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Synthetic gene circuits pump up cell signals in study of neurodegenerative diseases

Synthetic gene circuits pump up cell signals in study of neurodegenerative diseases

Synthetic genetic circuitry created by researchers at Rice University is helping them see, for the first time, how to regulate cell mechanisms that degrade the misfolded proteins implicated in Parkinson’s, Huntington’s and other diseases. The Rice lab of chemical and biomolecular engineer Laura Segatori has designed a sophisticated circuit that signals increases in the degradation of proteins by the cell’s ubiquitin proteasome system (UPS). The research appears online today in Nature Communications Continue reading

New method for analyzing proteins in tissue samples

New method for analyzing proteins in tissue samples

A new way of preparing patient tissue for analyses might soon become the new standard. Continue reading

New epidemiology model combines multiple genomic data

New epidemiology model combines multiple genomic data

The difference between merely throwing around buzzwords like “personalized medicine” and “big data” and delivering on their medical promise is in the details of developing methods for analyzing and interpreting genomic data. In a pair of new papers, Brown University epidemiologist Yen-Tsung Huang and colleagues show how integrating different kinds of genomic data could improve studies of the association between genes and disease. The kinds of data Huang integrates are single-nucleotide differences in DNA, called SNPs, data on gene expression, which is how the body puts genes into action, and methylation, a chemical alteration related to expression Continue reading

Potential therapeutic target for deadly brain cancer

Potential therapeutic target for deadly brain cancer

Researchers from the Geisel School of Medicine at Dartmouth will present a scientific poster on Tuesday, April 8, 2014 at the American Association of Cancer Researchers Annual Meeting in San Diego, CA. The research identifies a potential characteristic for predicting outcome in a deadly form of brain cancer known as glioblastoma multiforme. Existing therapies based on genetic information have failed to effectively treat glioblastomas Continue reading

Hybrid technology could make Star Trek-style tricorder a reality

Hybrid technology could make Star Trek-style tricorder a reality

Scientists at the University of Southampton are aiming to develop a handheld testing device to provide same day diagnosis from a patient’s bedside. In the fictional Star-Trek universe, the tricorder was used to remotely scan patients for a diagnosis Continue reading

Antimicrobial from soaps promotes bacteria buildup in human noses

Antimicrobial from soaps promotes bacteria buildup in human noses

An antimicrobial agent found in common household soaps, shampoos and toothpastes may be finding its way inside human noses where it promotes the colonization of Staphylococcus aureus bacteria and could predispose some people to infection. Researchers at the University of Michigan report their findings this week in a study published in mBio ®, the online open-access journal of the American Society for Microbiology. Continue reading

BPA and related chemicals: Human safety thresholds for endocrine disrupting chemicals may be inaccurate

BPA and related chemicals: Human safety thresholds for endocrine disrupting chemicals may be inaccurate

Human and rat testes respond differently to endocrine disrupting chemicals such as BPA in two thirds of all cases, according to a recent review. As human safety levels are extrapolated from rodent data, the study could lead to a re-evaluation of the acceptable daily intake for many endocrine disruptors. Continue reading

BPA and related chemicals: Human safety thresholds for endocrine disrupting chemicals may be inaccurate

BPA and related chemicals: Human safety thresholds for endocrine disrupting chemicals may be inaccurate

Human and rat testes respond differently to endocrine disrupting chemicals such as BPA in two thirds of all cases, according to a recent review. As human safety levels are extrapolated from rodent data, the study could lead to a re-evaluation of the acceptable daily intake for many endocrine disruptors Continue reading

Natural protein Elafin against gluten intolerance?

Natural protein Elafin against gluten intolerance?

Scientists from INRA and INSERM (France) in collaboration with scientists from McMaster University (Canada) and the Ecole polytechnique fédérale of Zurich (Switzerland) have shown that Elafin, a human protein, plays a key role against the inflammatory reaction typical of celiac disease (gluten intolerance). They have also developed a probiotic bacterium able to deliver Elafin in the gut of mice. This innovation, published online in the American Journal of Gastroenterology on 8 April 2014, paves the way to new strategies to treat gluten intolerance. Continue reading

Spring allergies linked to specific food allergies, says specialist

Spring allergies linked to specific food allergies, says specialist

The Midwest’s high tree pollen count is primarily birch and oak, bad news for carrot, celery and almond lovers. “It’s healthy if certain foods make your mouth water but it is unhealthy if foods make your nose run or your gums and throat itch,” says Joseph Leija, MD, allergist who performs the Gottlieb Allergy Count, the official allergy count for the Midwest. Continue reading