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State-of-the-state on genetic-based testing, treatment for breast cancer revealed

State-of-the-state on genetic-based testing, treatment for breast cancer revealed

Dartmouth researchers at its Norris Cotton Cancer Center have compiled a review of the role that information gathered through genetic testing plays in the diagnosis and treatment of breast cancer. The paper entitled “Personalized Therapy for Breast Cancer” was accepted on March 17, 2014, for publication in Clinical Genetics . The paper discusses targeted therapies, new biomarkers, and the quality of commercially available testing methods. Continue reading

No longer junk: Role of long noncoding RNAs in autism risk

No longer junk: Role of long noncoding RNAs in autism risk

RNA acts as the intermediary between genes and proteins, but the function of pieces of RNA that do not code for protein has, historically, been less clear. Researchers have ignored these noncoding RNAs until recently for not complying with the central dogma of biology — that a straight line runs from gene to RNA (transcription) to protein (translation) Continue reading

Path to safer drugs for heart disease, cancer found by researchers

Path to safer drugs for heart disease, cancer found by researchers

Massachusetts General Hospital (MGH) investigators may have found a way to solve a problem that has plagued a group of drugs called ligand-mimicking integrin inhibitors, which have the potential to treat conditions ranging from heart attacks to cancer metastasis. In a Nature Structural & Molecular Biology paper receiving advance online publication, the researchers provide a structural basis for the design of new and safer integrin inhibitors. Integrins are receptor proteins found on the surface of cells that determine whether or not cells adhere to adjacent cells and the surrounding extracellular matrix Continue reading

Path to safer drugs for heart disease, cancer found by researchers

Path to safer drugs for heart disease, cancer found by researchers

Massachusetts General Hospital (MGH) investigators may have found a way to solve a problem that has plagued a group of drugs called ligand-mimicking integrin inhibitors, which have the potential to treat conditions ranging from heart attacks to cancer metastasis. In a Nature Structural & Molecular Biology paper receiving advance online publication, the researchers provide a structural basis for the design of new and safer integrin inhibitors. Integrins are receptor proteins found on the surface of cells that determine whether or not cells adhere to adjacent cells and the surrounding extracellular matrix Continue reading

Shifting evolution into reverse promises cheaper, greener way to make new drugs

Shifting evolution into reverse promises cheaper, greener way to make new drugs

This alternative approach to creating artificial organic molecules, called bioretrosynthesis, was first proposed four years ago by Brian Bachmann, associate professor of chemistry at Vanderbilt University. Now Bachmann and a team of collaborators report that they have succeeded in using the method to produce the HIV drug didanosine. The proof of concept experiment is described in a paper published online March 23 by the journal Nature Chemical Biology . Continue reading

Shifting evolution into reverse promises cheaper, greener way to make new drugs

Shifting evolution into reverse promises cheaper, greener way to make new drugs

This alternative approach to creating artificial organic molecules, called bioretrosynthesis, was first proposed four years ago by Brian Bachmann, associate professor of chemistry at Vanderbilt University. Now Bachmann and a team of collaborators report that they have succeeded in using the method to produce the HIV drug didanosine. The proof of concept experiment is described in a paper published online March 23 by the journal Nature Chemical Biology . Continue reading

Genetic signature reveals new way to classify gum disease

Genetic signature reveals new way to classify gum disease

Researchers at Columbia University Medical Center (CUMC) have devised a new system for classifying periodontal disease based on the genetic signature of affected tissue, rather than on clinical signs and symptoms. The new classification system, the first of its kind, may allow for earlier detection and more individualized treatment of severe periodontitis, before loss of teeth and supportive bone occurs. The findings were published recently in the online edition of the Journal of Dental Research. 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

Inhibition of CDK4 might promote lymphoma development, progression

Inhibition of CDK4 might promote lymphoma development, progression

Anticancer agents that target a cell-cycle regulatory protein to inhibit tumor growth might actually promote the development and progression of certain B-cell lymphomas, according to a new study led by researchers at The Ohio State University Comprehensive Cancer Center — Arthur G. James Cancer Hospital and Richard J. Solove Research Institute (OSUCCC — James) 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