MedicineWorld.Org
Your gateway to the world of medicine
Home
News
Cancer News
About Us
Cancer
Health Professionals
Patients and public
Contact Us
Disclaimer

Medicineworld.org: Archives of research news blog


Go Back to the main research news blog

Subscribe To Health Blog RSS Feed  RSS content feed What is RSS feed?

Archives Of Research News Blog From Medicineworld.Org


May 19, 2009, 5:02 AM CT

DNA patterns of cancer and genetic disorders

DNA patterns of cancer and genetic disorders
A new tool will help scientists identify the minute changes in DNA patterns that lead to cancer, Huntington's disease and a host of other inherited disorders. The tool was developed at North Carolina State University and translates DNA sequences into graphic images, which allows scientists to distinguish genetic patterns more quickly and efficiently than was historically possible using computers.

David Cox, a Ph.D. student in computer science at NC State, devised the "symbolic scatter plot" tool to provide a visual representation of a DNA sequence. Cox explains, "The human visual system is more adept at identifying patterns, and differentiating between patterns, than existing computer programs such as those that try to identify repetitions of DNA sequences." In other words, the naked eye sees patterns better than computers can.

Identifying patterns in a sequence of DNA is important because it can help scientists identify the minute genetic variations between subjects that suffer from a disease, such as cancer, and subjects that do not. "Improved identification of relevant DNA sequences will hopefully expedite the development of successful therapy for a range of diseases," Cox says, "by allowing scientists to focus on the components of DNA that are correlation to the disease and improving our understanding of the genetic mechanisms of these diseases. For example, what turns specific genes on and off?".........

Posted by: Janet      Read more         Source


April 30, 2009, 5:14 AM CT

Tiny differences in our genes make the big picture

Tiny differences in our genes make the big picture
By examining very small differences in people's genes, researchers from Cornell University have developed a new tool for identifying big events in human history and pinpointing the origins of specific gene mutations. This research, reported in the recent issue of the journal GENETICS (http://www.genetics.org), helps shed light on times when the human population moved close to extinction and helps researchers close in on gene mutations that make some demographic groups more likely to develop diseases such as cancer, heart disease, diabetes, among others.

"We know that a number of diseases are caused by a combination of genetic and environmental factors," said Kirk E. Lohmueller, one of the scientists involved in the work from Cornell University. "To find the genes that contribute to disease, it's very helpful to know the demographic history of the population being studied. Accurate estimates of population events help inform the search for mutations that might have been helpful and necessary for survival at the time, but no longer necessary and potentially harmful today".

In their work, Lohmueller and his colleagues confirmed the existence of a major decline in European populations (called a "bottleneck") 32,500-47,500 years ago. They used computer simulations to model the expected correlation among segments of DNA containing very small genetic mutations that only involve a single letter of the genetic code (called "single nucleotide polymorphisms" or SNPs). Previous to this development, methods used to identify major population events relied on the frequency patterns of individual SNPs, while ignoring the patterns of specific groups of SNPs. This work shows that looking at groups of SNPs helps us better understand what happened long before there was a human historical record.........

Posted by: Janet      Read more         Source


April 29, 2009, 5:23 AM CT

New gene variant for autism

New gene variant for autism
UCLA scientists, in partnership with 30 research institutions across the country, have identified a new gene variant that is highly common in autistic children. And when scientists scrutinized the activity of the gene, known as CDH10, in the fetal brain, they discovered that it is most active in key regions that support language, speech and interpreting social behavior.

Published April 28 in the advance online edition of the journal Nature, the two findings suggest that CDH10 plays a critical role in shaping the developing brain and may contribute to a prenatal risk of autism.

A variant is a gene that has undergone subtle changes from the normal DNA yet is shared by a significant portion of the population.

"While this gene variant is common in the general population, we discovered that it occurs about 20 percent more often in children with autism," said study author Dr. Daniel Geschwind, director of the UCLA Center for Autism Treatment and Research. "A major change like this in the genetic code is too common to be a simple mutation it is a risk factor in the origin of the disease."

Using the largest population sample to date, the researchers systematically scanned the DNA of 3,100 individuals from 780 families nationwide. Each family had at least two autistic children.........

Posted by: Scott      Read more         Source


April 29, 2009, 5:02 AM CT

Preventing migraine

Preventing migraine
When migraine strikes, because of severe pain, often accompanied by nausea and sensitivity to light and sound, sufferers are effectively disabled for up to 72 hours. Since they are forced to stop what they are doing until the pain and other symptoms subside, migraine causes a significant loss in productivity at work and the personal lives of those affected. Migraineurs particularly the 25% of migraineurs who experience more than three migraine attacks per month are looking to drug developers to provide new drugs to prevent migraine attacks before they start. In the U.S. alone, approximately 30 million people suffer from migraines and the cost to employers has been estimated at $13 billion annually in lost productivity. Currently, several types of drugs, like generic beta blockers, calcium channel blockers, tricyclic antidepressants and anti-epileptic drugs, some of which are used off-label, are given to prevent migraines. However, a number of patients have only a partial response to these products, a number of of which have troubling side effects. Nevertheless, a number of migraine patients use existing drugs, illustrating how badly new drugs are needed.

Given the role of glutamate in the pathophysiology of migraine, the future of migraine prophylaxis, may lie in modulating one of the receptors in the glutamate system, mGluR5.........

Posted by: Daniel      Read more         Source


April 28, 2009, 5:23 AM CT

Novel role of protein in generating amyloid-beta peptide

Novel role of protein in generating amyloid-beta peptide
A defining hallmark of Alzheimer's disease is the accumulation of the amyloid β protein (Aβ), otherwise known as "senile plaques," in the brain's cortex and hippocampus, where memory consolidation occurs. Scientists at the University of California, San Diego School of Medicine have identified a novel protein which, when over-expressed, leads to a dramatic increase in the generation of Aβ. Their findings, which indicate a potential new target to block the accumulation of amyloid plaque in the brain, would be reported in the May 1 issue of the Journal of Biological Chemistry

"The role of the multi-domain protein, RANBP9, suggests a possible new therapeutic target for Alzheimer's disease," said David E. Kang, PhD, assistant professor of neurosciences at UC San Diego and director of this study.

The neurotoxic protein Aβ is derived when the amyloid precursor protein (APP) is "cut" by two enzymes, β-secretase (or BACE) and γ-secretase (or Presenilin complex.) However, inhibiting these enzymes in order to stop the amyloid cascade has a number of negative side effects, as these enzymes also have various beneficial uses in brain cells. So the scientists looked for an alternative way to block the production of amyloid beta.

In order for cleavage to occur, the APP needs to travel to cholesterol-enriched sites within the cell membrane called RAFTS, where APP interacts with the two enzymes. It is this contact that the scientists sought to block.........

Posted by: Daniel      Read more         Source


April 24, 2009, 5:12 AM CT

Major advance in cell reprogramming

Major advance in cell reprogramming
In a paper publishing online April 23rd in Cell Stem Cell, a Cell Press journal, Dr. Sheng Ding and his colleagues from the Scripps Research Institute in La Jolla, California, report an important step forward in the race to make reprogrammed stem cells that appears to be better suited for use in clinical settings.

Ding and colleagues show that mouse cells can be reprogrammed to form stem cells with a combination of purified proteins and a chemical additive, thus avoiding the use of genetic material.

The discovery three years ago that adult cells could be reprogrammed to form induced pluripotent stem cells, or iPS cells, with similar properties to embryonic stem cells was a major scientific breakthrough. These cells hold enormous potential for drug development and even cell treatment processes, and this promise has garnered significant attention from researchers and the media worldwide. However, a major caveat to the eventual application of iPS cells is that until now all the methods used to generate them have mandatory the introduction of genetic material to make the transcription factors needed for reprogramming. Eventhough some research groups have recently generated iPS cells that lack genetic modifications, even the most advanced methods used genes in the form of plasmids, and thus the risk of genetic mutations caused by the introduced sequences remained.........

Posted by: Scott      Read more         Source


April 24, 2009, 5:08 AM CT

Stem cells obtained from a patient's own adipose tissue for MS treatment

Stem cells obtained from a patient's own adipose tissue for MS treatment
A preliminary study on the use of stem cells obtained from a patient's own adipose tissue in the therapy of multiple sclerosis (MS) has shown promising results. The three case studies, described in BioMed Central's open access Journal of Translational Medicine support further clinical assessment of stromal vascular fraction (SVF) cells in MS and other autoimmune conditions.

Thomas Ichim, from Medistem Inc., and Dr. Boris Minev, from the Division of Neurosurgery, University of California San Diego, worked with a team of scientists to demonstrate the possible effectiveness of SVF cells in MS therapy. Minev said, "All three patients in our study showed dramatic improvement in their condition after the course of SVF treatment. While obviously no conclusions in terms of therapeutic efficacy can be drawn from these reports, this first clinical use of fat stem cells for therapy of MS supports further investigations into this very simple and easily-implementable therapy methodology".

MS is an autoimmune condition, in which the body's own defences attack nerve cells, resulting in loss of their fatty myelin sheath. The first symptoms commonly occur in young adults, most usually in women. It is believed that SVF cells, and other stem cells, appears to be able to treat the condition by limiting the immune reaction and promoting the growth of new myelin. As per Minev, "None of the presently available MS therapys selectively inhibit the immune attack against the nervous system, nor do they stimulate regeneration of previously damaged tissue. We've shown that SVF cells may fill this therapeutic gap".........

Posted by: Daniel      Read more         Source


April 21, 2009, 5:28 AM CT

We're all pot heads deep inside

We're all pot heads deep inside
U.S. and Brazilian researchers have just proven that one of Bob Dylan's most famous lines"everybody must get stoned" is correct. That's because they've discovered that the brain manufactures proteins that act like marijuana at specific receptors in the brain itself. This discovery, published online in The FASEB Journal (http://www.fasebj.org), may lead to new marijuana-like drugs for managing pain, stimulating appetite, and preventing marijuana abuse.

"Ideally, this development will lead to drugs that bind to and activate the THC receptor, but are devoid of the side effects that limit the usefulness of marijuana," said Lakshmi A. Devi of the Department of Pharmacology and Systems Therapeutics at Mount Sinai School of Medicine in New York and one of the senior scientists involved in the study. "It would be helpful to have a drug that activated or blocked the THC receptor, and our findings raise the possibility that this will lead to effective drugs with fewer side effects".

Researchers made their discovery by first extracting several small proteins, called peptides, from the brains of mice and determining their amino acid sequence. The extracted proteins were then compared with another peptide previously known to bind to, but not activate, the receptor (THC) affected by marijuana. Out of the extracted proteins, several not only bound to the brain's THC receptors, but activated them as well.........

Posted by: JoAnn      Read more         Source


April 21, 2009, 5:17 AM CT

How does lithium work in bipolar disease?

How does lithium work in bipolar disease?
Lithium has been established for more than 50 years as one of the most effective therapys for bipolar mood disorder.

However, researchers have never been entirely sure exactly how it operates in the human brain.

Now, new research from Cardiff University researchers suggests a mechanism for how Lithium works, opening the door for potentially more effective therapys.

Laboratory tests on cells have shown that Lithium affects a molecule called PIP3 that is important in controlling brain cell signalling. Lithium suppresses the production of inositol, a simple sugar from which PIP3 is made.

Lithium inhibits inositol monophosphatase (IMPase) an enzyme mandatory for making inositol. Importantly, this research shows that increasing the amount of IMPase causes higher levels of PIP3. This can then be reduced by lithium therapy.

High levels of IMPA2, a gene for a variant of IMPase, has previously been associated with bipolar mood disorder. This new result suggests that Lithium could counteract the changes in IMPA2.

Professor Adrian Harwood of Cardiff School of Biosciences, who led the research, said: "We still cannot say definitively how Lithium can help stabilise bipolar disorder. However, our research does suggest a possible pathway for its operation. By better understanding Lithium, we can learn about the genetics of bipolar disorder and develop more potent and selective drugs.........

Posted by: JoAnn      Read more         Source


April 16, 2009, 5:07 AM CT

How Alzheimer's destroy brain cells

How Alzheimer's destroy brain cells
For a decade, Alzheimer's disease scientists have been entrenched in debate about one of the mechanisms thought to beresponsible for brain cell death and memory loss in the illness.

Now scientists at the University of Michigan and the University of California, San Diego have settled the dispute. Resolving this controversy improves understanding of the disease and could one day lead to better therapys.

Michael Mayer, an assistant professor in the U-M departments of Biomedical Engineering and Chemical Engineering, and Jerry Yang, an assistant professor in the Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry at UCSD, and their colleagues found a flaw in earlier studies supporting one side of the debate. Their findings are published online in the Journal of Neurotoxicity Research They will appear in the May print edition.

Their results clarify how small proteins called amyloid-beta peptides damage brain cell membranes, allowing extra calcium ions to enter the neurons. An ion is an electrically-charged particle. An ion imbalance in a cell can trigger its suicide.

Amyloid-beta peptides are the prime suspects for causing cell death in Alzheimer's, eventhough other mechanisms could also be to blame. The disease is not well understood.

The scientists confirmed evidence found by others that amyloid-beta peptides prick pores into brain cell membranes, opening channels where calcium ions can rush in. This was one mechanism the field had contemplated, but other evidence suggested a different scenario. Some scientists believed that the peptide caused a general thinning of the cell membranes and these thinned membranes lost their ability to keep calcium ions out of brain cells. Mayer and Yang disproved this latter theory.........

Posted by: Daniel      Read more         Source



Older Blog Entries   1   2   3   4   5   6   7   8   9   10   11   12   13   14   15   16   17   18   19   20   21   22   23   24   25   26   27   28   29   30   31   32   33   34   35   36   37   38   39   40   41   42   43   44   45   46   47   48   49   50   51   52   53   54   55   56   57   58   59   60   61   62   63   64   65   66   67   68   69   70   71   72   73   74   75   76   77   78   79   80   81   82   83   84   85  

Did you know?
Scientists at Yale have brought to light a mechanism that regulates the way an internal organelle, the Golgi apparatus, duplicates as cells prepare to divide, according to a report in Science Express.Graham Warren, professor of cell biology, and colleagues at Yale study Trypanosoma brucei, the parasite that causes Sleeping Sickness. Like a number of parasites, it is exceptionally streamlined and has only one of each internal organelle, making it ideal for studying processes of more complex organisms that have a number of copies in each cell.

Medicineworld.org: Archives of research news blog

Acute bacterial meningitis| Alzheimer's disease| Carpal tunnel syndrome| Cerebral aneurysms| Cerebral palsy| Chronic fatigue syndrome| Cluster headache| Dementia| Epilepsy seizure disorders| Febrile seizures| Guillain barre syndrome| Head injury| Hydrocephalus| Neurology| Insomnia| Low backache| Mental retardation| Migraine headaches| Multiple sclerosis| Myasthenia gravis| Neurological manifestations of aids| Parkinsonism parkinson's disease| Personality disorders| Sleep disorders insomnia| Syncope| Trigeminal neuralgia| Vertigo|

Copyright statement
The contents of this web page are protected. Legal action may follow for reproduction of materials without permission.