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Novel discoveries on aggressive NK-cell leukemia pave the way for new treatments

Thu, 19 Apr 18 00:04:00 -0700

International research consortium led by researchers from the University of Helsinki, Finland, discovered new information related to a rare form of leukemia called aggressive NK-cell leukemia. Potential new treatment options were found which are highly warranted as currently this disease usually leads to rapid death of patients.

Skin cancers linked with reduced risk of Alzheimer's disease

Thu, 19 Apr 18 00:02:50 -0700

Previous studies have demonstrated a decreased risk of Alzheimer's disease (AD) in individuals with various cancers, including non-melanoma skin cancers (including squamous cell cancers and basal cell cancers).

DOR protein deficiency favors the development of obesity

Thu, 19 Apr 18 00:05:30 -0700

According to a recent study published by researchers at the Institute for Research in Biomedicine (IRB Barcelona) and CIBERDEM in Nature Cell Biology, deficiency in the protein DOR (also called TP53INP2) stimulates the generation of new adipose cells (which store fat) and leads to a less harmful kind of obesity.

Natural selection gave a freediving people in Southeast Asia bigger spleens

Thu, 19 Apr 18 00:15:50 -0700

The Bajau people of Southeast Asia, known as Sea Nomads, spend their whole lives at sea, working eight-hour diving shifts with traditional equipment and short breaks to catch fish and shellfish for their families. In a study published April 19 in the journal Cell, researchers report that the extraordinary diving abilities of the Bajau may be thanks in part to their unusually large spleens, a rare example of natural selection in modern humans.

Optogenetic study shows that male flies find ejaculation pleasurable

Thu, 19 Apr 18 00:15:40 -0700

Researchers reporting in Current Biology on April 19 show that male fruit flies find sex -- and more specifically ejaculation -- to be an inherently rewarding experience. The study is the first to show that the rewarding nature of ejaculation is conserved among animals, from flies and mammals. It also adds to evidence that manipulating sexual experience in flies affects their interest in consuming alcohol, the researchers say.

Neurons derived from super-obese people respond differently to appetite hormones

Thu, 19 Apr 18 00:15:20 -0700

US scientists have successfully generated hypothalamic-like neurons from human induced pluripotent stem cells (hiPSCs) taken from the blood and skin cells of super-obese individuals and people with a normal body weight. The researchers found that the brain cells derived from the super obese were more likely to dysregulate hormones related to feeding behavior and hunger, as well as obesity-related genes and metabolic pathways. The work appears April 19 in the journal Cell Stem Cell.

Using the right plants can reduce indoor pollution and save energy

Thu, 19 Apr 18 00:15:10 -0700

In a Review published April 19 in Trends in Plant Science, Frederico Brilli, a plant physiologist at the National Research Council of Italy - Institute for Sustainable Plant Protection, and colleagues conclude that a better knowledge of plant physiology, along with integration of smart-sensor-controlled air cleaning technologies, could improve indoor air quality in a cost-effective and sustainable way.

A complete cell atlas and lineage tree of the immortal flatworm

Thu, 19 Apr 18 00:00:30 -0700

From one stem cell to many differentiated body cells: Scientists from the MDC in Berlin, along with collaborating researchers in Munich, have published a comprehensive lineage tree of a whole adult animal in the journal Science. This was made possible by a combination of RNA and computational technologies.

Scientists identify 170 potential lung cancer drug targets using unique cellular library

Thu, 19 Apr 18 00:02:50 -0700

After testing more than 200,000 chemical compounds, UT Southwestern's Simmons Cancer Center researchers have identified 170 chemicals that are potential candidates for development into drug therapies for lung cancer.

Difference in gene switching discovered in different parts of brain

Wed, 18 Apr 18 00:10:50 -0700

Researchers found significant difference in the molecular machinery that turns on and off gene expression between cerebellum and prefrontal cortex of a mouse brain. Their results provide clues to the molecular apparatus that is involved in conscious thinking in brains.

Back to the beginning

Tue, 17 Apr 18 00:12:50 -0700

As scientists try to find therapy options to fight back and neck pain, considerable interest exists in harnessing stem cells to restore nucleus pulposus, the chief material in discs. Previous research shows human induced pluripotent stem cells (hiPSCs) can express markers for a wide variety of cells, including those that secrete NP. A collaborative team of scientists at Washington University has developed a new process to generate NP-like cells from hiPSCs.

Preserving fertility during chemotherapy

Tue, 17 Apr 18 00:16:10 -0700

One of the most significant impairments of the quality of life after a chemotherapy is infertility. Researchers of the Goethe University and the University Tor Vergata in Rome have now identified the mechanism of chemotherapy-induced infertility in females.

Calculus III for cells

Tue, 17 Apr 18 00:15:50 -0700

Cells can sense and respond to surface curvature in very clever ways, as shown in research led by researchers at the University of Pennsylvania. The results, which revealed that curvature is a profound biological cue, could pave the way to new tools in the field.

Structure of a protein complex related with cell survival revealed

Mon, 16 Apr 18 00:02:40 -0700

A team from the Spanish National Cancer Research Centre (CNIO) has determined for the first time the high-resolution structure of a complex (R2TP) involved in key processes for cell survival and in diseases such as cancer. This achievement has been made possible by using high-resolution cryo-electron microscopy.

Cholesterol leash: Key tethering protein found to transport cellular cholesterol

Mon, 16 Apr 18 00:06:10 -0700

Cholesterol is an essential component of living organisms, but the mechanisms that transport cholesterol inside the cell are poorly understood. Researchers at Osaka University identified RELCH, a tethering protein that is essential for non-vesicular transport of cholesterol. The findings may lead to new discovery pathways for the treatment of cholesterol-related metabolic disorders.

Enigmatic gene critical for a healthy brain show University of Bath scientists

Mon, 16 Apr 18 00:06:50 -0700

Scientists from the universities of Bath, Oxford and Edinburgh have identified a non-coding RNA, called Paupar, influences how healthy brains develop during early life. They have shown that Paupar orchestrates proteins that control neurodevelopment.

Scientists uncover connection between post-natal sensory experiences and brain development

Mon, 16 Apr 18 00:14:00 -0700

New research by University of Toronto neuroscientists sheds light on links between brain growth and sensations experienced by animals soon after birth. The researchers have identified a form of neural feedback in zebrafish that could link development of the body with that of the brain. The findings suggest mobility restrictions or insufficient sensory stimuli impact the production of new brain cells and brain development. The likely outcome is that learning and cognition are negatively affected.

Is whole-brain radiation still best for brain metastases from small-cell lung cancer?

Mon, 16 Apr 18 00:02:40 -0700

University of Colorado Cancer Center study compares outcomes of 5,752 small-cell lung cancer patients who received whole-brain radiation therapy (WBRT) with those of 200 patients who received stereotactic radiosurgery (SRS), finding that the median overall survival was actually longer with SRS (10.8 months with SRS versus 7.1 months with WBRT).

New liquid biopsy-based cancer model reveals data on deadly lung cancer

Sun, 15 Apr 18 00:16:10 -0700

Small cell lung cancer (SCLC) accounts for 14 percent of all lung cancers and is often rapidly resistant to chemotherapy resulting in poor clinical outcomes. Treatment has changed little for decades, but a study at The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center offers a potential explanation for why the disease becomes chemoresistant, and a possible avenue to explore new diagnostic approaches.

Cytoplasmic streaming is involved in the transmission of signals within giant cells in Chara algae

Fri, 13 Apr 18 00:07:20 -0700

Chara algae are ancient plant organisms that are commonly found in freshwater reservoirs and occur, though more rarely, in water bodies with salt water. An unusual feature of this type of algae is the huge size of individual cells, which can reach up to 1 mm in diameter and up to several centimeters in length.

Alzheimer plaque affects different brain cells differently

Fri, 13 Apr 18 00:09:40 -0700

Amyloid beta, a protein linked with Alzheimer's disease, has different properties in different cell types in the brains of fruit flies. This is the conclusion of a study led by researchers at Linköping University in Sweden. While amyloid beta is highly toxic for nerve cells, it seems that certain other types of cell are hardly damaged at all by aggregates of the protein.

To starve pancreatic tumors, researchers seek to block 'self-eating,' other fuel sources

Fri, 13 Apr 18 00:15:00 -0700

UNC Lineberger Comprehensive Cancer Center researchers and their collaborators are reporting preclinical findings for a potential two-treatment strategy to block multiple mechanisms of cancer cell metabolism in pancreatic cancer at the American Association for Cancer Research Annual Meeting in Chicago. The findings will be presented from 8 a.m. to noon on Wednesday.

Flaxseed-like particles can now grow bone, cartilage tissues for humans

Fri, 13 Apr 18 00:04:20 -0700

Human stem cells have shown potential in medicine as they can transform into various specialized cell types such as bone and cartilage cells. The current approach to obtain such specialized cells is to subject stem cells to specialized instructive protein molecules known as growth factors. However, use of growth factors in the human body can generate harmful effects including unwanted tissue growth, such as a tumor.

Cure for fission yeast genes could have bigger things ahead

Thu, 12 Apr 18 00:02:40 -0700

New OIST study of mystery chemical has uncovered potential new medical treatments for genetic disorders.

As hummingbirds dive, twisting tail feathers direct sound at potential mates

Thu, 12 Apr 18 00:15:10 -0700

Rather than singing to their mates, Costa's hummingbird males court females with musical, high-speed dives. Their 'song' is produced as the wind whistles through their tail feathers. Now, researchers reporting in the journal Current Biology on April 12 have found that the diving males twist half their tails as they whiz through the air, apparently to aim the sound in the direction of their potential mates.

Sweet potato history casts doubt on early contact between Polynesia and the Americas

Thu, 12 Apr 18 00:15:00 -0700

Evidence reported in the journal Current Biology on April 12 shows that sweet potatoes arose before there were any humans around to eat them. The findings also suggest that the sweet potato crossed the ocean from America to Polynesia without any help from people. The discovery raises doubts about the existence of pre-Columbian contacts between Polynesia and the American continent.

Lung stem cells repair airways after injury

Thu, 12 Apr 18 00:13:10 -0700

Working in mice, University of Iowa researchers have identified a new population of lung stem cells that appear to be important for regenerating the airway following severe injury. The cells, known as glandular myoepithelial cells (MECs), can self-renew and differentiate into seven distinct cell types in the airway. Overexpression of the transcription factor Lef-1 in MECs is sufficient to activate the cells' regenerative response even in the absence of airway injury.

Team finds a mechanism for the composition of liquid droplets in cells

Thu, 12 Apr 18 00:01:30 -0700

It was big surprise in 2008 when participants in the Marine Biological Laboratory physiology course realized that simple phase separations -- like oil separating from water -- may be one important way to create order inside a cell. This week in Science, a team shows for the first time that RNA molecules recognize one another to condense into the same liquid 'droplet' in cells due to specific 3-D shapes that the molecules assume.

RNAs help molecules come together in liquid-like droplets within living cells

Thu, 12 Apr 18 00:00:20 -0700

Researchers at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill collaborated to determine how proteins and messenger RNAs condense into liquid-like droplets within cells. The activity is a normal biological process, but it can lead to neurodegenerative diseases like Parkinson's disease when it goes awry. The researchers found that the process is regulated by molecules of RNA that recognize each other and combine based on the very specific and complex shapes of RNA molecules.

Immune-engineered device targets chemo-resistant lymphoma

Thu, 12 Apr 18 00:03:10 -0700

Cornell University researchers have developed a 'lymphoma micro-reactor' device that exposes human lymphomas to fluid flow similar to that in the lymphatics and parts of the lymph node. It is designed to explore how fluid forces may relate to a tumors' drug resistance.

'Scaffolding' method allows biochemists to see proteins in remarkable detail

Thu, 12 Apr 18 00:04:30 -0700

UCLA biochemists have achieved a major goal in biology: seeing at near atomic detail the smallest protein ever visualized by the technique whose development won the 2017 Nobel Prize in chemistry. Until now, this method has not worked with the small proteins inside cells.

RB1 gene mutations underlie clinical resistance to CDK 4/6 inhibitor breast cancer therapy

Wed, 11 Apr 18 00:06:20 -0700

A multi-institutional research team has identified what may be a novel mechanism underlying acquired resistance to CDK 4/6 inhibitor treatment for breast cancer.

Scientists discover a role for 'junk' DNA

Wed, 11 Apr 18 00:07:40 -0700

Researchers at the University of Michigan Life Sciences Institute and the Howard Hughes Medical Institute have determined how satellite DNA, considered to be 'junk DNA,' plays a crucial role in holding the genome together.

Study reveals every bowel tumor and bowel cancer cell have unique genetic fingerprints

Wed, 11 Apr 18 00:09:10 -0700

New research on bowel cancer has shown that every tumor is different, and that every cell within the tumor is genetically unique. In the first study of its kind, researchers from the Wellcome Sanger Institute, UK and Hubrecht Institute (KNAW) in The Netherlands, used the latest single cell and organoid technologies to understand the mutational processes of the disease. Reported in Nature, the study could help researchers target cancer-specific processes for prevention or treatment.

New methodology helps study of promising targeted drug delivery scaffold

Wed, 11 Apr 18 00:10:20 -0700

Researchers studied a self-assembling virus shell to learn how to change its physical properties so it can be designed for use in detecting diseases and targeted drug delivery and vaccinations.

UTSA researchers explore little-known, deadly fungal infections

Tue, 10 Apr 18 00:14:30 -0700

A new study by Althea Campuzano, Ph.D., a student at the University of Texas at San Antonio, and Floyd Wormley, Jr., Professor of Biology and Senior Associate Dean for Research and Graduate Studies, sheds light on little-known fungal infections caused by the fungus Cryptococcus. There are currently no vaccines available for any fungal infection, which can be extremely deadly to patients under treatment for diseases like HIV, AIDS and cancer.

Blood flow is a major influence on tumor cell metastasis

Mon, 09 Apr 18 00:06:40 -0700

Scientists have long theorized that blood flow plays an integral role in cancer metastasis. But new research, published April 9 in Development Cell, testing this long-held hypothesis in zebrafish and humans confirms that the circulatory blood flow impacts the position where circulating tumor cells ultimately arrest in the vasculature and exit into the body, where they can form a metastasis.

Developmental scars

Mon, 09 Apr 18 00:08:00 -0700

The MDC researcher Jan Philipp Junker and his team have used CRISPR-Cas9 genome editing to pioneer a technique capable of determining both the type and origin of all the cells in an organism. They describe their method in Nature Biotechnology.

Survival strategy: How one enzyme helps bacteria recover from exposure to antibiotics

Mon, 09 Apr 18 00:09:40 -0700

Researchers at the University of Notre Dame focused on an enzyme in gram-negative bacterium Pseudomonas aeruginosa, a pathogen that causes pneumonia and sepsis.

HIV Cell dysfunction discovery sheds light on how virus works

Fri, 06 Apr 18 00:10:30 -0700

A new study has revealed that certain immune cells behave differently in HIV-infected patients than they do in healthy individuals, a discovery that moves us one step closer to understanding how the virus works.

Older adults grow just as many new brain cells as young people

Thu, 05 Apr 18 00:14:00 -0700

Researchers show for the first time that healthy older men and women can generate just as many new brain cells as younger people in a study that appears on April 5 in the journal Cell Stem Cell.

How lemurs win 'friends' and influence other lemurs

Thu, 05 Apr 18 00:13:40 -0700

In human social networks, people often find it useful to spend time with others who are successful and well informed. Now researchers reporting in Current Biology on April 5 have found that the same is true in lemur society. Regardless of age or sex, the study shows that lemurs who are more likely to learn to solve a new task and retrieve a food reward after watching how it's done also had more social connections.

Study reveals how 'microbial axolotl' repairs itself

Thu, 05 Apr 18 00:13:20 -0700

In a new study, published in Current Biology this week, a research team from Uppsala University in Sweden reports new insights into the regenerative capabilities of Stentor, a single celled model organism for regeneration biology. The study used novel gene expression methods that allowed the researchers to identify over one thousand genes that are involved in the regeneration process of individual stentor cells.

New discovery explains why cells with identical genes perform unique jobs

Thu, 05 Apr 18 00:12:10 -0700

A newly discovered family of proteins -- present in humans and all complex animals -- are key players in controlling how stem cells specialise and in how embryos develop. These families of proteins may also represent key targets for drug developers looking to design new therapeutic options for some cancer patients.

Genes' interplay gives clues to how new cell types could evolve

Thu, 05 Apr 18 00:16:00 -0700

Developmental biologists at the University of Bath have gained insights into how a family of essential genes interact differently between different parts of the body and between species, which could offer clues about how new types of cells come to evolve.

'Sleeping' stem cells could aid brain repair

Thu, 05 Apr 18 00:15:50 -0700

Scientists at the Wellcome Trust/ Cancer Research UK Gurdon Institute, University of Cambridge, have identified a new type of stem cell in the brain which they say has a high potential for repair following brain injury or disease.

It's all about the (stem cell) neighborhood

Thu, 05 Apr 18 00:06:00 -0700

Researchers at Duke-NUS Medical School have now identified how the stem cell neighbourhood, known as a niche, keeps stem cells in the gut alive. Their results provide new insights into the structure of the stem cell niche in health and after injury.

Who's smarter in the classroom -- men or women?

Wed, 04 Apr 18 00:15:30 -0700

A first-of-its-kind study by researchers at Arizona State University shows that in the college biology classroom, men perceive themselves as smarter, even when compared to women whose grades prove they are just as smart. The study, published April 4 in the journal Advances in Physiology Education, shows that gender greatly impacts students' perceptions of their own intelligence, particularly when they compare themselves to others.

Anemia: When cells fail to produce enough protein factories

Wed, 04 Apr 18 00:01:50 -0700

Every day, stem cells in our bone marrow produce billions of new red blood cells. Any disruption in this process can result in serious disease. Researchers from Charité - Universitätsmedizin Berlin and Harvard Medical School have succeeded in furthering our understanding of how blood cells are formed. Their insights into the molecular foundations of this process may help break new ground in the treatment of certain types of anemia. The results of this study have been published in Cell.

Healthy red blood cells owe their shape to muscle-like structures

Wed, 04 Apr 18 00:06:50 -0700

The findings could shed light on sickle cell diseases and other disorders where red blood cells are deformed.