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Cancer researchers find key protein link

Cancer researchers find key protein link

A new understanding of proteins at the nexus of a cell’s decision to survive or die has implications for researchers who study cancer and age-related diseases, according to biophysicists at the Rice University-based Center for Theoretical Biological Physics (CTBP). Experiments and computer analysis of two key proteins revealed a previously unknown binding interface that could be addressed by medication. Results of the research appear this week in an open-source paper in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences Continue reading

From mouse ears to human’s? Gene therapy to address progressive hearing loss

From mouse ears to human’s? Gene therapy to address progressive hearing loss

One in a thousand children in the United States is deaf, and one in three adults will experience significant hearing loss after the age of 65. Continue reading

Stem cell study finds source of earliest blood cells during development

Stem cell study finds source of earliest blood cells during development

Hematopoietic stem cells are now routinely used to treat patients with cancers and other disorders of the blood and immune systems, but researchers knew little about the progenitor cells that give rise to them during embryonic development. In a study published April 8 in Stem Cell Reports , Matthew Inlay of the Sue & Bill Gross Stem Cell Research Center, and faculty member of the Department of Molecular Biology and Biochemistry, and Stanford University colleagues created novel cell assays that identified the earliest arising HSC precursors based on their ability to generate all major blood cell types (red blood cells, platelets and immune cells). This discovery of very early differentiating blood cells, Inlay said, may be very beneficial for the creation of HSC lines for clinical treatments Continue reading

Gene family linked to brain evolution implicated in severity of autism symptoms

Gene family linked to brain evolution implicated in severity of autism symptoms

The same gene family that may have helped the human brain become larger and more complex than in any other animal also is linked to the severity of autism, according to new research from the University of Colorado Anschutz Medical Campus. The gene family is made up of over 270 copies of a segment of DNA called DUF1220. DUF1220 codes for a protein domain — a specific functionally important segment within a protein Continue reading

Proteins that control energy use necessary to form stem cells

Proteins that control energy use necessary to form stem cells

Two proteins that control how cells break down glucose play a key role in forming human stem cells, University of Washington researchers have found. The finding has implications for future work in both regenerative medicine and cancer therapy Continue reading

New approach makes cancer cells explode

New approach makes cancer cells explode

Researchers at Karolinska Institutet in Sweden have discovered that a substance called Vacquinol-1 makes cells from glioblastoma, the most aggressive type of brain tumour, literally explode. When mice were given the substance, which can be given in tablet form, tumour growth was reversed and survival was prolonged. The findings are published in the journal Cell. Continue reading

Bacterial reporters that get the scoop: Engineered gut bacteria ‘remembers’ what it saw

Bacterial reporters that get the scoop: Engineered gut bacteria ‘remembers’ what it saw

It’s a jungle in there. Continue reading

Tequila plant possible sweetener for diabetics, helps reduce blood sugar, weight

Tequila plant possible sweetener for diabetics, helps reduce blood sugar, weight

A sweetener created from the plant used to make tequila could lower blood glucose levels for the 26 million Americans and others worldwide who have type 2 diabetes and help them and the obese lose weight, researchers have reported. The main reason it could be valuable, they explained, is that agavins, a natural form of sugar found in the agave plant, are non-digestible and can act as a dietary fiber, so they would not raise blood glucose. Their report was part of the 247th National Meeting of the American Chemical Society (ACS), the world’s largest scientific society. Continue reading

Tequila plant possible sweetener for diabetics, helps reduce blood sugar, weight

Tequila plant possible sweetener for diabetics, helps reduce blood sugar, weight

A sweetener created from the plant used to make tequila could lower blood glucose levels for the 26 million Americans and others worldwide who have type 2 diabetes and help them and the obese lose weight, researchers have reported. Continue reading

Tension triggers muscle building

Tension triggers muscle building

Skeletal muscles are built from small contractile units, the sarcomeres. Many of these sarcomeres are connected in a well-ordered series to form myofibrils that span from one muscle end to the other. Continue reading