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Tag Archives: California

Program predicts placement of chemical tags that control gene activity

Program predicts placement of chemical tags that control gene activity

Biochemists working at the University of California, San Diego, have developed a program that predicts the placement of chemical marks that control the activity of genes based on sequences of DNA. They describe their analysis and report results from its application to human embryonic cells in a paper published in Nature Methods online September 21. “All of our cells have the same blueprint, the same DNA, although they serve separate functions,” said John Whitaker, lead author of the report Continue reading

Better way to track emerging cell therapies using MRIs

Better way to track emerging cell therapies using MRIs

Cellular therapeutics — using intact cells to treat and cure disease — is a hugely promising new approach in medicine but it is hindered by the inability of doctors and scientists to effectively track the movements, destination and persistence of these cells in patients without resorting to invasive procedures, like tissue sampling. Continue reading

How epigenetic memory is passed through generations: Sperm and eggs transmit memory of gene repression to embryos

How epigenetic memory is passed through generations: Sperm and eggs transmit memory of gene repression to embryos

A growing body of evidence suggests that environmental stresses can cause changes in gene expression that are transmitted from parents to their offspring, making “epigenetics” a hot topic. Epigenetic modifications do not affect the DNA sequence of genes, but change how the DNA is packaged and how genes are expressed. Continue reading

Access to female-controlled contraception needed in intimate partner violence

Access to female-controlled contraception needed in intimate partner violence

Access to female-controlled contraceptive methods must be improved in order to help women and girls to counteract any risks to their reproductive health caused by intimate partner violence and reproductive coercion,* according to US experts writing in this week’s PLOS Medicine . Continue reading

Nicotine withdrawal reduces response to rewards across species

Nicotine withdrawal reduces response to rewards across species

Cigarette smoking is a leading cause of preventable death worldwide and is associated with approximately 440,000 deaths in the United States each year, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, but nearly 20 percent of the U.S. Continue reading

Knowing how bacteria take out trash could lead to new antibiotics

Knowing how bacteria take out trash could lead to new antibiotics

A collaborative team of scientists including biochemist Peter Chien at the University of Massachusetts Amherst has reconstructed how bacteria tightly control their growth and division, a process known as the cell cycle, by specifically destroying key proteins through regulated protein degradation. Regulated protein degradation uses specific enzymes called energy dependent proteases to selective destroy certain targets. Because regulated protein degradation is critical for bacterial virulence and invasion, understanding how these proteases function should help to uncover pathways that can be targeted by new antibiotics Continue reading

Bariatric surgical center accreditation improves patient survival, postop complications

Bariatric surgical center accreditation improves patient survival, postop complications

Patients who underwent weight loss operations in recent years, when most bariatric surgical centers were accredited, had fewer postoperative complications and were 2.3 times less likely to die in the hospital than patients who had bariatric procedures performed before a national movement toward facility accreditation was taking place, according to new study findings. Continue reading

Increase seen in use of double mastectomy, although not associated with reduced death

Increase seen in use of double mastectomy, although not associated with reduced death

Among women diagnosed with early-stage breast cancer in California, the percentage undergoing a double mastectomy increased substantially between 1998 and 2011, although this procedure was not associated with a lower risk of death than breast-conserving surgery plus radiation, according to a study in the September 3 issue of JAMA . The authors did find that surgery for the removal of one breast was associated with a higher risk of death than the other options examined in the study. Randomized trials have demonstrated similar survival for patients with early-stage breast cancer treated with breast-conserving surgery and radiation or with mastectomy. Continue reading

Increase seen in use of double mastectomy, although not associated with reduced death

Increase seen in use of double mastectomy, although not associated with reduced death

Among women diagnosed with early-stage breast cancer in California, the percentage undergoing a double mastectomy increased substantially between 1998 and 2011, although this procedure was not associated with a lower risk of death than breast-conserving surgery plus radiation, according to a study in the September 3 issue of JAMA . The authors did find that surgery for the removal of one breast was associated with a higher risk of death than the other options examined in the study. Continue reading

Surprising discovery: HIV hides in gut, evading eradication

Surprising discovery: HIV hides in gut, evading eradication

Researchers at UC Davis have made some surprising discoveries about the body’s initial responses to HIV infection. Studying simian immunodeficiency virus (SIV), the team found that specialized cells in the intestine called Paneth cells are early responders to viral invasion and are the source of gut inflammation by producing a cytokine called interleukin-1 beta (IL-1β). Continue reading