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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.

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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.

Inherited Alzheimer’s Damage Greater Decades Before Symptoms Appear

March 7, 2014 2:00 pm | News | Comments

The progression of Alzheimer’s may slow once symptoms appear and do significant damage, according to a study investigating an inherited form of the disease. Professor Colin Masters from the Florey Institute of Neuroscience and Mental Health and University of Melbourne—and colleagues in the UK and US—have found rapid neuronal damage begins 10 to 20 years before symptoms appear.

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Severe Diarrheal Illness in Children Linked to Antibiotics Prescribed in Doctor’s Offices

March 7, 2014 1:48 pm | News | Comments

The majority of pediatric Clostridium difficile infections, which are bacterial infections that cause severe diarrhea and are potentially life-threatening, occur among children in the general community who recently took antibiotics prescribed in doctor’s offices for other conditions, according to a new study by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Cells Appearing Normal May Actually be Harbingers of Lung Cancer

March 7, 2014 1:42 pm | News | Comments

Seemingly healthy cells may hide clues that lung cancer will later develop, according to a study led by researchers at The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center. Examination of gene expression in patients with non-small cell lung cancer showed the area adjacent to tumors is rich with cancer markers. In addition, researchers discovered the previously unknown role of a cancer-promoting gene in the airways of smokers with lung cancer.

Vitamin D Increases Breast Cancer Patient Survival

March 7, 2014 1:31 pm | News | Comments

Breast cancer patients with high levels of vitamin D in their blood are twice as likely to survive the disease as women with low levels of this nutrient. Previous studies showed that low vitamin D levels were linked to a high risk of premenopausal breast cancer. That finding prompted research that questioned the relationship between 25-hydroxyvitamin D and breast cancer survival rates.

In First Moments of Infection, a Division and a Decision

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

Using technologies and computational modeling that trace the destiny of single cells, researchers at the University of California, San Diego School of Medicine describe for the first time the earliest stages of fate determination among white blood cells called T lymphocytes, providing new insights that may help drug developers create more effective, longer-lasting vaccines against microbial pathogens or cancer.

3-D Changes in DNA May Lead to a Genetic Form of Lou Gehrig’s Disease

March 6, 2014 2:26 pm | News | Comments

New findings reveal how a mutation, a change in the genetic code that causes neurodegeneration, alters the shape of DNA, making cells more vulnerable to stress and more likely to die. The particular mutation, in the C9orf72 gene, is the most common cause for amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS, also known as Lou Gehrig’s disease), and frontotemporal degeneration (FTD), the second most common type of dementia in people under 65.

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Inadequate Sleep Predicts Risk of Heart Disease, Diabetes in Obese Adolescents

March 6, 2014 2:16 pm | News | Comments

Obese adolescents not getting enough sleep? A new study shows they could be increasing their risk for developing diabetes, heart disease and stroke. Lack of sleep and obesity have been associated with an increased risk of cardiovascular and metabolic diseases in adults and young children. However, the association is not as clear in adolescents.

Gene Therapy Seems Safe, May Help Control HIV

March 5, 2014 5:18 pm | by Marilynn Marchione - AP Chief Medical Writer - Associated Press | News | Comments

Scientists have modified genes in the blood cells of HIV patients to help them resist the AIDS virus, and say the treatment seems safe and promising. The results give hope that this approach might one day free at least some people from needing medicines to keep HIV under control, a form of cure.

Alzheimer’s in a Dish

March 5, 2014 1:29 pm | News | Comments

Harvard stem cell scientists have successfully converted skins cells from patients with early onset Alzheimer’s into the types of neurons that are affected by the disease, making it possible for the first time to study this leading form of dementia in living human cells. This may also make it possible to develop therapies more quickly and accurately than before.

How Individual Staphylococcus Cells Adhere to Nanostructures Could Lead to New Ways to Thwart Infections

March 5, 2014 1:22 pm | News | Comments

The bacterium Staphylococcus Aureus (S. aureus) is a common source of infections that occur after surgeries involving prosthetic joints and artificial heart valves. The grape-shaped microorganism adheres to medical equipment, and if it gets inside the body, it can cause a serious and even life-threatening illness called a Staph infection. The recent discovery of drug-resistant strains of S. aureus makes matters even worse.

Researchers Find Protein ‘Switch’ Central to Heart Cell Division

March 5, 2014 12:50 pm | News | Comments

In a study that began in a pair of infant siblings with a rare heart defect, Johns Hopkins researchers say they have identified a key molecular switch that regulates heart cell division and normally turns the process off around the time of birth. Their research, they report, could advance efforts to turn the process back on and regenerate heart tissue damaged by heart attacks or disease.

Cancer Stem Cell Camps

March 4, 2014 4:51 pm | by Cynthia Fox | Articles | Comments

At least two camps have formed in the “breast cancer stem cell” world. One camp believes most cancers may come from stem cells—or stem-like progenitors—gone awry. Others agree cancers can be most virulent when reaching a stem cell-like state—but believe they may come from both stem cells and mature cells gone awry.

Giant Virus Revived After More Than 30,000 Years

March 4, 2014 1:18 pm | by The Associated Press | News | Comments

Researchers have revived a giant virus more than 30,000 years old, recovered from the permafrost of northeast Siberia. The virus poses no threat to people. Although it is considered a giant when compared to other viruses, it is microscopic and infects amoebas.

Liver Metabolism Study Could Help Patients Awaiting Transplants

March 4, 2014 1:17 pm | News | Comments

In a new study that could help doctors extend the lives of patients awaiting liver transplants, a Rice University-led team of researchers examined the metabolic breakdown that takes place in liver cells during late-stage cirrhosis and found clues that suggest new treatments to delay liver failure.

Immune System-based Therapy Produces Lasting Remissions in Melanoma Patients

March 4, 2014 12:59 pm | News | Comments

A drug that unleashes the immune system to attack cancer can produce lasting remissions and hold the disease in check – for more than two years, in some cases – in many patients with advanced melanoma, according to a new study. The study provides the longest-term look so far at how melanoma patients have fared since receiving the drug, nivolumab, in a Phase 1 clinical trial.

Blasts May Cause Brain Injury Even Without Symptoms

March 4, 2014 12:16 pm | News | Comments

Veterans exposed to explosions who do not report symptoms of traumatic brain injury (TBI) may still have damage to the brain's white matter comparable to veterans with TBI, according to researchers at Duke Medicine and the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs. The findings suggest that a lack of clear TBI symptoms following an explosion may not accurately reflect the extent of brain injury.

Light Zaps Viruses: How Photosensitization Can Stop Viruses from Infecting Cells

March 4, 2014 11:55 am | News | Comments

A of researchers has found evidence that photosensitizing a virus's membrane covering can inhibit its ability to enter cells and potentially lead to the development of stronger, cheaper medications to fight a host of tough viruses. The UCLA AIDS Institute study is part of ongoing research on a compound called LJ001, a "broad-spectrum" antiviral that can attack a wide range of microbes.

Tackling Tumors with Space Station Research

March 4, 2014 11:41 am | News | Comments

In space, things don’t always behave the way we expect them to. In the case of cancer, researchers have found that this is a good thing: some tumors seem to be much less aggressive in the microgravity environment of space compared to their behavior on Earth.

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