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Bioscience Technology This Week #7: Fruit Flies Unlock the Mysteries of Diabetes

August 13, 2014 2:20 pm | Videos | Comments

In this episode of Bioscience Technology This Week, Rob Fee discusses how studying fruit flies could revolutionize diabetes research. Our second story focuses on how venom could form the basis of a new class of cancerfighting drugs.    

New Analysis Reveals Tumor Weaknesses

August 13, 2014 1:47 pm | News | Comments

Scientists have known for decades that cancer can be caused by genetic mutations, but more recently they have discovered that chemical modifications of a gene can also contribute to cancer. These alterations, known as epigenetic modifications, control whether a gene is turned on or off.

Involuntary Eye Movement a Foolproof Indication for ADHD Diagnosis

August 13, 2014 1:38 pm | News | Comments

Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) is the most commonly diagnosed—and misdiagnosed—behavioral disorder in children in America, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Unfortunately, there are currently no reliable physiological markers to diagnose ADHD.

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Huntingtin Gene Crucial to Memory Development

August 13, 2014 11:50 am | News | Comments

It has been more than 20 years since scientists discovered that mutations in the gene huntingtin cause the devastating progressive neurological condition Huntington’s disease. Surprisingly little, however, has been known about the gene’s role in normal brain activity. Now, new research shows it plays a critical role in long-term memory.

Prostate Cancer Diagnosis Improves with MRI Technology

August 13, 2014 11:03 am | Videos | Comments

Oncologists are melding magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) technology with a traditional ultrasound prostate exam to create a three-dimensional map of the prostate that allows physicians to view growths that were previously undetectable.      

Sierra Leone: Another Top Doctor Dies from Ebola

August 13, 2014 9:21 am | by Clarence Roy-Macaulay and Maria Cheng - Associted Press - Associted Press | News | Comments

A leading physician in Sierra Leone's fight against Ebola has died from the disease, an official said Wednesday, as it emerged that another top doctor had been considered to receive an experimental drug but did not get it and later died.    

Scientists Pinpoint Gene Likely to Promote Childhood Cancers

August 12, 2014 2:28 pm | News | Comments

Researchers at the Children’s Medical Center Research Institute at UT Southwestern (CRI) have identified a gene that contributes to the development of several childhood cancers, in a study conducted with mice designed to model the cancers. If the findings prove to be applicable to humans, the research could lead to new strategies for targeting certain childhood cancers at a molecular level.

Synthetic Molecule Makes Cancer Self-Destruct

August 12, 2014 2:21 pm | News | Comments

Researchers from The University of Texas at Austin and five other institutions have created a molecule that can cause cancer cells to self-destruct by ferrying sodium and chloride ions into the cancer cells. These synthetic ion transporters confirm a two-decades-old hypothesis that could point the way to new anticancer drugs while also benefiting patients with cystic fibrosis.

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An Easier Way to Manipulate Malaria Genes

August 12, 2014 2:06 pm | News | Comments

Plasmodium falciparum, the parasite that causes malaria, has proven notoriously resistant to scientists’ efforts to study its genetics. It can take up to a year to determine the function of a single gene, which has slowed efforts to develop new, more targeted drugs and vaccines.

Hijacking the Brain's Blood Supply: Tumor Discovery Could Aid Treatment

August 12, 2014 1:55 pm | News | Comments

Dangerous brain tumors hijack the brain’s existing blood supply throughout their progression, by growing only within narrow potential spaces between and along the brain’s thousands of small blood vessels, new research shows for the first time.

Biomarker Could Predict PTSD Risk

August 12, 2014 12:40 pm | News | Comments

Blood expression levels of genes targeted by the stress hormones called glucocorticoids could be a physical measure, or biomarker, of risk for developing Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD), according to a new study.          

Size Matters When Convincing Brain to Eat Healthy Foods

August 12, 2014 12:05 pm | Videos | Comments

Playing with the portions of good and not-so-good-for-you foods is better than trying to eliminate bad foods, according to a new study. The idea is to not give up entirely foods that provide pleasure but aren’t nutritious.         

Priest Dies of Ebola; UN Debates Treatment Ethics

August 12, 2014 8:21 am | by Maria Cheng and Ciaran Giles - Associated Press - Associated Press | News | Comments

A Spanish missionary priest being treated for Ebola died Tuesday in a Madrid hospital amid a worldwide debate over who should get experimental Ebola treatments. After holding a teleconference with medical experts around the world, the WHO declared it is ethical to use unproven Ebola drugs and vaccines in the current outbreak.

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Editing HPV's Genes to Kill Cervical Cancer Cells

August 11, 2014 2:13 pm | News | Comments

Researchers have hijacked a defense system normally used by bacteria to fend off viral infections and redirected it against the human papillomavirus (HPV), the virus that causes cervical, head and neck, and other cancers.Using the genome editing tool known as CRISPR, the Duke University researchers were able to selectively destroy two viral genes responsible for the growth and survival of cervical carcinoma cells.

Scientists Unlock Key to Blood Vessel Formation

August 11, 2014 2:09 pm | News | Comments

Scientists from the University of Leeds have discovered a gene that plays a vital role in blood vessel formation, research which adds to our knowledge of how early life develops. The discovery could also lead to greater understanding of how to treat cardiovascular diseases and cancer.

Newly Discovered Heart Molecule Could Lead to Effective Treatment for Heart Failure

August 11, 2014 2:04 pm | News | Comments

Researchers have discovered a previously unknown cardiac molecule that could provide a key to treating, and preventing, heart failure. The newly discovered molecule provides the heart with a tool to block a protein that orchestrates genetic disruptions when the heart is subjected to stress, such as high blood pressure.

Like Cling Wrap, New Biomaterial Can Coat Burn Wounds and Block Infection

August 11, 2014 2:01 pm | News | Comments

Wrapping wound dressings around fingers and toes can be tricky, but for burn victims, guarding them against infection is critical. Today, scientists are reporting the development of novel, ultrathin coatings called nanosheets that can cling to the body’s most difficult-to-protect contours and keep bacteria at bay.

Can People with Type 2 Diabetes Live Longer?

August 8, 2014 1:26 pm | News | Comments

A large-scale University-led study involving more than 180,000 people shows that patients treated with a drug widely prescribed for type 2 diabetes can live longer than people without the condition. The findings indicate that a drug known as metformin, used to control glucose levels in the body and already known to exhibit anticancer properties, could offer prognostic and prophylactic benefits to people without diabetes.

Cell Signaling Pathway Linked to Obesity, Type 2 Diabetes

August 8, 2014 1:19 pm | News | Comments

A Purdue University study shows that Notch signaling, a key biological pathway tied to development and cell communication, also plays an important role in the onset of obesity and Type 2 diabetes, a discovery that offers new targets for treatment.

Slowing Brain Functions Linked to Increased Risk of Stroke, Death

August 8, 2014 1:09 pm | News | Comments

Cognitive abilities such as memory and attention are not only important after a stroke but also before. Previous studies have shown poor cardiovascular health can increase the risk of cognitive impairment such as problems in memory and learning. However, the opposite idea that cognitive impairment may impact cardiovascular health, specifically stroke, was not established before.

WHO: Ebola Outbreak is a Public Health Emergency

August 8, 2014 3:21 am | by Maria Cheng - AP Medical Writer - Associated Press | News | Comments

The World Health Organization on Friday declared the Ebola outbreak in West Africa to be an international public health emergency that requires an extraordinary response to stop its spread. The WHO announced the Ebola outbreak — the largest and longest in history — is worrying enough to merit being declared an international health emergency. WHO declared similar emergencies for the swine flu pandemic in 2009 and for polio in May.

Cell Mechanics May Hold Key to How Cancer Spreads and Recurs

August 7, 2014 2:34 pm | News | Comments

Cancer cells that break away from tumors to go looking for a new home may prefer to settle into a soft bed. Some particularly enterprising cancer cells can cause a cancer to spread to other organs, called metastasis, or evade treatment to resurface after a patient is thought to be in remission. A team found that these so-called tumor-repopulating cells may lurk quietly in stiffer cellular environments, but thrive in a softer space.

Largest Cancer Genetic Analysis Reveals New Way of Classifying Cancer

August 7, 2014 2:24 pm | News | Comments

Researchers with The Cancer Genome Atlas (TCGA) Research Network have completed the largest, most diverse tumor genetic analysis ever conducted, revealing a new approach to classifying cancers. The work not only revamps traditional ideas of how cancers are diagnosed and treated, but could also have a profound impact on the future landscape of drug development.

Part of the Brain Stays "Youthful" into Older Age

August 7, 2014 1:52 pm | News | Comments

At least one part of the human brain may be able to process information the same way in older age as it does in the prime of life, according to new research conducted at the University of Adelaide. A study compared the ability of 60 older and younger people to respond to visual and non-visual stimuli in order to measure their "spatial attention" skills.

Nasal Test Accurately Diagnoses Human Prion Disease

August 7, 2014 9:57 am | News | Comments

A nasal brush test can rapidly and accurately diagnose Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease (CJD), an incurable and ultimately fatal neurodegenerative disorder, according to a new study.                     

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