farber Cancer Institute have shown that they can engineer mouse and human cells to produce brown fat, a natural energy-burning type of fat that counteracts obesity….Read the Full Story

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Recommendation and review posted by Bethany Smith

Bees with an impaired insulin partner gene prefer proteins over carbs

Story Summary: But how to do you get your say if you are in the minority?. Leaves whisper their properties through ultrasound– 4 Feb 2010 — The water content of leaves, their thickness, their density and other properties can now be determined without even having. By taking control of the Insulin Receptor Substrate gene (IRS), an insulin partner gene in the bees fat cells, researchers at Arizona State University and the Norwegian University of Life Sciences made the insects forego carbohydrates (sugar-containing nectar) and favour protein (pollen). While IRS affects the food choices of bees, it is not the only gene involved. Previous studies identified vitellogenin, a gene that also is active in fat cells. Its effect on the bees loading of protein and carbohydrates is opposite to that of IRS. Source: Public Library of Science– 29 July 2009A higher density of blood vessels and other unique physiological features in the flight muscles of bar-headed geese allow them to do what even the most elite of human athletes struggle. — full story– 27 July 2009Researchers have developed a new technique that allows them to make a movie of bacteria infecting their living host….Read the Full Story

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Recommendation and review posted by Bethany Smith

Inhibitor That Binds To Genetic Material May Prevent Hepatitis C Virus From Replicating

Story Summary: This discovery, published in the March 29 early edition of the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, provides a potential new target for structure-based design of new hepatitis C treatments. Hepatitis C is a major public health problem affecting as many as 170 million people worldwide, with 2 million to 3 million new cases diagnosed each year. However, small molecules that inhibit viral replication have been reported and they represent potential opportunities for new, more effective HCV treatments. Previous research has shown that the three-dimensional structure of HCV RNA appears to be crucial for initiating the viral replication process. It is possible that, because HCV replication inhibitors like Isis-11 bind to a region of RNA that is conserved among all genotypes of the virus, they might be effective against a majority of HCV genotypes. Davis and his colleagues also noted that Isis-11 binds with low affinity to HCV RNA, resulting in a relatively loose bond and suggesting that there is considerable potential for optimizing this class of HCV replication inhibitors by modifying them to have tighter bonds to the genetic material of the virus. Isis Pharmaceuticals provided the Isis compound for this study, but did not give any funding for the research. Source: Phil Sahm University of Utah Health Sciences Any medical information published on this website is not intended as a substitute for informed medical advice and you should not take any action before consulting with a health care professional. Improving Health CareImprovements are necessary to make sure Americans get the best quality health care and that money for this care is being spent as effectively as possible. Our panel discusses the causes and warning signs of alcoholism and how to recognize them….Read the Full Story

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Recommendation and review posted by Bethany Smith

Bees forage with their guts

Story Summary: Reducing the genes activity in fat cells affects the bees behavior even if the gene is functioning normally in the brain, Amdams group discovered. I dont think many people have considered how insulin is affecting food choices, not just what happens after food has entered the body. Insulin is an important hormone that regulates sugar intake by cells. In the new study, Amdam and her colleagues show that the IRSgene is partially responsible for influencing the bees foraging behavior. Using bee strains that have been bred in the laboratory to show a high or low preference for pollen, Amdams group showed that pollen-hoarding bees have lower IRSactivity. Researchers injected RNA into the bees abdomens, blocking genes that are normally turned on in the thin layer of fat cells lining the abdominal cavity. As a group, bees that got the IRS-inhibiting injections collected more pollen than the control group did. Previous work by the group had shown that changing bees sensitivity to sugar could affect nectar collection. We want to know what the fat cells are telling the brain about what food to choose, Amdam says. For now, the content of that message is a mystery. Down-regulation of honey bee IRS gene biases behavior toward food rich in protein….Read the Full Story

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Recommendation and review posted by Bethany Smith

Researchers Discover Weak Link in Alzheimeras Drug Candidates

Story Summary: We believe we are providing the most direct mechanism of Alzheimers disease and Down Syndrome pathology. Lal and his colleagues are now working on a 3D structural model of the ion channel using their data to identify the domains (or sites) of the channel for designing effective therapeutics. Lal said the use of advanced nanotechnology and biology combined with a multi disciplinary approach, aided in the researchers breakthrough discovery. Without advances in technology and a multi disciplinary approach this kind of complex research would not move forward, said Lal, a trained physicist and neurobiologist who joined the UCSD faculty in January 2010 from the University of Chicago….Read the Full Story

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Recommendation and review posted by Bethany Smith

GeoVax Labs Granted Allowance By FDA To Start Phase 1 Clinical Trial For HIV/AIDS Therapeutic Vaccine

Story Summary: (OTC Bulletin Board: GOVX), a biotechnology company that creates, develops, and tests innovative HIV/AIDS vaccines, is now allowed by the FDA (US Food and Drug Administration) to begin a phase 1 clinical trial for GeoVaxs therapeutic vaccine, which is intended as a treatment for individuals infected with HIV(Human Immunodeficiency Virus). The company will begin a non-blinded study in HIV infected individuals who started drug treatment during their first year of infection. The protocol for the Phase 1 clinical trial, conceived in collaboration with ARCA (AIDSResearch Consortium of Atlanta), will carefully monitor safety while evaluating the ability of the vaccine to elicit protective immune responses in vaccinated participants. Internal vaccine manufacturing and distribution will also be considered by GeoVax. Forward-Looking StatementsCertain statements in this document are forward-looking statements within the meaning of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act. These statements are based on managements current expectations and are subject to uncertainty and changes in circumstances. More information about these factors is contained in GeoVaxs filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission including those set forth at Risk Factors in GeoVaxs Form 10-K. Please send any medical news or health news press releases to: These are the most read articles from this news category for the last 6 months: New Disease Among HIV-infected Gay Men28 Nov 2009A rare parasitic disease, which normally only is transmitted by contaminated water, has been shown to be transmitted by gay sex between hiv-positive men….Read the Full Story

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Recommendation and review posted by Bethany Smith

NewsHour Examines Research Of HIV Positive Patients Who Can Suppress The Virus

Story Summary: Peru has identified 600 so-called elites, whose HIV infections have not progressed into life-threatening AIDS, and researchers are looking at them and other identified elites from around the world to understand why, according to the program. Researchers believe elite controllers may carry clues that could aid in the future development of an HIV vaccine, Bruce Walker of the Ragon Institute in Boston, who is leading the Peru study, explained during the program. The program explores why Peru has one of the few centers of research around the world trying to figure out how these people control their virus, and includes comments by Darrell Irvine of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, a member of the Peru study research team, who is working to trace the molecular mechanics of HIV (Suarez, 4/1). Perus elite controllers bring genomic diversity to the growing portfolio of research into groups of elite controllers worldwide, and will have plenty to tell us for years to come (4/1). Please send any medical news or health news press releases to: These are the most read articles from this news category for the last 6 months: New Disease Among HIV-infected Gay Men28 Nov 2009A rare parasitic disease, which normally only is transmitted by contaminated water, has been shown to be transmitted by gay sex between hiv-positive men….Read the Full Story

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Recommendation and review posted by Bethany Smith

Structure Of Swine Flu Virus Revealed By Scripps Research Team

Story Summary: The structure reveals that the virus shares many features with influenza viruses common in the early 20th century, helping to explain why, in general, older individuals have been less severely affected by the recent outbreak than younger ones. The teams findings were published in the March 25, 2010, issue of Science Express, an advance, online publication of selected research papers from the prestigious journal Science. The information should be useful for scientists and public health officials as they respond to current and future pandemics. The virus has now spread worldwide, and has contributed to at least 16,000 deaths, according to the World Health Organization. Almost as soon as the outbreak was first reported last April, the Scripps Research team set out to better understand the new influenza virus by examining its structure. Collaborating with colleagues at Mount Sinai School of Medicine, who provided a clone of the major surface antigen from the emerging virus, A/California/04/2009 (CA04), , the scientists called on a technique called x-ray crystallography. In this method, scientists produce quantities of the viral protein and try to crystallize it. Based on the pattern of diffraction, scientists can reconstruct the shape of the original molecule. The scientists chose to focus on the structure of the viruss hemagglutinin, a protein that is abundantly displayed on the viral surface. The scientists initial experiments went extraordinarily well, and by June, the team was able to reconstruct the structure of the swine flu hemagglutinin. One of the interesting aspects of the study to us was that the H1N1 subtype was already circulating in humans, said Xu. That is the first time that we have seen such a phenomenon. Comparing the 2009 hemagglutinin protein with the hemagglutinin of other influenza samples, including the 1918 flu (a structure that Wilson and colleagues solved six years ago), helped provide answers. For the analysis, the scientists used all known human H1N1 strains between 1918 and 1957, and representative strains since 1977. The researchers found that while much of the hemagglutinin three-dimensional structure had been maintained among the different viruses, the amino acids (protein building blocks) on the viral surface were substantially different in the 2009 virus from seasonal strains. This could enable the virus to initially evade detection by the immune system. Could the particular antibody that Ekiert was working with, called 2D1, not only be effective against the 1918 virus, but also act against the 2009 swine flu? However, this study shows that prior exposure to viruses that were around decades ago can provide some protection against infection against a newly emerging pandemic….Read the Full Story

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Recommendation and review posted by Bethany Smith

Fat clue to triggering latent tuberculosis

Story Summary: New insight into the mystery is provided by Professor David Russell, speaking at the Society for General Microbiologys spring meeting in Edinburgh. His work could help develop innovative strategies for treating the disease. This containing structure, called a tubercle, physically protects the bacteria from being destroyed by the immune system. If our model is correct, it has huge implications for vaccines and chemotherapy programmes. Story Source:Adapted from materials provided by , via EurekAlert!, a service of AAAS. Macrophages infected with Mycobacterium tuberculosis that have been transformed to express the red fluorescent protein (constitutively), and the green fluorescent protein in response to stress from low pH. The macrophages are loaded with a lysosomal tracer (cyan) The picture was taken shortly after infection when the bacteria are stressed and trying to establish the infection. (Credit: Robert Abramovitch and David G. Russell)Related StoriesIn Other News . . ….Read the Full Story

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Recommendation and review posted by Bethany Smith

UMMS researchers uncover novel genetic pathway responsible for triggering vascular growth

Story Summary: Because of this, cancer researchers have sought to understand how a tumors vascular network developsand, more importantly, how to prevent it from developing: If the vascular network never develops, the theory goes, the tumor cannot grow. Researchers at the University of Massachusetts Medical School have discovered a critical step for blood vessel growth in zebrafish embryos, providing new insight into how vascular systems develop and offering a potential therapeutic target for preventing tumor growth. In turn, this microRNA turns on vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF), a chemical signal produced by surrounding cells that normally stimulates angiogenesis. Since VEGF is crucial for tumor progression, not to mention a number of other vascular diseases, our findings may provide new ways to modify this pathway in these settings. As a result, regulation of the microRNA, mir-126, could be a potential therapeutic target in limiting blood vessel development in solid cancers. About the University of Massachusetts Medical SchoolThe University of Massachusetts Medical School, one of the fastest growing academic health centers in the country, has built a reputation as a world-class research institution, consistently producing noteworthy advances in clinical and basic research. The Medical School attracts more than $240 million in research funding annually, 80 percent of which comes from federal funding sources. For more information, visit www….Read the Full Story

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Recommendation and review posted by Bethany Smith

Out of this world: New study investigates infection of human cells in space

Story Summary: In response to microgravity, cells exhibit important biological characteristics that are directly relevant to human health and disease, including changes in immune function, stress responses, and virulence (infectious disease potential) that are not observed using traditional experimental approaches. These changes were due, at least in part, to the unique way extracellular fluid flows around the surface of cellslike water flowing over and around a pebble in a streambed. This physical perturbation of the cell surface caused by the surrounding fluid flow over it results in a low fluid shear force that induces unique cellular responses in both bacteria (like Salmonella) and human cells. The current mission will be the first time that human cells will undergo infection by a pathogen in spaceflight. The goals of these experiments are twofold: a) to better understand the effect of spaceflight on human cells before and after infection with an invasive bacterial pathogeninformation of vital importance for ensuring the safety of astronauts, and b) to gain insight into responses of human and pathogenic cells in their customary environment within the human body on Earth. These conditions, Nickerson explains, can sometimes bear intriguing similarities to those observed during spaceflight, though this effect is often masked by gravity in conventional, Earth-based experiments. As they infect their hosts, bacteria use a battery of options to dodge attempts to destroy them. The Hfq protein is highly conserved in bacteria, meaning it is found among a wide array of species, and plays an essential role in the infection process. Interestingly, human cells have their own version of the bacterial Hfq protein, call Sm proteins, which are involved in cellular differentiation and responses to stress, immune system function, and the production of tumors. Dr. Duane Pierson, Chief Microbiologist for the NASA Life Sciences Directorate, stresses the importance of Nickersons foundational studies into host-pathogen behavior: Dr. Nickersons earlier studies produced landmark discoveries of increased virulence in bacteria during spaceflight. Her current investigation may yield even more discoveries of the fundamental processes of microbial infection of human cells in the space environment. Additionally, the results will be used to fine-tune protocols affecting astronauts, helping to ensure they dont fall victim to heightened microbial virulence. Our work using the spaceflight platform for such studies has and will continue to advance our fundamental understanding of the disease process in cells and could lead to major advancements in human health. Researchers have been asking themselves this question ever since Salmonella bacteria grown on board the space shuttle returned to Earth 3 to 7 times more virulent than S . . . The effect may even linger after an astronauts return to Earth following long flights. The effects of high blood pressure transientMar 24, 2010 If the blood pressure jumps from a long term pre-hypertension stage (140/90) to 175/110 for ten hours, and then calms down to pre-hypertension stage again, are there any long term effects on the body. How do we percieve violet?Mar 22, 2010 Is violet the colour we get when only the blue cones are stimulated or is there some sort of octave effect with light where 400nm light shares properties with 800nm (near IR) light and the red. I modified this chart of relative colour sensitivity and added the hue equivalents of. Radiology MathMar 21, 2010 I am transferring into radiology next year and am a little weak at math. com) — People who are shy or introverted may actually process their world differently than others, leading to differences in how they respond to stimuli, according to Stony Brook researchers and . . . She might not know it, but her rhythmic patting is her babys first experience of patterning, a mathematical . . ….Read the Full Story

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Recommendation and review posted by Bethany Smith

The Genes Involved In Cell Division In Humans Identified By EMBL Scientists

Story Summary: This is the resource that researchers at the European Molecular Biology Laboratory (EMBL) in Heidelberg, Germany, and their collaborators in the Mitocheck consortium are making freely available, as the result of a study in which they have identified the genes involved in mitosis – the most common form of cell division – in humans. Published in Nature, their work begins to unravel the molecular workings of one of the most fundamental processes of life: how one cell becomes two. In the mean time, the new methodology the EMBL scientists developed to silence all of an organisms genes in a fast and systematic manner is itself proving a boon to the scientific community. The current study looked at HeLa cells, a widely studied line of cancer cells. Now that they have narrowed the search from a daunting 22,000 to a more manageable 600 genes, the scientists would like to investigate how these same genes act in other cancers and in healthy cells, as such comparisons could help to identify markers which could be used for diagnosis or to help make better-informed treatment decisions. The study was carried out as part of the Mitocheck consortium, coordinated by Jan-Michael Peters at the Research Institute of Molecular Pathology in Vienna, Austria. Contact Our News EditorsFor any corrections of factual information, or to contact the editors please use our feedback form. Learning the right way to perform the Heimlich maneuver means you could be ready to save someones life. Taking a first aid class is the best way to learn life-saving techniques like the Heimlich maneuver….Read the Full Story

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Scientists uncover structure of key protein in common HIV subgroup

Story Summary: The team looked specifically at gp120 from what is known as clade C HIV-1. Clade B is the form of group M HIV-1 most often found in the United States and western Europe, and the one that is probably best-studied to date. Clade C, the clade studied by the Caltech team, is the one that is devastating Africa and Asia, says Diskin. Its the one that probably causes the largest number of infections worldwide. Turns out, says Diskin, the protein itself is not stiff enough for crystallization. This configuration facilitated crystallization, and allowed the scientists to look not only at gp120which, indeed, looks pretty much the same in clade C as in clade B, says Diskinbut to visualize the entire binding site and to see how the various components in the complex interact with one another. That was when they noticed something unusual: Antibody 21c was not only reacting toand thus making contact withthe gp120 protein sticking out from HIVs envelope, but also was reacting to the CD4 receptors on the bodys own T cells. It is the first time this sort of polyreactivitya response to more than one antigenhad been visualized in the 3-D structure of an HIV-targeting antibody. The most interesting aspect of our structure is the unexpected contact between the antibody and CD4, says Pamela Bjorkman, the Max Delbruck Professor of Biology at Caltech, a Howard Hughes Medical Institute investigator, and the Caltech teams leader. The body tends to eliminate autoreactive antibodies, in an attempt to keep autoimmune diseases at bay. In order to create a good vaccine to produce 21c-like antibodies, researchers will have to overcome this elimination mechanism. In addition, Diskin says, the team would like to try to resolve the structure of a gp120 trimera more complex, three-pronged version of the protein. D. , and colleagues released findings on a study of cross-clade neutralization patterns among HIV-1 strains from six major clades in the 5 Jun . . . com) — The brain is capable of holding and retrieving memories for specific fears, revealing a more sophisticated storage and recall capacity than previously thought, neuroscientists have found. com) — A mother walks her fussy baby around the house, singing and patting his back in time to the lullaby. She might not know it, but her rhythmic patting is her babys first experience of patterning, a mathematical . . ….Read the Full Story

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Recommendation and review posted by Bethany Smith

Gene Is Linked To Lung Cancer Development In Never Smokers

Story Summary: ROCHESTER, Minn. –A five-center collaborative study that scanned the genomes of thousands of never smokers diagnosed with lung cancer as well as healthy never smokers has found a gene they say could be responsible for a significant number of those cancers. In the March 22 on line issue of Lancet Oncology, the researchers reported that about 30 percent of patients who never smoked and who developed lung cancer had the same uncommon variant, or allele, residing in a gene known as GPC5. A never smoker is defined as a person who has smoked fewer than 100 cigarettes in his or her lifetime, and that describes 15 percent of men and 53 percent of women who develop lung cancer — accounting for 25 percent of all lung cancers worldwide, according to Dr. Yang. In the Western countries, between 10 and 15 percent of lung cancers occur among never smokers, but in Asian countries, 30 to 40 percent of lung cancers are never smokers, she says. Our suspicion all along is that this is a distinct disease, and that is why we undertook this study, Dr. Yang says. This was the first GWAS ever conducted solely among never smokers, and it involved scanning the entire genome of every participant, looking for differences among 300,000 markers or so-called single-nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs). That involved using data from two more GWAS scans in independent populations — 328 never smoker lung cancer patients and 407 controls at MD Anderson Cancer Center, and 92 never smoker lung cancer patients and 161 controls at Harvard University. From this, the search was narrowed to just two hits. Both of these hits were adjacent to each other on the same gene, which the researchers then identified as a variant of GPC5. In the third stage of the study, the researchers used a different method to perform genotyping from the method used in stages 1 and 2 to look at the difference between 91 never smoker lung cancer patients and 439 controls at UCLA. The final stage of the study involved understanding the function of the gene. They found that the GPC5 transcription level was twofold lower in adenocarcinoma compared to normal lung tissue. They found that the GPC5 transcription level was twofold lower in adenocarcinoma compared to normal lung tissue. Interestingly, this reduced transcript expression level was not found in lung carcinoid tumors, Dr. Yang says. Interestingly, this reduced transcript expression level was not found in lung carcinoid tumors, Dr. Yang says. The study was funded by the National Institutes of Health and the Mayo Foundation. The study was funded by the National Institutes of Health and the Mayo Foundation….Read the Full Story

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Recommendation and review posted by Bethany Smith


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