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Tag Archives: California

New combination drug therapy proves very effective in hepatitis C treatments

New combination drug therapy proves very effective in hepatitis C treatments

Treatment options for the 170 million people worldwide with chronic Hepatitis C Virus (HCV) are evolving rapidly, although the available regimens often come with significant side effects. Two multi-center clinical trials led by Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center show promise for a new option that could help lead to both an increase in patients cured with a much more simple and tolerable all oral therapy Continue reading

Splice variants reveal connections among autism genes

Splice variants reveal connections among autism genes

A team of researchers from the University of California, San Diego School of Medicine and the Center for Cancer Systems Biology (CCSB) at the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute has uncovered a new aspect of autism, revealing that proteins involved in autism interact with many more partners than previously known. These interactions had not been detected earlier because they involve alternatively spliced forms of autism genes found in the brain. In their study, published in the April 11, 2014 online issue of Nature Communications , the scientists isolated hundreds of new variants of autism genes from the human brain, and then screened their protein products against thousands of other proteins to identify interacting partners. Continue reading

For good and ill, immune response to cancer cuts both ways

For good and ill, immune response to cancer cuts both ways

The difference between an immune response that kills cancer cells and one that conversely stimulates tumor growth can be as narrow as a “double-edged sword,” report researchers at the University of California, San Diego School of Medicine in the April 7, 2014 online issue of the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences . “We have found that the intensity difference between an immune response that stimulates cancer and one that kills it may not be very much,” said principal investigator Ajit Varki, MD, Distinguished Professor of Medicine and Cellular and Molecular Medicine. “This may come as a surprise to researchers exploring two areas typically considered distinct: the role of the immune system in preventing and killing cancers and the role of chronic inflammation in stimulating cancers. Continue reading

Work with small peptide chains may revolutionize study of enzymes, diseases

Work with small peptide chains may revolutionize study of enzymes, diseases

Chemists in The College of Arts and Sciences have, for the first time, created enzyme-like activity using peptides that are only seven amino acids long. Continue reading

What bank voles can teach us about prion disease transmission and neurodegeneration

What bank voles can teach us about prion disease transmission and neurodegeneration

When cannibals ate brains of people who died from prion disease, many of them fell ill with the fatal neurodegenerative disease as well. Likewise, when cows were fed protein contaminated with bovine prions, many of them developed mad cow disease. On the other hand, transmission of prions between species, for example from cows, sheep, or deer to humans, is — fortunately — inefficient, and only a small proportion of exposed recipients become sick within their lifetimes. Continue reading

Pocket-size ultrasonic nebulizer employing a novel nozzle improves inhalers

Pocket-size ultrasonic nebulizer employing a novel nozzle improves inhalers

Inhalation is an increasingly important route for non-invasive drug delivery for both systemic and local applications. Control of particle size and output plays a critical role in the efficient and effective delivery of oft en expensive medications to the lung Continue reading

Poor sleep quality linked to cognitive decline in older men

Poor sleep quality linked to cognitive decline in older men

A new study of older men found a link between poor sleep quality and the development of cognitive decline over three to four years. Results show that higher levels of fragmented sleep and lower sleep efficiency were associated with a 40 to 50 percent increase in the odds of clinically significant decline in executive function, which was similar in magnitude to the effect of a five-year increase in age. In contrast, sleep duration was not related to subsequent cognitive decline Continue reading

Public smoking bans linked with rapid fall in preterm births, child hospital visits for asthma

Public smoking bans linked with rapid fall in preterm births, child hospital visits for asthma

The introduction of laws banning smoking in public places and workplaces in North America and Europe has been quickly followed by large drops in rates of preterm births and children attending hospital for asthma, according to the first systematic review and meta-analysis examining the effect of smoke-free legislation on child health, published in The Lancet. The analysis of 11 studies done in North America and Europe, involving more than 2.5 million births, and nearly 250 000 asthma exacerbations, showed that rates of both preterm births and hospital attendance for asthma were reduced by 10% within a year of smoke-free laws coming into effect. Continue reading

Public smoking bans linked with rapid fall in preterm births, child hospital visits for asthma

Public smoking bans linked with rapid fall in preterm births, child hospital visits for asthma

The introduction of laws banning smoking in public places and workplaces in North America and Europe has been quickly followed by large drops in rates of preterm births and children attending hospital for asthma, according to the first systematic review and meta-analysis examining the effect of smoke-free legislation on child health, published in The Lancet. The analysis of 11 studies done in North America and Europe, involving more than 2.5 million births, and nearly 250 000 asthma exacerbations, showed that rates of both preterm births and hospital attendance for asthma were reduced by 10% within a year of smoke-free laws coming into effect Continue reading

Cancer researchers find key protein link

Cancer researchers find key protein link

A new understanding of proteins at the nexus of a cell’s decision to survive or die has implications for researchers who study cancer and age-related diseases, according to biophysicists at the Rice University-based Center for Theoretical Biological Physics (CTBP). Experiments and computer analysis of two key proteins revealed a previously unknown binding interface that could be addressed by medication. Results of the research appear this week in an open-source paper in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences Continue reading