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RNA Interference Delivered Using Nanoparticles Hits Target in Human Patients

Story Summary: 4/18/2010 11:49:46 AMRNA Interference Delivered Using Nanoparticles Hits Target in Human PatientsA multi-institutional team of researchers and clinicians has published the first proof that a targeted nanoparticle can traffic into tumors, deliver double-stranded small interfering RNAs (siRNAs), and turn off the production of an important cancer protein using a mechanism known as RNA interference (RNAi). Moreover, the team provided the first demonstration that this new type of therapy, infused into the bloodstream, can make its way to human tumors in a dose-dependent fashion, that is, a higher number of nanoparticles sent into the body leads to a higher number of nanoparticles in the tumor cells. These two findings were achieved in phase I clinical trials in which the investigators are testing a nanoparticle-siRNA construct as an anticancer therapy. Since then, the potential for this type of gene inhibition to lead to new therapies for diseases such as cancer has been highly touted. In contrast, RNA interference targets the messenger RNA (mRNA) that encodes the information needed to make a protein in the first place. Even before the discovery of RNAi, he and his team had begun working on ways to deliver nucleic acids to cells via the blood stream. They eventually created a four-component system, featuring a unique polymer called cyclodextrin, that self-assembles in the presence of RNA into a targeted, siRNA-containing nanoparticle. Once they reach their target, in this case, the cancer cells within tumors, the nanoparticles enter the cells and release the siRNAs. As part of their study, the team was able to detect and image nanoparticles inside cells biopsied from the tumors of several of the phase I trials participants. This degradation, in turn, led to a loss of the protein….Read the Full Story

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Recommendation and review posted by Bethany Smith

DNA breakthrough could eliminate devastating inherited conditions

Story Summary: The new technique developed at the University of Newcastle raises the hope of ensuring a baby does not inherit malfunctioning mitochondrial DNA. The energy supply now works properly, but none of the information on the hard drive has been changed. A child born using this method would have correctly functioning mitochondria, but in every other respect would get all their genetic information from their father and mother. Soon after fertilisation, the pronuclei fuse to form a single nucleus. They then implanted the pronuclei into fertilised donor eggs whose own pronuclei had been removed. They were allowed to develop for six to eight days until they consisted of balls of around 100 cells called blastocysts. Prof Turnbull said: This is a very exciting development with immense potential to help families at risk from mitochondrial diseases. It is important that we do all we can to help these families and give them the chance to have healthy children, something most of us take for granted. However, the Human Fertility and Embryology Act is flexible enough to allow Government permission for them in the future. Muscles require high levels of energy and are often most affected by mitochondrial disorders. Philip Butcher, chief executive of the Muscular Dystrophy Campaign which represents people with the conditions, called mitochondrial myopathies, said: These findings will be a ray of hope for people affected by mitochondrial diseases who can often be left with the heart-breaking decision of whether to have children who may be born with a serious illness. I would urge the Human Fertility and Embryology Authority to permit fertility treatment using these techniques as soon as the method is proved to be effective and safe in humans. Sir Mark Walport, director of the Wellcome Trust, said: This is exciting research that could lead to the major clinical advance of preventing devastating mitochondrial diseases by curing the disease in fertilised eggs. Sir Mark Walport, director of the Wellcome Trust, said: This is exciting research that could lead to the major clinical advance of preventing devastating mitochondrial diseases by curing the disease in fertilised eggs….Read the Full Story

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Recommendation and review posted by Bethany Smith

Mirror Neurons Allow Us to Understand Each Other

Story Summary: The study suggests that the distribution of these unique cells linking the activity of the self with that of others is wider than previously believed, said Dr. Itzhak Fried, the studys senior author and director of the UCLA Epilepsy Surgery Program. In this way, Fried and his colleagues garnered and recorded the neuron activity results directly from the patients brains. The researchers noted single cell and multiple-cell activity in the motor regions of the brain where mirror neurons were thought to exist, as well as in regions involved in vision and in memory. Brain activity was measured as the patients both observed and performed grasping actions and facial expressions. The experiments showed that of the combined 1,177 neurons studied in the 21 patients, the neurons were most active when the individuals performed or observed a task. We hypothesize that the decreased activity from the cells when observing an action may be to inhibit the observer from automatically performing that same action, said Roy Mukamel, the studys lead author. The active mirror neurons that responded to the tasks were located in the medial frontal cortex and medial temporal cortex neural systems. Mirroring responses on a singular-cell level have never been previously recorded in these two areas of the brain. There is evidence that patients with autism have deficits in these regions of the brain, Mukamel told LiveScienc….Read the Full Story

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Recommendation and review posted by Bethany Smith

VisualSonics Announces Product Launch of VevoCQ(TM) Contrast Quantification Software

Story Summary: This addresses the cancer communitys need for functionality that had previously been lacking in most preclinical imaging modalities, said , VisualSonics Director of Product Applications. Using Non-Targeted MicroMarker Contrast Agents, researchers are able to assess perfusion kinetics of a tissue, organ or tumor of interest. Target-Ready MicroMarker Contrast Agents are used to detect the binding of microbubbles to cell surface markers within a tissue of interest. About VisualSonics——————VisualSonics is the world leader in real time, in vivo, high-resolution micro imaging systems designed specifically for preclinical research. About Bracco————Bracco Imaging, a subsidiary of the Bracco Group, is one of the worlds leading companies in the field of in vivo diagnostic imaging, offering a product and solutions portfolio for the main applications: X-Ray Imaging (including Computed Tomography-CT), Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI), Contrast Enhanced Ultrasound, Nuclear Medicine through radioactive tracers and medical instruments for gastrointestinal radiology. Bracco Imaging today operates in over 80 markets worldwide, either directly or indirectly through subsidiaries, joint ventures, license and distribution partnership agreements. Bracco Imaging today operates in over 80 markets worldwide, either directly or indirectly through subsidiaries, joint ventures, license and distribution partnership agreements….Read the Full Story

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Recommendation and review posted by Bethany Smith

Genomics Research Competition to Enhance Livestock Sector Now Open

Story Summary: This Competition is open to researchers based at provincial, national or international research institutions and private industry, but must be led or co-led by an Alberta or Canadian Investigator. All proposed research projects must be collaborative and must clearly demonstrate support from, and benefit to, end users. ca The research competition is made possible through in funding from the Alberta Livestock and Meat Agency (ALMA) to invest in livestock genetics research to help improve the health, reputation, and quality of Alberta livestock. 5 million head of cattle in Alberta providing over in farm cash receipts there is little doubt that an investment in bovine genetics is an important investment with the potential for a significant impact on Albertas herd quality. Alberta has a strong history of research in livestock genetics and Canadian researchers played an important role in the international effort to sequence the bovine genome announced in April of 2009 so we are well suited to lead the way in this area of applied research. We are based in but lead projects around the province and participate in a variety of projects across the country. We are one of Canadas six Genome Centres and work closely with these centres to advance the science and application of genomics, metabolomics, and many other related omics. Apart from the scientific contributions and advances that come from our research, we contribute directly to the economy and have put almost into salaries, benefits and consumables since we were created in mid 2005. genomealberta….Read the Full Story

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Recommendation and review posted by Bethany Smith

Oncolytics Biotech(R) Inc. Announces Reovirus Research to be Presented at AACR Annual Meeting

Story Summary: The first abstract, entitled Reovirus replication in ovarian and peritoneal tumors after intravenous administration, covers correlative results from a Phase 1/2 study with reovirus, sponsored by the National Cancer Institute under its Clinical Trials Agreement with Oncolytics, in patients with ovarian, primary peritoneal and fallopian tube carcinoma. The results provide evidence of viral targeting and replication in peritoneal and ovarian cancer cells after intravenous administration of reovirus to patients. The poster is scheduled to be presented on . The second abstract, entitled Molecular pathways associated with REOLYSIN and gemcitabine synergy in ras-mutated human HCT116 cells, covers work done to better understand the mechanisms associated with the cytotoxic synergies in this combined approach. The poster is scheduled to be presented on . The third abstract, entitled The addition of REOLYSIN, an oncolytic reovirus, to irinotecan shows synergistic anticancer activity in colorectal cancer cell lines, covers research done in vitro into a novel therapeutic approach for treating patients with colorectal cancer tumors that harbor a mutation in the Kras oncogene that have failed first line therapy. The investigators found that when REOLYSIN was combined with irinotecan, there was evidence of synergistic cytotoxicity in seven of eight tested cell lines and concluded that the combination of REOLYSIN and irinotecan is synergistic in colorectal cancer cell lines, including those with Kras mutation, and is worthy of exploration in human patients. The investigators concluded that the sensitivity of reovirus towards multiple myeloma and its lack of effect on human stem cells highlight the potential of reovirus as an ex vivo purging agent during autologous hematopoietic stem cell transplants for multiple myeloma. Oncolytics clinical program includes a variety of human trials including a Phase III trial in head and neck cancers using REOLYSIN, its proprietary formulation of the human reovirus. Such risks and uncertainties include, among others, the availability of funds and resources to pursue research and development projects, the efficacy of REOLYSIN as a cancer treatment, the tolerability of REOLYSIN outside a controlled test, the success and timely completion of clinical studies and trials, the Companys ability to successfully commercialize REOLYSIN, uncertainties related to the research and development of pharmaceuticals and uncertainties related to the regulatory process. Investors should consult the Companys quarterly and annual filings with the Canadian and U. S. securities commissions for additional information on risks and uncertainties relating to the forward-looking statements. The Company does not undertake to update these forward-looking statements, except as required by applicable laws….Read the Full Story

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Recommendation and review posted by Bethany Smith

Cyplasin Biomedical Signs Term Sheet with Vaccine Company to License Cyplasins Auto-Antibody Drug (AAD) Technology

Story Summary: Technology description Using recombinant DNA technology, VLPs can be engineered to incorporate various viral and non-viral antigens. continues, Cyplasin is using the technology to develop AADs that are entry inhibitors to prevent hepatitis C viral infection of liver hepatocytes. Licensing partners can explore the use of non-viral proteins such as tumor antigens or other pathogenic self proteins like the beta-amyloid of Alzheimers or the TNF therapeutic target of rheumatoid arthritis can be incorporated into the VLP and they can use the AAD to act as a Trojan Horse to present these self proteins to the immune system via the endogenous pathway and thus overcome B-cell tolerance. concludes, By announcing this first deal related to several cancer targets, we hope to attract other strategic partners with interests in any or all of the potential therapeutic areas where this technology might be applied. Statements in this current report which are not purely historical are forward-looking statements and include any statements regarding beliefs, plans, expectations or intentions regarding the future. Such factors include, among others, the inherent uncertainty of financial estimates and projections, the competitive and regulatory environments, stock market conditions, unforeseen technical difficulties and our ongoing ability to operate a business and obtain financing. These forward-looking statements are made as of the date of this news release, and we assume no obligation to update the forward-looking statements, or to update the reasons why actual results could differ from those projected in the forward-looking statements….Read the Full Story

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Recommendation and review posted by Bethany Smith

Too Much HOTAIR Helps Breast Cancer Cells Migrate

Story Summary: The greater responsibility, however, means that if RNA bungles its job, the consequences can be dire. New research by HHMI Early Career Scientist Howard Chang and colleagues provides details of how genetic mismanagement by RNA can lead to a human disease – in this case, breast cancer. In this case, HOTAIR sends PRC2 to inappropriate sites where it shuts down genes that normally prevent metastasis. Turning on HOTAIR gives cancer cells the tool kit they need to move to another location and set up shop there, says Chang. This moving away and setting up shop — forming tumors that grow uncontrollably and replace normal tissue — is what oncologists refer to as metastasis, the process that makes cancer life-threatening. Several years ago, Changs lab developed a method for measuring the level of lincRNAs in cells. From their records, we knew whether patients succumbed or did well. When HOTAIR was made artificially high, we found that cells became very metastatic and could easily spread from the breast to the lung or other organs, he says. The next big question was how to shut down HOTAIRs destructive effects. That became clear when the teams experiments showed that HOTAIR lincRNA works hand-in-hand with a group of enzymes called the Polycomb Repressive Complex 2 (PRC2). Polycombs normally shut genes down, but they dont know which genes to shut down. You can think of lincRNA as an air traffic controller. In this case, HOTAIR sends PRC2 to inappropriate sites where it shuts down genes that normally prevent metastasis. Stopping the aberrant, disease-causing activity may be possible, Chang says. Stopping the aberrant, disease-causing activity may be possible, Chang says. (c) 2010 Howard Hughes Medical Institute….Read the Full Story

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Recommendation and review posted by Bethany Smith

An Immune Response in a Test Tube

Story Summary: New research from HHMI investigator Zhijian Chen shows that ubiquitin, which helps cells identify unwanted proteins so that they can be removed, is also a vital component of the innate immune system. The bodys first response to infection rallies elements of the innate immune system, which responds to infection uniformly and with limited specificity. In the April 16, 2010, issue of the journal Cell, Chen, and his colleagues report that they have reconstructed in a test tube an important pathway the innate immune system uses to fend off viruses, and used their model to begin understanding how this natural defense system works. The first indication that ubiquitin could do more than tag unwanted proteins came in 2000 with Chens discovery that it can switch on a major immunity and cell-growth signaling system known as the NF-kappa-B pathway. A single ubiquitin molecule is not enough to switch on the pathway, but Chen and his colleagues found that when several ubiquitin molecules join forces, linking to a target protein and to each other via a specific site known as K63 (an amino acid called lysine, the 63rd amino acid in the ubiquitin protein), they can activate NF-kappa-B. This mechanism for adding a chain of ubiquitins to a protein is called K63 polyubiquitination, and is distinct from the way in which a cell builds the ubiquitin chain that flags unwanted proteins for destruction. When bound to RNA, RIG-I triggers a cascade of signals that activate the NF-kappa-B pathway, as well as an antiviral protein called IRF3, which increases the production of immune-stimulating interferon proteins. All of these components help alert the innate immune system that a virus is present. These alone, however, were not enough to switch on IRF3 to summon the innate immune system to action. Since previous research had suggested that RIG-I might also need K63 polyubiquitination to become active, Chens team added in ubiquitin and the enzymes that could construct the K63 chains. These molecules, they discovered, were key to setting off the events needed to fight a virus. Chens team found that free-floating K63 chains made of several ubiquitin proteins could bind tightly to a portion of RIG-I known as the CARD domain, most likely after a viral RNA has bound to a different domain and thereby made it more accessible. Scientists have long thought that ubiquitin signaling occurs when a ubiquitin chain is built one molecule at a time, beginning with the attachment of a single ubiquitin molecule to a target protein. So the activation of RIG-I by free K63 polyubiquitin chains is a bit surprising–but its not the first time Chens group has observed this strategy phenomenon. So the activation of RIG-I by free K63 polyubiquitin chains is a bit surprising–but its not the first time Chens group has observed this strategy phenomenon. (c) 2010 Howard Hughes Medical Institute….Read the Full Story

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Recommendation and review posted by Bethany Smith

Big science: The cancer genome challenge

Recommendation and review posted by Bethany Smith

Mapping methylations mysterious background

Story Summary: Among these is methylation, the addition of a methyl group to cytosine, one of the four bases that make up DNA. I wouldnt say we have provided the answer, but I would say we have provided a plausible version of an answer. They created genome-wide methylation maps for each species, using high-throughput sequencing in conjunction with a technique that chemically converts each cytosine base in a genome to another base, uracil, unless that cytosine is methylated — a process known as bisulphite sequencing. Mobile-DNA controlIn mammals and plants, methylation has been widely observed in transposons — mobile pieces of DNA that can cause mutations in the genome — suggesting that the process may function to keep transposons in check. But in a recent study in plants, Zilbermans group also identified methylation in the middle of active genes2. The latest analysis extends the finding to other organisms, ranging from rice and the fungus to puffer fish to anemones1. While DNA methylation in plants, fungi and vertebrates was concentrated in transposons, invertebrates showed the opposite pattern, with modifications occurring mainly in active genes. Ancestral enzymesZilberman proposes that the common ancestor of plants, animals and fungi carried enzymes that methylated both transposons and gene bodies. When animals split off from fungi, they were probably single-celled, asexually reproducing organisms with no need for a mechanism to control their transposons, so the enzyme that methylated transposons was lost. Vertebrates re-evolved it, but invertebrates did not — instead they developed other mechanisms to deal with their transposons. It is kind of a fun paper, but it has a lot of issues, says Timothy Bestor, a developmental geneticist at Columbia University in New York. These two transposon types may well have different methylation patterns. Another mystery remaining to be solved is why DNA methylation occurs in gene bodies at all, as it does not seem to interfere with gene expression, says Selker. I think the question of the future is, what the heck is this methylation doing? allscienceonline. Remember our threads are for feedback and discussion – not for publishing papers, press releases or advertisements….Read the Full Story

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Recommendation and review posted by Bethany Smith

ACS Member Dues

It is that time of the year for me when I need to dole out the cash to renew my ACS membership. For the first time I have to pay the full membership price of $145. The process is made more complicated than usual since I need to switch from the graduate student member rate to the full member rate and there is no button available to do it from the website. :sigh:

So with member dues on the brain I went to investigate why they are set at $145. In 1986 the dues were $70 and it was decided to set all future dues to that inflation corrected price. $145 may seem like a lot of money but the ACS Committee on Budget and Finance’s website points out that it is a very middle of the road amount when compared to other scientific societies.

Membership SocietiesDuesMembers
American Institute of Chemical Engineers$19940,000
American Association of Clinical Chemistry$18510,000
Association for Psychological Science$17920,000
IEEE$169375,000
Royal Society of Chemistry$16046,000
American Association for the Advancement of Science$146120,000
American Chemical Society$140154,000
American Society for Biology and Molecular Biology$14012,000
American Nuclear Society$14011,000
Society of Plastics Engineers$14020,000
American Physiological Society$13010,500
American Physical Society$11846,000
American Ceramics Society$1106,000
Geological Society of America$7022,000


However, that is not a fair comparison to make. Whenever the topic of executive compensation comes up at ACS we’re always reminded that ACS is a huge publishing house connected to a nonprofit, thus salaries and benefits of the top executives are matched to norms in the publishing industry. In one case it is fair to compare something to scientific society norms, in the other case we have to include the norms of a publishing house.

Out of my own curiosity I dug into the numbers behind member dues and have found that total dues were $15,500,000 and brought in $2,200,000 in net revenue for 2009. So how much does the society make per year? Do we make enough as a society to forgo paying dues into 3 digits? Below is a table showing the finances of the society, I’ve also included the income payed out to the top executives for comparison

Name / Gross Income20092008200720062005
Madeline Jacobs$936,827$849,348$889,720$883,818
Flint H. Lewis$363,406$301,084$285,271$273,730
Brian A Bernstein$423,540$345,076$347,163$324,360
Robert J Massie$1,038,836$1,826,527$792,030
Brian D Crawford$590,612$416,940$401,004
John R Sullivan$392,088
Matthew J Toussant$451,665$357,233
Brian C Bergner$411,411
Benjamin W Jones$397,395
Peter E Roche$364,055$577,185347,935
Rudy M Baum$359,703
Robert D Bovenschulte$1,229,387$620,360$617,030
James A Bryne$425,473$410,407
David Daniel$333,830
Sylvia A Ware$433,678
ACS Finances
Total Revenue$460,000,000$458,800,000$442,200,000
Net Revenue$13,700,000$9,700,000$9,600,000
Net Assets (unrestricted)$123,900,000$60,000,000$212,000,000$281,000,000$211,000,000


The society made enough net revenue in 2009 to easily refund 1/3 of our member dues, but it would never do that as I’ll explain. If you look at the table and try to match the society’s executive incomes to performance you will have a hard time, if you can see a pattern please let me know. In 2008 as the society’s assets decreased in value by 72% the income of the executives increased. As the total revenue of the society brought in slowly increased, the executive income increased faster. As the net revenue of the society has remained flat, besides the small peak in 2009, the executive income increased. So how exactly is the salary and benefits of the top executives valued, it seems disconnected from normal metrics of financial health?

The society will hire an outside firm to decide what the compensation should be. The firm will take into consideration that ACS is a publishing house and a non-profit. The firm will also consider the health of the global economy and other factors and will set certain benchmarks for the executives to meet in order to get bonuses on top of their paychecks. So the reason their income seems decoupled from performance is because the benchmarks they must meet are already coupled to the passions and whims of the national economy.

I will argue that this road for ACS is unhealthy.

If I ask any top executive at ACS what their job is, I’m sure they will tell me that their job is to return as much value back to ACS members while generating as much revenue they can for the society. The society will indirectly self-select individuals that can maximize that function. But this leads to the horrible disease of group-thinking. I have no doubt that Rudy Baum actually dislikes open-access, but I also have no doubt that ACS has indirectly placed people in positions of influence who will maximize the function of revenue vs. value.

I have faith that the net revenues made by the society for 2009 will be used for a good purpose. Maybe it’ll be put towards shoring up the losses in net assets, maybe it’ll be used to make the budget for next year more affordable. However, I do know it will never be given back to members as a rebate on their membership dues. A rebate would be considered an expense and would decrease net revenue the society made the following year and thus decrease bonuses.

There is no clear answer to what would make my favorite chemistry club healthier and more affordable, but the current tethering of compensation and salaries to the same wonderful metrics that financial institutions use seems illogical.

Mitch


Recommendation and review posted by Bethany Smith

Vitamin and Calcium Supplements May Reduce Breast Cancer Risk

Story Summary: When the DNA is not repaired, it leads to mutation that leads to cancer. Vitamin supplements appeared to reduce the risk of breast cancer by about 30 percent. Calcium supplements reduced the risk of breast cancer by 40 percent. After controlling for the level of DNA repair capacity, calcium supplements were no longer as protective, but the link between vitamin supplements and breast cancer reduction remained. The membership includes 31,000 basic, translational and clinical researchers; health care professionals; and cancer survivors and advocates in the United States and more than 90 other countries. It funds innovative, meritorious research grants, research fellowship and career development awards. Special conferences throughout the year present novel data across a wide variety of topics in cancer research, treatment and patient care. The AACR publishes six major peer-reviewed journals: Cancer Research; Clinical Cancer Research; Molecular Cancer Therapeutics; Molecular Cancer Research; Cancer Epidemiology, Biomarkers & Prevention; and Cancer Prevention Research. The AACR publishes six major peer-reviewed journals: Cancer Research; Clinical Cancer Research; Molecular Cancer Therapeutics; Molecular Cancer Research; Cancer Epidemiology, Biomarkers & Prevention; and Cancer Prevention Research….Read the Full Story

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Recommendation and review posted by Bethany Smith

MicroRNAs May be Key to Cancer Knowledge and Future Cures

Story Summary: While we dont yet know if these trials will be successful or not, clearly the science is progressing to the point where clinical ideas are being tested, he said. Liselle Bovell, a graduate student working in the laboratory of Upender Manne, Ph. D. , an associate professor in the department of pathology at the University of Alabama at Birmingham, said overexpressions of miR-21 and miR-106a are associated with an overall poor prognosis and that overexpressions of miR-181b and miR-203 are associated with poor outcomes in blacks. All five of these miRNAs had higher levels in colorectal cancers compared with non-cancerous control tissue. For both blacks and whites, increased expressions of miR-21 and miR-106a were linked with poor survival. Identification of miRNAs that contribute to melanoma brain metastasisResults of an ongoing study expand the understanding of the mechanisms that control melanoma brain metastasis by showing several microRNAs (miRNAs) that are important mediators of metastasis. Patients with melanoma brain metastasis have a poor survival rate and are often excluded from clinical trials. There is currently no effective treatment for this devastating malignancy, according to Hernando. Our study sheds light on previously unexplored mechanisms of miRNAs role in the mediation of melanoma brain tropism, said Hernando. Alterations in another miRNA increased the ability of melanoma cells to reach the brain in mice. Over the past few years, more and more reports have shown significant and important roles for miRNAs in normal physiological processes and in several pathologies including cancer, said Hernando. It was not surprising that miRNAs played a functional role in this process. Liu is currently a postdoctoral fellow at the National Cancer Institute, National Institutes of Health. Expression of miR-31 was inversely related to LATS2 and PPP2R2A in both mouse and human lung cancers, according to Liu. Additionally, the tumor suppressors were repressed by miR-31 overexpression and substantially increased by miR-31 knock-down, which is a good predictor of loss of oncogenicity, according to Liu. MiR-21 upregulation in breast cancer cells leads to PTEN loss and Herceptin resistanceScientists at the University of Texas M. D. Anderson Cancer Center have identified a microRNA (miRNA) that could potentially separate the patients who will respond to Herceptin from those who will not. Herceptin has been linked with heart problems in 2 percent to 7 percent of cases, and patients often have to weigh the risk of heart disorders against the risk of their continuing cancer. PTEN loss had been previously linked to Herceptin resistance in another study published from the same group and confirmed by other research groups. The scientists further tested this finding in patients and found that high levels of miR-21 were significantly correlated with poor response to Herceptin. This is one drop of information in the bucket of knowledge that is hardly full in what we can learn. Founded in 1907, the AACR is the worlds oldest and largest professional organization dedicated to advancing cancer research. The membership includes 31,000 basic, translational and clinical researchers; health care professionals; and cancer survivors and advocates in the United States and more than 90 other countries. The AACR marshals the full spectrum of expertise from the cancer community to accelerate progress in the prevention, diagnosis and treatment of cancer through high-quality scientific and educational programs. CR provides a forum for sharing essential, evidence-based information and perspectives on progress in cancer research, survivorship and advocacy….Read the Full Story

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Recommendation and review posted by Bethany Smith

What Are The Causes Of A Brain Abscess (Cerebral Abscess)?

Story Summary: The mass can block blood vessels to the brain, resulting in the possible destruction of delicate brain tissue. It does this (create an abscess) in order to stop the pus from infecting healthy tissue. As the abscess grows it places pressure in delicate brain tissue, and sometimes blocks the supply of oxygen-rich-blood to that part of the brain. Sometimes an infection can get through the blood-brain barrier and infect the brain. If an infection occurs somewhere else in the body, it can travel through the bloodstream, bypass the blood-brain barrier, and enter and infect the brain. Locating that primary lesion is crucial, otherwise there is an increased risk of a relapse. People with weakened immune system have a higher risk of developing a brain abscess caused by a blood borne infection. Peritonitis – inflammation of the tissue layer of cells lining the inner wall of the abdomen and pelvis (peritoneum); and other abdominal infections. Cystitis- inflammation of the bladder; and other infections located in the pelvis Direct contagion- account for between 45% and 50% of brain abscesses. Examples include otitis media(middle ear infection), sinusitis, or mastoiditis (infection of the bone behind the eye). A head trauma, in which a compound skull fracturemay push fragments of bone into the brain, can also cause a brain abscess. In extremely rare cases a brain abscess may be a complication of surgery. 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: Why Some Brains Are More Vulnerable To Stress And Resistant To Antidepressants14 Jan 2010A new study provides insight into the molecular characteristics that make a brain susceptible to anxiety and depression and less likely to respond to treatment with antidepressant medication. Improving Health CareImprovements are necessary to make sure Americans get the best quality health care and that money for this care is being spent as effectively as possible. Listen as experts — both in government and in the private sector — describe some of the steps taken to improve the health care system. Learn why the classic symptoms of a high fever and stiff neck shouldnt be ignored. Learn why the classic symptoms of a high fever and stiff neck shouldnt be ignored….Read the Full Story

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Recommendation and review posted by Bethany Smith

Inovio Biomedical To Present At World Vaccine Congress 2010

Story Summary: Dr. J. Joseph Kim, Inovio President and CEO, is speaking at a panel session on April 20th at 17:15 titled Whats on the Horizon for DNA Vaccines? His presentation, scheduled for 14:40, is titled Designing DNA-based Vaccines with the Capability to Provide Universal Protection against Unmatched Influenza Virus Strains. Vitamin B12 deficiency, or B12 deficiency, if left untreated can result in anemia, as well as irreversible nerve and brain damage. Follow Our News On Twitter:Get the latest news for this category delivered straight to your Twitter account. Simply click the link below and select the follow option. Migraines like hers tend to last longer and be more severe than other migraines. Figuring out what was triggering her headaches helped Cathy and her doctor come up with a successful treatment plan….Read the Full Story

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Recommendation and review posted by Bethany Smith

DNA Testing of Newborns Blood Not Effective for Identifying Hearing Loss Infection

Story Summary: Cytomegalovirus (CMV) is an important cause of con!genital infection and a lead!ing cause of sensorineural hearing loss (SNHL) in children. Of the estimated 20,000 to 40,000 infants born each year with congenital CMV infection in the United States, most (90 percent to 95 percent) have no detectable clinical abnormalities at birth and thus will not be identified by routine clinical examination, according to background information in the article. Suresh B. Boppana, M. D. , of the University of Alabama at Birmingham, and colleagues examined the diagnostic accuracy of real-time PCR analysis of DBS as an approach for mass screening of new!borns for congenital CMV infection. Among the findings of the researchers was that compared with saliva rapid culture, CMV testing with DBS real-time PCR had low sensitivity, and did not identify approximately two-thirds of the congenital CMV infections. These results have major public health implications because they indicate that such methods, as currently per!formed, will not be suitable for the mass screening of newborns for congenital CMV infection–the most common nongenetic cause of deafness in the United States, the authors write. org)Editors Note: Please see the article for additional information, including other authors, author contributions and affiliations, financial disclosures, funding and support, etc. Editorial: Screening Newborns for Congenital Cytomegalovirus InfectionJames F. Bale Jr. , M. D. , of the University of Utah School of Medicine, Salt Lake City, writes in an accompanying editorial that these findings do not necessarily suggest that the goal of uni!versal screening for CMV should be abandoned. While assaying the newborn dried blood spot may not be the solution to the problem of universal screening for congenital CMV infection, detecting viral DNA in specimens obtained in the first few days of life may still be possible. Rather than assaying blood, one possible ap!proach is to consider assaying a specimen of the infants sa!liva. The saliva of virtually all congenially infected infants contains abundant quantities of CMV DNA that can be de!tected by current PCR methods….Read the Full Story

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Recommendation and review posted by Bethany Smith

New Gene For Childhood Deafness Discovered

Story Summary: Dr Sohaila Rastan, RNIDs Chief Scientific Advisor said: Knowledge of genes causing deafness tells us more about how our hearing works. This knowledge will help improve treatments for patients, genetic counselling, molecular diagnosis and the development of advanced therapeutic strategies. An estimated one child in 750 is born profoundly deaf or with a severe hearing loss. Contact Our News EditorsFor any corrections of factual information, or to contact the editors please use our feedback form. Follow Our News On Twitter:Get the latest news for this category delivered straight to your Twitter account. When Your Cycle Becomes a Major HeadacheCathys gets as many as 12 to 15 headaches a month and they are all associated with her menstrual cycle. Migraines like hers tend to last longer and be more severe than other migraines….Read the Full Story

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Recommendation and review posted by Bethany Smith

DNA Testing Of Blood Sample Not Effective For Identifying Newborns With Infection That May Cause Hearing Loss

Story Summary: Suresh B. Boppana, M. D. , of the University of Alabama at Birmingham, and colleagues examined the diagnostic accuracy of real-time PCR analysis of DBS as an approach for mass screening of newborns for congenital CMV infection. Among the findings of the researchers was that compared with saliva rapid culture, CMV testing with DBS real-time PCR had low sensitivity, and did not identify approximately two-thirds of the congenital CMV infections. These results have major public health implications because they indicate that such methods, as currently performed, will not be suitable for the mass screening of newborns for congenital CMV infection the most common nongenetic cause of deafness in the United States, the authors write. As the disease burden from congenital CMV infection remains a significant public health problem, there continues to be a need to identify the large number of infants with clinically inapparent congenital CMV infection early in life. Source Journal of the American Medical AssociationAny 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. Follow Our News On Twitter:Get the latest news for this category delivered straight to your Twitter account. Simply click the link below and select the follow option. Simply click the link below and select the follow option….Read the Full Story

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Recommendation and review posted by Bethany Smith

Plants, Yeast And Worms Provide New Genes For Cancer, Other Diseases

Story Summary: In doing so, it highlights genes that are known to work together to do one thing in the non-human organism, but the function of which are not yet known in humans. So the yeast uses a particular module with a particular set of inputs and outputs to do one task. Humans use this same module with different inputs and outputs to do another. The newly found human angiogenesis genes are great candidates for drugs, says Marcotte. The scientists also found a set of genes in nematode worms involved in human breast cancer. Surprisingly, it is the same set of genes in the worms responsible for determining how many male offspring a parent worm births. By exploiting evolution and looking at lower organisms that dont even have the organs were looking for – blood vessels or even heads – but share some of the underlying molecular processes, were able to discover genes relevant to human diseases, says Marcotte. Marcotte admits it may seem odd to look for human disease genes in something like a plant or yeast, but that the information is proving to be extremely useful, if not surprising. Marcotte, Wallingford and colleagues published their research in PNAS (Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences). Wallingford, associate professor of molecular cell and developmental biology, is a Howard Hughes Medical Institute Early Career Scientist. Co-authors Kriston McGary, Tae Joo Park, John Woods and Hye Ji Cha are graduate students at The University of Texas at Austin. Source: Lee ClippardUniversity of Texas at Austin 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. Stages of Breast CancerBreast cancer stages tell us the characteristics of the cancer and if it has spread beyond the breast tissue. Discover how two women went through treatment and what they did to cope. Discover how two women went through treatment and what they did to cope….Read the Full Story

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Recommendation and review posted by Bethany Smith

Aeras and Crucell Announce Start of Phase II TB study in South Africa

Story Summary: With the support of Crucells innovative technologies, we are on a joint mission with Aeras to develop a next generation vaccine against TB, said Dr. Jaap Goudsmit, Crucells Chief Scientific Officer. 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. In 2004, Aeras and Crucell began jointly developing this vaccine candidate using Crucells AdVac(R)vaccine technology and PER. AERAS-402/Crucell Ad35 trialsIn October 2008, the first Phase II study in adults who have had active TB started in South Africa. In this ongoing study, AERAS-402 has demonstrated an acceptable safety profile. Preliminary data indicate that the candidate vaccine induces CD8-cell immune responses in patients who have completed TB treatment. 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. * Testing of the candidate vaccines safety in BCG-vaccinated adults with or without latent TB has been completed in Kenya, with ongoing analysis. The vaccine had an acceptable safety profile in this study. * Currently a US trial has started for more detailed analysis of the immune response to AERAS-402/Crucell Ad35, using a known immunogenic regimen of BCG and the candidate vaccine in healthy adults, followed by collection of large numbers of immune cells. About TuberculosisTuberculosis is the worlds second deadliest infectious disease, with nearly 9. Tuberculosis is now the leading cause of death for people living with HIV/AIDS, particularly in Africa. About AdVac(R) technology and Ad35AdVac(R) technology is a vaccine technology developed by Crucell and is considered to play an important role in the fight against emerging and reemerging infectious diseases, and in biodefense. The AdVac(R) technology is specifically designed to manage the problem of preexisting immunity in humans against the most commonly used recombinant vaccine vector, adenovirus serotype 5 (Ad5), without compromising large-scale production capabilities or the immunogenic properties of Ad5. AdVac(R) technology is based on adenoviruses that do not regularly occur in the human population, such as Ad35. Compared to conventional production technologies, the strengths of the PER. C6(R) technology lie in its excellent safety profile, scalability and productivity under serum-free culture conditions. These characteristics, combined with its ability to support the growth of both human and animal viruses, make PER. C6(R) technology the biopharmaceutical production technology of choice for Crucells current and potential pharmaceutical and biotechnology partners. About AerasThe Aeras Global TB Vaccine Foundation is a non-profit product development partnership dedicated to the development of effective TB vaccine regimens that will prevent tuberculosis in all age groups and will be affordable, available and adopted worldwide. Aeras receives funding from foundations and government aid agencies and has six TB vaccine candidates in its product development pipeline. It operates from its headquarters in Rockville, Maryland, and an office in Cape Town, South Africa. About Aurum InstituteAurum is an internationally recognized, specialist research and health systems management organization. (NYSE Euronext, NASDAQ: CRXL) (SWISS: CRX) is a global biopharmaceutical company focused on research development, production and marketing of vaccines, proteins and antibodies that prevent and/or treat infectious diseases. Crucells core portfolio includes a vaccine against hepatitis B, a fully-liquid vaccine against five important childhood diseases and a virosome-adjuvanted vaccine against influenza. Crucell also markets travel vaccines, such as the only oral anti-typhoid vaccine, an oral cholera vaccine and the only aluminum-free hepatitis A vaccine on the market. The Company has a broad development pipeline, with several product candidates based on its unique PER. Forward-looking statementsThis press release contains forward-looking statements that involve inherent risks and uncertainties. For information relating to these factors please refer to our Form 20-F, as filed with the US Securities and Exchange Commission on April 7, 2010, in the section entitled Risk Factors. The Company prepares its financial statements under International Financial Reporting Standards (IFRS). For further information please contact Crucell: Oya Yavuz Vice President Corporate Communications & Investor Relations Tel….Read the Full Story

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Recommendation and review posted by Bethany Smith

New Leaders of Society for Research on Adolescence to Focus on Organizational Diversity and Public Policy Related to Contemporary Youths

Story Summary: It started at the University of Arizona in Tucson in the 1986, and in 1991, launched the Journal of Research on Adolescence, for which Russell serves as associate editor. SRAs four-day conference, which traditionally has primarily attracted psychologists, drew record attendance in March — 2,000 scholars from all over the world, including Sierra Leone, Chile, the Netherlands and Japan. Sixteen percent were from organizations and universities outside of the United States, and 15 percent of attendees were from sociology, health or education-related fields, Way says. Im personally interested in the links between research, policy and programs for young people, and I am impatient with the slow pace and occasional disconnect between research and relevant policies and programs, Russell says. Way adds that all too often research findings never get out to the people who are actually working with kids. Way is co-director of the Center for Research on Culture, Development, and Education at NYU, which focuses on understanding the ways in which schools, families, and neighborhoods shape social, emotional, and academic trajectories of adolescents. The McClelland Institute is a catalyst for research addressing critical social, emotional and physical issues facing families today. The McClelland Institute is a catalyst for research addressing critical social, emotional and physical issues facing families today….Read the Full Story

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Recommendation and review posted by Bethany Smith

Sigma(R) Life Science Extends Research Model Portfolio Into Oncology and Carcinogenicity Screening; Introduces Worlds First p53 Knockout Rat

Story Summary: Over the past twelve months, SAGE Labs has been developing novel rat models, in which specific genes associated with defined disease conditions are deactivated or knocked-out, for use in disease research, especially in areas where the existing mouse models poorly mimic human disease, said Dr. Edward Weinstein, director of SAGE Labs. This enables us to create founder animals in about four to five months, which is about a third of the time it would take using a traditional approach. p53 is a tumor suppressor protein encoded by the TP53 gene and is one of the most widely studied cancer-related genes. Its role in the regulation and stabilization of cell cycle, thus preventing genome mutation, is observed among a wide variety of multicellular organisms, including humans, rodents, frogs and fish. Cautionary statement: The foregoing release contains forward-looking statements that can be identified by terminology such as is expected to, significantly improve timelines, reduce time to market, offers the potential, lead to a more comprehensive knowledge or similar expressions, or by express or implied discussions regarding potential future revenues from products derived therefrom. Such forward-looking statements reflect the current views of management regarding future events, and involve known and unknown risks, uncertainties and other factors that may cause actual results to be materially different from any future results, performance or achievements expressed or implied by such statements. There can be no guarantee that the p53 model will continue to meet the demands of the marketplace. About Sigma Life Science: Sigma Life Science is a Sigma-Aldrich brand that represents Sigmas leadership in innovative biological products and services for the global life science market and offers an array of biologically-rich products and reagents that researchers use in scientific investigation. Product areas include biomolecules, genomics and functional genomics, cells and cell-based assays, transgenics, protein assays, stem cell research, epigenetics and custom services/oligonucleotides. About SAGE Labs: SAGE Labs, a Sigma Life Science initiative, is a world-class provider of research models, including knockout rat models, and extensive support services. SAGE Labs specializes in the development and characterization of unique, next-generation animal research models featuring specific gene deletions, insertions, repressions and modifications using proprietary CompoZr ZFN (zinc finger nuclease) technology. This genetic manipulation technology works for a variety of animal research models, as well as a wide range of research applications. About Sigma-Aldrich: Sigma-Aldrich is a leading Life Science and High Technology company. Sigma-Aldrich has customers in life science companies, university and government institutions, hospitals, and in industry. com….Read the Full Story

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Recommendation and review posted by Bethany Smith

Life Technologies Introduces New Real-Time PCR System

Story Summary: The Applied Biosystems ViiA7 Real-Time PCR System seamlessly integrates a variety of quantitative PCR (qPCR) and genotyping applications, enabling researchers to enter a new era of lab productivity. The system offers a number of performance and usability enhancements that are expected to advance the understanding of molecular biology in the pharmaceutical discovery and clinical research markets. The ViiA 7 Real-Time PCR System has been designed to improve researcher productivity for research that includes how gene expression changes in response to pharmacological agents, and how genetic variation influences response to treatments for disease. Through one-touch protocols, researchers can operate the system without a separate computer and monitor runs from remote locations. About Life TechnologiesLife Technologies Corporation (NASDAQ:LIFE) is a global biotechnology tools company dedicated to improving the human condition. Our systems, consumables and services enable researchers to accelerate scientific exploration, driving to discoveries and developments that make life even better. 3 billion in 2009, employs approximately 9,000 people, has a presence in approximately 160 countries, and possesses a rapidly growing intellectual property estate of approximately 3,900 patents and exclusive licenses. Safe Harbor StatementThis press release includes forward-looking statements about our anticipated results that involve risks and uncertainties. Some of the information contained in this press release, including, but not limited to, statements as to industry trends and Life Technologies plans, objectives, expectations and strategy for its business, contains forward-looking statements that are subject to risks and uncertainties that could cause actual results or events to differ materially from those expressed or implied by such forward-looking statements. When used, the words believe, plan, intend, anticipate, target, estimate, expect and the like, and/or future tense or conditional constructions (will, may, could, should, etc. ), or similar expressions, identify certain of these forward-looking statements. Life Technologies undertakes no obligation to update or revise any such forward-looking statements to reflect subsequent events or circumstances. Life Technologies undertakes no obligation to update or revise any such forward-looking statements to reflect subsequent events or circumstances. For Research Use Only. For Research Use Only. For Research Use Only….Read the Full Story

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Recommendation and review posted by Bethany Smith

NanoString Technologies Introduces Novel Solution for microRNA Research

Story Summary: The company introduced the new assay kit, which expands the applications for its nCounter(r) Analysis System, at the American Association for Cancer Research annual meeting. NanoString has developed a true breakthrough in miRNA research technologyMicroRNAs (miRNAs) are small, single-stranded, non-coding RNA molecules that have generated intense interest in the scientific community for their recently discovered roles in tumor formation and important biological processes. D. , a leading miRNA researcher, was part of an early access program for the Human miRNA Expression Assay Kit on the nCounter Analysis System at the Ohio State University Comprehensive Cancer Center Nucleic Acids Shared Resource directed by Hansjuerg Alder, Ph. NanoString also offers custom and off-the-shelf assays for gene expression analysis. About NanoString TechnologiesNanoString Technologies is a privately-held life sciences company marketing a complete solution for detecting and counting large sets of target molecules. The companys digital target profiling technology enables a wide variety of basic research and translational medicine applications, including biomarker discovery and validation. NanoString is also developing the technology for use in molecular diagnostics. Smart Multimedia Gallery NanoString now offers assays for both gene expression and miRNA analysis for its fully automated nCounter Analysis System. Smart Multimedia Gallery NanoString now offers assays for both gene expression and miRNA analysis for its fully automated nCounter Analysis System….Read the Full Story

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Recommendation and review posted by Bethany Smith


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