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


August 29, 2006, 9:50 PM CT

More than just pretty faces

More than just pretty faces
You'll find more than faces in these places. Stanford University scientists have taken the closest look yet at a region of the brain that was believed to be devoted solely to face recognition and discovered that this particular patchwork of neurons does much more: It also responds to such objects as cars, animals and sculptures.

Current face perception theories suggest neurons in a portion of the brain called the fusiform gyrus light up in response to a face, leading scientists to refer to this region as the "fusiform face area." But a study would be reported in the recent issue of Nature Neuroscience reports that this area also shows a localized - albeit less extensive - response to more than just faces.

"We've looked at the fine structure of face-selective regions in the brain, and it argues against prevailing theories," said first author Kalanit Grill-Spector, PhD, assistant professor of psychology and a researcher in the Neuroscience Institute at Stanford.

Using high-resolution functional magnetic resonance imaging, Grill-Spector and his colleagues imaged regions of the brain at a magnification of 27 to 70 times smaller than a traditional fMRI scan. Like viewing a grain of sugar rather than the whole cube, this allowed the team to "zoom in" on a hybrid of neural patches, each of which responds to a different category of objects.........

Posted by: Daniel      Permalink         Source


August 29, 2006, 5:11 AM CT

Proton Treatment Could Replace Radiation Therapy

Proton Treatment Could Replace Radiation Therapy
Researchers at MIT, collaborating with an industrial team, are creating a proton-shooting system that could revolutionize radiation treatment for cancer. The goal is to get the system installed at major hospitals to supplement, or even replace, the conventional radiation treatment now based on x-rays.

The fundamental idea is to harness the cell-killing power of protons -- the naked nuclei of hydrogen atoms -- to knock off cancer cells before the cells kill the patient. Worldwide, the use of radiation therapy now depends mostly on beams of x-rays, which do kill cancer cells but can also harm a number of normal cells that are in the way.

What the scientists envision -- and what they're now creating -- is a room-size atomic accelerator costing far less than the existing proton-beam accelerators that shoot subatomic particles into tumors, while minimizing damage to surrounding normal tissues. They expect to have their first hospital system up and running in late 2007.

Physicist Timothy Antaya, a technical supervisor in MIT's Plasma Science and Fusion Center, was deeply involved in developing the new system and is now working to make it a reality. He argues it "could change the primary method of radiation therapy" as the new machines are put in place.

The beauty of protons is that they are quite energetic, but their energy can be controlled so they do less collateral damage to normal tissues, in comparison to powerful x-ray beams. Protons enter the body through skin and tissue, hit the tumor and stop there, minimizing other damage.........

Posted by: Janet      Permalink         Source


August 28, 2006, 10:02 PM CT

A switch between life and death

A switch between life and death
Cells in an embryo divide at an amazing rate to build a whole body, but this growth needs to be controlled. Otherwise the result may be defects in embryonic development or cancer in adults. Controlling growth requires that some cells divide while others die; their fates are determined by signals that are passed from molecule to molecule within the cell. Scientists at the European Molecular Biology Laboratory [EMBL] in Heidelberg have now discovered how one of these signaling pathways controls the life and death of cells in the fruit fly. The study will be published in this week's issue of the journal Cell.

The breakthrough came as Barry Thompson from Stephen Cohen's group at EMBL looked at a recently discovered signaling pathway called Hippo.

"Hippo acts as a switch between cell division and death," says Barry Thompson, "if the pathway is too active, tissues overgrow because too a number of cells divide and too few die. But until now, we hadn't found a correlation between the signals and the cellular machinery that drives growth."

Using sophisticated genetic techniques, Thompson and Cohen established that a small molecule, a microRNA called bantam, makes this link. Without bantam, tissues grow too slowly and remain smaller than normal. The amount of bantam produced by the cell directly depends on the amount of traffic on the Hippo signaling pathway, and higher levels of bantam prompt more cell division.........

Posted by: Emily      Permalink         Source


August 28, 2006, 9:22 PM CT

Pain Control Discovery

Pain Control Discovery
A newly discovered enzyme inhibitor, identified by scientists originally looking for biological pest controls, may lead to pain relief for sufferers of arthritis and other inflammatory diseases, say scientists at the University of California, Davis. The finding, hailed by a noted inflammatory disease expert "as the most important discovery in inflammation in more than a decade," may also reduce side effects linked to the painkiller, Vioxx.

Lead author Kara Schmelzer, a post-doctoral researcher in principal investigator Bruce Hammock's lab, tested the novel compounds on rodents and found them to be as potent at a low-dose as Vioxx and Celebrex, but without the changes in blood chemistry associated with heart attacks. Vioxx and Celebrex belong to a class of drugs known as Cox-2 inhibitors. The enzyme targeted by the newly discovered inhibitors is also found in humans. (Enzymes are proteins that speed up chemical reactions.).

"The reason this is so exciting is that this is a novel way to reduce inflammation, with a combination treatment," Schmelzer said. "We're going after a new enzyme target, not going after the Cox-2 inhibitors".

Their research is reported in a paper entitled "Enhancement of Antinociception by Coadministration of Nonsteroidal Anti-Inflammatory Drugs and Soluble Epoxide Hydrolase Inhibitors," reported in the current edition of Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.........

Posted by: Daniel      Permalink         Source


August 27, 2006, 7:14 PM CT

A Pint Of Cider To Keep The Doctor Away

A Pint Of Cider To Keep The Doctor Away
The saying goes that an apple a day keeps the doctor away but now researchers at the University of Glasgow are looking into whether a pint of cider could have the same effect. Scientists have discovered that English cider apples have high levels of phenolics antioxidants associated with protection against stroke, heart disease and cancer and are working with volunteers to see whether these health benefits could be passed onto cider drinkers.

In the next few weeks 12 volunteers will each drink a pint of cider, while avoiding all other dietary sources of antioxidants, to give the research team a unique insight into how phenolics are absorbed and metabolised by humans. The research is part of a project funded by the Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council (BBSRC) and the National Association of Cider Makers.

Serena Marks, who is leading the study, explains: "Prior research suggests there may be an association between phenolics and protection against some serious diseases, so we are trying to find out how we get phenolics from our diet. We know that apples are high in phenolics and our research shows that cider apples have a higher phenolic content than dessert apples".

The cider industry has long been interested in phenolics, because these compounds play an important role in the taste and colour of cider, but Marks hopes her research will show that phenolic levels also have a beneficial health role.........

Posted by: Janet      Permalink         Source


August 27, 2006, 7:06 PM CT

How brain cells categorize images?

How brain cells categorize images?
Socks in the sock drawer, shirts in the shirt drawer, the time-honored lessons of helping organize one's clothes learned in youth. But what parts of the brain are used to encode such categories as socks, shirts or any other item, and how does such learning take place?

New research from Harvard Medical School (HMS) researchers has identified an area of the brain where such memories are found. They report in the advanced online Nature that they have identified neurons that assist in categorizing visual stimuli. They observed that the activity of neurons in a part of the brain called the parietal cortex encode the category, or meaning, of familiar visual images and that brain activity patterns changed dramatically as a result of learning. Their results suggest that categories are encoded by the activity of individual neurons (brain cells) and that the parietal cortex is a part of the brain circuitry that learns and recognizes the meaning of the things that we see.

"It was previously unknown that parietal cortex activity would show such dramatic changes as a result of learning new categories," says lead author David Freedman, PhD, HMS postdoctoral research fellow in neurobiology. "Some areas of the brain, especially the frontal and temporal lobes, have been linked to visual categorization. Since these brain areas are all interconnected, an important next step will be to determine their relative roles in the categorization process".........

Posted by: Daniel      Permalink         Source


August 27, 2006, 7:02 PM CT

Tricking Cancer Cell To Self-destruction

Tricking Cancer Cell To Self-destruction
Researchers have found a way to trick cancer cells into committing suicide. The novel technique potentially offers an effective method of providing personalized anti-cancer treatment.

Most living cells contain a protein called procaspase-3, which, when activated, changes into the executioner enzyme caspase-3 and initiates programmed cell death, called apoptosis. In cancer cells, however, the signaling pathway to procaspase-3 is broken. As a result, cancer cells escape destruction and grow into tumors.

"We have identified a small, synthetic compound that directly activates procaspase-3 and induces apoptosis," said Paul J. Hergenrother, a professor of chemistry at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign and corresponding author of a paper to be posted online this week ahead of regular publication by the journal Nature Chemical Biology. "By bypassing the broken pathway, we can use the cells' own machinery to destroy themselves".

To find the compound, called procaspase activating compound one (PAC-1), Hergenrother, with colleagues at the U. of I., Seoul National University, and the National Center for Toxicological Research, screened more than 20,000 structurally diverse compounds for the ability to change procaspase-3 into caspase-3.

The scientists tested the compound's efficacy in cell cultures and in three mouse models of cancer. The testing waccording toformed in collaboration with William Helferich, a professor of food science and human nutrition at the U. of I., and Myung-Haing Cho at Seoul National University. The scientists also showed that PAC-1 killed cancer cells in 23 tumors obtained from a local hospital.........

Posted by: Janet      Permalink         Source


August 25, 2006, 5:09 AM CT

Researchers Restore Memory Lost In Mice With Alzheimer's

Researchers Restore Memory Lost In Mice With Alzheimer's
Scientists at Columbia University Medical Center have successfully restored normal memory and synaptic function in mice suffering from Alzheimer's disease. The study was published recently on the website of the journal Cell.

Researchers at Columbia's Taub Institute for Research on Alzheimer's Disease and the Aging Brain have identified an enzyme that is mandatory for normal cognition but that is impaired in a mouse model of Alzheimer's. They discovered that mice regained the ability to form new memories when the enzyme's function was elevated.

The research suggests that boosting the function of this enzyme, known as ubiquitin C-terminal hydrolase L1 (Uch-L1), may provide a promising strategy for battling Alzheimer's disease, and perhaps reversing its effects.

In the new study, the Columbia scientists discovered that the enzyme Uch-L1 is part of a molecular network that controls a memory molecule called CREB, which is inhibited by amyloid beta proteins in people with Alzheimer's. By increasing Uch-L1 levels in mice that had Alzheimer's, they were able to improve the animals' ability to create new memories.

"Because the amyloid beta proteins that cause Alzheimer's may play a normal, important physiological role in the body, we can't destroy them as a treatment," explained Ottavio Arancio, M.D., Ph.D., Assistant Professor of Pathology at Columbia University Medical Center and co-principal investigator of the study with Michael Shelanski, MD, Ph.D., Chairman of the Department of Pathology at the Columbia University College of Physicians and Surgeons. "What makes this newly discovered enzyme exciting as a potentially effective treatment is that it restores memory without destroying amyloid beta proteins".........

Posted by: Daniel      Permalink         Source


August 25, 2006, 4:59 AM CT

Adult stem cells are touchy

Adult stem cells are touchy
A certain type of adult stem cell can turn into bone, muscle, neurons or other types of tissue depending on the "feel" of its physical environment, as per scientists at the University of Pennsylvania.

The scientists discovered that mesenchymal stem cells, which regularly reside in the bone marrow as part of the body's natural regenerative mechanism, depend on physical clues from their local environment in order to transform into different types of tissue. The scientists were even able to manipulate stem cells by changing the firmness of the gel on which they were grown.

The scientists think that their findings, which appear in the Aug. 25 issue of the journal Cell, could change the way in which people work with stem cells.

"Basically, mesenchymal stem cells feel where they're at and become what they feel," said Dennis Discher, a professor in Penn's School of Engineering and Applied Science. "The results begin to establish a physical basis for both stem-cell use against diseases and for stem-cell behavior in embryonic development,".

Much of the work in stem-cell science has involved the study of the chemical microenvironment, the soup of chemical messenger signals that are generally thought to guide stem cells through the process of differentiation, where relatively "blank" stem cells turn into specific cell types. For the first time, the Penn scientists have proven that the physical microenvironment is also crucial for guiding the cells through differentiation. As per Adam Engler, the first author on the study and a graduate student in the School of Engineering and Applied Science, soft microenvironments, that mimic the brain, guide the cells toward becoming neurons, stiffer microenvironments, that mimic muscle, guide the cells toward becoming muscle cells and comparatively rigid microenvironments guide the cells toward becoming bone.........

Posted by: Scott      Permalink         Source


August 25, 2006, 4:57 AM CT

Gene Variants Cause Susceptibility To Heart Disease

Gene Variants Cause Susceptibility To Heart Disease
Variations in a gene that acts as a switch to turn on other genes may predispose individuals to heart disease, an international team of scientists led by Duke University Medical Center researchers has discovered.

Further study of this master switch -- a gene called GATA2 -- and the genes it controls may uncover a regulatory network that influences whether a person inherits coronary artery disease, the most common form of heart disease in the Western world, as per the researchers. The discovery also may lead to development of genetic tests to predict an individual's risk of developing coronary artery disease, the researchers said.

"We hope that one day it will be possible to use these gene variations to predict who is susceptible to cardiovascular disease," said Jessica J. Connelly, a postdoctoral fellow at the Duke Center for Human Genetics and lead author on the study. "This finding is the first step before we can develop such a test for use in patients".

People who know they are at higher risk may be encouraged to take early steps to modify behaviors, such as smoking or consuming foods high in saturated fats, that are known to play a role in promoting heart disease, the researchers said.

The team reports its findings in the August 2006 issue of Public Library of Science (PLoS) Genetics. The research was sponsored by the National Institutes of Health.........

Posted by: Daniel      Permalink         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  

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.