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Common cancer gene sends death order to tiny killer

Scientists at Johns Hopkins have discovered one way the p53 gene does what it's known for—stopping the colon cancer cells. Their report will be published in the June 8 issue of Molecular Cell. The research team identified a tiny bit of genetic code, a microRNA called miR-34a that participates in p53's uncanny ability to kill cells likely to become malignant because of damaged genes in their n...

Research identifies protein that signals flowering in squash plants

Cucurbita moschata, an obligate short-day flowering wild squash. The length of the day relative to night, or photoperiod, is a strong determining factor for the induction of flowering in many plant species. Short day (SD) plants require a short day length (or more precisely, a long night) in order to flower. These are plants that flower as the days grow shorter, such as in the fall in tempera...

Cellular message movement captured on video

These time-lapse images of a bovine aortic endothelial cell reveal the motion toward the cell's nucleus of a message-carrying protein called paxillin (orange) in tandem with actin filaments (green). Credit: UC San Diego Scientists have captured on video the intracellular version of a postal delivery service. Reporting in the journal Biochemical and Biophysical Research Communications (BBRC),...

Researchers discover inherited mutation for leukemia

Researchers have discovered the first inherited gene mutation that increases a person's risk for chronic lymphocytic leukemia (CLL), one of the most common forms of the disease. The study shows that the inherited mutation greatly reduces the gene's protective activity. Furthermore, a second kind of change occurs later that turns the gene off altogether, leading to leukemia. This latter altera...

Agent slows aging in mice

Aspirin didn’t pan out. Neither did two other potential anti-aging agents. But a synthetic derivative of a pungent desert shrub is now a front- runner in ongoing animal experiments to find out if certain chemicals, known to inhibit inflammation, cancer and other destructive processes, can boost the odds of living longer. Today at the annual meeting of the American Aging Association, University...

Enzyme delivered in smaller package protects cells from radiation damage

A University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine research team, collaborating with scientists from Stanford University, have developed a new, smaller gene therapy vector that may be effective in delivering a radioprotective enzyme systemically throughout the body which may spare healthy tissue the long-term consequences of therapeutic irradiation. These results are being presented at the 10th annua...

Innovative smallpox vaccine research study to be conducted at Case Medical Center

University Hospitals Case Medical Center (UHCMC) and Case Western Reserve University School of Medicine are part of a nationwide research study to determine the safety and effectiveness of a new smallpox vaccine geared toward adults ages 18 to 34 who have never been vaccinated against the disease. The study is the first of its type in Northeast Ohio. The current FDA-approved vaccine, Dryvax®,...

Cells re-energize to come back from the brink of death

The discovery of how some abnormal cells can avoid a biochemical program of self-destruction by increasing their energy level and repairing the damage, is giving investigators at St. Jude Children's Research Hospital insights into a key strategy cancer cells use to survive and thrive. The finding offers an explanation of how abnormal cells that have cheated death once by disabling the main sui...

Brain inflammation may be friend, not foe, for Alzheimer's patients

Inflammation in the brain may not be so bad after all when it comes to Alzheimer’s disease. In the June 1 issue of the Journal of Clinical Investigation, a team of scientists from the University of Rochester Medical Center shows that a key inflammatory regulator, a known villain when it comes to parsing out damage after a stroke and other brain injuries, seems to do the opposite in Alzheimer’...

Blood test may help signal tumor's remission, return in throat cancer patients

A blood test that detects proteins commonly released by a growing tumor could one day become a useful tool for monitoring the effectiveness of chemotherapy and radiation treatment in people with advanced throat cancer, according to a study published in the June 1, 2007, issue of Clinical Cancer Research . Scientists in the National Institute on Deafness and Other Communication Disorders (NIDCD)...
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