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Finding keys to glioblastoma therapeutic resistance

Finding keys to glioblastoma therapeutic resistance

Researchers at the University of California, San Diego School of Medicine have found one of the keys to why certain glioblastomas — the primary form of a deadly brain cancer — are resistant to drug therapy. The answer lies not in the DNA sequence of the tumor, but in its epigenetic signature Continue reading

Briton begins UK treatment for Ebola

Briton begins UK treatment for Ebola

unable to retrieve full-text contentDoctors at a London hospital have begun treating a British man who contracted the Ebola virus while volunteering as a nurse in Sierra Leone. Continue reading

Nurse anesthetist care not equal to physician anesthesiologist-led care, comprehensive evidence-based review finds

Nurse anesthetist care not equal to physician anesthesiologist-led care, comprehensive evidence-based review finds

A recent literature review by the Cochrane Collaboration found no scientific evidence that care provided by a nurse anesthetist is as safe and effective as patient-centered, physician-led anesthesia care, prompting the American Society of Anesthesiologists (ASA®) to call for further examination to measure patient safety and anesthesia care delivery. The review, “Physician anaesthetists versus non-physician providers of anaesthesia for surgical patients,” attempted to assess the safety and effectiveness of physician-led versus nurse-led anesthesia care delivery. While the authors stated intent that they “hoped that this review may lead to an increase in confidence in the skills of NPAs nurse anesthetists within the anaesthetic community,” the comprehensive analysis could not support this premise. Continue reading

When a health risk is close to home, health care professionals base their positions on vaccines on their own emotions, personal experiences

When a health risk is close to home, health care professionals base their positions on vaccines on their own emotions, personal experiences

When a health risk gets closer to home, health care professionals base their positions on vaccines more on emotions and personal experiences than on scientific and analytical knowledge, according to a new study by the School of Public Health at the University of Haifa. Continue reading

Are you as old as what you eat? Researchers learn how to rejuvenate aging immune cells

Are you as old as what you eat? Researchers learn how to rejuvenate aging immune cells

Researchers from UCL (University College London) have demonstrated how an interplay between nutrition, metabolism and immunity is involved in the process of aging. The two new studies, supported by the Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council (BBSRC), could help to enhance our immunity to disease through dietary intervention and help make existing immune system therapies more effective Continue reading

Bioengineers close to brewing opioid painkillers without using opium from poppies

Bioengineers close to brewing opioid painkillers without using opium from poppies

For centuries poppy plants have been grown to provide opium, the compound from which morphine and other important medicines such as oxycodone are derived. Now bioengineers at Stanford have hacked the DNA of yeast, reprograming these simple cells to make opioid-based medicines via a sophisticated extension of the basic brewing process that makes beer. Led by Associate Professor of Bioengineering Christina Smolke, the Stanford team has already spent a decade genetically engineering yeast cells to reproduce the biochemistry of poppies with the ultimate goal of producing opium-based medicines, from start to finish, in fermentation vats Continue reading

Cutting emissions pays for itself, study concludes

Cutting emissions pays for itself, study concludes

Lower rates of asthma and other health problems are frequently cited as benefits of policies aimed at cutting carbon emissions from sources like power plants and vehicles, because these policies also lead to reductions in other harmful types of air pollution. But just how large are the health benefits of cleaner air in comparison to the costs of reducing carbon emissions? MIT researchers looked at three policies achieving the same reductions in the U.S., and found that the savings on health care spending and other costs related to illness can be big — in some cases, more than 10 times the cost of policy implementation Continue reading

Repurposing anti-depressant medication to target medulloblastoma

Repurposing anti-depressant medication to target medulloblastoma

An international research team reports in Nature Medicine a novel molecular pathway that causes an aggressive form of medulloblastoma, and suggests repurposing an anti-depressant medication to target the new pathway may help combat one of the most common brain cancers in children. Continue reading

Mimicking natural evolution with ‘promiscuous reactions’ to improve the diversity of drugs

Mimicking natural evolution with ‘promiscuous reactions’ to improve the diversity of drugs

The researchers, who report their findings online in the journal Nature Chemistry , took their inspiration from evolution in nature. The research may uncover new pharmaceutical drugs that traditional methods would never have found. “Nature produces some amazing structures with really interesting biological activity, but the plant or animal did not design them. Continue reading

Simply complex: The origin of our body axes

Simply complex: The origin of our body axes

The fresh-water polyp Hydra, a member of the over 600-million-year-old phylum Cnidaria, is famous for its virtually unlimited regenerative capability and hence a perfect model for molecular stem cell and regeneration research. This polyp, with its simple structure and radial symmetry, can help us understand how our body axes came to evolve Continue reading