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Gene test shows who could benefit from statins to reduce colon cancer risk: Study

Story Summary: But statins do not appear to work equally well for everyone in reducing either colorectal cancer or cardiovascular disease risk. Some people benefit substantially more from statins than others for both cholesterol lowering and colorectal cancer prevention. In addition, the researchers took blood samples from all study participants and analyzed the genes. They found that the gene targeted by statins, HMGCR, is the same gene that predicts the drugs benefit for preventing colorectal cancer. Further, there are two versions of HMGCR a long version and a short version. The researchers found that statins have more benefit for reducing both colorectal cancer risk and cholesterol in the genes long version. This is true only for those people who are actually taking statins. We think we understand the reasons why statins lower the risk of colorectal cancer. Note for patients: Statins are not currently approved by the U. S. Food and Drug Administration for colorectal cancer prevention. Talk to your health care provider for information about lowering your cancer risk….Read the Full Story

Related posts:

  1. Statins to protect against liver cancer – Health – Wellness – Lifestyle – The Times of India
  2. Colon Cancer Gene Test Can Predict Disease Return, Study Says – Bloomberg.com
  3. Gene Variant Predicts Colon Cancer Mortality in Blacks Proline … – Modern Medicine


Recommendation and review posted by Bethany Smith

Art from molecular models

"Heme", by Alexander Kobulnicky

In my travels here and about online, I recently found the paintings of Alexander Kobulnicky. He paints molecular models of, well, molecules, ranging from the life-giving (“Heme”, to the left) to the fun-related (THC, if that’s your thing) to the life-taking (CO.) The background of the artwork is most noteworthy — Mr. Kobulnicky paints what comes to mind with each different molecule. I think that thorazine is the one with the best background, although psilocybin comes in a close second.

Each painting comes with a little description of the relevant chemistry and an interesting structural note to make a chemist’s heart warm: “These molecules are rendered as space-filling models, in a natural, low-energy conformation, and displayed from an angle that shows off as much of their structure as possible.”

While I’m not quite to the art-collecting stage of my life yet, I have to say that I’m pretty enthusiastic about owning one of these someday.


Recommendation and review posted by Bethany Smith

Syneron Medical Ltd. and Candela Corporation Unveil Combined Product Portfolio to Physicians at this year’s AAD Annual Meeting

Syneron Medical Ltd. and Candela Corporation Unveil Combined Product Portfolio to Physicians at this year’s AAD Annual Meeting

YOKNEAM, ISRAEL and WAYLAND, MA — (MARKET WIRE) — Syneron Medical Ltd. (NASDAQ: ELOS), http://www.syneron.com, an innovator in the development, marketing and sales of elos™ combined-energy medical aesthetic devices, and Candela Corporation, http://www.candelalaser.com, a pioneer in the development of medical and aesthetic laser-based technologies and systems, is inviting physicians to review its complete suite of new and legacy aesthetic technologies at the American Academy of Dermatology’s 2010 Annual Meeting in March.

Syneron Logo

The new Syneron Medical Ltd. redefines the aesthetic device marketplace as a result of its merger with Candela Corporation, offering customers two world-class brands and the best-in-class and broadest product portfolio. Working with the leader in global aesthetics, physicians will benefit from the most advanced technologies in the industry across the breadth of non-invasive and minimally invasive devices, as well as an enhanced value proposition and best-in-class service to help grow their practices.

“We are committed to offering the broadest available product portfolio, the most responsive worldwide service organization, an expansive global distribution network, and a culture that fosters both innovation and efficacy,” said Lou Scafuri, Chief Executive Officer of Syneron Medical and Candela Corporation. “This merger results in the kind of products and services that will continue to provide the leading-edge treatments and technologies that physicians and patients expect and demand.”

Some of the highlighted products included:

Syneron’s eMatrix™ Sublative Rejuvenation is the world’s first radio frequency (RF)-only technology for fractional ablation, producing significant dermal impact with minimal epidermal disruption. The system recently received expanded FDA clearance for the treatment of fine lines and facial wrinkles. Sublative Rejuvenation has proven safety and efficacy in all skin types making it a unique and revolutionary application for treating wrinkles, texture, tone and laxity.

Syneron will also launch e2™ for the eMatrix™ extending the capabilities of the system to treat both the superficial layers of the skin, minimizing the appearance of skin pigmentation and texture irregularities, as well as the deepest layers of the skin’s surface, providing deep dermal remodeling with Sublative Rejuvenation.

Syneron’s VelaShape II™ is the leading device on the market for cellulite and circumference reduction. As the first and only system FDA cleared for circumferential reduction, the new VelaShape II™ offers practitioners added features and benefits, including increased power for shorter treatment sessions, visible results in fewer sessions, and an advanced Clever™ terminal, a diagnostic digital user interface to improve both consistency in treatment results and patient comfort.

Syneron’s eMax™ is the complete rejuvenation platform that utilizes Syneron’s patented elos technology of combined energy sources for unprecedented precision, safety and efficacy to successfully treat the broadest spectrum of hair colors, skin textures, and skin tones. The eMax include Syneron’s signature procedures like ReFirme™, FotoFacial RF™ and triniti skin series™.

Candela Logo

Candela’s Alex TriVantage® is the total tattoo and pigmented lesion solution and an excellent way to enhance the results of many skin rejuvenation treatments. New laser-pumped handpieces provide Q-switched 755, 532 and 1064nm treatment capabilities, making it an excellent choice not only for pigment, but for a broad range of tattoo colors. From black, purple and blue through a broad range of greens, brown, yellow-oranges and reds — Alex TriVantage treats with less tissue splatter, skin disruption and pinpoint bleeding than traditional Nd:YAG systems.

Candela’s Vbeam® Perfecta is a must-have laser for any aesthetic practice. With its micro-pulse technology and Dynamic Cooling Device (DCD), Vbeam Perfecta treats vascular and pigmented lesions aggressively and without purpura, enhancing treatment outcomes and reducing patient down-time. With a large portfolio of indications and treatment capabilities, the Vbeam Perfecta significantly reduces bruising associated with injectables and other cosmetic procedures by selective targeting of injured blood vessels.

Candela’s Gentle Family of Lasers:

GentleMax®
an integrated treatment system featuring 755-nm and 1064-nm wavelengths for permanent hair reduction on all skin types and tanned skin, as well as treatment of vascular and pigmented lesions, wrinkle reduction and skin tightening — all with just one handpiece. This ultimate workstation combines the treatment versatility of the GentleLASE and GentleYAG in a single platform.

GentleLASE®
Uses a long pulse alexandrite laser for hair removal, vascular and pigmented lesions setting the standard in laser hair removal.

GentleYAG®
The fastest and most powerful Nd:YAG laser providing optimal results for all skins. Remove unwanted hair, and treat leg and facial veins quickly, comfortably and completely.

About Syneron Medical Ltd.
Syneron Medical Ltd. (NASDAQ: ELOS) is the leading global aesthetic device company with a comprehensive product portfolio and a global distribution footprint. The Company’s technology enables physicians to provide advanced solutions for a broad range of medical-aesthetic applications including body contouring, hair removal, wrinkle reduction, rejuvenation of the skin’s appearance through the treatment of superficial benign vascular and pigmented lesions, and the treatment of acne, leg veins and cellulite. The Company sells its products under two distinct brands, Syneron and Candela. Founded in 2000, the corporate, R&D, and manufacturing headquarters for Syneron Medical Ltd. are located in Israel. Syneron also has R&D and manufacturing operations in the US. The company markets, services and supports its products in 86 countries. It has offices in North America, France, Germany, Italy, Portugal, Spain, UK, Australia, China, Japan, and Hong Kong and distributors worldwide.

Syneron Medical Ltd.
866.259.6661
http://www.syneron.com
http://www.candelalaser.com

Source: Syneron

Recommendation and review posted by Bethany Smith

Cynosure’s Smartlipo Triplex(TM) Technology Shows Superior Skin Tightening and Fat Disruption in Laser-Assisted Lipolysis

Cynosure’s Smartlipo Triplex(TM) Technology Shows Superior Skin Tightening and Fat Disruption in Laser-Assisted Lipolysis

Research Presented at 2010 American Society for Laser Medicine and Surgery Annual Conference

WESTFORD, Mass. /PRNewswire via COMTEX/ –Cynosure, Inc. (Nasdaq: CYNO) presented a new study that demonstrates the clinical benefits of using a 1440 nm wavelength in laser-assisted lipolysis to disrupt fat tissue and tighten skin through tissue coagulation. The study, led by Barry DiBernardo, M.D., Medical Director of New Jersey Plastic Surgery, is one of six Cynosure-related abstracts being presented this week at the 2010 American Society for Laser Medicine and Surgery (ASLMS) Annual Conference in Arizona.

Cynosure Logo

Dr. DiBernardo’s study evaluated the fat-disruption and tissue tightening that occurred in abdominal tissue treated with three separate wavelengths, including a 1440 nm laser. The 1440 nm wavelength is the heart of Cynosure’s Smartlipo Triplex, which was introduced in late 2009 as the newest member of Cynosure’s family of workstations for laser-assisted lipolysis. The Smartlipo Triplex is the highest-power laser energy device approved for fat removal by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration.

Smartlipo

“At the same power and doses, tissue treated with the 1440 nm laser disrupted a larger area of fat tissue and demonstrated greater tissue tightening effects than the other wavelengths,” Dr. DiBernardo said. “The conclusion that can be drawn from this research is that, in terms of the efficiency of fat removal and collagen remodeling, wavelength and laser energy play an integral role in patient outcomes. In comparing these three unique wavelengths, the results from the 1440 nm laser demonstrated the most pronounced histological effects.”

Michael Davin, president and chief executive officer of Cynosure, said, “The research presented at ASLMS further validates the investment we have made to increase the efficiency and performance of our Smartlipo technology with the addition of a 1440 nm wavelength. The higher-powered laser, combined with enhancements such as SmartSense with ThermaGuide, which monitors and controls the flow of energy during laser-assisted lipolysis, gives our technology a strong competitive advantage in the marketplace. Moreover, the study highlights a tenet of our corporate strategy – to support our brands with comprehensive scientific research.”

Highlights from other Smartlipo-related abstracts being presented at ASLMS include:

* A 15-patient study conducted by John Millard, M.D. of the Millard Plastic Surgery Center in Colorado, who describes the successful use of the Smartlipo Triplex to not only improve body contour but also to highlight the three-dimensional muscular definition of areas including the arms, legs and abdomen. “All outcomes were considered good or excellent, with adequate improvement in muscle definition,” Dr. Millard reported.
* Plastic surgeons Robert Gotkin, M.D. and Alberto Goldman, M.D., used the dual-wavelength Smartlipo MPX in a 20-patient study of women who underwent laser lipoabdominoplasty, a procedure to reduce the elevation of the abdominal flap. All patients tolerated the surgery well, without major complications. In comparison with the traditional and more invasive abdominoplasty procedure, the researchers concluded that the Multiplex procedure increased the contraction of skin and fat tissue, reduced the operative trauma associated with the procedure and enhanced the patients’ post-operative recovery experience.

“We are delighted with the results of these clinical studies, which highlight both the safety and efficacy of our device within potential expanded applications for our Smartlipo technology,” Davin said.

In addition to the research on laser-assisted lipolysis, Cynosure’s technology was featured in the following presentations at the ASLMS Annual Conference:

* “A Prospective Study of the Improvement in Peri-Orbital Wrinkles and Eyebrow Elevation with a Novel Fractional CO2 Laser,” Bruce E. Katz, M.D., Clinical Professor, Mt. Sinai School of Medicine, Director, JUVA Skin & Laser Center, Director, Cosmetic Surgery & Laser Clinic, Mt. Sinai Medical Center, New York, New York; Dvora Ancona, University of Pavia, Milan, Italy
* Combined Therapy for Neck Rejuvenation: Fractional Non-Ablative Laser and Stabilized Hyaluronic Acid Based Gel of Non-Animal Origin: A Clinicopathologic Study with Special Attention Given to the Histology,” Adriana Ribe, Natalia Ribe, Institut Dra Natalia Ribe, Barcelona, Spain
* “Treatment of Carbon Tattoos in a Porcine Model with a Novel 758 nm, 500 Picosecond Laser,” Leonid Izikson, William Farinelli, Zeina Tannous, Fedrnanda Sakamoto, R. Rox Anderson, Wellman Center for Photomedicine, Massachusetts General Hospital, Boston, Massachusetts

About ASLMS
The American Society for Laser Medicine and Surgery is the world’s largest scientific organization dedicated to promoting research, education and high standards of clinical care in the field of medical laser applications. It provides a forum for the exchange of scientific information and participates in communicating the latest developments in laser medicine and surgery to clinicians, research investigators, government and regulatory agencies, and the public. Founded in 1980, the Society has more than 4,000 members.

About Cynosure, Inc.
Cynosure, Inc. develops and markets aesthetic treatment systems that are used by physicians and other practitioners to perform non-invasive and minimally invasive procedures to remove hair, treat vascular and pigmented lesions, rejuvenate the skin, liquefy and remove unwanted fat through laser lipolysis and temporarily reduce the appearance of cellulite. Cynosure’s products include a broad range of laser and other light-based energy sources, including Alexandrite, pulse dye, Nd:YAG and diode lasers, as well as intense pulsed light. Cynosure was founded in 1991.

Cynosure, Inc.
800.886.2966
http://www.cynosure.com

Source: Cynosure

Recommendation and review posted by Bethany Smith

Lumenis Showcased Latest Innovations at the 30th Annual ASLMS Meeting

Lumenis Showcased Latest Innovations at the 30th Annual American Society for Laser Medicine and Surgery Meeting (ASLMS) in Phoenix, Arizona

Lumenis provides first look at new era in Medical, Aesthetic Skin Treatments

YOKNEAM, Israel, –Lumenis Ltd., a global leader in developing, manufacturing and distributing a broad range of high-end medical lasers and sophisticated energy delivery equipment for surgical, ophthalmic and aesthetic applications, presented their clinical studies at the 30th Annual American Society for Laser Medicine and Surgery (ASLMS) meeting in Phoenix, AZ. The company proudly unveiled its first clinical study displaying the speed and comfort of its new LightSheer Duet laser for hair removal. Thought leaders will also discuss the company’s UltraPulse Encore, a cutting edge skin treatment for superficial to deep mature burn scars, during two scientific sessions.

Lumenis Logo

Scientific Sessions Showcase Innovation In Medical Laser Applications
Several emerging industry leaders in the field of medical laser applications were presented throughout the meeting discussing both the UltraPulse Encore and LightSheer Duet. Highlights which include:

* Deep Dermis Remodelation with a Micro Ablative Fractional Carbon Dioxide Laser in a Vectorial Pass Technique; Guilherme Almeida, MD
* Two-Years Treatment to Brazilian Patients with Dark Skin by Deep Fractional Carbon Dioxide Laser (TotalFX) Using Tridimensional Documentation; Guilherme Almeida, MD
* Scar Reduction; Jill Waibel, MD
* Side-By-Side Comparison of High-Fluence and Low Fluence Diode Laser in Axillary Hair Removal; Shlomit Halachmi, MD

Carbon Dioxide Laser Platforms Expand Burn Treatment Solutions
The advent of the new Lumenis AcuPulse Aesthetic SuperPulsed CO2 platform, combined with the UltraPulse TotalFX system, provides a comprehensive solution for skin damage. It is now being used as first line offense around the world for acute and mature scarring.

To exemplify the laser’s wide-ranging capability, clinical dermatologist Dr. Guilherme Almeida presented results of two pivotal studies. One study will show TotalFX success on dark skinned patients, while the other highlights deep dermal collagen remodeling by way of the Vectorial Pass Technique.

Dermatologist Dr. Jill Waibel will also be presented on her achievements with burn scars. This follows her successful treatments on the 22-year old Berns triplets, who suffered severe burns from a house fire they experienced as small children. Dr.Waibel was one of the first to use a deeper resurfacing technique to penetrate layers of skin to reach the collagen below and stimulate growth, bringing about dramatic results for the girls.

LightSheer Duet Exceeds Patient Expectations
After initial success, the LightSheer Duet has a new, redesigned disposable insert to provide users with a faster and simplified option during hair removal treatment. Data shows exceeded comfort for patients and a lower price point due to the laser’s rapid speed.
“In this demanding market, we are thrilled to be able to provide our customers with a clinically proven, competitive option for hair removal,” said Mr. Dov Ofer, CEO of Lumenis.

The new data outlining the LightSheer Duet’s efficacy, which was compiled by Dr. Shlomit Halachmi and Dr. Moshe Lapidoth (Rabin Medical Center, Israel), will be presented by Dr. Halachmi on Sunday, April 18.

The M22 Platform Provides Unsurpassed Ease Of Use
Rounding out the Lumenis display at ASLMS is the new M22 multi-application platform which allows treatment of multiple skin conditions. The streamlined tabletop is user-friendly, has multilingual capability, touch screen interface and hundreds of presets. Physicians can even treat a variety of skin types by controlling each pulse shape.

“Lumenis IPL systems have always been the gold standard of IPL’s. The M22 is Lumenis’ latest advancement in IPL technology, offering efficacy that is second to none, improved patient comfort, speed, versatility and reliability that Lumenis is known for. This translates into increased patient satisfaction and increased profitability,” said Dr. Mitchel P. Goldman, Founder and Medical Director of Goldman, Butterwick, Keel Cosmetic Laser Dermatology and Volunteer Clinical Professor of Dermatology/Medicine at UC San Diego.

About Lumenis
Lumenis, one of the world’s largest medical laser companies, is a global developer, manufacturer and distributor of laser and light-based devices for surgical, ophthalmic and aesthetic applications, with more than 800 employees worldwide. Lumenis has nearly 250 patents, over 75 FDA clearances, an installed base of over 80,000 systems and presence in over 100 countries. Lumenis endeavors to bring the finest state of the art technology products to the market, fulfilling the highest standards of excellence, quality and reliability, delivering premium value and service to its customers. The name Lumenis is derived from the Latin words meaning “Light of Life” highlighting the light which is the basis of our technologies used to enhance life.

Lumenis
866.569.0597
http://www.lumenis.com

Source: Lumenis

Recommendation and review posted by Bethany Smith

2010 Skin Cancer Screening Program Partnership with ASDS and Neutrogena

2010 Skin Cancer Screening Program Partnership with ASDS and Neutrogena

Choose Skin Health from Neutrogena has partnered with the American Society for Dermatologic Surgery to encourage the public to choose healthy sun safe behaviors. One American dies of melanoma almost every hour. With early detection, melanoma has an almost 100 percent five year survival rate. We invite you to choose skin health by having you skin examined for skin cancer by a dermatologist, encouraging others to get screened for skin cancer, using sunscreen regularly and practicing skin self exams monthly.

ASDS Logo

This goal of this new partnership with the American Society for Dermatologic Surgery and Neutrogena Choose Skin Health is to encourage the public to choose healthy sun safe behaviors, including skin cancer prevention, through free skin cancer screenings, using sunscreen regularly and practicing skin self exams.

Choose Skin Health

Recent research has shown that the incidence of skin cancer is rising at epidemic levels. In 2009, ASDS members performed more than 3 million skin cancer treatment procedures. When detected early, skin cancer has an almost 100 percent 5 year survival rate. ASDS and Neutrogena are pleased to announce our partnership in providing free skin cancers through our member volunteers.

American Society for Dermatologic Surgery
847.956.0900
http://www.asds.net

Source: ASDS

Recommendation and review posted by Bethany Smith

Beetroot Juice May Boost Stamina

(HealthDay News) — Beetroot juice can boost physical stamina and increase exercise endurance by up to 16 percent, a new British study shows.

The researchers found that nitrate in beetroot juice reduces oxygen uptake to a degree that can’t be achieved by any other means. The findings could benefit endurance athletes, elderly people and those with cardiovascular, respiratory or metabolic diseases, the study authors suggest.

The study included eight men, aged 19 to 38, who drank 500 milliliters a day of organic beetroot juice for six consecutive days. They then completed a series of tests on an exercise bike. The same tests were repeated after the men drank the same amount of a placebo (blackcurrant cordial) for six days.

After drinking the beetroot juice, the men were able to cycle for an average of 11.25 minutes — 92 seconds longer than after consuming the placebo drink. The men also had a lower resting blood pressure after they drank the beetroot juice, the researchers found.

The study was published Aug. 6 in the Journal of Applied Physiology. Read more…



Joint Mender for Joint Care

Recommendation and review posted by Bethany Smith

Paying Living Donors for a Kidney

Arguments against paying living donors for a kidney generally focus on two ethical concerns; 1) that payments might induce a potential donor to ignore the risks associated with kidney donation, and 2) that payments might exploit poor people, who would have a greater incentive to donate than wealthier persons.

To test these concerns, a team of researchers polled 342 potential donors in Philadelphia. The study found that potential donors’ perception of the risk of kidney donation is completely unaltered by how much money is offered for their kidney ($0, $10,000, or $100,000). The study also found that although a potential donor’s willingness to donate is influenced by money (more money, more willingness to donate), the effect of money was the same across all income strata. In other words, there was no evidence that payments would either induce donors to ignore risk or specifically exploit poor people.

Based on these data, perhaps payments should be offered to donors on a trial basis. It’s worth knowing whether potential donors’ actual choices would be the same as their hypothetical choices on a survey.

Recommendation and review posted by Bethany Smith

North Carolina Plastic Surgeon is New President of American Society for Plastic Surgery

North Carolina Plastic Surgeon is New President of American Society for Plastic Surgery

Aesthetic Society Elects Top Officers at 2010 Annual Meeting in Washington, DC

New York, NY — North Carolina plastic surgeon Felmont F. Eaves III, MD, is the new President of the American Society for Aesthetic Plastic Surgery (ASAPS). The Aesthetic Society, with nearly 2,500 members, is the leading national organization of board-certified plastic surgeons specializing in cosmetic surgery of the face and body. The election of new officers was held on April 25, during the ASAPS 2010 Annual Meeting in Washington, DC which was attended by plastic surgeons from around the world.

Dr. Eaves
Dr. Eaves

Dr. Eaves serves as an Associate Clinical Professor at the University of North Carolina. An Aesthetic Society Member since 1999, Dr. Eaves is a partner at Charlotte Plastic Surgery and an attending surgeon at Carolinas Medical Center and Mercy Hospital. Dr. Eaves is the Former Chair of the Finance & Investment Committee, Patient Safety Committee, and Public Education Committee, as well as the past Administration Commissioner and Traveling Professor. Dr. Eaves has twice been the recipient of the Aesthetic Society’s Simon Fredrick’s Award for Best Panelist; additionally he is the past recipient of the Sherrell J. Aston Award for Best Presentation by a Candidate or Resident, and the Ted Lockwood Award for Excellence in Body Contouring.

After receiving his medical degree from the University of Tennessee Health Sciences Center in Memphis, Dr. Eaves completed his general surgery residency at the University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center in Dallas in 1992. He relocated to Atlanta, GA where he completed his plastic surgery training and joined the faculty of Emory University School of Medicine. He was certified by the American Board of Surgery in 1993 and by the American Board of Plastic Surgery (ABPS) in 1996.

“With the proliferation of plastic surgery stories in the media, public education in plastic surgery is now more important than ever,” said Dr. Eaves. “Over the next year, and through the foreseeable future, the Aesthetic Society will continue its ongoing effort to inform the public about the benefits and serious nature of plastic surgery, as well as the overwhelming advantages in seeking a board-certified plastic surgeon.”

Other new Aesthetic Society officers on the Executive Committee are:

President-Elect
Jeffrey M. Kenkel, MD of Dallas, TX. An Aesthetic Society Member since 2001, Dr. Kenkel is a professor and Vice Chairman of the Department of Plastic Surgery at the University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center in Dallas. He is Associate Editor of the Aesthetic Surgery Journal and editor of Selected Readings in Plastic Surgery. Dr. Kenkel is the Chair of the Aesthetic Training Task Force and an active member of multiple Society Committees. He currently serves as a board member of the Aesthetic Surgery Education and Research Foundation (ASERF), and is the immediate past Chair of both the ASAPS Education Commission and Program Committee. Dr. Kenkel is the recipient of the Aesthetic Society’s Ted Lockwood Award for Excellence in Body Contouring.

Vice President
James A. Matas, MD of Orlando, FL. An Aesthetic Society Member since 1997, Dr. Matas is in private practice and is the former Chief-of-Staff of Dr. P. Phillips Hospital in Orlando. He is the immediate past President of the Florida Society of Plastic Surgeons. Dr. Matas has served as the Society Treasurer and is currently the Chair of the Publications Committee, and serves on multiple Society committees. He is also Book Review Editor for the Aesthetic Surgery Journal.

Treasurer
Jack Fisher, MD of Nashville, TN. An Aesthetic Society Member since 1990, Dr. Fisher is an Associate Clinical Professor in the Department of Plastic Surgery at Vanderbilt University. Dr. Fisher served as the Chair of the Symposium Committee for three years and currently serves as the Chair of both the Education Commission and Program Committee. He also is the recipient of the Aesthetic Society’s Award for Best Panel Moderator in 2004 and 2006.

Secretary
Leo R. McCafferty, MD of Pittsburgh PA. An Aesthetic Society Member since 1993, Dr. McCafferty is a Clinical Assistant Professor of Plastic Surgery at the University of Pittsburgh, School of Medicine. Dr. McCafferty currently serves as Chair of the Industry Policy Committee and the Peri-Operative Task Force, and serves on multiple Society committees. He also is the recipient of the Aesthetic Society’s Tiffany Award for Best Scientific Presentation. He is in private practice and is a plastic surgery consultant to the Pittsburgh Steelers.

ASAPS Logo

About ASAPS
The over 2,500-member American Society for Aesthetic Plastic Surgery (ASAPS) is the only plastic surgery organization devoted entirely to the advancement of cosmetic surgery. ASAPS is recognized throughout the world as the authoritative source for cosmetic surgery education. U.S. members are certified by the American Board of Plastic Surgery. Canadian members are certified in plastic surgery by the Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Canada.

Follow ASAPSmedia on Twitter: http://www.twitter.com/ASAPSmedia
Become a Fan of ASAPS on Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/AestheticSociety

American Society for Aesthetic Plastic Surgery
888.ASAPS.11 (272.7711)
http://www.surgery.org

Source: ASAPS

Recommendation and review posted by Bethany Smith

The most recycled waste

The most recycled waste is not glass, aluminum cans, plastic, or electronics, according to the EPA’s Municipal Solid Waste Report, last compiled with 2008 data, which I was referred to from a recent Scientific American article.   It is car batteries, almost all of which are recycled.  I actually have wondered what happens when they die, but I’m so glad to know that they ARE recycled.   Just a nice tidbit of knowledge for you there.   Recycling is more or less on the rise overall (see graph from the EPA report), thank goodness, despite the persistent folk out there who firmly believe that recycling has no net benefit and therefore don’t even try.

Recycling is obviously on the minds of environmentally-conscious chemists (and other people, I hear other people exist) – but when you think of recycling and trying to green up your daily work life, what do you think of?  Recyclable catalyst, acetone recycling, reading articles on your computer screen instead of on paper (including opting-out of C&EN’s print issues which, consequently, has decreased the degree to which I use it as a procrastination tool and the depth in which I read the non-science concentrates).  But what do YOU do?  I’m really curious to know.  Do you just shrug and carry on?

Guilt about the waste that we generate – and I can only attest to synthetic organic chemists and those who deal with tissue culture when it comes to the byproducts of science – is so, so heavy on my shoulders.  I’m not a crunchy tree-hugger (despite being a vegetarian, yes), but I AM uncomfortable with generating a crapload of waste in order to obtain a few pieces of paper – a couple JACS articles, a Ph.D., etc.  I know I’m not the only one that is frustrated to burn through so much physical material in the name of progress and intellectual/industrial pursuit.  But what else can you and I do, besides cut down on our chromatography, not use disposable items, recycle our acetone and keep all of our data and journals electronic?   How about big corporations?  Are they making efforts at sustainability so that they can claim they are, or to actually conserve resources?  Does it even matter?  Take for example the new SunChips bag released by Frito-Lay/PepsiCo, the first compostable chip bag ever.  It’s a start, no?

[I didn’t mean for my first post to be so depressing!  It’s an honor to be here and I hope to bring you more lively topics in the future.  Both the Chemistry Blog (naturally) and Chemical Crystallinity are on a list of top chemistry blogs for students; I don’t know why this list was generated from the particular source it is hosted on, but it is pretty reasonable.]


Recommendation and review posted by Bethany Smith

Trial of TB vaccine candidate begins in people with HIV

Story Summary: 4 million new cases of TB among people living with HIV and 456 000 deaths. As there are many potential uses of the new TB vaccine, it is crucial to test the safety and immune responses in those who have been infected with HIV. That is why we are extremely pleased with the initiation of this Phase II study, an important next step towards our ambition of reducing the global burden of this fatal disease. Data from all AERAS-402/Crucell Ad35 trials support the immunogenicity and acceptable safety profile of the TB vaccine candidate at all dose levels evaluated. In this ongoing study, AERAS-402 has demonstrated an acceptable safety profile. To date, seven Phase I studies have been conducted in populations including healthy adults and infants and adult tuberculosis patients: A trial in healthy adults not previously immunized with Bacille Calmette-Guerin (BCG), the traditional TB vaccine, demonstrated that the candidate vaccine had an acceptable safety profile in this population. A South African study showed CD8 T cell immune responses that are much higher than those seen in humans in any previous TB vaccine study. The vaccine had an acceptable safety profile in this study. A trial in South Africa is testing the safety of the candidate vaccine in infants previously vaccinated with BCG vaccine. To date, the vaccine appears to have an acceptable safety profile in this study….Read the Full Story

Related posts:

  1. Aeras and Crucell Announce Start of Phase II TB study in South Africa
  2. Immunovaccine Begins Patient Recruitment for Phase 1 Trial of DPX-0907 Cancer Vaccine
  3. Vaxart Begins Animal Testing Of H1N1 Flu Vaccine Candidate


Recommendation and review posted by Bethany Smith

Embryo transfer technique could prevent maternally inherited diseases

Story Summary: The technique targets diseases stemming from mutations in the DNA of energy-producing organelles, called mitochondria, which are akin to cellular batteries. Mutations in mitochondrial DNA can lead to many different human diseases, including diabetes, deafness and diseases that affect the nervous system, heart and muscles. Last year (SN: 9/26/09, p. 8), researchers showed that swapping the nuclear DNA from one Rhesus monkey egg to another could effectively separate the main genetic information contained in the nucleus from diseased mitochondria. He led the team that performed the 2009 work, producing two baby monkeys in the process. This new transfer of DNA in embryos is technically difficult because pronuclei are large, and the difficulty of moving large packets of DNA may reduce the efficiency of the technique, Mitalipov says. On the other hand, extra embryos created during fertility treatments are often frozen for storage at precisely the stage used in this technique, so there may be a large pool of potential donor embryos that people with mitochondrial diseases could draw from. Turnbull agrees that much work needs to be done before either technique will be available for clinical use. There are still questions about safety and efficiency that we still need to tackle, he says….Read the Full Story

Related posts:

  1. News: DNA swap could avoid inherited diseases
  2. New Technique Could Eliminate Inherited Mitochondrial Disease
  3. CRi Oosight Imaging System a Key to Breakthrough Gene Replacement Method With Potential to Prevent Inherited Mitochondrial Diseases


Recommendation and review posted by Bethany Smith

FOR KIDS: Fruit flies taste water

Story Summary: So by understanding how the fruit fly tastes water, researchers may learn more about other living things. Proteins build cells and tissues, fight disease and carry messages between cells. However, none had ever been shown to help an animal taste or detect water. Bourque, who works at the Centre for Research in Neuroscience at McGill University in Montreal, Canada, did not work on the study with Cameron. In the experiment, Cameron and his team compared normal fruit flies with fruit flies whose taste cells had been disabled. The fruit flies were given a special chemical that would glow when the fly used the PPK28 protein. Camerons study is a good example of how science can produce a lot of information about a tiny organism. The fruit fly in particular is so interesting that some scientists are hard at work creating a complete map of the fruit fly brain. Many substances that are necessary for the proper functioning of an organism are proteins. proboscisThe slender, tubular feeding and sucking organ of certain invertebrates, such as insects, worms and mollusks. fruit flyAny of various small insects of the family Drosophilidae, having larvae that feed on ripening or fermenting fruits and vegetables. organismAn individual form of life, such as a plant, animal, bacterium, protist or fungus; a body made up of organs, organelles or other parts that work together to carry on the various processes of life. organismAn individual form of life, such as a plant, animal, bacterium, protist or fungus; a body made up of organs, organelles or other parts that work together to carry on the various processes of life….Read the Full Story

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DNA egg swap prevents rare diseases in babies

Story Summary: What weve done is like changing the battery on a laptop. The researchers use a variation of the same technique used to make Dolly the cloned sheep in 1996. Within a day of uniting egg and sperm using in vitro fertilization, nuclear DNA is removed from the embryo and implanted into a donor egg, whose own nucleus has been removed and discarded. TWO OR THREE PARENTS?The resulting embryo inherits nuclear DNA, or genes, from both its parents but mitochondrial DNA from a second mother who donated the healthy egg. But Alison Murdoch of the Newcastle Fertility Center, whose patients donated eggs used in the studies, told reporters such criticisms ignored the fact that all the characteristics of the baby would come from its two real parents. Writing in the journal Nature, the team said 80 embryos were created and developed in the laboratory for six to eight days to reach the blastocyst stage, comprising a ball of around 100 cells. (Editing by Tim Pearce)WASHINGTON (Reuters) – A brain implant made partly of silk can melt onto the surface of the brain, providing an intimate connection for recording signals, researchers reported on Sunday. Goldman Sachs faces fraud charges for the first time in its history, setting the stage for the Wall Street powerhouses biggest-ever showdown with the government. Thomson Reuters journalists are subject to an Editorial Handbookwhich requires fair presentation and disclosure of relevant interests. NYSE and AMEX quotes delayed by at least 20 minutes….Read the Full Story

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Recommendation and review posted by Bethany Smith

Secrets of egg-and-sperm race revealed

Story Summary: They found that although V. carteris genome is just 17 per cent bigger than that of C. reinhardtii, its MT region is five times larger. He says it looks as if Volvox had translocated these genes into its MT area, and over time they have gained new functions related to sex. The genes evolve rapidly in sex-specific ways, says Umen, who believes they accumulate mutations over time. Any beneficial mutations – which might have led to larger eggs and smaller, plentiful sperm – would be selected for and so preserved. 1186222If you would like to reuse any contentfrom New Scientist, either in print or online, please contact the syndicationdepartment first for permission. 11:05 19 April 2010How far can you push the human body before it fails? New Scientistexplores 12 extremes of endurance, from vacuum exposure to memory marathons18:00 18 April 2010The latest Census of Marine Life study is in, highlighting spectacular examples of hard-to-see underwater microbes – see them here 10:00 18 April 2010Once more, a subtle mental trait thought to be uniquely human has been found in great apes18:20 19 April 2010Altered weather patterns may have made the disruption caused by volcanic ash from Iceland worse – climate change could be partly to blame18:15 19 April 2010All todays stories from newscientist. New Scientistexplores 12 extremes of endurance, from vacuum exposure to memory marathons18:00 18 April 2010The latest Census of Marine Life study is in, highlighting spectacular examples of hard-to-see underwater microbes – see them here 10:00 18 April 2010Once more, a subtle mental trait thought to be uniquely human has been found in great apes18:20 19 April 2010Altered weather patterns may have made the disruption caused by volcanic ash from Iceland worse – climate change could be partly to blame18:15 19 April 2010All todays stories from newscientist….Read the Full Story

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Recommendation and review posted by Bethany Smith

ASAPS Announces the 2010 Journalistic Achievement Award Winners

The American Society for Aesthetic Plastic Surgery (ASAPS) Announces the 2010 Journalistic Achievement Award Winners

Recipients Include Journalists from Elle Magazine, Los Angeles Times and ABC News 20/20

New York, NY (April 23, 2010) – Selected from over 150 entries nationwide, Journalists representing Elle magazine, Los Angeles Times and ABC News 20/20 are among winners receiving top honors in the 2010 Journalistic Achievement Awards. This year’s winners will be presented a certificate of merit and a downloadable presentation featured on the ASAPS’ website. The Aesthetic Society, founded in 1967, is the leading national organization of board-certified plastic surgeons specializing in cosmetic surgery of the face and body.

ASAPS Logo

“There’s so much public interest in cosmetic plastic surgery,” says ASAPS Communications Commissioner Mark Codner, MD, a plastic surgeon in Atlanta, GA, “but it’s a complex subject. The Aesthetic Society looks for journalists who ‘translate’ difficult concepts into understandable ones, and who convey necessary information to the public – about realistic expectations, safety, and surgeons’ qualifications.”

“There were so many articles this year that really highlighted the importance of patient safety. We had articles on everything from medical tourism to the increased complications that can arise when performing plastic surgery on people who smoke, and we really feel like these journalists are helping us with our mission to educate the public.” says Aesthetic Society President Renato Saltz, MD, a plastic surgeon in Salt Lake City, UT.

Each year, the American Society for Aesthetic Plastic Surgery honors journalists for their reporting on cosmetic plastic surgery. Entries are accepted in six categories: Television News, Television Feature, Newspaper, Magazine, Internet, and Patient Safety.

Top 2010 honors in the Magazine category go to Elizabeth Hayt for her article, Second Chances, which appeared in the October 2009 issue of Elle magazine. The article is about a woman who had to undergo a revision surgery after a rhinoplasty procedure. First place in the Patient Safety category goes to Gretchen Voss of Marie Claire magazinewho is recognized for her article, Doctors without Borders, which investigates black market cosmetic procedures and unqualified doctors performing cosmetic surgery.

Gail Deutsch of ABC News 20/20 is the winner in the Television Feature category for the segment which describes the risks of Do-It-Yourself cosmetic procedures. First place in the TV News category goes to Michelle Boudin of News Channel 36 WCNC Charlotte, for her piece Accused Doctor Wasn’t Certified in PlasticSurgery which included an interview with the Society’s President-Elect, Felmont Eaves, M.D.

Susan Carpenter,of the Los Angeles Times, takes top honors for her Newspaper article, Finding a Good Plastic Surgeon, which discusses the right ways and places to find a board certified cosmetic surgeon. First place in the Internet category is awarded to Dan Childs, of ABC News Online, for his article, Toxic Butt-Boosting Shots Send Women to Hospital, which tells about the dangers of using unapproved silicone injections.

A panel of plastic surgeons and communications professionals evaluated each entry for accuracy of information, balanced reporting, educational value, interest, originality, and journalistic style. Winners receive a personal certificate of merit and an awards presentation honoring the winners will be presented on the ASAPS website and accessible for download.

For more information on the Aesthetic Society’s Journalistic Achievement Awards, visit the Press Center on the Aesthetic Society web site at http://www.surgery.org/media.

Journalistic Achievement Awards Presentation
Tuesday, April 27th, 8:00am

About ASAPS
The over 2,500-member American Society for Aesthetic Plastic Surgery (ASAPS) is the only plastic surgery organization devoted entirely to the advancement of cosmetic surgery. ASAPS is recognized throughout the world as the authoritative source for cosmetic surgery education. U.S. members are certified by the American Board of Plastic Surgery. Canadian members are certified in plastic surgery by the Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Canada.

Follow ASAPSmedia on Twitter: http://www.twitter.com/ASAPSmedia
Become a Fan of ASAPS on Facebook:www.facebook.com/AestheticSociety

American Society for Aesthetic Plastic Surgery
888.ASAPS.11 (272.7711)
http://www.surgery.org

Source: ASAPS

Recommendation and review posted by Bethany Smith

Founder of the LEAP Foundation to be Honored for Haiti Aid Efforts at The Aesthetic Meeting 2010

Founder of the LEAP Foundation to be Honored for Haiti Aid Efforts at The Aesthetic Meeting 2010

P. Craig Hobar, MD to Receive Special Recognition for Medical Relief Work

New York, NY (April 23, 2010) – When an earthquake devastated Port Au Prince, Haiti in January, people and organizations from around the globe responded with aid. P. Craig Hobar, MD was among the first on the ground. In recognition of his efforts, Dr. Hobar will receive the American Society for Aesthetic Plastic Surgery (ASAPS) Community Service Award at the ASAPS Annual Meeting.

Dr. Hobar
Dr. Hobar

Dr. Hobar is well known in the Dallas plastic surgery community. In 1991 he founded the Life Enhancement Association for People (LEAP) Foundation to help those in poor and developing countries get the reconstructive surgery critically needed by individuals, particularly children, in order to live normal lives. In January, Dr. Hobar and his LEAP team were in Port Au Prince, Haiti from day four through day six of the disaster, where they performed necessary operations under grueling circumstances. LEAP continues its missions to Haiti with regular reports from a wide range of volunteers and other members of the ASAPS plastic surgery family.

The ASAPS Community Service Award was created to recognize members of the plastic surgery community who have made outstanding contributions to those in unfortunate situations. “Making a difference can look like many things. Sometimes it is the simple things: like a smile, kind word or a listening ear. Other times, making a difference calls for a journey around the world,” said ASAPS President Renato Saltz, MD. “LEAP has helped enhance and change the lives of over 2,500 people from six continents.”

“I am honored to accept this award for my involvement and pleased that this cause – and the LEAP Foundation – are being acknowledged by the medical community,” added Dr. Hobar.

The Aesthetic Meeting 2010, “A Capital Experience with a Global Perspective”, will take place April 23-27, 2010 at the Gaylord National Hotel and Convention Center in Washington, DC.

About ASAPS
The over 2,500-member American Society for Aesthetic Plastic Surgery (ASAPS) is the only plastic surgery organization devoted entirely to the advancement of cosmetic surgery. ASAPS is recognized throughout the world as the authoritative source for cosmetic surgery education. U.S. members are certified by the American Board of Plastic Surgery. Canadian members are certified in plastic surgery by the Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Canada.

Follow ASAPSmedia on Twitter: http://www.twitter.com/ASAPSmedia
Become a Fan of ASAPS on Facebook:www.facebook.com/AestheticSociety

About The LEAP Foundation
The LEAP (Life Enhancement Association for People) Foundation is a non-profit organization dedicated to enhancing and enriching the lives of people around the world by providing specialized medical services. LEAP is comprised of volunteer plastic surgeons, urologists, eye surgeons, anesthesiologists, orthodontists, nurses and support staff. Dedicating time, expertise and often their own resources, these volunteers endeavor to bring free surgical care to children and adults born with deformities. For more information please visit http://www.leap-foundation.org.

American Society for Aesthetic Plastic Surgery
888.ASAPS.11 (272.7711)
http://www.surgery.org

Source: ASAPS

Recommendation and review posted by Bethany Smith

Common Genetic Variation Impacts Breast Cancer Diagnosis in Older Women

Story Summary: Investigators, led by Kim M. Hirshfield, MD, PhD, medical oncologist at CINJ and assistant professor of medicine at UMDNJ-Robert Wood Johnson Medical School, selected TSC1 because it plays a role in the cell growth pathway regulated by a protein known as mTOR. In this latest research, blood samples from more than 1,000 women recruited through CINJ clinics were evaluated for the presence of genetic changes in the DNA sequence of the TSC1 gene. The teams findings show that the presence of a specific DNA change does not affect age of diagnosis of breast cancer for young patients, but does appear to delay disease onset in postmenopausal women. They note the presence of this genetic change likely makes TSC1 more sensitive to the effects of low amounts of estrogens found in women who are postmenopausal and confers a protective benefit by reducing the amount of cell growth. The work is supported by funding from The Breast Cancer Research Foundation, Ruth Estrin Goldberg Memorial for Cancer Research, and The New Jersey Commission on Cancer Research. The work represented by CINJ members is among the 6,300 abstracts being presented at the gathering, which is featuring more than 17,000 researchers, healthcare professionals, and patient advocates. org) is the states first and only National Cancer Institute-designated Comprehensive Cancer Center dedicated to improving the detection, treatment and care of patients with cancer, and serving as an education resource for cancer prevention. CINJs physician-scientists engage in translational research, transforming their laboratory discoveries into clinical practice, quite literally bringing research to life. The CINJ Network is comprised of hospitals throughout the state and provides a mechanism to rapidly disseminate important discoveries into the community. Affiliate Hospitals: Bayshore Community Hospital, CentraState Healthcare System, JFK Medical Center, Mountainside Hospital, Raritan Bay Medical Center, Robert Wood Johnson University Hospital at Hamilton (CINJ at Hamilton), Saint Peters University Hospital, Somerset Medical Center, Southern Ocean County Hospital, The University Hospital/UMDNJ-New Jersey Medical School*, and University Medical Center at Princeton. Affiliate Hospitals: Bayshore Community Hospital, CentraState Healthcare System, JFK Medical Center, Mountainside Hospital, Raritan Bay Medical Center, Robert Wood Johnson University Hospital at Hamilton (CINJ at Hamilton), Saint Peters University Hospital, Somerset Medical Center, Southern Ocean County Hospital, The University Hospital/UMDNJ-New Jersey Medical School*, and University Medical Center at Princeton….Read the Full Story

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Recommendation and review posted by Bethany Smith

Compound Found to Kill Lymphoma Cells Surfaced in Computer Model

Story Summary: From about 200 candidates selected from the screen, several – including one labeled simply 79-6 – were identified to inhibit DLBCL. Transcriptional factor proteins read and interpret the genetic blueprint in the DNA, and scientists have associated the BCL6 transcriptional factor with development of large cell lymphomas. Because the discovery delved into the intimacy of interactions between proteins involved in transcription, MacKerell added, I think the discovery may lead to a new category of cancer treatments. The collaboration was typical of CADD efforts in drug discovery studies, the co-authors said. Of these, it says of DLBCL, Large cell lymphomas are the most common type of lymphoma, comprising about 30 percent (to) 40 percent of NHLs. Although most frequently seen in adults, large cell lymphomas may also be seen in children….Read the Full Story

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Recommendation and review posted by Bethany Smith

Chinese scientists discover marker indicating the developmental potential of stem cells

Story Summary: (The more pluripotent, the more likely a stem cell will develop into the desired tissue, organ or being. After the creation of the first iPS cells in Japan in 2006, Zhou and others set out to determine whether the reprogrammed adult cells are versatile enough to generate an entire mammalian body, as embryonic stem cells can. Then, last summer, Zhou announced that his team had reprogrammed somatic cells of mice, injected them into embryos and created 27 live offspring, which clearly demonstrated that iPS cells can, like embryonic stem cells, produce healthy adults. Though lauded as a huge step forward, they also found not all iPS cells were perfect: Many of the iPS cell lines used did not produce mice, and some of the mice that were produced had abnormalities. Together, their groups profiled the small RNA expression patterns of ES and iPS cell lines from different genetic backgrounds and with different pluripotent levels using Solexa technology. There are nearly 50 miRNAs encoded in this region, and those expressed miRNAs all exhibited consistent and significant expression differences between stem-cell lines with different pluripotency levels, Wang said. As stem cells can be applied in the treatment of many diseases related to tissue replacement or organ implantation, Zhou said, if the teams findings also are true for humans, it will cause a revolution in stem-cell research and the application of it in the very near future. — full story– 23 August 2009Johns Hopkins scientists say they have figured out how bacteria that cause diarrhoea may also be the culprit in some colon cancers….Read the Full Story

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Recommendation and review posted by Bethany Smith

Cold fronts linked to European H5N1 outbreaks

Story Summary: Their results, published April 8 in the open-access journal PLoS Pathogens, show that these outbreaks were driven by aggregated movements of wild waterbirds away from areas of frozen water. The resulting congregation of different species of waterbirds along the freezing front likely created ideal conditions for the transmission of the H5N1 virus within and between wild bird species; in 2006, it caused many detectable outbreaks. The genetic tree of the H5N1 virus that caused outbreaks in Europe is well known. Source: Public Library of Science– 17 September 2009Researchers used gene therapy to cure two squirrel monkeys of colour blindness – the most common genetic disorder in people. — full story– 9 September 2009A large international research team has decoded the genome of Phytophthora infestans, the notorious organism that triggered the Irish potato famine in the mid-19th century and also. — full story– 27 July 2009Researchers have developed a new technique that allows them to make a movie of bacteria infecting their living host. — full story– 27 July 2009Researchers have developed a new technique that allows them to make a movie of bacteria infecting their living host. Whilst most studies of bacterial infection are done after the death. Whilst most studies of bacterial infection are done after the death….Read the Full Story

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Recommendation and review posted by Bethany Smith

The pre-history of life: Elegantly simple organising principles seen in ribosomes

Story Summary: Although different hypotheses abound, just how individual amino acids were assigned to specific three-letter combinations or codons during the evolution of the genetic code is still subject to speculation. Although different algorithms, or codes, were likely tested during a long period of chemical evolution, the modern code proved so robust that, once it was established, it gave birth to the entire tree of life, says the studys lead author Lei Wang, Ph. During protein synthesis, which is coordinated by so-called ribosomes, amino acids are brought out one by one by their respective tRNAs and inserted in the growing protein chain according to the instructions spelled out in the universal language of life – the genetic code. Several hypotheses have been put forward to explain why codons are selectively assigned to specific amino acids. If chemical or physical interactions between amino acids and nucleotide indeed drove the formation of the genetic code, Johnson reasoned, then he should be able to find relics of this mutual affinity in modern cells. He zoomed in on ribosomes, large complexes consisting of some 50 proteins interacting closely with ribosomal RNAs. But once some primitive translational mechanism had been established, new amino acids were added to the mix and started infiltrating the genetic code based on specific amino acid/anticodon interactions. We found evidence that a few amino acids were reassigned to a different codon but once the code was in place it took over, says Johnson. — full story– 27 July 2009Researchers have developed a new technique that allows them to make a movie of bacteria infecting their living host. Whilst most studies of bacterial infection are done after the death. — full story– 23 July 2009A small green beetle may have some interesting lessons to teach scientists about optics and liquid crystals – complex mechanisms the insect uses to create a shell so strikingly beautiful. — full story– 23 July 2009A small green beetle may have some interesting lessons to teach scientists about optics and liquid crystals – complex mechanisms the insect uses to create a shell so strikingly beautiful….Read the Full Story

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Recommendation and review posted by Bethany Smith

Lessons from the Pond: Clues from Green Algae on the Origin of Males and Females

Story Summary: While unicellular organisms can also reproduce sexually, the two sexes of single-celled species are typically indistinguishable from each other and are thought to represent an ancestral or early evolutionary state. In contrast, multicellular organisms, including Volvox, produce eggs and sperm-they are distinctly male and female. Yet no one really has any idea how the evolution of males and females occurs or what genetic changes were required to achieve it, explains Umen. And where did these new genes come from?To trace the origin of the added genes, the team looked to see if they could also find them in Chlamydomonas. D. So Volvox has taken these genes that initially had nothing to do with sex, incorporated them into its mating locus, and started using some of them in its sexual reproductive cycle. The team is now studying these new mating locus genes to understand their individual roles in sex determination and sexual development. This study shows that Volvox and its relatives are a powerful model in which to study the evolution of sex, says Umen. It provides us with a system in which we can retrace evolutionary history to ask questions about the origin of gender and other traits that are difficult to approach in groups such as plants and animals. Gonium allows us to look at the evolutionary steps between Chlamydomonas and Volvox to better understand how the evolutionary process happened, says Ferris. D. at the Salk Institute; Stephen Douglass, David Casero and Matteo Pellegrini at UCLA; Simon Prochnik at the U. S. Department of Energy (DOE) Joint Genome Institute (JGI), Rhitu Rai at the Salk Institute and the Indian Agricultural Research Institute, New Delhi; Jane Grimwood and Jeremy Schmutz at Hudson Alpha Institute for Biotechnology, Alabama; Ichiro Nishii at Nara Womens University, Nara, Japan; and Takashi Hamaji and Hisayoshi Nozaki at the University of Tokyo, Japan. About the Salk Institute for Biological Studies:The Salk Institute for Biological Studies is one of the worlds preeminent basic research institutions, where internationally renowned faculty probe fundamental life science questions in a unique, collaborative, and creative environment. Faculty achievements have been recognized with numerous honors, including Nobel Prizes and memberships in the National Academy of Sciences. A vegetative female colony: Volvox carteri forms spherical colonies, which are composed of 2,000 to 4,000 individual cells embedded in an extracellular matrix. A vegetative female colony: Volvox carteri forms spherical colonies, which are composed of 2,000 to 4,000 individual cells embedded in an extracellular matrix….Read the Full Story

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Recommendation and review posted by Bethany Smith

Caltech-led team uncovers new functions of mitochondrial fusion

Story Summary: Relatively little is known, however, about why mitochondria undergo this behaviour. These findings, Chan adds, help to shed light on the pathogenesis behind human mitochondrial encephalomyopathies – a class of neuromuscular diseases caused by mutations in mtDNA. In these diseases, muscle weakness occurs due to the loss of energy production by mitochondria. Weve showed that in mammalian cells, there are physiological consequences if theres no mitochondrial fusion, says Chan. We were able to specifically delete these mitofusins in skeletal muscle, Chan explains. While they are born looking relatively normal, over the next couple of months they show signs that something is going wrong. Scientists have noted that most cells have a remarkably high tolerance for the mtDNA mutations that cause these conditions; in fact, somewhere between 60 and 90 percent of mtDNA has to carry the mutation before symptoms will begin to appear in a person with the mtDNA mutation. Cells can tolerate a very high load of mtDNA mutations, Chan notes. Possibly because each cell carries so many copies of mtDNA that the normal versions are able to make up for the miscues of the mutated versions – but only if the mitochondria are able to fuse and combine their contents from time to time. Due to these mtDNA mutations, Chan explains, the mouse line has a lifespan less than half that of a normal mouse. Still, it could be much worse – as Chan and colleagues showed when they tweaked the mouse model so that its mitochondria could no longer fuse. When we added the mfn1 mutation into this model, we found that the mice died at birth instead of surviving to one year of age, he says. Now that theyve identified the problems that lack of fusion cause, the team plans to address the mechanisms by which these issues arise. — full story– 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– 23 July 2009A small green beetle may have some interesting lessons to teach scientists about optics and liquid crystals – complex mechanisms the insect uses to create a shell so strikingly beautiful….Read the Full Story

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Recommendation and review posted by Bethany Smith

Brain connections for stress – lessons from the worm

Story Summary: Therefore, the Pocock laboratory uses the simple nervous system of the microscopic worm, Caenorhabditis elegans, to model how our environment modifies gene function, neuronal circuitry and behaviour. This work implicates that mechanisms coupling hypoxia, serotonin and neuropeptide signalling also modifies behaviour in mammals. In fact, hypoxic stress enhances serotonin and neuropeptide production in specific regions of the mammalian brain, however, the functional output of this is poorly understood. Roger Pocock did the experiments for this article at Columbia University, New York, where he worked as a researcher before coming to Denmark. As Charles Darwin himself said Man is but a worm!Source: University of Copenhagen– 17 September 2009Researchers used gene therapy to cure two squirrel monkeys of colour blindness – the most common genetic disorder in people. — full story– 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. Whilst most studies of bacterial infection are done after the death….Read the Full Story

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Recommendation and review posted by Bethany Smith


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