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New metastasis-suppressor gene identified by cancer researchers

New metastasis-suppressor gene identified by cancer researchers

Among patients with deadly cancers, more than 90 percent die because of metastatic spread of their disease. Looking to target a key pathway in order to interfere with the processes that lead to tumor spread, a research team led by Irwin H. Gelman, Ph.D., of Roswell Park Cancer Institute (RPCI) has identified a new suppressor of cancer metastasis that may point the way toward development of more effective treatments for prostate cancers and other malignant solid tumors. Continue reading

Obesity alone does not cause arthritis in animals

Obesity alone does not cause arthritis in animals

The link between obesity and osteoarthritis may be more than just the wear and tear on the skeleton caused by added weight. A Duke University study has found that the absence of the appetite hormone leptin can determine whether obese mice experience arthritis, no matter how heavy they are. “We were completely surprised to find that mice that became extremely obese had no arthritis if their bodies didn’t have leptin,” said Farshid Guilak, PhD, director of orthopaedic research in the Duke Department of Surgery Continue reading

Stem cell researcher targets ‘seeds’ of breast cancer metastasis

Stem cell researcher targets ‘seeds’ of breast cancer metastasis

For breast cancer patients, the era of personalized medicine may be just around the corner, thanks to recent advances by USC Stem Cell researcher Min Yu and scientists at Massachusetts General Hospital and Harvard Medical School. In a July 11 study in Science , Yu and her colleagues report how they isolated breast cancer cells circulating through the blood streams of six patients. Some of these deadly cancer cells are the “seeds” of metastasis, which travel to and establish secondary tumors in vital organs such as the bone, lungs, liver and brain. Continue reading

DARPA taps Lawrence Livermore to develop world’s first neural device to restore memory

DARPA taps Lawrence Livermore to develop world’s first neural device to restore memory

The Department of Defense’s Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) awarded Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory (LLNL) up to $2.5 million to develop an implantable neural device with the ability to record and stimulate neurons within the brain to help restore memory, DARPA officials announced this week. The research builds on the understanding that memory is a process in which neurons in certain regions of the brain encode information, store it and retrieve it. Certain types of illnesses and injuries, including Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI), Alzheimer’s disease and epilepsy, disrupt this process and cause memory loss. Continue reading

DARPA taps Lawrence Livermore to develop world’s first neural device to restore memory

DARPA taps Lawrence Livermore to develop world’s first neural device to restore memory

The Department of Defense’s Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) awarded Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory (LLNL) up to $2.5 million to develop an implantable neural device with the ability to record and stimulate neurons within the brain to help restore memory, DARPA officials announced this week. The research builds on the understanding that memory is a process in which neurons in certain regions of the brain encode information, store it and retrieve it. Certain types of illnesses and injuries, including Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI), Alzheimer’s disease and epilepsy, disrupt this process and cause memory loss. Continue reading

Inherited ‘memory’ of poor nutrition during pregnancy passed through sperm of male offspring

Inherited ‘memory’ of poor nutrition during pregnancy passed through sperm of male offspring

When a pregnant mother is undernourished, her child is at a greater than average risk of developing obesity and type 2 diabetes, in part due to so-called ‘epigenetic’ effects. A new study in mice demonstrates that this ‘memory’ of nutrition during pregnancy can be passed through sperm of male offspring to the next generation, increasing risk of disease for her grandchildren as well — in other words, to adapt an old maxim, ‘you are what your grandmother ate’ Continue reading

Inherited ‘memory’ of poor nutrition during pregnancy passed through sperm of male offspring

Inherited ‘memory’ of poor nutrition during pregnancy passed through sperm of male offspring

When a pregnant mother is undernourished, her child is at a greater than average risk of developing obesity and type 2 diabetes, in part due to so-called ‘epigenetic’ effects. A new study in mice demonstrates that this ‘memory’ of nutrition during pregnancy can be passed through sperm of male offspring to the next generation, increasing risk of disease for her grandchildren as well — in other words, to adapt an old maxim, ‘you are what your grandmother ate’ Continue reading

What you eat may affect your body’s internal biological clock

What you eat may affect your body’s internal biological clock

Food not only nourishes the body but also affects its internal biological clock, which regulates the daily rhythm of many aspects of human behavior and biology. Researchers reporting in the Cell Press journal Cell Reports provide new insights into how adjusting the clock through dietary manipulation may help patients with various conditions and show that insulin may be involved in resetting the clock Continue reading

New compound treats both blindness, diabetes in animal studies

New compound treats both blindness, diabetes in animal studies

In a new study led by UC San Francisco (UCSF) scientists, a chemical compound designed to precisely target part of a crucial cellular quality-control network provided significant protection, in rats and mice, against degenerative forms of blindness and diabetes. Continue reading

Bacteria hijack plentiful iron supply source to flourish

Bacteria hijack plentiful iron supply source to flourish

In an era of increasing concern about the prevalence of antibiotic-resistant illness, Case Western Reserve researchers have identified a promising new pathway to disabling disease: blocking bacteria’s access to iron in the body. The scientists showed how bacterial siderophore, a small molecule, captures iron from two abundant supply sources to fan bacterial growth — as well as how the body launches a chemical counterassault against this infection process. Their findings appear in a recent edition of The Journal of Experimental Medicine . Continue reading