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Elusive HIV shape change revealed; Key clue to how virus infects cells

Structural biologists at Children's Hospital Boston and Harvard Medical School have shown how a key part of the human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) changes shape, triggering other changes that allow the AIDS virus to enter and infect cells. Their findings, published in the Feb. 24 issue of the journal Nature, offer clues that will help guide vaccine and treatment approaches. . Researchers led by H...

Inexpensive, mass-produced genes core of synthetic biology advances at UH

;.progress in this area is made in the UK, too. It'll open tons of.research avenue, speeding the slow (and tedious) process of gene.cloning, or gene modification (mutations, deletions, etc). .Devices the size of a pager now have greater capabilities than.computers that once occupied an entire room. Similar advances are being.made in the emerging field of synthetic biology at the University of.Ho...

A comprehensive response to HIV could prevent 10 million AIDS deaths in Africa by 2020

Based on successful animal studies, a novel.vaccine that uses immune cells as factories to produce Her2/neu protein.may offer a way to treat some human breast cancers, say researchers at.The University of Texas M. D. Anderson Cancer Center. [Ed : ].Their study, published in the online journal, Breast Cancer Research,.on Nov. 29, 2004, showed that the vaccine protected 86 percent of.experimental...

New therapy for HIV/AIDS eliminates needles and excessive toxicity

A team led by Johns Hopkins scientists has.found the first clear evidence that the process behind the human immune.system's remarkable ability to recognize and respond to a million.different proteins might have originated from a family of genes whose.only apparent function is to jump around in genetic material.. .essentially cut themselves out of the genetic material, and scientists.have suspecte...

Scientists discover how plants disarm the toxic effects of excessive sunlight

A newly discovered pathway by which cells protect themselves from a toxic byproduct of photosynthesis may hold important implications for bioenergy sources, human and plant disease, and agricultural yields, a team of University of Wisconsin-Madison bacteriologists announced Monday in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. . Plants turn energy from sunlight into bioenergy through a c...

Reservoirs may accelerate the spread of invasive aquatic species, researchers say

Just as disturbance makes a landscape susceptible to invasion by alien plant species, the construction of reservoirs around the globe could be contributing to the accelerating spread of exotic aquatic species, according to a Forum article in the June 2005 issue of BioScience. John A. Havel of Southwest Missouri State University and Carol Eunmi Lee and M. Jake Vander Zanden of the University of Wi...

Aggressive aquatic species invading Great Lakes

Foreign species, such as zebra mussels and carp, are invading the Great Lakes and changing the ecology of this vital ecosystem. A study from McMaster University published in the March issue of the Journal of Great Lakes Research suggests that for the round goby, a recently introduced fish species, their ability to wrest territory from native fish plays a key role in their dominance of the Great L...

Chromosome Deletion Predicts Aggressive Neuroblastoma

When genes are deleted on a particular section of chromosome 11, the result is an aggressive form of the childhood cancer neuroblastoma. A new study suggests that detecting this genetic deletion during the initial evaluation of children with neuroblastoma may indicate to physicians that they should recommend a more aggressive regimen of chemotherapy to fight the cancer. . Edward F. Attiyeh, M.D.,...

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...

AIDS Public Awareness Campaign Expands Following Report Of Rapidly Progressive HIV

State Health Commissioner Antonia C. Novello, M.D., M.P.H., Dr.P.H., today announced the expansion of New York State's HIV/AIDS Public Awareness and Education campaign to help combat the potential spread of HIV and further protect New Yorkers from the virus that causes AIDS. .. Dr. Novello said, "In light of recent reports of a drug-resistant, rapidly progressive strain of HIV in New York City, w...

Nature provides inspiration for important new adhesive

Researchers from the College of Forestry at Oregon State University have developed a new group of adhesives that may revolutionize a large portion of the wood products industry, and have important environmental and economic benefits. . .. Li observed mussels being pounded by ocean waves, and wondered how...

Comprehensive biodefense text published

A new book, Biological Weapons Defense: Infectious Disease and Counterbioterrorism, deals with the intentional causality of disease. Published by Humana Press, this text is also available in e-Book. Many of the contributors come from the U.S. Army Medical Research Institute of Infectious Diseases (USAMRIID), the nation's premier biodefense laboratory. . In this 624-page, hardcover text edited by...

Internet viruses help ecologists control invasive species

Studying how computer viruses spread through the internet is helping ecologists to prevent invasions of non-native species. New research published today in the British Ecological Society's Journal of Applied Ecology, describes the use of network theory to predict how the spiny water flea - a native of Russia - will spread through the Canadian lake system. .. Ecologists Jim Muirhead and Professor...

Lipids get new comprehensive classification system

In response to the growing number of lipids expected to be discovered through lipidomics and in anticipation of the massive amounts of data that will be generated by the lipid community, an international group of scientists has developed a comprehensive classification, nomenclature, and chemical representation system for lipids. The details of the system appear in the May issue of the Journal of...

Open Access journals get impressive impact factors

Impressive impact factors prove that BioMed Central's Open Access journals are high quality and widely read and cited. Journals published by BioMed Central have again received impact factors that compare well with equivalent subscription titles, it was announced today, with five titles in the top five of their specialty. The high impact factors for these journals affirm that they are respected by...

Invasive parasite destroying fish species

Assistant Professor Mark Pagani in the Department of Geology and Geophysics at Yale and his colleagues mapped the first detailed history of atmospheric carbon dioxide between 45 - 25 million years ago based on stable isotopes of carbon in a National Science Foundation study reported in Science Express. . "Through the energy we consume, each of us makes a contribution to increasing greenhouse gass...

Why are coyotes getting more aggressive?

Coyotes tend to avoid human contact. But recently, coyotes have been getting increasingly aggressive in the eastern United States, including southeastern New York state, attacking neighborhood pets on the fringe of urban and suburban areas. . "This kind of aggressive behavior is usually the last stage before coyotes actually start attacking humans -- such as small children that are perceived by t...

Affymetrix and ParAllele Launch Industry's Most Comprehensive Product Line for Targeted Genotyping

Twenty-eight years after intense selective logging stopped in the region now known as Uganda's Kibale National Park, the red-tailed guenon (Cercophithecus ascanius) is a primate still in decline. The logging practice, scientists report in a new study, changed the ecological balance for these monkeys, leading to behavioral changes and opening the door for multiple parasitic infections. . The resea...

The very defensive caterpillar

Caterpillars are bleeding defensive! Insects are known to lack an antibody-mediated immune response, and research in caterpillars has recently shown that, instead, they produce protective proteins in response to bacterial infection. The pattern recognition receptors (PRR) and antibacterial effectors produced at a first infection still function to protect against a repeated challenge. These result...

New plant DNA libraries provides massive boost to world's plant researchers

Researchers at the University of Warwick's horticultural research arm Warwick HRI have created an extensive new range of libraries of plant DNA that will provide a massive boost to the world's plant researchers. The new collection of DNA libraries is the largest of its type in the world and will provide researchers with a unique resource. . The Warwick researchers have set up a new spin out compa...

Elusive salamanders have role in developing new sampling models

Rare salamanders at a Georgia military base are the guinea pigs for Oak Ridge National Laboratory researchers whose goal is to develop methods to better determine whether a species has vanished. .. . "Just because y...

Neurotransmitters signal aggressive cancer, offer potential for early diagnosis

Nerves talk to each other using chemicals called neurotransmitters. One of those "communication chemicals," aptly named GABA (gamma amino butyric acid), shows up in unusually high amounts in some aggressive tumors, according to a new study from Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis. . The researchers investigated metastatic neuroendocrine tumors, which include aggressive types of...

Minimally Invasive Cancer Treatments Highlighted

Clinicians and basic scientists from academia, private practice, government and industry are coming together for a week-long multi-disciplinary symposium in interventional oncology, a rapidly growing area of medicine involving minimally invasive interventional radiology treatments for cancer. . The first two days of the meeting focus on treatments for liver, kidney, bone and lung tumors. The seco...

Underlying cause of massive pinyon pine die-off revealed

The high heat that accompanied the recent drought was the underlying cause of death for millions of pinyon pines throughout the Southwest, according to new research. . .. "We documented a massive forest die-off - and it's a concern because it's the type of thing we can expect more of with global warming," said resea...

NIH launches comprehensive effort to explore cancer genomics

The National Cancer Institute (NCI) and the National Human Genome Research Institute (NHGRI), both part of the National Institutes of Health (NIH), today launched a comprehensive effort to accelerate our understanding of the molecular basis of cancer through the application of genome analysis technologies, especially large-scale genome sequencing. The overall effort, called The Cancer Genome Atla...

Should doctors tell patients about expensive, unfunded drugs?

It is unethical and paternalistic for doctors to withhold information from patients about new drugs that are not yet publicly funded, say researchers in this week's BMJ. . .. .. Res...

3D ultrasound device poised to advance minimally invasive surgery

Three-dimensional ultrasound probes built by researchers at Duke's Pratt School of Engineering have imaged the beating hearts of dogs. The engineers said their demonstration showed that the probes could give surgeons a better view during human endoscopic surgeries in which operations are performed through tiny "keyhole" incisions. . If the probes prove beneficial in human testing, the advance mig...

Carnegie Mellon develops non-invasive technique to detect transplant rejection at cellular level

Carnegie Mellon University scientist Chien Ho and his colleagues have developed a promising tool that uses magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) to track immune cells as they infiltrate a transplanted heart in the early stages of organ rejection. This pre-clinical advance, described in an upcoming issue of the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (PNAS), ultimately could provide a non-invas...

BiovaxID?yields 89 percent survival in patients with aggressive non-Hodgkins

Accentia Biopharmaceuticals, Inc. report follow-up data to a Phase 2 trial conducted by the National Cancer Institute (NCI) that shows Biovest's BiovaxID yielded an 89% survival rate in mantle cell lymphoma patients. . The median follow-up was 3.8 years. Historically, patients with this type of lymphoma only have had a 50% chance of surviving 3 years and 20% chance of surviving 5 years. BiovaxI...

Evidence for omega 3 fats less conclusive than we thought, say experts

A study published online by the BMJ today doesn't find evidence of a clear benefit of omega 3 fats on health. . .. .. Researchers analy...

Invasive species harms native hardwoods by killing soil fungus

An invasive weed that has spread across much of the U.S. harms native maples, ashes, and other hardwood trees by releasing chemicals harmful to a soil fungus the trees depend on for growth and survival, scientists report this week in the Public Library of Science. The tree-stifling alien, garlic mustard (Alliaria petiolata), first introduced into the U.S. in the 1860s, has since spread to Canada...

DNA conclusive yet still controversial, Carnegie Mellon professor says

Although the odds that DNA evidence found at a crime scene will match by chance the DNA of a person who was not there are infinitesimal, controversy continues about DNA identification and its use in criminal investigations, says Carnegie Mellon University Statistics Professor Kathryn Roeder. Roeder will present a historical overview of the use of DNA identification on Tuesday, April 25, during th...

CU, USDA team to curb two invasive, poisonous vines

With no known enemies in North America, two types of invasive vines are growing rampant in forests and fields, threatening reforestation, fragile butterfly populations and bird habitats. . .. Pale and black swallow-wort -- twining vines r...

Two NIH initiatives launch intensive efforts to find roots of common diseases

The Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) today announced the creation of two new, closely related initiatives to speed up research on the causes of common diseases such as asthma, arthritis and Alzheimer's disease. . One initiative boosts funding at the National Institutes of Health (NIH) for a multi-institute effort to identify the genetic and environmental underpinnings of common illn...

Intensive statin therapy may partially reverse plaque build-up in arteries

A study presented today at the American College of Cardiology's 55th Annual Scientific Session demonstrates, for the first time, that very intensive cholesterol lowering with a statin drug can regress (partially reverse) the buildup of plaque in the coronary arteries. . This finding has never before been observed in a study using statin drugs, the most commonly used cholesterol lowering treatme...

Invasive exotic plants helped by natural enemies

Although conventional wisdom suggests that invasive exotic plants thrive because they escape the natural enemies that kept them in check in their native ranges, a new study in the journal Science suggests the opposite. Exotic plants that are in the presence of their natural enemies actually do better in their introduced ranges. The research from the Georgia Institute of Technology appears in the...

Drug-resistant bacteria patterns in intensive care units changing nationally

A dangerous drug-resistant bacterium is becoming more prevalent in many intensive care units, according to an article in the Feb. 1 issue of Clinical Infectious Diseases, now available online. . .. Researchers at the...

Radiotherapy advance points way to noninvasive brain cancer treatment

With an equal rate of incidence and mortality-the number of those who get it, and the number of those who die from it-Glioblastoma Multiforme (GBM) is a brain cancer death sentence. . Of the approximately 12,000 people who are diagnosed with GBM annually in the U.S., half will die within a year, and the rest within 3 years. Currently, the only treatments that stretch survival limits are exception...

Impressive new Impact Factors for BioMed Central's open-access journals

Eleven journals published by BioMed Central, the open access publisher, received their first Impact Factor this month. With nine journals in the top 10 of their 2005 Journal Citation Report* category, and ten journals with a 2005 Impact Factor exceeding 3.00, open access journals are confirmed as publishing high-quality, highly cited research. . Genome Biology, BioMed Central's flagship title cov...

Mussels evolve quickly to defend against invasive crabs

Scientists at the University of New Hampshire (UNH) have found that invasive crab species may precipitate evolutionary change in blue mussels in as little as 15 years. The study, by UNH graduate student Aaren Freeman with associate professor of zoology James Byers and published in the Aug. 11 issue of the journal Science, indicates that such a response can evolve in an evolutionary nanosecond com...
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