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FDA Approves Human Hookworm Vaccine for Phase I Safety Trials

.. As any dedicated video game player knows, the first requirement for using a weapon or tool is finding it. And it is no different for cell biologists and clinicians who want to take control of gene expression in cells to create therapies to treat disease. While...

Enzyme, lost in most mammals, is shown to protect against UV-induced skin cancer

In a finding that broadens our insight into.the cause of certain kinds of UV-induced skin cancer, researchers at.Erasmus University Medical Center (Rotterdam, The Netherlands) have.employed an evolutionarily ancient enzyme-repair system to identify the.principal type of DNA damage responsible for the onset of skin-tumor.development. The researchers' findings also suggest that this enzyme.system m...

UCLA Study Shows One-Third of Drug Ads in Medical Journals Do Not Contain References Supporting Medical Claims

UCLA investigators reviewed pharmaceutical ads in American medical journals and found that nearly one-third contained no references for medical claims; while the majority of references to published material was available, only a minority of company data-on-file documents were provided upon request; and the majority of original research cited in the ads was funded by or had authors affiliated with...

Plants, animals share molecular growth mechanisms

A newly discovered plant protein complex that apparently switches on plants' growth machinery, has opened a scientific toolbox to learn about both plant and animal development, according Purdue University scientists. .. The protein complex triggers communication between molecules along a pathway that leads to the creation of long protein strings, called actin filaments, that are necessary for cel...

Plants respond similarly to signals from friends, enemies

Two soil-dwelling strangers ?a friend and a foe ?approach a plant and communicate with it in order to enter a partnership. The friend wants to trade nitrogen for food. The foe is a parasite that wants to burrow in and harm the plant. .. . Using high-tech microscopy and florescent imaging techniques that a...

NYU Study Reveals How Brain's Immune System Fights Viral Encephalitis

New York University biologists have uncovered how the innate immune system in mice's brains fights viral infection of neurons. The findings, published as the cover study in the latest issue of Virology, show that proteins in neurons fight the virus at multiple stages--by preventing the formation of viral RNA and proteins, and blocking the virus' release, which could infect other cells in the brai...

A bacterial genome reveals new targets to combat infectious disease

More than a billion people are at risk for infection with filarial nematodes, parasites that cause elephantiasis, African river blindness, and other debilitating diseases in more than 150 million people worldwide. The nematodes themselves play host to bacteria that live within their cells, but in this case, the relationship is classic mutualism, with each benefiting from the other. Indeed, the Wo...

Needling Chromosomes Reveals Cell Division Secret

By impaling individual chromosomes with glass.needles one thousandth the diameter of a human hair, a Duke University.graduate student has tested their "stickiness" to one another during.cell division. Her uncanny surgical skills have added a piece to the.large and intricate puzzle of how one cell divides into two -- a.process fundamental to all organisms..In the Dec. 14, 2004, issue of Current Bi...

Purdue proves concept of using nano-materials for drug discovery

Researchers at Purdue University have built and demonstrated a prototype for a new class of miniature devices to study synthetic cell membranes in an effort to speed the discovery of new drugs for a variety of diseases, including cancer. .. .. The goal is to produce "laboratories-on-a-chip" less than a half-inch square that might contain up to...

Weill Cornell Research Reveals Secrets Of Trafficking Within Cells

As you read this, cells in your eye are transmitting information to your brain, while cells in your heart and arteries work just as hard to keep that brain alive. Every one of these cells -- and others throughout the body -- depends on an internal process called endocytosis to keep the flow of cellular nutrients and information healthy and strong. . It's an incredibly important life process, and...

Elephants imitate truck noises, other animals

Elephants learn to imitate sounds that are not typical of their species, the first known example after humans of vocal learning in a non-primate terrestrial mammal. The discovery, reported in today's Nature, further supports the idea that vocal learning is important for maintaining individual social relationships among animals that separate and reunite over time, like dolphins and whales, some bi...

Gene Therapy For Parkinson's Disease Moves Forward In Animals

An international team of scientists has used gene therapy in two separate studies to renew brain cells and restore normal movements in monkeys and rats with a drug-induced form of Parkinson's disease. .. .. By inserting corrective genes into the brain, scientists studying small monkeys called ma...

First real-time view of developing neurons reveals surprises, say Stanford researchers

Scientists have believed that neurons need a long period of fine-tuning and training with other neurons before they take on their adult role. But after using new technology for the first time to watch these cells develop, a team of researchers at the Stanford University School of Medicine found that neurons come into this world with a good idea about what they'll become as adults. . The work, whi...

Novel ultrafast laser detection of cancer cells also may improve understanding of stem cells

To investigate tumors, pathologists currently rely on labor-intensive microscopic examination, using century-old cell-staining methods that can take days to complete and may give false readings. .. . The technique generates a laser beam in single human cells pumped from a flask through tiny microchannels. The be...

Research Using Mouse Models Reveals A Novel Key Player In The Initiation Of Colon Cancer

Gastric and colorectal cancers account for more than 1 million deaths worldwide every year and several research groups have been working to identify the molecular events that result in the initiation and progression of these tumors. It has been established that interfering with the function of one gene, called Adenomatous Polyposis Coli (APC) has a profound effect on the cells lining the innermos...

Examination of internal 'wiring' of yeast, worm, and fly reveals conserved circuits

First-of-its-kind analysis published in the Feb. 8 PNAS supports the concept of a basic wiring diagram for all eukaryotes. .. Researchers in California, Israel, and Germany have compared three distantly related species ?baker's yeast, a worm, and the fruit fly ?and reported that protein "wiring" connections in one species are often conserved in all three. This first-of-its-kind analysis of three...

New Treatment Rivals Chemotherapy For Lymphoma, Study Finds

.. A new form of treatment for lymphoma that takes a fraction of the time of traditional chemotherapy with fewer side effects caused tumors to shrink in 95 percent of patients, a new study by researchers at the University of Michigan Comprehensive Cancer Center found.</p...

Carnegie Mellon scientists develop tool that uses MRI to visualize gene expression in living animals

In a first, Carnegie Mellon University scientists have "programmed" cells to make their own contrast agents, enabling unprecedented high-resolution, deep-tissue imaging of gene expression. The results, appearing in the April issue of Nature Medicine, hold considerable promise for conducting preclinical studies in the emerging field of molecular therapeutics and for monitoring the delivery of ther...

Gene therapy for Parkinson's disease moves forward in animals

An international team of scientists has used gene therapy in two separate studies to renew brain cells and restore normal movements in monkeys and rats with a drug-induced form of Parkinson's disease. .. .. By inserting corrective genes into the brain, scientists studying small monkeys called ma...

NYU study reveals how brain's immune system fights viral encephalitis

New York University biologists have uncovered how the innate immune system in mice's brains fights viral infection of neurons. The findings, published as the cover study in the latest issue of Virology, show that proteins in neurons fight the virus at multiple stages--by preventing the formation of viral RNA and proteins, and blocking the virus' release, which could infect other cells in the brai...

Variation in women's X chromosomes may explain differences among individuals, between sexes

The first comprehensive survey of gene activity in the X chromosomes of women has revealed an unexpected level of variation among individuals, according to new work by researchers at the Duke University Institute for Genome Sciences & Policy (IGSP) and Pennsylvania State University. . The results may have important implications for understanding the differences in traits among women and betwe...

Use of PET can reduce, may eliminate more strenuous drug development trials with animals

A number of articles explore the use of positron emission tomography (PET) and small animal imaging--nonsurgical techniques that open the door to understanding and treating human diseases--in the April issue of the Society of Nuclear Medicine's Journal of Nuclear Medicine. . A major benefit of small animal imaging "is the ability to carry out many studies at various time points with the same anim...

Chemicals in tattoo inks need closer scrutiny

As tattoos have grown in popularity, so have complaints of adverse side effects associated with both their application and removal. A new study, done by chemistry students at Northern Arizona University, looked at the chemical composition of a variety of tattoo inks to better understand their potential health risks. .. . Although inks used in tattoos...

Harmful chemicals may reprogram gene response to estrogen

New research shows that exposure to harmful chemicals and drugs during critical developmental periods early in life may actually "reprogram" the way certain genes respond to the female hormone estrogen. This genetic reprogramming may determine whether people with a genetic predisposition for a disease actually develop the disease. . The new research shows that when rats with a genetic predisposit...

Silence the gene, save the cell: RNA interference as promising therapy for ALS

Scientists at the Ecole Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne (EPFL) in Switzerland have used RNA interference in transgenic mice to silence a mutated gene that causes inherited cases of amytrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), substantially delaying both the onset and the progression rate of the fatal motor neuron disease. Their results will be published in the April issue of Nature Medicine, and in the...

Defenseless plants arm themselves with metals

A group of plants that uses metal to defend against infection may do so because the normal defense mechanism used by most other plants is blocked. .. . These findings, reported in today's (Friday, March 11) issue of the journal Plant Phys...

Yeast Network Prevents Damage By Oxygen Radicals

Reactive oxygen species (ROS), or 'oxygen radicals', have been identified as major contributors to signs of premature aging, increased cancer prevalence linked to inflammation-associated syndromes and a variety of human diseases. Now scientists at the University of California, San Diego Branch of the Ludwig Institute for Cancer Research (LICR) have identified a key network of DNA repair and cell...

Study reveals new technique for fingerprinting environmental samples

Groundbreaking research led by the U.S. Department of Energy Joint Genome Institute (DOE JGI) demonstrates for the first time that the signatures of the genes alone in terrestrial and aquatic samples can accurately diagnose the health of the sampled environments. This study, published in the April 22nd edition of the journal Science positions large-scale genome sequencing to accelerate advances i...

Edible bivalves as a source of human pathogens: signals between vibrios and the bivalve host.

Clams, mussels and oysters are important vehicles for the transmission of enteric diseases when consumed raw or undercooked. Vibrio species, including human pathogens, are particularly abundant in bivalve tissues, where they can persist even after cleaning procedures, thus representing a potential risk for human health. Although different environmental factors are well known to affect the persist...

Undesirable expatriates: Preventing the spread of invasive animals

Reconsider relocating aquarium fish into your backyard pond. Restrain yourself from ordering exotic pets off the Internet, no matter how interesting they might look in the pictures. And vote for politicians that encourage sound port inspection. Because, according to recent Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences article by Drs. Jonathan M. Jeschke and David L. Strayer, our best defense in...

Scientists discover that three overlapping signals in embryo help get the backbone right

A major step in the development of the vertebrate embryo - the establishment of a back that morphs into a brain, spinal cord and muscles - turns out to be so important that the body uses at least three signals to make sure it happens properly. .. . That 1924 observation in newts by Hans Spe...

Study reveals dramatic difference between breast cancers in US and Africa

A study comparing, for the first time, breast cancers from Nigeria, Senegal and North America has found that women of African ancestry are more likely to be diagnosed with a more virulent form of the disease than women of European ancestry. .. Researchers from the University of Chicago, working with colleagues at the University of Calabar in Nigeria and the University of North Carolina, found tha...

UCSD research reveals mechanism involved with type of fatal epilepsy

Researchers at University of California, San Diego (UCSD) have found that Lafora disease, an inherited form of epilepsy that results in death by the age of 30, can be caused by mutations in a gene that regulates the concentration of the protein laforin. These findings are reported in the current issue of Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (PNAS). . Lafora disease is characterized by...

UCLA scientists store materials in cells natural vaults

In the realm of nanotechnology, or study of the tiny, scientists often aim to safely deliver and leave material in the human body without causing harm. A big challenge is how to design a package for this biomaterial that will be compatible with living cells and will not provoke an immune reaction. Previous efforts have relied upon viruses or artificial chemicals to house and deliver drugs or othe...

Study reveals candidate targets for anti-retroviral therapeutics

The increased frequency of drug resistance in isolates of the AIDS virus, HIV, makes identification of new antiviral targets an urgent necessity. Host genes required to support the replication of HIV are a potential source of such novel targets, but relatively few appropriate target genes have been identified in animal cells thus far. A new study, conducted by Dr. Suzanne Sandmeyer and colleagues...

After a time-shift, mixed signals from the circadian clock

Circadian rhythms in mammalian behavior, physiology, and biochemistry are controlled by the central clock within a brain structure known as the suprachiasmatic nucleus (SCN). The clock is synchronized to environmental cycles of light and dark. It is well known, from everyday experience, that adjusting to new light schedules takes several days, though the details of how this adaptation takes place...

Researchers make surprise discovery that some neurons can transmit three signals at once

Generations of neuroscientists have been indoctrinated into believing that our senses, thoughts, feelings and movements are orchestrated by a communication network of brain cells, or neurons, each responsible for relaying one specific chemical message called a neurotransmitter. Either neurons release a neurotransmitter that excites a neighboring cell, thereby triggering an electrical discharge an...

Master gene controls healing of skin in fruit flies and mammals

University of California, San Diego biologists and their colleagues have discovered that the genetic system controlling the development and repair of insect cuticle--the outer layer of the body surface in insects--also controls these processes in mammalian skin, a finding that could lead to new insights into the healing of wounds and treatment of cancer. . The UCSD biologists' study, published Ap...

Two chemicals boost immune cells' ability to fight HIV without gene therapy

A UCLA AIDS Institute study has discovered that two chemical compounds may help the immune systems of HIV-infected persons fight the disease without invasive gene therapy. Presented March 5 at the 2005 Palm Springs Symposium on HIV/AIDS, the new research demonstrates that the new chemicals activate telomerase -- a protein that boosts immune cells' ability to divide, enabling them to continue dest...

Structure-building cell signals also may influence learning and memory

A Burnham Institute study has found that one of the cell's largest families of signaling molecules, called ephrins, which are known to regulate the development of nerve cells, also controls nerve cells' ability to engulf critical chemicals and proteins for learning and memory. These findings, the first to link these molecular semaphores to this important nerve cell function, appear in the May iss...
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