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Editing HPV’s genes to kill cervical cancer cells

Editing HPV’s genes to kill cervical cancer cells

Researchers have hijacked a defense system normally used by bacteria to fend off viral infections and redirected it against the human papillomavirus (HPV), the virus that causes cervical, head and neck, and other cancers. Using the genome editing tool known as CRISPR, the Duke University researchers were able to selectively destroy two viral genes responsible for the growth and survival of cervical carcinoma cells, causing the cancer cells to self-destruct. The findings, appearing online August 7 in the Journal of Virology , give credence to an approach only recently attempted in mammalian cells, and could pave the way toward antiviral strategies targeted against other DNA-based viruses like hepatitis B and herpes simplex Continue reading

Editing HPV’s genes to kill cervical cancer cells

Editing HPV’s genes to kill cervical cancer cells

Researchers have hijacked a defense system normally used by bacteria to fend off viral infections and redirected it against the human papillomavirus (HPV), the virus that causes cervical, head and neck, and other cancers. Using the genome editing tool known as CRISPR, the Duke University researchers were able to selectively destroy two viral genes responsible for the growth and survival of cervical carcinoma cells, causing the cancer cells to self-destruct. The findings, appearing online August 7 in the Journal of Virology , give credence to an approach only recently attempted in mammalian cells, and could pave the way toward antiviral strategies targeted against other DNA-based viruses like hepatitis B and herpes simplex. Continue reading

Treatment developed by biologists shows promise in fighting fibrotic disease

Treatment developed by biologists shows promise in fighting fibrotic disease

A decade after first identifying serum amyloid P (SAP) as a key protein in human blood that controls routine tissue-related processes from scarring to healing, two Texas A&M University scientists and the biotechnology company they co-founded continue to make encouraging progress in the fight against fibrotic disease, a broad class of chronic conditions associated with an estimated 45 percent of U.S. deaths per year. Texas A&M biologists Richard Gomer and Darrell Pilling have collaborated in recent years on several SAP-related advances, from establishing Promedior Inc Continue reading

Treatment developed by biologists shows promise in fighting fibrotic disease

Treatment developed by biologists shows promise in fighting fibrotic disease

A decade after first identifying serum amyloid P (SAP) as a key protein in human blood that controls routine tissue-related processes from scarring to healing, two Texas A&M University scientists and the biotechnology company they co-founded continue to make encouraging progress in the fight against fibrotic disease, a broad class of chronic conditions associated with an estimated 45 percent of U.S. deaths per year. Texas A&M biologists Richard Gomer and Darrell Pilling have collaborated in recent years on several SAP-related advances, from establishing Promedior Inc Continue reading

Breakthroughs made in ovarian cancer research

Breakthroughs made in ovarian cancer research

Scientists at A*STAR’s Institute of Medical Biology (IMB) and the Bioinformatics Institute (BII) have found new clues to early detection and personalised treatment of ovarian cancer, currently one of the most difficult cancers to diagnose early due to the lack of symptoms that are unique to the illness. Continue reading

Mystery of brain cell growth unraveled by scientists

Mystery of brain cell growth unraveled by scientists

In the developing brain, special proteins that act like molecular tugboats push or pull on growing nerve cells, or neurons, helping them navigate to their assigned places amidst the brain’s wiring. How a single protein can exert both a push and a pull force to nudge a neuron in the desired direction is a longstanding mystery that has now been solved by scientists from Dana-Farber Cancer Institute and collaborators in Europe and China. Jia-huai Wang, PhD, who led the work at Dana-Farber and Peking University in Beijing, is a corresponding author of a report published in the August 7 online edition of Neuron that explains how one guidance protein, netrin-1, can either attract or repel a brain cell to steer it along its course. Continue reading

Down syndrome: Behind the scenes of genetics, leukemia

Down syndrome: Behind the scenes of genetics, leukemia

Children affected by trisomy 21 (or Down syndrome) are 50 to 500 times more likely to develop leukemia than other children. A group of geneticists working in the Faculty of Medicine at the University of Geneva (UNIGE) focused for many years on the genetic characteristics of Down syndrome. Continue reading

Type 2 diabetics can live longer than people without the disease

Type 2 diabetics can live longer than people without the disease

Patients treated with a drug widely prescribed for type 2 diabetes can live longer than people without the condition, a large-scale study involving over 180,000 people has shown. Continue reading

Elderly with depression, mild cognitive impairment more vulnerable to accelerated brain aging

Elderly with depression, mild cognitive impairment more vulnerable to accelerated brain aging

People who develop depression and mild cognitive impairment (MCI) after age 65 are more likely to have biological and brain imaging markers that reflect a greater vulnerability for accelerated brain aging, according to a study conducted by researchers at the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine. The findings were published online in Molecular Psychiatry . Continue reading

Growing human GI cells may lead to personalized treatments

Growing human GI cells may lead to personalized treatments

A method of growing human cells from tissue removed from a patient’s gastrointestinal (GI) tract eventually may help scientists develop tailor-made therapies for inflammatory bowel disease and other GI conditions. Reporting online recently in the journal Gut , researchers at Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis said they have made cell lines from individual patients in as little as two weeks. Continue reading