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New Findings Show Link Between Diabetes and Pancreatic Cancer

March 14, 2014 1:10 pm | News | Comments

Researchers from the University of Melbourne have shown that there is an association between pancreatic cancer and diabetes. In a new study, clinicians worked with mathematicians to review data from 1973 to 2013 to conclude there was a time-dependent link between being diagnosed with diabetes and pancreatic cancer.

Post-heart Attack Biological Events Provide Cardioprotection

March 13, 2014 2:50 pm | News | Comments

Heart attack and stroke are among the most serious threats to health. But novel research at UT Southwestern Medical Center has linked two major biological processes that occur at the onset of these traumatic events and, ultimately, can lead to protection for the heart.

Researchers Find Reason Why Many Vein Grafts Fail

March 13, 2014 2:40 pm | News | Comments

NIH researchers have identified a biological pathway that contributes to the high rate of vein graft failure following bypass surgery. Using mouse models of bypass surgery, they showed that excess signaling via the Transforming Growth Factor Beta (TGF-Beta) family causes the inner walls of the vein become too thick, slowing down or sometimes even blocking the blood flow that the graft was intended to restore.

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How Tumors Escape

March 13, 2014 2:28 pm | News | Comments

About 90 percent of cancer deaths are caused by tumors that have spread from their original locations. This process, known as metastasis, requires cancer cells to break loose from their neighbors and from the supportive scaffold that gives tissues their structure. Cancer biologists have now discovered that certain proteins in this structure, known as the extracellular matrix, help cancer cells make their escape.

Nicotine Withdrawal Weakens Brain Connections Tied to Self-Control Over Cigarette Cravings

March 13, 2014 2:13 pm | News | Comments

A new brain imaging study shows how smokers suffering from nicotine withdrawal may have more trouble shifting from a key brain network—known as default mode, when people are in a so-called “introspective” or “self-referential” state— and into a control network, the so-called executive control network, that could help exert more conscious, self-control over cravings and to focus on quitting for good.

What Happened When? How the Brain Stores Memories by Time

March 13, 2014 2:04 pm | Videos | Comments

Before I left the house this morning, I let the cat out and started the dishwasher. Or was that yesterday? Very often, our memories must distinguish not just what happened and where, but when an event occurred—and what came before and after. New research shows that a part of the brain called the hippocampus stores memories by their "temporal context"—what happened before, and what came after.

Heart Scans Only Useful in Prescribing Statins Under Certain Conditions

March 13, 2014 1:55 pm | News | Comments

As long as inexpensive statins, which lower cholesterol, are readily available and patients don’t mind taking them, it doesn’t make sense to do a heart scan to measure how much plaque has built up in a patient’s coronary arteries before prescribing the pills, according to a new study.

Breaking News: Forgetting is Actively Regulated

March 13, 2014 12:00 pm | News | Comments

Through memory loss, unnecessary information in the brain is deleted and the nervous system retains its plasticity. Previously, it was not clear if this process was active or passive, but scientists have now discovered a molecular mechanism that actively regulates the process of forgetting.

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Breast Cancer Gene Protects Against Obesity, Diabetes

March 12, 2014 2:24 pm | News | Comments

The gene known to be associated with breast cancer susceptibility, BRCA 1, plays a critical role in the normal metabolic function of skeletal muscle, according to a new study. The team is the first to identify that the BRCA1 protein is expressed in the skeletal muscle of both mice and humans, and that it plays a key role in fat storage, insulin response, and mitochondrial function in skeletal muscle cells.

Cellular Alchemy: Study Shows How to Make Insulin-Producing Cells from Gut Cells

March 12, 2014 2:04 pm | News | Comments

Destruction of insulin-producing beta cells in the pancreas is at the heart of type 1 and type 2 diabetes. Transplanting islet cells to restore normal blood sugar levels in patients with severe type 1 diabetes is one approach to treating the disease, and using stem cells to create beta cells is another area of investigation. However, both of these strategies have limitations.

Finding Hiding Place of Virus Could Lead to New Treatments

March 12, 2014 1:32 pm | News | Comments

Discovering where a common virus hides in the body has been a long-term quest for scientists. Up to 80 percent of adults harbor the human cytomegalovirus (HCMV), which can cause severe illness and death in people with weakened immune systems. Now, researchers report that stem cells that encircle blood vessels can be a hiding place, suggesting a potential treatment target.

Bacterium and Fungus Team Up to Cause Virulent Tooth Decay in Toddlers

March 12, 2014 1:15 pm | News | Comments

Early childhood caries, a highly aggressive and painful form of tooth decay that frequently occurs in preschool children, especially from backgrounds of poverty, may result from a nefarious partnership between a bacterium and a fungus. The resulting tooth decay can be so severe that treatment frequently requires surgery.

Cancer Cells Don’t Engage in ‘Drunken’ Walks as They Spread Through the Body in 3D

March 11, 2014 1:41 pm | Videos | Comments

Because of results seen in flat lab dishes, biologists have believed that cancers cells move through the body in a slow, aimless fashion, resembling an intoxicated person who cannot walk in a straight line. This pattern, called a random walk, may hold true for cells traveling across two-dimensional lab containers, but researchers have discovered that for cells moving through 3-D spaces within the body, the “drunken” model doesn’t hold true.

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Researchers Identify Decision-making Center of Brain

March 11, 2014 1:35 pm | News | Comments

Although choosing to do something because the perceived benefit outweighs the financial cost is something people do daily, little is known about what happens in the brain when a person makes these kinds of decisions. Studying how these cost-benefit decisions are made when choosing to consume alcohol, a researcheridentified distinct profiles of brain activity that are present when making these decisions.

A New Cell Type is Implicated in Epilepsy Caused by Traumatic Brain Injury

March 11, 2014 1:25 pm | News | Comments

Traumatic brain injury is a risk factor for epilepsy, though the relationship is not understood. A new study in mice identifies increased levels of a specific neurotransmitter as a contributing factor connecting traumatic brain injury to post-traumatic epilepsy. The findings suggest that damage to brain cells called interneurons disrupts neurotransmitter levels and plays a role in the development of epilepsy after a traumatic brain injury.

UV Light Aids Cancer Cells that Creep Along the Outside of Blood Vessels

March 11, 2014 1:08 pm | News | Comments

A new study by adds further proof to earlier findings that deadly melanoma cells can spread through the body by creeping like tiny spiders along the outside of blood vessels without ever entering the bloodstream. In addition, the new research demonstrates that this process is accelerated when the skin cancer cells are exposed to ultraviolet light.

Researchers Model a Key Breaking Point Involved in Traumatic Brain Injury

March 11, 2014 12:06 pm | News | Comments

Even the mildest form of a traumatic brain injury, better known as a concussion, can deal permanent, irreparable damage. Now, an interdisciplinary team of researchers at the University of Pennsylvania is using mathematical modeling to better understand the mechanisms at play in this kind of injury, with an eye toward protecting the brain from its long-term consequences.

Breaking News: New Gene for Bipolar Discovered

March 11, 2014 12:00 pm | News | Comments

An international group of researchers discovered two new gene regions which are connected with bipolar disorder. They were also able to confirm three additional suspect genes.                     

A Signal to Spread: Scientists Identify Potent Driver of Metastasis

March 10, 2014 2:03 pm | News | Comments

An international team of researchers led by scientists at The Wistar Institute have discovered and defined LIMD2, a protein that can drive metastasis, the process where tumors spread throughout the body. Their study defines the structure of LIMD2 and correlates the protein in metastatic bladder, melanoma, breast, and thyroid tumors. 

Alzheimer’s Research Team Employs Stem Cells to Understand Disease Processes and Study New Treatments

March 10, 2014 12:53 pm | News | Comments

A team of Alzheimer’s disease (AD) researchers at Brigham and Women’s Hospital has been able to study the underlying causes of AD and develop assays to test newer approaches to treatment by using stem cells derived from related family members with a genetic predisposition to AD.

Study Links BPA and Breast Cancer Tumor Growth

March 10, 2014 11:58 am | News | Comments

UT Arlington biochemists say their newly published study brings researchers a step closer to understanding how the commonly used synthetic compound bisphenol-A (BPA) may promote breast cancer growth. The researchers found that when breast cancer and mammary gland cells were exposed to BPA in lab tests, the BPA worked together with naturally present molecules, including estrogen, to create abnormal amounts of HOTAIR expression.

Chemists Discover New Class of Antibiotics

March 10, 2014 11:06 am | News | Comments

A team of University of Notre Dame researchers discovered a new class of antibiotics to fight bacteria such as methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) and other drug-resistant bacteria that threaten public health.  The new class, called oxadiazoles, was discovered in silico (by computer) screening and has shown promise in the treatment of MRSA in mouse models of infection.

Researchers Create New Tool to Unravel Mysteries of Metastasis

March 10, 2014 10:26 am | News | Comments

Researchers at the UNC School of Medicine have devised a new biochemical technique that will allow them and other scientists to delve much deeper than ever before into the specific cellular circuitry that keeps us healthy or causes disease. The method helps researchers study how specific proteins called kinases interact to trigger a specific cellular behavior, such as how a cell moves. 

Blood Test Identifies Those at Risk for Cognitive Decline, Alzheimer’s Within Three Years

March 10, 2014 9:44 am | Videos | Comments

Researchers have discovered and validated a blood test that can predict with greater than 90 percent accuracy if a healthy person will develop mild cognitive impairment or Alzheimer’s disease within three years. It is the first known published report of blood-based biomarkers for preclinical Alzheimer’s disease.

Bone Turnover Markers Predict Prostate Cancer Outcomes

March 7, 2014 2:16 pm | News | Comments

Biomarkers for bone formation and resorption predict outcomes for men with castration-resistant prostate cancer, a team of researchers have found. Their study also found that the markers identified a small group of patients who responded to the investigational drug atrasentan. The markers’ predictive ability could help clinicians match treatments with individual patients, track their effectiveness and affect clinical trial design.

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