The Institute for Research in Biomedicine (IRB Barcelona), in conjunction with Instituto de Biología Molecular, has characterized a mechanism of cell movement that involves the regulation of cell-to-cell adhesion. The report, which was published in the August 2008 edition of Nature Cell Biology, suggests that defects in the cell adhesion mechanism might be responsible for the lethal metastatic migration of cancer cells.
To effectively combat the effects of heart disease, researchers from University of San Diego School of Medicine recommend regulating cholesterol levels as early as childhood. The team's review study, which was published in the journal Circulation on August 5, 2008, criticizes current approaches to cholesterol reduction, calling them passive and inadequate.
Most people who regard viruses as nothing more than disease causing pathogens would be surprised to learn of their newfound potential in electronics. A group of engineers at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) recently discovered that viruses can help to assemble microbatteries that have the ability to power miniature electronic devices. The group published their work in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (PNAS) the week of August 18th, 2008.
While the words of Lord Polonius in William Shakespeare's Hamlet may be more well-known amongst literary scholars, they also resonate amongst researchers due to a recent scientific advance in the combat against cancer. Scientists and clinicians at Children's National Medical Center and investigators at the University of Iowa have developed an approach in the combat against cancer that echoes this "self-principle" of looking within oneself that Lord Polonius advocates. By looking inward and utilizing the body's own immune system, these scientists and clinicians developed a new anti-tumor vaccine.
Examining saliva proteins could be an easy and a simple way to detect oral cancer. David T. Wong, professor and associate dean for research, at the University of California, Los Angeles School of Dentistry reported the findings in the October 1 issue of clinical cancer research, a journal of the American Association for Cancer Research.
A couple of announcements made this month by independent teams will have us realize that green gasoline is not anymore an ambitious goal, but rather a reality. Through the conversion of plant sugars, scientists have been able to obtain a high-energy liquid, similar to petroleum, which can be likewise processed to yield all kinds of fuels and raw materials for pharmaceutical and chemical industries.
A Global Malaria Action Plan (GMAP) announced by the Roll Back Malaria Partnership (RBM) on September 25th has many hoping for the "conquering" of malaria, a disease which kills close to 1 million people a year. At a fundraising event at the United Nations headquarters in New York City, organizations such as the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria, the World Bank and the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, amongst others, pledged more than $3 billion of a required $6.2 billion.
A new study by lead author Scott Fitzpatrick of North Carolina State University suggests that early inhabitants of the Micronesian island Palau were simply small humans, not dwarves as suggested by a previous study. The study was published online August 27 at the online, open-access journal PLoS ONE.
An international team of scientists lead by Cardiff University in Wales has cracked a 2,000 year-old mystery: the purpose of the Antikythera clock found at the site of a Roman shipwreck off the Greek island Antikythera. Professor Mike Edmunds of the School of Physics and Astronomy and mathematician Dr. Tony Freeth have published their findings in the July 31 Nature issue. Using technology provided by Hewlett Packard (US) and X-Tek Systems (UK), they found evidence that the Antikythera device mapped the four-year cycle of the Olympics as well as the cycles of other Greek games.
An NIH study published on October 2 in the online edition of Immunity suggests that the genetic material of bacteria living in the intestines of humans may function in fighting infection. The findings expand the known role of gut bacteria, or commensals, which include aiding in digestion.
Scientists have found that the "prion" protein, a type of protein that causes the disease commonly known as mad cow disease, may play a role in other brain diseases affecting cattle. Researchers at the Veterinary Laboratories Agency published their findings in BMC Veterinary Research regarding the discovery of the prion protein's presence in the brains of cattle afflicted with other diseases known as idiopathic brainstem neuronal chromatolysis (IBNC).
The controversy over the exact role of adult neurogenesis has been settled claims a study published in this month's Nature Neuroscience. A team of researchers, led by Itaru Imayoshi at the Institute of Virus Research in Kyoto University, has shown the strikingly different roles that new cells play in the two brain regions where adult neurogenesis occurs. These findings could help lead the way to new treatments for patients with brain damage or neurodegenerative diseases.
A major step towards resolving the mechanism by which prions become disease agents has been achieved as a result of the teams headed by Christian F. Becker at the TU Munich and Peter H. Seeberger at the ETH Zurich. Together, they created the first synthetic form of a prion, the protein responsible of diseases such as mad cow in animals or Creutzfeld-Jakob disease in humans. This synthetic protein also happens to be the first including a GPI anchor which helps them attach to cell membranes. The findings were published on the latest issue of the German journal Angewandte Chemie.