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Secrets of lung cancer drug resistance revealed

Secrets of lung cancer drug resistance revealed

ScienceDaily (July 1, 2012) — People with lung cancer who are treated with the drug Tarceva face a daunting uncertainty: although their tumors may initially shrink, it’s not a question of whether their cancer will return — it’s a question of when. And for far too many, it happens far too soon. Now, a team of researchers at the University of California, San Francisco’s Helen Diller Family Comprehensive Cancer Center has discovered that a human protein called AXL drives resistance to Tarceva, which suggests that blocking the protein may prevent resistance to the cancer drug Continue reading

Key step in immune system-fueled inflammation discovered

Key step in immune system-fueled inflammation discovered

ScienceDaily (July 1, 2012) — Like detectives seeking footprints and other clues on a television “whodunit,” science can also benefit from analyzing the tracks of important players in the body’s molecular landscape. Klaus Ley, M.D., a scientist at the La Jolla Institute for Allergy & Immunology, has done just that and illuminated a key step in the journey of inflammation-producing immune cells Continue reading

Turning skin cells into brain cells: Huntington’s disease in a dish

Turning skin cells into brain cells: Huntington’s disease in a dish

ScienceDaily (June 28, 2012) — Johns Hopkins researchers, working with an international consortium, say they have generated stem cells from skin cells from a person with a severe, early-onset form of Huntington’s disease (HD), and turned them into neurons that degenerate just like those affected by the fatal inherited disorder. By creating “HD in a dish,” the researchers say they have taken a major step forward in efforts to better understand what disables and kills the cells in people with HD, and to test the effects of potential drug therapies on cells that are otherwise locked deep in the brain. Although the autosomal dominant gene mutation responsible for HD was identified in 1993, there is no cure Continue reading

Glucose deprivation activates feedback loop that kills cancer cells, study shows

Glucose deprivation activates feedback loop that kills cancer cells, study shows

ScienceDaily (June 26, 2012) — Compared to normal cells, cancer cells have a prodigious appetite for glucose, the result of a shift in cell metabolism known as aerobic glycolysis or the “Warburg effect.” Researchers focusing on this effect as a possible target for cancer therapies have examined how biochemical signals present in cancer cells regulate the altered metabolic state. Now, in a unique study, a UCLA research team led by Thomas Graeber, a professor of molecular and medical pharmacology, has investigated the reverse aspect: how the metabolism of glucose affects the biochemical signals present in cancer cells. In research published June 26 in the journal Molecular Systems Biology , Graeber and his colleagues demonstrate that glucose starvation — that is, depriving cancer cells of glucose — activates a metabolic and signaling amplification loop that leads to cancer cell death as a result of the toxic accumulation of reactive oxygen species, the cell-damaging molecules and ions targeted by antioxidants like vitamin C. Continue reading

Resveratrol may be natural exercise performance enhancer

Resveratrol may be natural exercise performance enhancer

ScienceDaily (June 19, 2012) — A natural compound found in some fruits, nuts and red wine may enhance exercise training and performance, demonstrates newly published medical research from the University of Alberta. Principal investigator Jason Dyck and his team found out in lab experiments that high doses of the natural compound resveratrol improved physical performance, heart function and muscle strength in lab models. Continue reading

Natural antioxidant can protect against cardiovascular disease

Natural antioxidant can protect against cardiovascular disease

ScienceDaily (June 16, 2012) — University of Minnesota Medical School researchers have collaborated with the School of Public Health and discovered an enzyme that, when found at high levels and alongside low levels of HDL (good cholesterol), can dramatically reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease. The enzyme — glutathione peroxidase, or GPx3 — is a natural antioxidant that helps protect organisms from oxidant injury and helps the body naturally repair itself. Researchers have found that patients with high levels of good cholesterol, the GPx3 enzyme does not make a significant difference. Continue reading

Natural antioxidant can protect against cardiovascular disease

Natural antioxidant can protect against cardiovascular disease

ScienceDaily (June 16, 2012) — University of Minnesota Medical School researchers have collaborated with the School of Public Health and discovered an enzyme that, when found at high levels and alongside low levels of HDL (good cholesterol), can dramatically reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease. Continue reading

Cancer’s next magic bullet may be magic shotgun

Cancer’s next magic bullet may be magic shotgun

ScienceDaily (June 15, 2012) — A new approach to drug design, pioneered by a group of researchers at the University of California, San Francisco (UCSF) and Mt. Sinai, New York, promises to help identify future drugs to fight cancer and other diseases that will be more effective and have fewer side effects Continue reading

Hidden vitamin in milk yields remarkable health benefits

Hidden vitamin in milk yields remarkable health benefits

ScienceDaily (June 14, 2012) — A novel form of vitamin B3 found in milk in small quantities produces remarkable health benefits in mice when high doses are administered, according to a new study conducted by researchers at Weill Cornell Medical College and the Polytechnic School in Lausanne, Switzerland. Continue reading

New action for ancient heart drug

New action for ancient heart drug

ScienceDaily (June 14, 2012) — University of Michigan Health System study shows a drug used for centuries activates the body’s own protective mechanisms in blood vessels. An ancient heart drug that’s inspired the work of herbalists and poets for centuries may treat a condition that plagues millions of overstressed and overweight Americans today. Since the 13th century, the herb and poisonous plant Foxglove has been used to cleanse wounds and its dried leaves were carefully brewed by Native Americans to treat leg swelling caused by heart problems. Continue reading