Page 1,061«..1020..1,0601,0611,0621,063..»

Darwins finch and the evolution of smell

Story Summary: Today, exactly 150 years after Darwins famous book, finches can still teach us a lesson about evolution. A large, international group of researchers, among them Prof. Doron Lancet and Dr. Tsviya Olender of the Weizmann Institutes Molecular Genetics Department, recently produced the full genome of the zebra finch and analyzed it in detail. Significantly, the scientific team found that a large percentage of the genes expressed in the finch brain are devoted to vocal communication. Their findings revealed that while the finch has the same total number of smell genes, it possesses three times as many that are active: Around 200 of the finchs genes can potentially produce functional smell receptors. This figure supports the claim that some birds do rely on the sense of smell. A comparison of the zebra finch genome to those of other bird species sheds some light on how this sense evolved in the birds: Unlike mammals, in which all the different species share most of their smell receptor gene families, 95% of the receptors in the finches appeared to belong to families unique to them….Read the Full Story

Related posts:

  1. Songbird genome to aid understanding of learning, memory and more
  2. Songbirds Give Clues About Vocal Learning
  3. First songbird genome arrives with spring


Recommendation and review posted by Bethany Smith

Pennsylvania Department of Health Announces Nearly (Dollor) 20 Million in Health Research Grant Awards

Story Summary: These competitive ants focus on specific research priorities established by the Health Research Advisory Committee. This years priorities are cancer vaccines and blindness and visual impairment. Wills Eye Health System, in partnership with and School of Medicine, will receive to study ways to reduce racial disparities in vision loss from diabetic retinopathy, a major cause of blindness. Drexel University, in association with University, Inovio Biomedical Corporation and the , will receive to conduct pre-clinical studies to test the safety and effect on the immune system of a vaccine that is designed to treat persons who are chronically infected with the hepatitis C virus (HCV) and have not responded to currently available therapies. Persons with chronic HCV infection face an increased risk of developing hepatocellular cancer, a difficult-to-treat cancer with a poor prognosis. The , working in concert with Fox Chase Cancer Center and , will receive to develop and test cancer vaccines and therapies to boost the immune systems ability to attack cancer cells. Together, these cancers account for approximately 30 percent of all cancer deaths in . These grants are awarded as part of the Commonwealth Universal Research Enhancement Program (CURE), which supports clinical, health services and biomedical research….Read the Full Story

Related posts:

  1. Michael J. Fox Foundation Awards (Dollor) 2.1 Million for High-Risk/High-Reward Approaches to Parkinsons Disease Under Rapid Response Innovation Awards 2009
  2. American Recovery and Reinvestment Act Awards 150 Projects, $75 Million to University of Pennsylvania Research
  3. American Recovery and Reinvestment Act Awards 100 Projects, $30 Million to University of Pennsylvania Research


Recommendation and review posted by Bethany Smith

Sand fly barcoding in Panama reveals Leishmania strain and its potential control

Story Summary: Two species carried Leishmania naiffi, a parasite that causes cutaneous leishmaniasis: persistent, itchy skin lesions. By characterising another gene fragment from the nucleus of Leishmania, we discovered which fly species carried this disease-causing trypanosome. Leishmaniasis is not new in central Panama – it poses a long-standing health risk to residents and visitors in the region. L. naiffi, the species carried by the flies in this survey, was previously known only to be in the Caribbean and the Amazon. Researchers hope that the presence of Wolbachia in the same species of flies that carry Leishmania may be useful in disease control. Wolbachia affects the flies ability to reproduce and has been proposed as a possible biological control of other insect pests. Source: Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute– 29 July 2009A higher density of blood vessels and other unique physiological features in the flight muscles of bar-headed geese allow them to do what even the most elite of human athletes struggle. — full story– 27 July 2009Researchers have developed a new technique that allows them to make a movie of bacteria infecting their living host. — full story– 27 July 2009Researchers have developed a new technique that allows them to make a movie of bacteria infecting their living host….Read the Full Story

Related posts:

  1. Parasites That Cause Leishmania Reproduce Sexually In Sand Flies
  2. Major Discovery Opens Door To Leishmania Treatment
  3. Butterfly vision, wing colours linked, UCI study finds


Recommendation and review posted by Bethany Smith

Toxoplasma gondii spreads in the habitat of the Iberian lynx

Story Summary: This latest study reveals that the parasite is widespread in areas where the wild Iberian Lynx (Lynx pardinus) lives, and also in captive breeding centres. This is the case of the Iberian Lynx, the most endangered felid species in the world and the most endangered carnivore in Europe. While no cases of clinical toxoplasmosis have been reported in the Iberian Lynx, mortality associated to Toxoplasma gondii infection has been recorded in bobcats (Lynx rufus). Results reveal that Toxoplasma gondii are widespread among a large population of Iberian Lynx, the main author of the study and Animal Health researcher at the UCO Ignacio Garcia Bocanegra told SINC. This is not the first study to analyse the seroprevalence of Toxoplasma gondii in the Iberian Lynx, but it is the most complete. A Disease that Affects Warm-blooded SpeciesToxoplasmosis is a zoonotic disease that above all affects warm-blooded species, including humans. The final hosts of this parasite are cats, the only animals capable of faecally excreting the parasites. Source: Plataforma SINC– 29 July 2009A higher density of blood vessels and other unique physiological features in the flight muscles of bar-headed geese allow them to do what even the most elite of human athletes struggle. Whilst most studies of bacterial infection are done after the death. — full story– 23 July 2009A small green beetle may have some interesting lessons to teach scientists about optics and liquid crystals – complex mechanisms the insect uses to create a shell so strikingly beautiful. — full story– 23 July 2009A small green beetle may have some interesting lessons to teach scientists about optics and liquid crystals – complex mechanisms the insect uses to create a shell so strikingly beautiful. — full story– 9 July 2009Although the fact that we generate new brain cells throughout life is no longer disputed, their purpose has been the topic of much debate. — full story– 9 July 2009Although the fact that we generate new brain cells throughout life is no longer disputed, their purpose has been the topic of much debate….Read the Full Story

Related posts:

  1. Butterfly vision, wing colours linked, UCI study finds
  2. Study sheds light on microscopic flower petal ridges
  3. Mosquitoes – not birds – may have carried West Nile virus across US


Recommendation and review posted by Bethany Smith

Clue to cause of motor neurone disease revealed in new genetic study

Story Summary: Ultimately, the researchers hope that understanding what is causing motor neurone disease (MND) will lead to new avenues for treatment. MND is a progressive neurodegenerative disease that attacks the upper and lower motor neurones. Previous studies have found a similar association between genetic mutations linked to protein aggregation and MND. Children of a parent with familial MND have a one in two risk of inheriting the disease. In the study, all of the family members with motor neurone disease had the R199W mutation, whereas none of the individuals with parents unaffected by the disease carried it. Dr Brian Dickie, director of research development at the Motor Neurone Disease Association, said: Identifying definitive causes of motor neurone disease (MND), no matter how rare, is of vital importance. They looked at the genetic makeup of 1,002 individuals, 780 of whom had no history of motor neurone disease, 23 who had sporadic MND, and 199 who had familial MND, and found no incidences of the mutation. They looked at the genetic makeup of 1,002 individuals, 780 of whom had no history of motor neurone disease, 23 who had sporadic MND, and 199 who had familial MND, and found no incidences of the mutation….Read the Full Story

Related posts:

  1. Motor neurone hero gene offers new hope to sufferers of devastating disease | Mail Online
  2. Motor Neurone Disease: New Stem Cell Research Could Make Lab Mice Redundant
  3. Mechanism related to the onset of various genetic diseases revealed


Recommendation and review posted by Bethany Smith

Illumina Introduces VeraCodeA(r) ADME Core Panel for Pharmaceutical Research

Story Summary: (NASDAQ:ILMN) today announced the launch of its VeraCode ADME Core Panel designed to help researchers study genetic predispositions for differential drug response and adverse events. The VeraCode ADME Core Panel offers the most complete representation of the key biomarkers associated with drug absorption, distribution, metabolism and excretion (ADME) as standardized by pharmaceutical industry experts in the PharmADME Core List. This database will be widely used to link genotypes to drug response phenotypes extracted from electronic health record data. aUnderstanding genetic variability associated with drug response and disposition is a key step toward the realization of personalized medicine, and the VeraCode ADME Core Panel will help enable this exciting transformation,a said Jay Flatley, president and CEO of Illumina. With its emphasis on rapid operation and high-quality data, the VeraCode ADME Core Panel can help bring safe and effective therapies to patients as quickly as possible. Using our proprietary technologies, we provide a comprehensive line of products and services that currently serve the sequencing, genotyping, and gene expression markets, and we expect to enter the market for molecular diagnostics. Our customers include leading genomic research centers, pharmaceutical companies, academic institutions, clinical research organizations, and biotechnology companies. Important factors that could cause actual results to differ materially from those in any forward-looking statements include challenges inherent in new product development and manufacturing and the other factors detailed in our filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission, including our most recent filings on Forms 10-K and 10-Q, or in information disclosed in public conference calls, the date and time of which are released beforehand. Important factors that could cause actual results to differ materially from those in any forward-looking statements include challenges inherent in new product development and manufacturing and the other factors detailed in our filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission, including our most recent filings on Forms 10-K and 10-Q, or in information disclosed in public conference calls, the date and time of which are released beforehand….Read the Full Story

Related posts:

  1. Illumina Announces $75 Million Share Repurchase Program
  2. Illumina Announces Scale-Up of its Genome Analyzer Sequencing Technology at The Broad Institute of MIT and Harvard
  3. Baylor College of Medicine Selects Illumina InfiniumA(r) High-Density … – istockAnalyst.com (press release)


Recommendation and review posted by Bethany Smith

The first HFSP Nakasone award goes to Karl Deisseroth of Stanford University

Story Summary: Karl Deisseroths contribution has been to engineer neurons of defined specificity in a way that makes them sensitive to light, and to use light as a stimulus to activate or inhibit their activity. The cells could be stimulated with blue light with millisecond time resolution, thus allowing for the first time optical activation of nerve cells at physiological time scales. Using the power of genetics to create different modified viral vectors, Karl Deisseroth has been able to apply this approach in living animals to make defined sets of neurons sensitive to light, even in deep brain structures of mammals. He has also developed sophisticated optical fibre technologies to allow both the optical stimulation and recording of neuronal activity together with behavioural observation. Karl Deisseroth holds joint appointments as Associate Professor of Bioengineering and Associate Professor of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences at Stanford University. The Human Frontier Science Program Organization was founded in 1989 to support international research and training at the frontier of the life sciences and on creating opportunities for young scientists….Read the Full Story

Related posts:

  1. Stanford advances vastly expand versatility of optogenetics brain-research technique
  2. Brain works best when cells keep right rhythms, new Stanford studies suggest
  3. MIT Neuroengineers Silence Brain Cells With Multiple Colors Of Light


Recommendation and review posted by Bethany Smith

Pro-Test rally supports researchers, denounces harassment by animal extremists

Story Summary: The Stand up for Science rally and march on UCLAs campus was organized by Pro-Test for Science, a grassroots organization of faculty, staff and students modeled after a group formed by Oxford University students in England. Organizers staged the rally with the goal defending the right of researchers to pursue their work free from harassment by extremists and to providing the public with a better understanding of animal research. David Jentsch, a UCLA professor of psychology and psychiatry, whohelped form the group last year after extremists came to his home and firebombed his car in the middle of the night. We need animal research to tease apart the complex functioning of the brain so we can understand and treat these disorders, he said. Animal research does not produce medical breakthroughs every day, said Michael Steinmetz, a program director with the National Eye Institute. The foundations of those breakthroughs are discovered one building block at a time by basic research that must be supported, he said. Along with the privilege of using animals comes a responsibility to see that the animals are used in a humane fashion . . . We should all take a very firm stand on that. A Los Angeles County grand jury indicted two people for stalking and other felony charges relating to harassment of UCLA researchers. Last month, two plea agreements were reachedthat included jail time and probation, Waugh said. That sends a strong message that violence, threats and other criminal activity are never a viable alternative to dialogue. I chose this profession because . . . Our children and our neighbors are squarely in the crosshairs of some of the extremists….Read the Full Story

Related posts:

  1. Supporters of biomedical research rally on campus
  2. Supporters of biomedical research rally on campus
  3. Supporters of biomedical research rally on campus


Recommendation and review posted by Bethany Smith

For stem cells, practice makes perfect

Story Summary: In a new study, researchers from the Carnegie Institution for Science have found that reprogramming is imperfect in the early stages of differentiation, with some genes turned on and off at random. As cell divisions continue, the stability of the differentiation process increases by a factor of 100. If the programming of a reporter gene was perfectly transmitted from parent to daughter cell, then the follicle cells would express the gene at the same level after each division. Spradling explains that the mechanism by which the reprogramming and stabilization occurs is not well understood, but their research confirmed the expectation that at least some of the critical changes take place in the gene-bearing chromosomes themselves, rather than in external factors such as the cells environment or signals from other cells. Most likely the reprogramming alters proteins on the chromosome which package the DNA and control which genes are expressed. Changes in chromosome structure, as opposed to changes in the genes themselves, that can be passed on from one generation to the next are called epigenetic changes. Epigenetic inheritance underlies the ability of multi-celled organisms to develop from single-celled zygotes to complex creatures with an array of specialized cells and tissues, says Spradling. But the amount of epigenetic information transmitted at different stages of cellular differentiation remains little known….Read the Full Story

Related posts:

  1. One-gene method makes safer human stem cells
  2. Scientists reveal how induced pluripotent stem cells differ from embryonic stem cells
  3. Safer stem cells for therapy


Recommendation and review posted by Bethany Smith

Researchers use novel nanoparticle vaccine to cure type 1 diabetes in mice

Story Summary: The study, co-funded by the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation, provides new and important insights into understanding how to stop the immune attack that causes type 1 diabetes, and could even have implications for other autoimmune diseases. The study, conducted at the University of Calgary in Alberta, Canada, was published today in the online edition of the scientific journal Immunity. Essentially there is an internal tug-of-war between aggressive T-cells that want to cause the disease and weaker T cells that want to stop it from occurring, said Dr. Santamaria, who is a JDRF Scholar a research award to academic scientists taking innovative and creative approaches to better treating and curing type 1 diabetes and its complications. The potential that nanoparticle vaccine therapy holds in reversing the immune attack without generally suppressing the immune system is significant, said Dr. Staeva. Dr. Santamarias research has provided both insight into pathways for developing new immunotherapies and proof-of-concept of a specific therapy that exploits these pathways for preventing and reversing type 1 diabetes. Dr. Santamaria noted that the study had implications for other autoimmune diseases beyond type 1 diabetes. Parvus Therapeutics is focused on the development and commercialization of the nanotechnology-based therapeutic platform for the potential treatment of type 1 diabetes. Insulin, however, is not a cure for diabetes, nor does it prevent its eventual and devastating complications which may include kidney failure, blindness, heart disease, stroke, and amputation. Since its founding in 1970 by parents of children with type 1 diabetes, JDRF has awarded more than $1. Since its founding in 1970 by parents of children with type 1 diabetes, JDRF has awarded more than $1….Read the Full Story

Related posts:

  1. JDRF announces diabetes research program with Johnson & Johnson
  2. JDRF and GNF announce innovative diabetes drug discovery and development partnership
  3. Denver Diabetes Examiner: The incidence of type I diabetes is accelerating


Recommendation and review posted by Bethany Smith

Rewiring of gene regulation across 300 million years of evolution

Story Summary: Rewiring of Gene Regulation Across 300 Million Years of Evolution Researchers from Cambridge, Glasgow and Greece have discovered a remarkable amount of plasticity in how transcription factors, the proteins that bind to DNA to control the activation of genes, maintain their function over large evolutionary distances. The text books tell us that transcription factors recognise the genes that they regulate by binding to short, sequence-specific lengths of DNA upstream or downstream of their target genes. It was widely assumed that, like the sequences of the genes themselves, these transcription factor binding sites would be highly conserved throughout evolution. By mapping the binding of CEBPA and HNF4A in the genomes of each species and comparing those maps, they found that in most cases neither the site nor the sequence of the transcription factor binding sites is conserved, yet despite this, these transcription factors still manage to regulate the largely conserved gene expression and function of liver tissue. Paul Flicek, leader of the Vertebrate Genomics Team at EMBL-EBI, an outstation of the European Molecular Biology Laboratory, and coauthor on the paper said The evolutionary changes in transcription factor binding in the five species have left clues that we can use to explain how function is preserved but not necessarily sequence. The results reveal that sequence conservation is not the whole story when it comes to maintaining tissue-specific gene regulation. Journal Reference:D. Schmidt, M. D. Wilson, B. Ballester, P. C. Schwalie, G. D. Brown, A. Marshall, C. Kutter, S. Watt, C. P. Martinez-Jimenez, S. Mackay, I. Talianidis, P. Flicek, D. T. Odom….Read the Full Story

Related posts:

  1. Key feature of immune system survived in humans, other primates for 60 million years
  2. The evolution of gene regulation | Eureka! Science News
  3. New Research Into The Mechanisms Of Gene Regulation


Recommendation and review posted by Bethany Smith

Gene bandage rejuvenates wasted muscle

Story Summary: Around 1 in 3500 boys are born with DMD, the result of mutations in a gene on the X chromosome for the protein dystrophin. Boys with DMD tend to need wheelchairs by age 12 and die of cardiac or respiratory failure before they reach 30. If injected, these bandages cause the mutations, which normally prevent dystrophin production, to be skipped over during protein-making. 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. 15:34 08 April 2010Analysis of the monsters genome shows that it builds its own virus factory, supporting the idea that giant viruses shaped all animal and plant cells18:00 07 April 2010We are starting to understand why deep brain stimulation works – and its changing our view of the brain12:00 05 April 2010Eye-tracking could improve medical diagnosis or baggage scanning security checks by forcing viewers to look at new parts of an image second time round18:16 08 April 2010Another long-lost cousin is unearthed – of all the australopithicines yet found, its the closest anatomically to the true humans that evolved into us18:00 08 April 2010All todays stories on newscientist….Read the Full Story

Related posts:

  1. Extra gene fights cancer in Downs
  2. Master gene creates armies of natural-born killers
  3. Single gene dramatically boosts yield, sweetness in tomato hybrids, CSHL-Israeli study finds


Recommendation and review posted by Bethany Smith

Researchers Identify Gene Pivotal for Immune System Balance

Story Summary: Chemical messengers known as cytokines control the development of naive T-helper cells into a variety of more specialized cells, including the Th1 or Th2 cells. Researchers reported this gene works indirectly by regulating production of interleukin 4 (IL-4), a cytokine that plays a central role in balancing Th1 and Th2 cells. Mice that made large amounts of the Mina protein had low IL-4 levels. Certain diseases are characterized by an imbalance between those cells. An imbalance favoring Th2 cells, known as Th2 bias, is linked to an increased risk of problems like allergies and asthma. In this study, investigators used a variety of tests to sort through 92 known or predicted genes within Dice1. Bix described Mina as a molecular handle scientists can use to grasp the rest of the new pathway, whose other elements Bix described as links in a chain. Each one of those links, including the gene we discovered, constitutes a novel target for therapeutic interventions that could help either promote or diminish development toward the Th2 fate, he explained. The researchers pointed to a region of DNA that included the Mina promoter. SNPs are relatively common variations in the makeup of particular genes. The researchers noted the same DNA region might contain other genomic variations that explain differences in Mina activity. Mina lacks an obvious location for binding to the IL-4 promoter. Minas role in response to a Leishmania major infection also remains unclear. Other St. Jude authors of the paper are Melanie Van Stry, PhD, and Linda Chung, both of Immunology; and Madoka Koyanagi, PhD, formerly of St. Jude. The research was supported in part by the Cancer Research Institute, the Burroughs Wellcome Fund, the National Institutes of Health and ALSAC. Jude Childrens Research Hospital is internationally recognized for its pioneering research and treatment of children with cancer and other catastrophic diseases. 1 pediatric cancer hospital by Parents magazine, St. Jude is the first and only National Cancer Institute-designated Comprehensive Cancer Center devoted solely to children, and has treated children from all 50 states and from around the world. St. Jude has developed research protocols that helped push overall survival rates for childhood cancer from less than 20 percent when the hospital opened to almost 80 percent today. In addition to pediatric cancer research, St. Jude is also a leader in sickle cell disease research and is a globally prominent research center for influenza. Founded in 1962 by the late entertainer Danny Thomas, St. Jude freely shares its discoveries with scientific and medical communities around the world, publishing more research articles than any other pediatric cancer research center in the United States. St. Jude treats more than 5,400 patients each year and is the only pediatric cancer research center where families never pay for treatment not covered by insurance. St. Jude is financially supported by thousands of individual donors, organizations and corporations without which the hospitals work would not be possible. D. , is an assistant member in the St. Jude Department of Immunology. His research is focused on the developmental regulation of cytokine gene expression within T cells….Read the Full Story

Related posts:

  1. Study Details Machinery of Immune Protection Against Inflammatory Diseases Like Colitis
  2. UAB researchers discover antibody receptor identity, propose renaming immune-system gene
  3. Researchers identify new risk factor gene for rheumatoid arthritis


Recommendation and review posted by Bethany Smith

Counterfeit drugs: an opportunity for innovative chemical thinking?

Can you tell the difference? Left is authentic sample. Right is fake.

A recent article [1] in “Trends in Pharmaceutical Sciences” illustrates the interesting problem of counterfeit pharmaceuticals, especially fake anti-malarials. In the long term, I suspect that as pharmaceutical prices trend upwards, folks at the margins will be looking for ways to cut costs. Doubtless that some will be taken in by the global trade in fake or substandard pharmaceuticals, possibly even in the US.

One village in Burma was definitely taken in [2]: a young man with malaria was treated with what was thought to be arteminisin, the natural product that is an effective means of treating the disease. After he died of malaria, experts discovered that the packages had fake authentication holograms and the tablets failed a colorimetric test. MS results indicated that the main ingredient was acetaminophen and HPLC indicated that the levels of arteminisin was only 20% of the claimed dosage.

The authors ([1], Newton et al.) argue for more support for governmental medicinal regulatory agencies in developing countries; they also push for more inspections of GMP facilities. While I think both of these strategies will bear long-term fruit, there is potential room for innovation from the chemistry front.

Presented with this problem (questionable organic starting materials), the typical university-equipped chemist would perform a number of tests (NMR, MS) to determine the identity of the unknown material. The articles I looked at also mentioned colorimetric tests and TLC, both relatively low-tech analytical chemistry techniques. I like TLC as a potential answer for part of this problem; you’d want something that didn’t rely on silica gel plates, a UV light or complicated stains. You’d want something that worked with paper chromatography and very common chemicals (H2SO4?)

This might be the first foray into a chemical version of “appropriate technology”, which attempts to improve the lives of people in developing countries using materials that are available and sustainable. What do you all think?

References:

1. Newton, P.N., Green, M.D., Fernandex, F.M. “Impact of poor-quality medicines in the ‘developing’ world.” Trends in Pharmacological Sciences, 2010, 31 (3), 99-101.

2. Newton P.N., McGready R., Fernandez F., Green M.D., Sunjio M., et al. “Manslaughter by fake artesunate in Asia—Will Africa be next?” PLos Med 2006, 3(6): e197.


Recommendation and review posted by Bethany Smith

Giant mimivirus does its replication in-house

Story Summary: THE worlds largest known virus just got bigger, and analysis of its genome supports the controversial idea that giant virusesshaped the cells of all animals and plants. Armed with almost 1000 genes, the mimivirus is a monster compared with classic virusessuch as HIV or the flu virus, which seldom have more than 10 genes. Jean-Michel Claverie of the Structural and Genomic Information Laboratory in Marseilles, France, has performed the first analysis of its genetic machinery, identifying which of the mimiviruss genes are switched on during each stage of infection. The only other viruses that replicate outside the nucleus are poxviruses, but even they rely on the nucleus to replicate some of their DNA. In fact, the factory is so large it was originally mistaken for a nucleus. Claverie says the mimiviruss independence supports the theory that giant viruses gave rise to the nuclei that package up DNA in all plant and animal cells. This is one of the key aspects of my theory. Abraham Minsky of the Weizmann Institute in Rehovot, Israel, says the results support his own teams recent study showing that the mimivirus lives in a cells cytoplasm entirely independently of the host nucleus. If you would like to reuse any contentfrom New Scientist, either in print or online, please contact the syndicationdepartment first for permission. 18:16 08 April 2010Another long-lost cousin is unearthed – of all the australopithicines yet found, its the closest anatomically to the true humans that evolved into us10:24 08 April 2010No one expected it to happen so quickly, and certainly not everywhere – but Homo sapiensis ageing fast….Read the Full Story

Related posts:

  1. Mimivirus Up Close / Science News
  2. 454 Sequencing Study Unravels the Hidden Genomic Complexity of the Giant Mimivirus
  3. Marseillevirus — a new member of the giant viruses


Recommendation and review posted by Bethany Smith

Drug-resistant HIV set for rapid upsurge

Story Summary: To see how this might increase in future, Blowers team created a model of HIV transmission that predicts how and when resistant strains will emerge. The model suggested that 60 per cent of the resistant strains currently circulating in San Francisco could cause self-sustaining epidemics, says Blower, in which each infected individual spreads the resistant strain to more than one new recipient. The most serious surge in resistance it predicted was against non-nucleoside reverse transcriptase inhibitors (NNRTIs) such as nevirapine, introduced in the mid-1990s. Like the earliest anti-HIV drugs such as zidovudine(AZT), introduced 10 years earlier, these block enzymes vital for viral multiplication. The more individuals infected with resistant strains, the faster they will spread. Resistant strains can be kept in check provided infected individuals are diagnosed rapidly, before they pass on the virus, and treated with drugs to which the virus remains vulnerable, says Blower. And according to Blower, a strategy recently unveiled by the World Health Organization to test and treat as many people as possiblein such countries may hasten the emergence of drug-resistant strains, by exposing more people to the drugs. However, Carl Dieffenbach, director of the division of AIDS at the US National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases in Bethesda, Maryland – which this week launched a similar pilot test and treat program in Washington DC – says that development of resistance is not an insoluble problem. The emergence of HIV drug resistance is not a dead end, he says. Without human promiscuity the virus would virtually cease to exist among humans. The best combat to the virus and prevention from it are monogamous relationships. No mention of barebacking nor that even with a condom anal intercourse that the risk to the passive partner is only reduced four- to five-fold. Time now to understand better why gaymen engage in acts that led to this terrible disease–otherwise the hospice scenes of the 80s will be quickly back. I can see the day where this virus is so resistant to drugs and treatments that it simply ignores them all. There would have to be some genetic engineering of our own cells involved and that science is still developing and hardly reliable. With HIV, you have to get it at the very beginning of infection because once its actually inside the cells, no amount of leafy greens and immuno-boosting supplements are going to prevent it from proliferating. Does the virus attack white blood cell creation in the bone marrow?Because you also have white blood cells outside your blood vessels, in a parallel system called lymph nodes (and vessels). All comments should respect the New Scientist House Rules….Read the Full Story

Related posts:

  1. Rapid development of drug-resistant 2009 H1N1 influenza reported in 2 cases
  2. In Vitro Study of Adamas Pharmaceuticals Triple Combination Antiviral Drug Therapy Shows Activity Against Drug-Resistant Influenza Viruses
  3. Using a small stockpile of a secondary antiviral drug in a flu pandemic


Recommendation and review posted by Bethany Smith

Infection insight raises hopes of better anti-HIV gels

Story Summary: If you would like to reuse any contentfrom New Scientist, either in print or online, please contact the syndicationdepartment first for permission. Surely any woman who allows sexual intercourse with someone other than a long-term partner to occur *without* a condom is simply asking for trouble? Such a gel should be used in conjunction with condoms (they arent 100% effective), rather than being marketed as a risky replacement. That just isnt the way it works in Africa or most of the developing world. To show trust, you dont use a condom with your partner – if you use a condom, you are suggesting to him that you or he is cheating. A surgeon wouldnt show his certificate on a wall because if he had to, it is fake. Surely any woman who allows sexual intercourse with someone other than a long-term partner to occur *without* a condom is simply asking for trouble?Really? A gel that women can apply independently of what men do gives them autonomy and protection, even if its not perfect. Why cant I find the paper this article refers to? Why cant I find the paper this article refers to? . . help appreciated!All comments should respect the New Scientist House Rules….Read the Full Story

Related posts:

  1. Gay men diagnosed during primary infection substantially reduce their risk behaviour
  2. Daily Express | UK News :: Leukaemia link to bug raises hopes of vaccine
  3. Gay menas risk of acquiring HIV is similar to the pre-HAART era despite widespread use of HAART


Recommendation and review posted by Bethany Smith

EMBL-EBI Researchers Present Global Map Of Human Gene Expression

Story Summary: 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. Source: Sonia FurtadoEuropean Molecular Biology Laboratory 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: Do Genes Play A Role In PTSD? 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. Getting Fit When Youre Crunched for TimeYou can get a full body workout even if you are crunched for time….Read the Full Story

Related posts:

  1. Gut Flora Genes Dwarf Human Genome
  2. Genome Mapping Technique Speeds Process Of Finding Specific Genes
  3. DYRK1A Gene May Be One Of Most Influential Factors In Downs Syndrome


Recommendation and review posted by Bethany Smith

Healing touch: the key to regenerating bodies

Story Summary: If you were blind and deaf, youd get around by touch and smell. Biologists thought of cells as automatons that blindly followed the orders they were given. In recent years, however, it has started to become clear that the sense of touch is vital as well, allowing cells to work out for themselves where they are and what they should be doing. The latest findings are also good news for people who need replacement tissues and organs. And doctors are already experimenting with ways of using tactile cues to improve wound healing and regeneration. A hundred years ago, people looked at embryos and saw that it was an incredibly physical process, says Donald Ingber, head of Harvard Universitys Wyss Institute for Biologically Inspired Engineering. Then when biochemistry and molecular biology came in, the baby was thrown out with the bath water and everybody just focused on chemicals and genes. In each case, the cells turned into the tissue that most closely matched the stiffness of the gel. The softest gels, which were as flabby as brain tissue, gave rise to nerve cells. Whats surprising is not that there are tactile differences between one tissue and another, says Discher. The details of how they do this are now emerging. Most cells other than blood cells live within a fibrous extracellular matrix. This softness means that tiny external forces can deform the cells and influence their development (Nature Materials, vol 9, p 82). 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. Fat-soluble vitamins, including Vitamin E, may exert a tissue-softening effect too. 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

Related posts:

  1. Extra gene fights cancer in Downs
  2. First pig stem cells could make humanised organs
  3. Lung treatment breathes new life into flu vaccines


Recommendation and review posted by Bethany Smith

Picking our brains: Why are some people smarter?

Story Summary: Paul Thompson at the University of California, Los Angeles, has found a correlation between IQ and the quality of the sheaths (The Journal of Neuroscience, vol 29, p 2212). By comparing the intelligence of 11,000 pairs of twins, Robert Plomin of Kings College London found that at age 9, genes explain 40 per cent of the variation, but by 17 they account for roughly two-thirds (Molecular Psychiatry, DOI: 10. Perhaps the genes affect how our brain rewires itself as we mature. Alternatively, they may dictate whether someone is likely to seek out stimulating experiences to help their brain grow and develop. 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. The percentage of variance in IQ due to genes depends in principle on the group studied (as in any question about percent of something due to genes). In more genetically varied subjects, the percentage of variance due to genes will be larger, whereas if the group studied includes a large range of environments, the percentage of the variance due to genes may be smaller….Read the Full Story

Related posts:

  1. Picking our brains: Can we regenerate the brain?
  2. Mutated gene gets mice moonwalking – 01 April 2009 – New Scientist
  3. Disease gene blocker sneaks past cell defences


Recommendation and review posted by Bethany Smith

Significant findings about protein architecture may aid in drug design, generation of nanomaterials

Story Summary: Their study culminated in one of the first successful attempts to take apart a complex biological nanostructure and isolate the rules that govern its natural formation. The Nanyang Technological University teams work on the protein ferritin, the results of which appear in this weeks issue of the Journal of Biological Chemistry, is expected to have significant ramifications on the fields of drug design and nanomaterials. The problem is that many of these structures are, like ferritin, self-assembled proteins, and, if we are going to use them for nanomaterials applications, we need to understand the fundamentals that make them form this way naturally. Already, they have developed a new method to grow gold nanoparticles in them. Slight deviations in size or shape can radically change nanoparticles properties, particularly in the case of metals and semiconductors, Orner said. Our ferritin proteins are hollow, so, when we grow mineral or metal clusters inside them, the growth stops when the nanoparticles reach the limits of the protein shell. Those nanoparticles could be used for in-vitro assays to do high-throughput drug screening of some protein-protein interactions involved in virus infection and cancer, for example, he said. Orners team included doctoral students Yu Zhang and Rongli Fan, undergraduate students Siti Raudah, Huihian Teo and Gwenda Teo, and scholar Xioming Sun. Most members teach and conduct research at colleges and universities. Others conduct research in various government laboratories, at nonprofit research institutions and in industry….Read the Full Story

Related posts:

  1. NIST Scientists Quantify Nanoparticle-Protein Interactions
  2. Making Picky Proteins – New computer model can design specific protein interactions – insciences
  3. Blood protein may hold key to stopping tumour growth in cancer patients – News


Recommendation and review posted by Bethany Smith

Fate Therapeutics Expands its Stem Cell Empire Into Canada

Story Summary: This is important because it could be useful for generating human tissues in the lab for use in drug discovery–and it could make it practical for the first time for Big Pharma companies to do so at an industrialized scale. Whats more, the researches showed that certain biologic molecules could activate those pathways to regenerate muscle tissue. The work was publishedlast June in the journal Cell Stem Cell. Thats important for Fate, because the company is looking for specific molecular pathways that can be activated in the body–particularly with conventional small molecule drugs–to trigger a regenerative effect. Instead, it wants to use the knowledge it gleans from stem-cell science to come up with drugs that can coax the bodys existing cells into repairing or regenerating damaged tissues. For its part, Verio already has several biologic drug candidates that mightLuke Timmerman is the National Biotechnology Editor for Xconomy….Read the Full Story

Related posts:

  1. Fate Therapeutics, Inc. :: Fate Therapeutics and Stemgent Launch Catalyst: A Unique Industry Program for First Access to the Most Advanced Induced Pluripotent Stem Cell Technology
  2. Q&A with Richard Hynes on stem cell funding
  3. Scripps research team develops technique to determine ethnic origin of stem cell lines


Recommendation and review posted by Bethany Smith

Start/stop switch for retroviruses found

Story Summary: The findings, published in the journal Nature, could lead to new cancer treatments that kill only tumour cells and leave healthy surrounding tissue unharmed. Danny Leung, a 27-year-old graduate student in the laboratory of Asst. Such changes determine whether or not a gene is expressed. This indicates an independent parallel pathway of silencing the retroviruses. Normal, differentiated cells, which still have DNA methylation to keep retroviruses in check, would be unaffected. His co-lead author on the paper, Toshiyuki Matsui, is a student in the lab of Yoichi Shinkai at Kyoto University. Story Source:Adapted from materials provided by , via EurekAlert!, a service of AAAS. Journal Reference:Toshiyuki Matsui, Danny Leung, Hiroki Miyashita, Irina A. Maksakova, Hitoshi Miyachi, Hiroshi Kimura, Makoto Tachibana, Matthew C. Lorincz, Yoichi Shinkai….Read the Full Story

Related posts:

  1. Discovery Of Start/Stop Switch For Retroviruses
  2. Large DNA Stretches, Not Single Genes, Shut Off As Cells Mature- 1/18/09
  3. Secret weapon of retroviruses that cause cancer


Recommendation and review posted by Bethany Smith

GE to Boost Research in China

Story Summary: The increased competition for GE from local companies in China is due in part to a massive push by the Chinese government to promote clean energy and R&D. In recent years, it has rolled out a range of renewable energy targets and financial incentives, including significant tax breaks for companies that invest in research related to energy. Its now being adopted by doctors in countries such as the United States. The GE research center has also been key for the development of wind-power technology, including power electronics hardware and software that allow wind turbines to keep operating after lightning strikes and other events cause sudden drops in voltage on the power grid. Five to 10 years ago, it used to be that multinationals were the only game in town. Now, the new companies are trying to hire away veteran researchers from GE, he says. You have to have a leading role, rather than a supporting role, to really make it exciting, he says. In every issue youll learn about new technologies and new ideas FIRST….Read the Full Story

Related posts:

  1. UK boost for AIDS vaccine research
  2. China investigates 2 deaths after flu vaccinations
  3. Informatics the Foundation of Research into Biomedicine and Nanomedicine


Recommendation and review posted by Bethany Smith

Human Gut Bacteria Different in Japanese vs. North Americans

Story Summary: And certainly the cut-down pieces, the sugars that are released, are also an energy benefit for the person who has this type of bacteria that is able to degrade them, she said. They were interested in the bacteria that live off of marine organisms and the ways in which they get energy. (Enzymes are molecules that speed up chemical reactions inside cells. But the research team was curious where else they might find this enzyme. They saw this enzyme was present in other organisms, but all their matches came from bacteria that live in the sea- except for one. And that bacteria, calledBacteroides plebeius, had only been found in Japanese individuals. Data from two previous studies confirmed the scientists suspicions about the gut bacteria. The human gut bacteria likely acquired, or stole, the gene for porphyranase from marine bacteria present on the algae eaten by humans. The fact that nori used for sushi isnt traditionally roasted makes it likely that live marine bacteria ended up in human guts to exchange their genes, the researchers say. The researchers dont plan follow-up studies involving human gut bacteria, but instead will go back to looking for new enzyme activities. The researchers dont plan follow-up studies involving human gut bacteria, but instead will go back to looking for new enzyme activities….Read the Full Story

Related posts:

  1. Gut bacteria gene complement dwarfs human genome
  2. New Chemical Reaction For DNA Production In Bacteria And Viruses
  3. Orientation of middle man in photosynthetic bacteria described


Recommendation and review posted by Bethany Smith


Archives