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Genetic Defect May Confer Resistance to Certain Viral Infections

April 10, 2014 2:27 pm | News | Comments

A study reports that a rare genetic disease, while depleting patients of infection-fighting antibodies, may actually protect them from certain severe or recurrent viral infections. Researchers found that HIV and influenza viruses replicate in the cells of people with congenital disorder of glycosylation type IIb (CDG-IIb) at a much lower rate than in healthy donor cells, creating fewer and less infectious viruses.


Bone Marrow Stem Cells Show Promise in Stroke Treatment

April 10, 2014 2:19 pm | News | Comments

Stem cells culled from bone marrow may prove beneficial in stroke recovery. In an analysis of published research, neurologist Dr. Steven Cramer and biomedical engineer Weian Zhao identified 46 studies that examined the use of mesenchymal stromal cells—a type of multipotent adult stem cells mostly processed from bone marrow—in animal models of stroke. They found MSCs to be significantly better than control therapy in 44 of the studies.


More Insights from Tissue Samples

April 10, 2014 2:11 pm | News | Comments

A new way of preparing patient tissue for analyses might soon become the new standard. Researchers discovered that the so-called HOPE method allows tissue samples to be treated such that they do not only meet the requirements of clinical histology, but can still be characterized later on by modern methods of proteomics.


New Model Combines Multiple Genomic Data

April 10, 2014 2:00 pm | News | Comments

The difference between merely throwing around buzzwords like “personalized medicine” and “big data” and delivering on their medical promise is in the details of developing methods for analyzing and interpreting genomic data. A pair of new papers show how integrating different kinds of genomic data could improve studies of the association between genes and disease.


Identified Epigenetic Factors Associated with an Increased Risk of Developing Cancer

April 10, 2014 1:51 pm | News | Comments

In the last decade, hundreds of studies have been conducted looking for polymorphisms associated with a greater propensity to suffer some of the most frequent human tumors. These tests, called GWAS, have found a common problem: many times the tiny genetic change observed appears to have no activity or function to explain because it is associated with more cancer.


Researchers identify transcription factors distinguishing glioblastoma stem cells

April 10, 2014 1:21 pm | by Mass General | News | Comments

The activity of four transcription factors appears to distinguish the small proportion of glioblastoma cells responsible for the aggressiveness and treatment resistance of the deadly brain tumor. The findings identify molecular circuits that may be targeted by new therapeutic approaches

Iraq scrambles to fight polio surge amid conflict

April 10, 2014 12:22 pm | by Sinan Salaheddin - Associated Press - Associated Press | News | Comments

Across parts of Iraq, medical teams in white coats and gloves again roam the streets giving children polio vaccines and marking the walls of their homes, fighting a resurgent virus once more taking advantage of the country's turmoil. The World Health Organization declared Iraq polio free in 1990,...

Scientists Try 3-D Printer to Build Human Heart

April 9, 2014 8:20 pm | by Dylan Lovan - Associated Press - Associated Press | News | Comments

Scientists are attempting to build a human heart with a 3-D printer. Ultimately, the goal is to create a new heart for a patient with their own cells that could be transplanted. It is an ambitious project to first, make a heart and then get it to work in a patient, and it could be years — perhaps decades — before a 3-D printed heart would ever be put in a person.


Study confirms impact of clinician-patient relationship on health outcomes

April 9, 2014 3:21 pm | by Mass General | News | Comments

A meta-analysis of studies that investigated measures designed to improve health professionals’ interactions with patients confirms that such efforts can produce health effects just as beneficial as taking a daily aspirin to prevent heart attack.

Blocking DNA Repair Mechanisms Could Improve Radiation Therapy for Brain Cancer

April 9, 2014 2:38 pm | News | Comments

UT Southwestern Medical Center researchers have demonstrated in both cancer cell lines and in mice that blocking critical DNA repair mechanisms could improve the effectiveness of radiation therapy for highly fatal brain tumors called glioblastomas.


Lipid Levels During Prenatal Brain Development Impact Autism

April 9, 2014 2:22 pm | News | Comments

Researchers have found that abnormal levels of lipid molecules in the brain can affect the interaction between two key neural pathways in early prenatal brain development, which can trigger autism. And, environmental causes such as exposure to chemicals in some cosmetics and common over-the-counter medication can affect the levels of these lipids, according to the researchers.


Potential Link Between Brain Development and Breast Cancer Gene

April 9, 2014 2:09 pm | Videos | Comments

Scientists at the Salk Institute have uncovered details into a surprising—and crucial—link between brain development and a gene whose mutation is tied to breast and ovarian cancer. Aside from better understanding neurological damage associated in a small percentage of people susceptible to breast cancers, the new work also helps to better understand the evolution of the brain.


Deep, Integrated Genomic Analysis Re-classifies Lower-grade Brain Tumors

April 9, 2014 2:03 pm | News | Comments

Comprehensive genomic analysis of low-grade brain tumors sorts them into three categories, one of which has the molecular hallmarks and shortened survival of glioblastoma multiforme, the most lethal of brain tumors, researchers reported at the American Association for Cancer Research Annual Meeting 2014.


Brain Size Influences Development of Individual Cranial Bones

April 9, 2014 1:52 pm | News | Comments

In mammals, embryonic cranial development is modular and step-wise: The individual cranial bones form according to a defined, coordinated schedule. The typical increase in the size of the brain in mammals in the course of evolution ultimately triggered changes in this developmental plan, as a study conducted on embryos of 134 species of animal reveals.


Researchers Show How Cancer Cells May Respond to Mechanical Force

April 9, 2014 1:42 pm | News | Comments

The push and pull of physical force can cause profound changes in the behavior of a cell. Two studies from researchers working at the UNC Lineberger Comprehensive Cancer Center reveal how cells respond to mechanical manipulation, a key factor in addressing the underlying causes of cancer and other diseases.



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