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Selected Update: Innate immunity: Detailed detection

Story Summary: Innate immunity: Detailed detectionTwo recent papers have revealed further details of how RNA viruses engage the host innate immune system. Two recent papers have revealed further details of how RNA viruses such as West Nile virus (WNV) and influenza virus engage the host innate immune system. Recognition of RNA virus infection by pattern recognition receptors (PRRs) triggers an antiviral signalling cascade that culminates in the induction of type I interferons (IFNs) and a proinflammatory response. Progression of the infection was followed, and the authors found that IPS1 is involved in restricting the tissue tropism of WNV and in the entry of this neurotropic virus into the central nervous system. Moreover, the numbers of circulating regulatory T cells, which can depress the inflammatory response, were decreased in the absence of IPS1. Sheilagh MolloyReferencesSuthar, M. S. et al. IPS-1 is essential for the control of West Nile virus infection and immunity….Read the Full Story

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Selected Update: Signalling: Fly strike!

Story Summary: Ex stabilizes the interaction between Mer and Kibra, but Ex is not essential for this interaction. In the presence of Kibra, Mer and Ex the phosphorylation of Wts by Hpo is increased. Co-immunoprecipitation experiments by Yu and colleagues showed that Kibra binds to Sav and that this complex is also bound by Hpo. Previously published yeast two-hybrid data indicate that Mer and Sav and Ex and Hpo also interact, and this was verified by Yu and colleagues. Moreover, they found that like Ex and Mer, Kibra is a Yki transcriptional target, suggesting the existence of a negative feedback loop. Results from Baumgartner and colleagues indicate subtle differences between the function of Kibra and Ex. They also suggest that Kibra might function independently of Mer to inhibit Yki. Initial results indicate that the human orthologue of Kibra (KIBRA) also interacts with NF2, but not FRMD6 (the proposed orthologue of Ex). Whether KIBRA, like NF2, is a tumour suppressor in mammalian cells and is mutated in human tumours is yet to be assessed….Read the Full Story

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  1. Selected Update: Cell signalling: Telomerase gets Wnt talking
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  3. Selected Update: Proteomics: The importance of being negative


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Genetic Kidney Diseases: Single Gene Defects Represent Opportunities For Diagnosis And Treatment

Story Summary: It discusses genetic kidney diseases, and highlights that lately many such diseases have been shown to be single gene defects. According to the author, knowledge of a disease-causing mutation in a single-gene disorder represents one of the strongest diagnostic examples of personalised medicine. Single-gene defect kidney diseases are grouped according to main diagnostic features. 90 percent of ADPKD cases can now be diagnosed by mutation testing. This is helpful for clinical decision making, especially in living-related donor transplantation. * Renal tubular disorders affect reuptake of water, salt, and sugars from the glomerular filtrate which is the fluid in the kidney post-filtration. For instance, sodium reabsorption abnormalities cause Bartters syndrome leading to loss of salt from the kidneys. Congenital abnormalities of kidney and urinary tract are responsible for nearly 50 percent of cases of end-stage kidney disease in children. A wide range of conditions can be caused by such abnormalities. The author explain: An important feature of monogenic diseases is that the mutation represents the primary cause of the disease, and therefore provides opportunities for diagnosis, treatment, and insights into pathogenesis . . . New drugs can be developed – eg, by analysis of animals in which the gene of interest has been deactivated. Disease-causing genes of recessive single-gene disorders are more uncommon than polygenic disorders. They manifest early in life and cause disease in almost every individual with the genetic defect. This approach will further help molecular genetic diagnosis, enhance our understanding of disease mechanisms, and thus enable the development of new targeted drugs. Contact Our News EditorsFor any corrections of factual information, or to contact the editors please use our feedback form. And theres help out there for those who are ready to reap those benefits….Read the Full Story

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Selected Update: Lipid metabolism: Orm SPOTS demand

Story Summary: Breslow et al. investigated Orm function in the yeast Saccharomyces cerevisiae, using a genetic analysis that compares the phenotypic profiles of double mutants to identify pathways in which the individual mutant genes function. This suggests that Orm proteins negatively regulate sphingolipid biosynthesis, which was confirmed by global lipidomic analysis: deletion of Orm1 and Orm2 causes higher flux throughout the sphingolipid biosynthetic pathway. A novel protein complex, the serine palmitoyltransferase, Orm1 and Orm2, Tsc3 and Sac1 (SPOTS) complex, was identified using binding assays. The identification of several phosphorylated Orm species, and the use of the serine palmitoyltransferase inhibitor myriocin, provided further mechanistic clues. Comparisons of growth rate and metabolite levels between Orm1- and Orm2-deleted and wild-type yeast, with or without myriocin, indicated that cells use progressive inactivation of Orm1 and Orm2 to maintain sphingolipid output as serine palmitoyltransferase activity is inhibited. Phosphomutant Orm1 and Orm2 were able to interact with each other and with serine palmitoyltransferase, but blocked the normal regulation of SPOTS oligomerization and disrupted sphingolipid homeostasis. The authors suggest that the SPOTS complex dynamically coordinates the localization and activity of sphingolipid metabolism enzymes in response to cellular demand. Now the focus turns to whether misregulation of this axis can directly cause asthma….Read the Full Story

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Harnessing The Power Of Plants To Fight Hemophilia

Story Summary: And the very treatments that can help can also put patients lives at risk. The standard treatment is infusion with an expensively produced protein that helps the blood to clot. The approach also has the potential for use with other conditions such as food allergiesand autoimmune diseases. The two forms of the disease – hemophilia A and B – are associated with the absence of proteins called factor VIII and factor IX, respectively. Hemophilia treatment consists of infusing the missing protein into a patients blood. But in 25 percent of patients, the immune system rejects the therapy and makes inhibitors that stop the clotting factor from taking effect. In hemophilia B, up to 4 percent of patients develop inhibitors to the protein therapy and many develop severe systemic allergic reactions, called anaphylaxis, which can be life-threatening. D. , an associate professor of medicine at the University of Leuven in Belgium, and president of the European Society of Gene Cell Therapy. To help patients tolerate therapy, doctors try to exhaust patients immune systems by administering the therapeutic protein intravenously at frequent intervals and for long periods until the body no longer responds by producing inhibitors. While that brute force approach works for hemophilia A, it often doesnt for hemophilia B, in which patients risk death from anaphylactic shock if exposed to the protein therapy. To find a new, gentler approach to developing tolerance, Herzog teamed with Henry Daniell, Ph. D. , a Pegasus professor and University Board of Trustees Chair in the College of Medicine at the University of Central Florida, who has spent the last two decades developing transgenic plants for producing and delivering oral vaccines and immune-tolerant therapies. To maximize the amount of protein produced, they inserted thousands of copies of the genes into chloroplasts – the energy-producing centers of plants – using a gene gun. D. , and Babak Moghimi, M. D. , fed the encapsulated protein to hemophilic mice for an extended period. Surrounded by the hardy plant cell walls, the protein was protected from digestive acids and enzymes while traveling through the stomach. I think this is a milestone – nobody has previously achieved such levels of robust immune tolerance by any means using a noninvasive procedure. I think this is a milestone – nobody has previously achieved such levels of robust immune tolerance by any means using a noninvasive procedure. For more information, please read our terms and conditions….Read the Full Story

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Researchers Decode Fungal Genome With New Technique

Story Summary: By doing so, they have gained insights into the way that fungi live and evolve. Sordaria macrospora is able to cope with multiple copies of the same genes, which lead to cell death in other fungi due to immune-like reactions. 5 to 6 million species which form their own kingdom alongside plants and animals, the importance of fungi can hardly be overestimated: some grow on dead organic matter, help in the decomposition of plant and animal waste products and thus contribute to the global carbon cycle. For this reason, genome sequences always have to be assembled from many individual sequences. The new techniques deliver considerably more sequences than Sanger sequencing in the same time, however the individual reads are considerably shorter (36 to 450 base pairs). In order to be able to piece together these short reads to form a genome, newly developed programs on powerful computers are required. D. students and thus provide up to date practical courses with a focus on bioinformatics explained Prof. Kuck. How Sordaria macrospora copes with several of these gene copies in one genome is still unclear. Furthermore, the genome of Sordaria macrospora contains several genes that were probably taken over by means of horizontal gene transfer from another, only very distantly related fungus, and which expand the biochemical repertoire of Sordaria macrospora. International cooperation and various sponsorsA collaboration of researchers from eight universities in four countries, led by Dr. Minou Nowrousian and Prof. Dr. Ulrich Kuck (Department of General and Molecular Botany) made the implementation of this project possible. Thus, the DNA for the sequencing was isolated in Bochum, and DNA sequencing in the USA and Germany led to the sequence data, from which the corresponding genome sequence was assembled. The project was made possible by funding from the German Research Foundation (DFG) within the framework of the SFB480 (chair Ulrich Kuck), by individual project funding from the DFG, as well as funding from the Protein Research Department (PRD, chair Klaus Gerwert). The project was made possible by funding from the German Research Foundation (DFG) within the framework of the SFB480 (chair Ulrich Kuck), by individual project funding from the DFG, as well as funding from the Protein Research Department (PRD, chair Klaus Gerwert). Reference: Nowrousian M, Stajich JE, Chu M, Engh I, Espagne E, Halliday K, Kamerewerd J, Kempken F, Knab B, Kuo HC, Osiewacz HD, Poggeler S, Read ND, Seiler S, Smith KM, Zickler D, Kuck U, Freitag M (2010). De novo assembly of a 40 Mb eukaryotic genome from short sequence reads: Sordaria macrospora, a model organism for fungal morphogenesis. De novo assembly of a 40 Mb eukaryotic genome from short sequence reads: Sordaria macrospora, a model organism for fungal morphogenesis. PLoS Genetics 6 (4): e1000891….Read the Full Story

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Common Copy Number Variations In Genes Unlikely To Contribute Significantly Toward Common Diseases

Story Summary: The research, funded by the Wellcome Trust, is published online in the journal Nature. In 2007, the Wellcome Trust Case Control Consortium (WTCCC) published the results of the largest ever study of the genetics of common diseases, revealing for the first time a number of genes which were found to increase the risk of developing certain diseases. These mainly occur when copies of the genome are passed down from parent to child. This is certainly the case for the diseases that we studied, but is likely to be the case for other common diseases, too. There was a strong view that CNVs would be important for common disease, and that they would explain much of the missing heritability, says Professor Peter Donnelly from the University of Oxford, who chairs the WTCCC. The remaining genetic contribution to disease will likely comprise rare CNVs and rare SNPs, and epigenetic factors, as well as many more common gene variants and, to a lesser extent, common CNVs. A study funded recently by the National Institutes of Health in the US and by the Wellcome Trust, and led by Professor Mark McCarthy from the University of Oxford, will search for a contribution of rarer SNPs towards type 2 diabetes. Source: Craig Brierley Wellcome Trust 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. Treating Diabetic HypertensionIts long been known that diabetes often goes hand-in-hand with high blood pressure. Treating Diabetic HypertensionIts long been known that diabetes often goes hand-in-hand with high blood pressure. Join experts as they discuss why people with diabetes also need to focus on controlling their blood pressure. Join experts as they discuss why people with diabetes also need to focus on controlling their blood pressure. Keeping a Personal Medical RecordMedical information is usually scattered in many different places. Keeping a Personal Medical RecordMedical information is usually scattered in many different places. Keeping a Personal Medical RecordMedical information is usually scattered in many different places….Read the Full Story

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Gene change in cannibals reveals evolution in action

Story Summary: Its a striking and timely example, given the 150th anniversary of the publication of Darwins Origin of Species, he says. These prions become malformed and in turn make all healthy prions they encounter malformed as well, in a chain reaction that ultimately destroys brains by turning them into a spongy mush. The change in the gene comes at a position called codon 127. Instead, we found the complete opposite, which is that it was protective. When the kuru epidemic peaked about 100 years back, there were maybe a couple of families who found that they and their children survived while all their neighbours were dying, and so on to todays generation, who still carry the gene, says Mead. None of the 152 victims of kuru had the protective gene, suggesting that it provides almost complete resistance to the disease. But its not yet known whether the variant protects against other prion diseases. The protective variant at codon 129 is called MV, standing for the amino acids methionine and valine. All deaths except one from vCJD have so far been in people with the MM variant, suggesting that they are specially at risk. If you would like to reuse any contentfrom New Scientist, either in print or online, please contact the syndicationdepartment first for permission. If you think a particular comment breaks these rules then please use the Report link in that comment to report it to us. Fore tribe women in 1957 suffering from kuru….Read the Full Story

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Gene that changes the brainas response to stress identified

Story Summary: Gene That Changes the Brains Response to Stress Identified Stress can literally warp your brain, reshaping some brain structures that help cope with lifes pressures. In the short term, the stress response can be helpful — i. e. , fight or flight — but over time it leads to a wear and tear that can cause disease in both the brain and other parts of the body. The researchers, from Rockefeller University and Weill Cornell Medical College, found that these mice had brains resembling those of normal mice after extended stress. If researchers can find a way to deplete or supplement BDNF in adult mice, they may be able to answer the question of when in development, or even in adult life, it has the greatest impact. What were seeing is that there may be a developmental window for BDNFs role, or also that there may be a floor and a ceiling for the right amount of the protein that helps enable adaptive plasticity, McEwen says. Story Source:Adapted from materials provided by . Journal Reference:Magarinos et al. Effect of brain-derived neurotrophic factor haploinsufficiency on stress-induced remodeling of hippocampal neurons. Tracings of neurons from mice with different levels of BDNF show that a short supply of the protein causes relatively shrunken neurons (right) in some parts of the hippocampus. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:FeedbackTell us what you think of the new ScienceDaily — we welcome both positive and negative comments….Read the Full Story

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Key protein aids in DNA repair

Story Summary: Not everyone gets these diseases, because the body has multiple mechanisms for repairing the damage caused to DNA by aging, the environment and other human behaviors — but the mechanisms behind certain kinds of DNA repair have not been well-understood. In a paper published in the journal Nature, researchers at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hills Lineberger Comprehensive Cancer Center have shown that a particular protein — called Ku — is particularly adept at healing damaged strands of DNA. These rough ends get dirty — making them harder to repair. This protein actually heals at the nucleotide level as well as the level of the chromosome, says Ramsden, comparing its action to washing and disinfecting a cut before trying to sew it up to promote healing. The team is hopeful that the discovery of this mechanism for DNA repair may lead to a target for treatment of age-related diseases caused by chromosome damage in the future. Journal Reference:Roberts et al. Ku is a 5-dRP/AP lyase that excises nucleotide damage near broken ends….Read the Full Story

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Meet X-woman: a possible new species of human

Story Summary: The discovery of 17,000-year-old Homo floresiensis- the hobbit – dispelled that notion, but many anthropologists look on H. floresiensis as an anomaly, isolated from the human-Neanderthal hegemony on the mainland. Paabo and colleague Johannes Krause discovered the specimen in the Denisova cave in southern Siberia, and sequenced DNA from its mitochondria. It is impossible to say what the creature would have looked like based on a single pinkie bone, so Paabo and Krause are hesitant to call it a new species. The split seems too recent for X-woman to be related to Homo erectus, which began moving out of Africa around 2 million years ago. To talk about one or two expansions from a particular region doesnt make any biological sense, he says. There were probably hundreds, thousands of migrations out of Africa. That project is already under way, and the first results should come within months. Paabos team will likely want X-womans genome to answer the same questions they are asking of the Neanderthal genome, which is due for publication soon. If X-womans sequence is complete enough, they will be able to determine if it possesses the same change – and potentially the capability for language. Neanderthal neighboursGiven the close proximity of Neanderthal remains dated to the same time and artefacts that appear to be human, interbreeding is not unlikely, Paabo says. Having in about the same time window three different forms of hominids, increases the potential of all types of interactions, including genetic. X-womans mitochondrial DNA begins to paint a picture of what she was like, if only a blurry one. Finlayson would love to link X-woman to other bones, and even stone technologies, though the chances of doing this may be slim. But he, too, is prepared for the possibility that such bones may never turn up. New Scientist does not own rights to photos, but there are a variety of licensing optionsavailable for use of articles and graphics we own the copyright to. Species being the modern taxonomic concept that is referred to as new, the human was just another human at the time. If you think a particular comment breaks these rules then please use the Report link in that comment to report it to us. If you think a particular comment breaks these rules then please use the Report link in that comment to report it to us….Read the Full Story

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The assembly of protein strands into fibrils

Story Summary: The very peculiar property of these proteins lies in fact that they can self assemble into complex ribbon-like twisted fibers. Researchers at ETH Zurich, EPF Lausanne and University of Fribourg have teamed up to take Atomic Force Microscopy images of the fibers and to analyze them using concepts from polymer physics and theoretical modeling. The structure of the Amyloid fibers as it was unveiled by the experiments, surprised the researchers. These latter fibers have properties (elasticity, solubility, etc) favorable for food texturing or to produce special structures. The milk protein beta-lactoglubulin studied by Mezzenga and his colleagues is at the beginning spherical and by a heat treatment accompanied by acid environment it aggregates into the filamentous structures. Beta-lactoglobulin is an important component of the milk serum and therefore very relevant for food industry. These human fibers, although made out of a very different proteins, are also ribbon-like and twisted and their assembly into long aggregates is presently under intense scrutiny….Read the Full Story

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Picking our brains: What are mirror neurons?

Story Summary: Numerous studies have shown that people with more activity in their mirror systems seem to be better at understanding other peoples emotions. Nevertheless, some researchers question whether mirror systems can take sole responsibility for empathy. Understanding someone elses actions and empathy are huge cognitive achievements, says Cecilia Heyes, a psychologist at the University of Oxford. So to suggest that theres one discrete neural system responsible for it doesnt make sense. The results are due to be published this month in Current Biology. If you would like to reuse any contentfrom New Scientist, either in print or online, please contact the syndicationdepartment first for permission. New Scientist does not own rights to photos, but there are a variety of licensing optionsavailable for use of articles and graphics we own the copyright to. All comments should respect the New Scientist House Rules. If you think a particular comment breaks these rules then please use the Report link in that comment to report it to us….Read the Full Story

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Faulty Clean-up Process May Be Key Event in Huntingtons Disease

Story Summary: Their research is described in the April 11 online edition of Nature Neuroscience. Huntingtons disease, which afflicted the folksinger Woody Guthrie, is a fatal, inherited neurodegenerative disorder. And since the defective protein is present in all of a persons cells, the disease causes problems in the brain and throughout the body. In our investigation of how the accumulating huntingtin protein affects the functioning of cells, we found that it interferes with the cells ability to digest and recycle their contents. She suspected that something similar was going on in Huntingtons disease. One mechanism for cleaning up cells involves forming a membrane around the protein or other cellular structure requiring removal. These garbage bags (more formally known as autophagosomes) then travel to enzyme-filled sacs known as lysosomes that fuse with the bags and digest their cargo. The result: Autophagosomes arrive empty at the lysosomes; and cellular components that should be recycled instead accumulate, causing toxicity that probably contributes to cell death. This finding, Dr. Cuervo noted, shows that activating the lysosomes of cells – one of the proposed treatments for Huntingtons disease – wont do any good. By enhancing the clearance of cellular debris, we may be able to keep Huntingtons patients free of symptoms for a longer time. The paper, Cargo recognition failure is responsible for inefficient autophagy in Huntingtons disease, appears in the April 11 online issue of Nature Neuroscience. D. , a postdoctoral fellow in Dr. Cuervos lab, who is now at the Institute of Neuropathology in Barcelona, Spain. Other Einstein researchers involved in the study were Hiroshi Koga, Ph. D. This work was done in collaboration with the team of Dr. David Sulzer at Columbia University Medical School. Other areas where the College of Medicine is concentrating its efforts include developmental brain research, neuroscience, cardiac disease, and initiatives to reduce and eliminate ethnic and racial health disparities. Other areas where the College of Medicine is concentrating its efforts include developmental brain research, neuroscience, cardiac disease, and initiatives to reduce and eliminate ethnic and racial health disparities. yu….Read the Full Story

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Autism study reveals a DNA tag (methylation) amenable to treatment

Story Summary: Autism Study Reveals a DNA Tag (Methylation) Amenable to Treatment A new discovery raises hope that autism may be more easily diagnosed and that its effects may be more reversible than previously thought. In a new study appearing online in The FASEB Journal, scientists have identified a way to detect the disorder using blood and have discovered that drugs which affect the methylation state (DNA tagging) of genes could reverse autisms effects. This type of drug is already being used in some cancer treatments. The researchers then compared genes that showed changes in DNA tagging (methylation) with a list of genes that showed different levels of expression from these same individuals. This suggests that blocking the chemical tagging of these genes may reverse symptoms of the disorder and demonstrates the feasibility of using more easily accessible cells from blood (or other non-brain tissues) for diagnostic screening. For far too long, autism research has been side-tracked by the cranky notion that its caused by the MMR vaccine, said Gerald Weissmann, M. D. , Editor-in-Chief of The FASEB Journal. Journal Reference:AnhThu Nguyen, Tibor A. Rauch, Gerd P. Pfeifer, and Valerie W. Hu….Read the Full Story

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Virus outbreak causes 40 child deaths in China

Story Summary: Virus outbreak causes 40 child deaths in ChinaApril 10, 2010 (AP) — A top Chinese leader called for stepped-up research into vaccines and drugs for hand, foot and mouth disease after 40 children died from outbreaks last month, a state news agency said Saturday. The Ministry of Health reported 77,756 cases of the disease in March. The number of deaths increased sharply, up from 10 in February. Outbreaks were reported in southern Chinas Guangxi Autonomous Region as well as Guangdong, Henan, Hebei and Shandong provinces. It is spread by direct contact with nose and throat discharges, saliva, fluid from blisters, or the stool of infected people. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed. 21 hours ago | not rated yet | | (PhysOrg. com) — An analysis of vaccines undertaken by researchers from 5 institutions has found that 7 of the vaccines DNA content was pretty much as expected, but surprisingly, one also contained DNA of . . ….Read the Full Story

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Clostridium Difficile Infection Nears Zero: Intervention Drops Hospital Infection Rate By 1/3

Story Summary: The team had hoped to increase the time between hospital-acquired cases to more than 20 days between infections. When the study began, one units infection frequency was 61 per 10,000 patient days. Researchers concluded that this type of disinfection process was effective at reducing C. difficile infections on these units and should be instituted in other hospital units with high infection rates. The study was initiated, designed and financed by Mayo Clinic. Others on the research team were Leslie Fedraw, Kimberly Aronhalt, R. N. , and James McManus, all of Mayo Clinic. Source: Robert NellisMayo Clinic 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. Contact Our News EditorsFor any corrections of factual information, or to contact the editors please use our feedback form. 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 Strain Of Drug-Resistant Bacteria Emerging In US Hospitals24 Dec 2009A new study reports a surge in drug-resistant strains of a dangerous type of bacteria in US hospitals: Acinetobacter strikes patients in Intensive Care Units (ICUs) and others and often causes severe pneumonias or….Read the Full Story

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MTF Announces 2010 Research Grant Recipients

Story Summary: D. , Cleveland Clinic Lerner College of Medicine-CWRU, Biocompatibility and Efficacy of Reinforced Fascia ECM for Augmentation of Rotator Cuff Repairs in a Canine Shoulder Model. David Sachs, M. D. , Massachusetts General Hospital, Induction of Tolerance to Composite Tissue Allografts. D. , Rush University Medical Center, Stem Cell Mobilization to Enhance Bone Regeneration. D. , Colorado State University, Effect of Systemically Injected Bone Marrow Derived Stem Cells on Segmental Bone Allograft Osteointegration. PEER REVIEW – DERMAL TISSUE B. Todd Heniford, M. D. , Carolinas Medical Center, Evaluation of the Tissue Incorporation of Triclosan-Coated Human Dermal Grafts and Lysostaphin-Coated Human and Xenogenic Dermal Grafts and Their Effectiveness to Resist Infection with Staphylococcus Aureus. OREF (Orthopaedic Research and Education Foundation) AWARD Quanjun Cui, M. D. , University of Virginia, Stem Cell-Based Angiogenic and Osteogenic Gene Therapy to Enhance Bone Defect Repair. CHARLES HERNDON RESIDENCY AWARDS Thomas Keller, M. D. , University of Virginia, A Novel Scaffold for Growth Factor Delivery – An Alternative Graft for Tendon Repair. About MTF The Musculoskeletal Transplant Foundation is a national consortium comprised of academic medical institutions, organ procurement organizations and tissue recovery organizations. About MTF The Musculoskeletal Transplant Foundation is a national consortium comprised of academic medical institutions, organ procurement organizations and tissue recovery organizations. Since our inception in 1987, MTF has received tissue from more than 80,000 donors and distributed more than 4 million grafts for transplantation. Since our inception in 1987, MTF has received tissue from more than 80,000 donors and distributed more than 4 million grafts for transplantation….Read the Full Story

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Variations on the genetic theme: Researchers present global map of human gene expression

Story Summary: Variations on the Genetic Theme: Researchers Present Global Map of Human Gene Expression Just like members of an orchestra are active at different times although playing the same piece of music, every cell in our body contains the same genetic sequence but expresses this differently to give rise to cells and tissues with specialised properties. By integrating gene expression data from an unprecedented variety of human tissue samples, Alvis Brazma and his team at the European Bioinformatics Institute, an outstation of the European Molecular Biology Laboratory (EMBL), and their collaborators have for the first time produced a global map of gene expression. The full analysis behind this unique view of the genetic activities determining our appearance, function and behaviour is published in Nature Biotechnology. This established the identity of the six groups: brain; muscle; hematopoietic (blood related); healthy and tumour solid tissues; cell lines derived from solid tissues; and partially differentiated cells. Story Source:Adapted from materials provided by . Journal Reference:Margus Lukk, Misha Kapushesky, Janne Nikkila, Helen Parkinson, Angela Goncalves, Wolfgang Huber, Esko Ukkonen, Alvis Brazma. 1038/nbt0410-322This image shows the 5,372 samples as dots colour-coded for the six major clusters identified by comparing gene expression profiles. The left and right panels of the figure are projections of the same three-dimensional shape viewed from two different perspectives….Read the Full Story

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Recommendation and review posted by Bethany Smith

Pneumococcal vaccine offers protection to HIV-infected African adults with low CD4 counts

Story Summary: The trials, conducted in Malawi and funded by the Wellcome Trust, studied the efficacy of a vaccine against infection with the Streptococcus pneumoniaebacteria. These bacteria are a primary cause of pneumonia and when they invade the bloodstream and brain so-called invasive pneumococcal disease (IPD) they cause the serious and often fatal illnesses of septicaemia and meningitis. The vaccines efficacy at low CD4 counts is remarkable, says Dr French. The general view on the use of any vaccines in HIV is that low CD4 counts make the vaccine useless. Weve shown that conjugate technology overcomes the profound immune deficiency at these low counts. Dr French believes the study suggests that the conjugate pneumococcal vaccine may be applicable for use in other adults groups at risk of IPD. Since it works in patients with HIV infection, then by extension, it is likely to work in other adult groups, including the elderly and other at-risk groups, he says. ReferenceFrench N et al. A trial of 7-valent pneumococcal conjugate vaccine in HIV-infected adults….Read the Full Story

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Recommendation and review posted by Bethany Smith

A Better Flu Vaccine, Add Second Strain Of Influenza B

Story Summary: Since in five of the last 10 years, the influenza B component in the vaccine has been the incorrect one, this seems like an obvious advance to me. Every spring, scientists predict which strain of influenza will be circulating in the community the following fall. However they had a vigorous antibody response when given a vaccine that contained both strains of influenza B. This showed that immunizing against one strain of influenza B does not appear to protect against the other strain and that a vaccine containing both influenza B strains is likely to offer greater protection from flu. Belshe has served as a consultant and as part of the speakers bureau for MedImmune and other study authors are MedImmune employees. Established in 1836, Saint Louis University School of Medicine has the distinction of awarding the first medical degree west of the Mississippi River. Source: Saint Louis University Medical Center 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. Contact Our News EditorsFor any corrections of factual information, or to contact the editors please use our feedback form….Read the Full Story

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Recommendation and review posted by Bethany Smith

Resistance develops in 17% of patients starting HIV treatment in UK after 8 years

Story Summary: Resistance to at least one class of anti-HIV drugs was detected in 17% of patients. When considered against the background of a likely lifelong need for antiretroviral therapy, these levels of resistance emergence are of some concern, comment the investigators. As both are uncertain, UK investigators followed 7891 patients taking antiretroviral therapy, monitoring their viral load and testing those with viral breakthrough for resistance. Tests were performed for four types of resistance: TAMs, 1841V NRTI resistance, and resistance to protease inhibitors or NNRTIs. The study included patients who had started antiretroviral therapy after 1997, and individuals were followed for eight years. Most (82%) of patients started therapy with a regimen that included an NNRTI. However, the risk of resistance differed between classes of antiretrovirals. Treatment failure was significantly more likely to lead to resistance for patients taking an NNRTI than a boosted-protease inhibitor (p < 0. This finding remained unaltered when the investigators restricted their analysis to patients who were taking recommended NRTIs. Patients who took efavirenz (Sustiva) were less likely to develop resistance (p < 0. The investigators then restricted their analysis to the 33% of patients who had had a genotypic resistance test before starting HIV treatment. Once again, the risk of resistance differed between drug classes, and was detected in 15% of those taking an NNRTI compared to 6% of individuals who received a boosted protease inhibitor (p = 0. In patients starting currently recommended first-line regimens in routine clinical practice, the rates of virological failure and of resistance detection are appreciable, conclude the investigators, the rates are lower for those who started combination antiretroviral therapy with a ritonavir-boosted protease inhibitor. Long-term probability of detecting drug-resistant HIV in treatment-naive patients initiating combination antiretroviral therapy. Long-term probability of detecting drug-resistant HIV in treatment-naive patients initiating combination antiretroviral therapy. Harrigan RP….Read the Full Story

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Recommendation and review posted by Bethany Smith

Gene variants linked to Crohn disease have little effect, study finds

Story Summary: A genetic variant that once seemed almost guaranteed to cause Crohn disease actually has negligible effects in the general population, a study of more than 43,000 Danish people shows. The result could be a blow to personalized medicine, which seeks in part to estimate peoples risk of developing diseases by analyzing the genetic variants they carry. Previous studies comparing people with an inflammatory bowel disease called Crohn disease to healthy people have found that people with variations in a gene on chromosome 16 known as NOD2or CARD15had 17 times greater risk of developing the disease than people who did not carry the variants. Most did not carry any variants associated with Crohn disease. 5 percent of people who had a disease-elevating copy of NOD2on both chromosomes actually developed Crohn disease by the time they were 50, and 0. If a person is already sick, however, testing the NOD2/CARD15variants may help doctors distinguish Crohn disease from a similar inflammatory bowel disease called ulcerative colitis, Norestgaard says. The Danish studys results indicate the problem with extrapolating the risk seen in patient groups to the rest of the population, says Katherine Siminovitch, who heads the genomic medicine at Mount Sinai Hospital in Toronto. When you study a patient population, they have not just one, but probably many genes that allow the disease to develop, she says. But in the general population, many healthy people are likely to carry one disease-linked version of a gene but no other genetic risk factors for the disease. Were getting it in bits and pieces, but we dont know how these things work together, Siminovitch says. There are a lot of gaps, and this study shows us what needs to be done to fill in those gaps. 1503/cmaj. Go toYazdanyar, S. , et al. In press. Go toYazdanyar, S. , et al. In press. Canadian Medical Association Journal….Read the Full Story

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Recommendation and review posted by Bethany Smith

New Tool Developed For DNA Research

Story Summary: His scrutiny has shown that the function of DNA is unimpeded by the insertion of the molecular gauge. Measuring angles with lightIn brief FRET measurements are performed by forcing two luminescent markers to transfer light-energy from one to the other, and then measuring the efficiency of the transfer. When they are subjected to a lightpulse one marker (tCO) emits part of the energy to the other (tCnitro). Secrets from the centerKnowing distance and angle of the markers allows for calculations of distance and angle of all the natural base pairs in the DNA structure. And with that the researcher can put together a picture showing every twist and turn of the structure. Putting the markers on the gaugeFRET-measurements are not a new phenomenon. But even more important is the fact, that Mr Preus has used the facilities of the Molecular Engineering Group at University of Copenhagen to analyse every aspect of the energy-transfer between the two markers, because this allows future DNA-researchers to translate measurements to structure. Contact Our News EditorsFor any corrections of factual information, or to contact the editors please use our feedback form. Study Of Rwanda Genocide Survivors Suggests Yes26 Feb 2010A study of Rwandan Genocide survivors, some with and some without post traumatic stress disorder or PTSD, suggests that genetic factors influence the relationship between a persons traumatic load, or the number of. You need to be consistent and exercise several times a week, if you are doing short workouts. Experts say you should work on the big muscle groups first, and do exercises that involve compound movements….Read the Full Story

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Recommendation and review posted by Bethany Smith

Vaccine works against type 1 diabetes in mouse experiments

Story Summary: New research shows that the nanovaccine causes weak T cells to stop the immune system from attacking insulin-producing cells in the pancreas. Weakness can be a strength when it comes to keeping the immune system from attacking the bodys own cells, mouse experiments that use a new vaccine against type 1 diabetes reveal. This type of self-destructive behavior is also at the root of diseases such as lupus, rheumatoid arthritis and multiple sclerosis. But people with diabetes and other autoimmune disorders dont seem to dispel the false threat. The new study shows for the first time how a healthy immune system turns off the autoimmune attack. It brings together a lot of threads that have been going through autoimmunity research for the past 20 years, but had never been tied together, says Nikolai Petrovsky, director of endocrinology at Flinders Medical Centre in Adelaide, Australia. Basically, the T cells were shooting the messengers before the hand-off of orders to exterminate the beta cells. Its as if youve taken one platoon of soldiers and turned them into pacifists, and they go and convince the rest of the army to stop firing, Petrovsky explains. Mice that are genetically predisposed to develop diabetes were protected from the disease if given the nanovaccine before becoming diabetic. Mice that were already diabetic when they got the nanovaccine were able to recover from the disease, the team reports. Nanovaccines against type 1 diabetes in humans may be ready for trials in two years, Santamaria says. Nanovaccines against type 1 diabetes in humans may be ready for trials in two years, Santamaria says. And the new insight the study gives into the immune system may lead to improved therapies for a number of other autoimmune diseases as well. And the new insight the study gives into the immune system may lead to improved therapies for a number of other autoimmune diseases as well. Reversal of Autoimmunity by Boosting Memory-like Autoregulatory T Cells….Read the Full Story

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Recommendation and review posted by Bethany Smith


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