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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.

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.

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.

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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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.

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.                       

Breast Cancer Cell Subpopulation Cooperation Can Spur Tumor Growth

April 8, 2014 2:28 pm | News | Comments

Subpopulations of breast cancer cells sometimes cooperate to aid tumor growth, according to Penn State College of Medicine researchers, who believe that understanding the relationship between cancer subpopulations could lead to new targets for cancer treatment.

Antimicrobial from Soaps Promotes Bacteria Buildup in Human Noses

April 8, 2014 1:48 pm | News | Comments

An antimicrobial agent found in common household soaps, shampoos, and toothpastes may be finding its way inside human noses where it promotes the colonization of Staphylococcus aureus bacteria and could predispose some people to infection.

Green Tea Boosts Your Brain

April 8, 2014 1:34 pm | News | Comments

Green tea is said to have many putative positive effects on health. Now, researchers at the University of Basel are reporting first evidence that green tea extract enhances the cognitive functions, in particular the working memory. The Swiss findings suggest promising clinical implications for the treatment of cognitive impairments in psychiatric disorders such as dementia.

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Antibiotic Resistance Enzyme Caught in the Act

April 8, 2014 1:17 pm | News | Comments

Resistance to an entire class of antibiotics—aminoglycosides—has the potential to spread to many types of bacteria, according to new biochemistry research. A mobile gene called NpmA was discovered in E. coli bacteria isolated from a Japanese patient several years ago. Global spread of NpmA and related antibiotic resistance enzymes could disable an entire class of tools doctors use to fight serious or life-threatening infections.

Blood Test Could Accurately Detect Solid Cancers

April 7, 2014 2:12 pm | News | Comments

Researchers have devised a way to quickly bring to the clinic the technique of using blood samples to diagnose many types of solid cancers, or to monitor the amount of cancer in a patient’s body and responses to treatment.        

Movies Synchronize Brains of Different People

April 7, 2014 1:58 pm | News | Comments

Researchers have succeeded in developing a method fast enough to observe immediate changes in the function of the brain even when watching a movie. When we watch a movie, our brains react to it immediately in a way similar to other people's brains.

Scientists ID Key Cells in Touch Sensation

April 7, 2014 1:49 pm | Videos | Comments

In a new study, researchers solved an age-old mystery of touch: how cells just beneath the skin surface enable us to feel fine details and textures.                              

Genetic Flaw May Hold Key to Deadly Brain Tumor

April 7, 2014 1:41 pm | News | Comments

Scientists may have discovered a new way to treat a type of childhood brain tumor that has proved incurable up until now, according to a recent study.                             

Scientists Generate 3-D Structure of Malaria Parasite Genome

April 7, 2014 1:21 pm | News | Comments

Researchers have generated a 3-D model of the human malaria parasite genome at three different stages in the parasite’s life cycle— the first time such 3-D architecture has been generated during the progression of the life cycle of a parasite.  

Caffeine Can Target Tau Deposits in Alzheimer's

April 7, 2014 12:33 pm | News | Comments

A research team was able to demonstrate for the first time that caffeine has a positive effect on tau deposits in Alzheimer's disease. Tau deposits, along with beta-amyloid plaques, are among the characteristic features of Alzheimer's disease. 

Messenger of Pain Identified

April 7, 2014 12:10 pm | News | Comments

In their pursuit of understanding how pain works at the molecular level, a research team has found a new function for MicroRNAs, short stretches of genetic material that signal genes to turn on or off.               

Experts Decode Germs' DNA to Fight Food Poisoning

April 6, 2014 8:18 am | by Lauran Neergaard - AP Medical Writer - Associated Press | News | Comments

Chances are you've heard of mapping genes to diagnose rare diseases, predict your risk of cancer and tell your ancestry. But to uncover food poisonings? The nation's disease detectives are beginning a program to try to outsmart outbreaks by routinely decoding the DNA of potentially deadly bacteria and viruses.

Jamming a Protein Signal Forces Cancer Cells to Devour Themselves

April 4, 2014 2:40 pm | News | Comments

Under stress from chemotherapy or radiation, some cancer cells dodge death by consuming a bit of themselves, allowing them to essentially sleep through treatment and later awaken as tougher, resistant disease. Interfering with a single cancer-promoting protein and its receptor can turn this resistance mechanism into lethal, runaway self-cannibalization.

Light-activated Neurons from Stem Cells Restore Function to Paralyzed Muscles

April 4, 2014 2:08 pm | News | Comments

Scientists developed a new way to artificially control muscles using light, with the potential to restore function to muscles paralyzed by conditions such as motor neuron disease and spinal cord injury. The technique involves transplanting specially-designed motor neurons created from stem cells into injured nerve branches. These motor neurons are designed to react to pulses of blue light.

Positive, Negative Thinkers’ Brains Revealed

April 4, 2014 1:50 pm | News | Comments

The ability to stay positive when times get tough—and, conversely, of being negative—may be hardwired in the brain, finds new research led by a Michigan State University psychologist. The study provides biological evidence validating the idea that there are, in fact, positive and negative people in the world.

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