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Experimental Treatment Eradicates Acute Leukemia in Mice

February 27, 2014 1:49 pm | News | Comments

A team of scientists from UCLA's Jonsson Comprehensive Cancer Center has developed an experimental treatment that eradicates an acute type of leukemia in mice without any detectable toxic side effects. The drug works by blocking two important metabolic pathways that the leukemia cells need to grow and spread.

Can a Simple Handshake Predict Cancer Survival Rates?

February 27, 2014 1:35 pm | News | Comments

New acquaintances are often judged by their handshake. Research has now recognized the simple squeeze as an important diagnostic tool in assessing strength and quality of life among critical care patients. In a recent study, Concordia professor Robert Kilgour and his colleagues at the McGill Nutrition and Performance Laboratory confirmed a link between handgrip strength and survival rates.

Cancer Vaccine Could Use Immune System to Fight Tumors

February 27, 2014 1:22 pm | News | Comments

Cincinnati Cancer Center (CCC) and UC Cancer Institute researchers have found that a vaccine, targeting tumors that produce a certain protein and receptor responsible for communication between cells and the body’s immune system, could initiate the immune response to fight cancer.

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Finding a Few Foes Among Billions of Friends

February 26, 2014 2:40 pm | News | Comments

A team of chemists is reporting a new way to detect just a few lurking tumor cells, which can be outnumbered a billion to one in the bloodstream by healthy cells. The researchers have constructed an ultrasensitive nanoprobe that can electrochemically sense as few as four circulating tumor cells, and it doesn’t require any enzymes to produce a detectable signal.

Nanoparticles and Magnetic Fields Train Immune Cells to Fight Cancer in Mice

February 26, 2014 2:21 pm | News | Comments

Using tiny particles designed to target cancer-fighting immune cells, Johns Hopkins researchers have trained the immune systems of mice to fight melanoma, a deadly skin cancer. The experiments represent a significant step toward using nanoparticles and magnetism to treat a variety of conditions, the researchers say.

3-D Printer Creates Transformative Device for Heart Treatment

February 26, 2014 2:14 pm | News | Comments

Using a 3-D printer, biomedical engineers have developed a custom-fitted, implantable device with embedded sensors that could transform treatment and prediction of cardiac disorders. An international team of biomedical engineers and materials scientists have created a 3-D elastic membrane made of a soft, flexible, silicon material that is precisely shaped to match the heart’s epicardium, or the outer layer of the wall of the heart.

Researchers Generate New Neurons in Brains, Spinal Cords of Living Adult Mammals

February 26, 2014 2:06 pm | News | Comments

Researchers created new nerve cells in the brains and spinal cords of living mammals without the need for stem cell transplants to replenish lost cells. Although the research indicates it may someday be possible to regenerate neurons from the body’s own cells to repair traumatic brain injury or spinal cord damage, it is too soon to know whether the neurons created in these initial studies resulted in any functional improvements.

Nuclear Stiffness Keeps Stem Cells and Cancer Cells in Place

February 26, 2014 1:50 pm | News | Comments

Adult stem cells and cancer cells have many things in common, including an ability to migrate through tiny gaps in tissue. Both types of cells also experience a trade-off when it comes to this ability; having a flexible nucleus makes migration easier but is worse at protecting the nucleus’ DNA compared to a stiffer nucleus.

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A Paper Diagnostic for Cancer

February 25, 2014 2:16 pm | News | Comments

MIT engineers have developed a simple, cheap, paper test that could improve diagnosis rates and help people get treated earlier. The diagnostic, which works much like a pregnancy test, could reveal within minutes, based on a urine sample, whether a person has cancer.

Building a Better Mouse (Model) to Study Pancreatic Cancer

February 25, 2014 2:09 pm | News | Comments

Researchers report two breakthroughs in understanding lesions in the pancreas and its ducts and their role in pancreatic cancer: the development of the first mouse model that simulates a precursor lesion called intraductal papillary mucinous neoplasia (IPMN), and the identification of an enzyme, Brg1, that appears to help cause the formation of IPMN lesions while also suppressing another precursor lesion.

New Ideas Change Your Brain Cells

February 25, 2014 1:38 pm | News | Comments

A new University of British Columbia study identifies an important molecular change that occurs in the brain when we learn and remember. The research shows that learning stimulates our brain cells in a manner that causes a small fatty acid to attach to delta-catenin, a protein in the brain. This biochemical modification is essential in producing the changes in brain cell connectivity associated with learning, the study finds.

Multi-Parametric Electrophysiological Imaging of the Mammalian Heart in vivo

February 24, 2014 2:41 pm | by James Joubert, application scientist, Photometrics | Photometrics | Articles | Comments

Cardiac arrhythmia is one of the most common diseases encountered in clinical cardiology. High-speed electrophysiological imaging using fluorescent probes has yielded tremendous insights into the basic mechanisms of arrhythmias and the effects of anti-arrhythmic drugs. However, optical mapping, as it is known to the cardiac research community, has remained relegated to the isolated (i.e. explanted) heart.

Medical Researchers Use Light to Quickly and Easily Measure Blood’s Clotting Properties

February 24, 2014 1:51 pm | News | Comments

To provide caregivers with timely information about the clotting properties of a patient’s blood, researchers at Massachusetts General Hospital have developed an optical device that requires only a few drops of blood and a few minutes to measure the key coagulation parameters that can guide medical decisions, like how much blood to transfuse or what doses of anticoagulant drugs to administer.

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Abdominal Fat Accumulation Prevented by Unsaturated Fat

February 24, 2014 1:44 pm | News | Comments

New research from Uppsala University shows that saturated fat builds more fat and less muscle than polyunsaturated fat. This is the first study on humans to show that the fat composition of food not only influences cholesterol levels in the blood and the risk of cardiovascular disease but also determines where the fat will be stored in the body.

Research Team Discovers Disease-Causing Bacteria in Dental Plaque Preserved for 1,000 Years

February 24, 2014 12:56 pm | News | Comments

When a University of Oklahoma researcher and an international team of experts analyzed the dental calculus or plaque from teeth preserved for 1,000 years, the results revealed human health and dietary information never seen before. The team discovered disease-causing bacteria in a German Medieval population, which is the same or very similar to inflammatory disease-causing bacteria in humans today.

Researchers Devise a Fast and Effective Mechanism to Combat Ovarian Cancer

February 24, 2014 12:37 pm | News | Comments

Ovarian cancer accounts for more deaths of American women than any other cancer of the female reproductive system. A researcher has proposed a new strategy to tackle an aggressive subtype of ovarian cancer using a new nanoscale drug-delivery system designed to target specific cancer cells.

Scientists Discover 11 New Genes Affecting Blood Pressure

February 21, 2014 1:42 pm | News | Comments

New research from Queen Mary University of London has discovered 11 new DNA sequence variants in genes influencing high blood pressure and heart disease. Identifying the new genes contributes to our growing understanding of the biology of blood pressure and, researchers believe, will eventually influence the development of new treatments.

Dismantling Pancreas Cancer’s Armor

February 21, 2014 12:07 pm | News | Comments

Pancreas cancer is notoriously impervious to treatment and resists both chemotherapy and radiotherapy. It has also been thought to provide few targets for immune cells, allowing tumors to grow unchecked. But new research shows that pancreas cancer “veils” itself from the immune system by recruiting specialized immune suppressor cells.

Could PTSD Involve Immune Cell Response to Stress?

February 21, 2014 12:00 pm | News | Comments

Chronic stress that produces inflammation and anxiety in mice appears to prime their immune systems for a prolonged fight, causing the animals to have an excessive reaction to a single acute stressor weeks later, new research suggests. After the mice recovered from the effects of chronic stress, a single stressful event 24 days later quickly returned them to a chronically stressed state in biological and behavioral terms.

Thyroid Cancer Cases Soar; Is It Overdiagnosed?

February 20, 2014 4:08 pm | by Lindsey Tanner - AP Medical Writer - Associated Press | News | Comments

A dramatic rise in thyroid cancer has resulted from overdiagnosis and treatment of tumors too small to ever cause harm, according to a study that found cases nearly tripled since 1975. The study is the latest to question whether all cancers need aggressive treatment.

Gene Sequencing Project Discovers Common Driver of a Childhood Brain Tumor

February 20, 2014 1:28 pm | News | Comments

The St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital-Washington University Pediatric Cancer Genome Project has identified the most common genetic alteration ever reported in the brain tumor ependymoma and evidence that the alteration drives tumor development. The results provide a foundation for new research to improve diagnosis and treatment of ependymoma, the third most common brain tumor in children.

Iron Deficiency May Increase Stroke Risk Through Sticky Blood

February 20, 2014 1:15 pm | News | Comments

Scientists discovered that iron deficiency may increase stroke risk by making the blood more sticky. The findings could ultimately help with stroke prevention. The team found that iron deficiency increases the stickiness of platelets, which initiate blood clotting when they stick together. Although a link between iron deficiency and sticky platelets was first discovered almost 40 years ago, its role has been overlooked until now.

Cell Behavior in Low Oxygen Conditions Mapped

February 20, 2014 12:09 pm | News | Comments

Research at the University of Liverpool has explained how cells behave when placed in a low oxygen environment, a development that could have implications for cancer patients and other serious illnesses. The research opens up the possibility of controlling the signals that keep cells alive, preventing the damages caused by ischemia—a restriction of blood supply to tissues. It could also work to help destroy cancer cells.

Jazz Study Shows Link Between Music and Language

February 19, 2014 5:08 pm | by Lauran Neergaard - AP Medical Writer - Associated Press | News | Comments

Jazz musicians are famous for their musical conversations — one improvises a few bars and another plays an answer. Now research shows some of the brain's language regions enable that musical back-and-forth much like a spoken conversation. It gives new meaning to the idea of music as a universal language.

Researchers Develop Sticky Nanoparticles to Fight Heart Disease

February 19, 2014 2:05 pm | Videos | Comments

Clemson University researchers have developed nanoparticles that can deliver drugs targeting damaged arteries, a non-invasive method to fight heart disease. One of the standard ways to treat clogged and damaged arteries currently is to implant vascular stents, which hold the vessels open and release such drugs as paclitaxel. The researchers hope their advanced nanoparticles could be used alongside stents or in lieu of them.

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