Scientists at The University of Texas M. D. Anderson Cancer Center have found that an extract of shark cartilage, AE-941, is not a beneficial therapeutic agent for those with advanced non-small cell lung cancer when used in combination with radiation and chemotherapy. The results, which principal investigator Charles Lu presented this week at the 43rd annual meeting of the American Society of Clinical Oncology, contradict both preclinical studies and popular belief.
Are you a heavy snorer? You could be affecting your own health in addition to your partner's beauty sleep. Researchers from the University of Leeds in Great Britain recently discovered that a build-up of glutamate, a neurotransmitter, in brain cells called astrocytes, contributes to the development of Alzheimer's disease, as well as the cellular process that allows the chemical to collect. Glutamate forms when the brain does not have access to enough oxygen, such as during a stroke or even during heavy snoring. The team published their findings in the Journal of Neuroscience.
In a commentary featured in June's Nature Chemical Biology, a professor from Brandeis University and Howard Hughes Medical Institute (HHMI) recognizes the somewhat bleak outlook that the future of science has for students in the United States due to college students' decreasing interest in the subject.
A team of scientists from the UK recently used stem cell therapy to treat the world's leading cause of blindness, age-related macular degeneration. According to a BBC news report, the stem cell therapy has already been successful in "a handful of patients" using the patients' own eye cells.
Summer beach-goers soaking up the sun without wearing sunscreen can rest a little easier. Scientists at Duke University have developed a device which uses two lasers to obtain high-quality images up to a millimeter under the skin. Both researchers and doctors hope to use the device to make diagnosis of cancerous skin cells, or melanomas, a non-invasive process.
Researchers at Ghent University and the Université catholique de Louvain have developed "self-exploding" microcapsules which release drugs at a desired time after ingested. Now one can inject drugs and vaccines weeks or months before the body needs its activity. These findings appear in the January 9, 2006 issue of the American Chemical Society's journal Biomacromolecules.
Uncertain whether to bubble the "A" or "C" on a multiple choice test, students dig into their pockets to find a coin to toss. But, the new "Brain-Machine Interface" machine can interpret the mixed brain waves in indecisive minds to help make the right choice.
Researchers at the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine have discovered a thorough way to target and beat cancer in patients by not only attacking the majority of the tumor and the rapidly proliferating cells, but also by eliminating the small group of tumor-initiating, drug resistant cells that survive current cancer treatments, known as "cancer stem cells." This research provides clues to why cancer patients, after being treated with current therapies, still experience relapses.
Most people have heard of one form or another of the "hygiene hypothesis," whereby the cause of allergies is linked to our high degree of cleanliness and our immune system's resulting oversensitivity to infection. However, researchers at University College London's Institute of Child Health have uncovered another piece of the allergy puzzle--the overuse of harsh soap and skin care products may be a more direct cause of allergic diseases such as eczema. According to research published in the journal Trends in Immunology, these products remove a protective layer of skin and increase people's vulnerability to allergic diseases.
Scientists are one step closer to correcting hearing disorders like deafness using genetic engineering. Last week, researchers at the University of Virginia, led by Dr. Jeffrey Holt, published a report in the journal Gene Therapy which outlined a method for potentially repairing damaged hair cells, the cells in ears responsible for converting sound into electrical signals, by using a virus.
The capability of proteins to capture photons and convert the signals to longer duration and greater amplitude changes has captured the interest of Cornell University and Darthmouth College scientists. Studies on the fungus Neurospora crassa have proven how minute changes in one's genetic makeup could stimulate a series of protein modifications that ultimately account for noticeable difference in behavior in correspondence to altered biological rhythms.
Scientists have discovered that mice can see new colors with the insertion of a single human gene into a mouse chromosome. The study, published in the March 2007 issue of the journal Science, demonstrates that sight can be profoundly altered with simple genetic changes.
Researchers at the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine have developed artificial blood vessels that may revolutionize the way patients with heart and kidney disease receive treatment. The findings, which were presented at a conference of the Tissue Engineering and Regenerative Medicine International Society (TERMIS) on June 15, move away from traditional vessel grafting procedures to reveal a novel technique utilizing muscle-derived stem cells (MDSCs).
In research recently released in Science, scientists at Imperial College have identified the genes present in the Aedes aegypti mosquito's immune system that allows it to transmit deadly viral diseases to humans.
Researchers have discovered a relationship between an animal's style of locomotion and the dimensions of the semicircular canals of its inner ear, an organ that controls balance. The results, published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, could allow scientists to predict more accurately how extinct species moved and develop a more complete history of the evolution of different forms of movement.
Over half of the US population possesses sensitivity to at least one allergen, and allergic diseases rank 5th in the list of leading chronic diseases. Hence the desire for a new allergy treatment has gained attention.
Researchers from the University of Dundee have identified the gene which produces the protein filaggrin. Defects in this protein are known to cause asthma and eczema, and now scientists have found that such defects could affect the day-to-day amount of treatment needed for children or young adults with asthma, potentially greatly reducing the medications patients need.
Researchers at the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institute (WHOI) will embark on a forty day voyage to the Arctic Ocean next week in an attempt to study a mid-ocean ridge recently discovered to have hydrothermal vents. Using newly-designed, underwater, unmanned vehicles, they hope to be the first scientists to find signs of life in the seemingly uninhabited Gakkel Ridge, close to the geographic North Pole. If successful, their research could provide another dimension to the biodiversity that exists on Earth.
Neuroscientists have long been fascinated by the brain's remarkable ability to adapt to traumatic changes in body structure,the loss of a limb, for instance. New findings show that the brain can also respond to the loss of sensory organs, and in unexpected ways. This finding could have a profound impact on the way doctors treat patients suffering from sensory damage following a stroke or other brain injury.