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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.

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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.

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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

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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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MRSA Genome Predicts Toxicity

April 9, 2014 1:36 pm | News | Comments

The spread of the antibiotic-resistant pathogen MRSA (methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus) remains a concerning public health problem, especially among doctors trying to determine appropriate treatment options for infected patients. Bacterial pathogens, such as MRSA, cause disease in part due to toxicity, or the bacterium's ability to damage a host's tissue.

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Breaking News: Coffee Intake Linked to Liver Cancer Risk

April 9, 2014 11:16 am | News | Comments

The more cups of coffee a person drank, the lower the risk for developing hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC), the most common type of liver cancer, according to new research.                       

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New Technology Unwraps Mummies' Ancient Mysteries

April 9, 2014 8:21 am | by The Associated Press | News | Comments

The fascination with mummies never gets old. Now the British Museum is using new technology to unwrap their ancient mysteries. Scientists have used CT scans and volume graphics software to go beneath the bandages, revealing skin, bones, internal organs — and in one case a brain-scooping rod left inside a skull by embalmers.

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