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Novel immune system-based gene therapy induces strong responses in metastatic melanoma, sarcoma

2011-02-01
Researchers have found that a novel form of personalized therapy that genetically engineers a patient's own anti-tumor immune cells to fight tumors could treat metastatic melanoma and metastatic synovial cell sarcoma, representing a potentially new therapeutic approach against these and other cancers. The technique, called adoptive immunotherapy, works with the body's immune system to fight cancer. Immune cells, called T lymphocytes, are removed, modified, expanded in large numbers, and given back to the patient. In this case, the process entailed genetically engineering ...

Computer-assisted diagnosis tools to aid pathologists

Computer-assisted diagnosis tools to aid pathologists
2011-02-01
Researchers are leveraging Ohio Supercomputer Center resources to develop computer-assisted diagnosis tools that will provide pathologists grading Follicular Lymphoma samples with quicker, more consistently accurate diagnoses. "The advent of digital whole-slide scanners in recent years has spurred a revolution in imaging technology for histopathology," according to Metin N. Gurcan, Ph.D., an associate professor of Biomedical Informatics at The Ohio State University Medical Center. "The large multi-gigapixel images produced by these scanners contain a wealth of information ...

Explosive- and drug-sniffing dog performance is affected by their handlers' beliefs

2011-02-01
Drug- and explosives-sniffing dog/handler teams' performance is affected by human handlers' beliefs, possibly in response to subtle, unintentional handler cues, a study by researchers at UC Davis has found. The study, published in the January issue of the journal Animal Cognition, found that detection-dog/handler teams erroneously "alerted," or identified a scent, when there was no scent present more than 200 times — particularly when the handler believed that there was scent present. "It isn't just about how sensitive a dog's nose is or how well-trained a dog is. There ...

NASA sees large Tropical Cyclone Yasi headed toward Queensland, Australia

NASA sees large Tropical Cyclone Yasi headed toward Queensland, Australia
2011-02-01
Tropical Storm Anthony made landfall in Queensland, Australia this past weekend, and now the residents are watching a larger, more powerful cyclone headed their way. NASA's Terra satellite captured a visible image of the large Tropical Cyclone Yasi late yesterday as it makes its way west through the Coral Sea toward Queensland. The Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) instrument that flies aboard NASA's Terra satellite captured an image of Cyclone Yasi on Jan. 30 at 23:20 UTC (6:20 p.m. EST/09:20 a.m., Monday, January 31 in Australia/Brisbane local time). ...

Tracking the origins of speedy space particles

Tracking the origins of speedy space particles
2011-02-01
NASA's Time History of Events and Macroscale Interaction during Substorms (THEMIS) spacecraft combined with computer models have helped track the origin of the energetic particles in Earth's magnetic atmosphere that appear during a kind of space weather called a substorm. Understanding the source of such particles and how they are shuttled through Earth's atmosphere is crucial to better understanding the Sun's complex space weather system and thus protect satellites or even humans in space. The results show that these speedy electrons gain extra energy from changing magnetic ...

UCSB physicists challenge classical world with quantum-mechanical implementation of 'shell game'

UCSB physicists challenge classical world with quantum-mechanical implementation of shell game
2011-02-01
(Santa Barbara, Calif.) –– Inspired by the popular confidence trick known as "shell game," researchers at UC Santa Barbara have demonstrated the ability to hide and shuffle "quantum-mechanical peas" –– microwave single photons –– under and between three microwave resonators, or "quantized shells." In a paper published in the Jan. 30 issue of the journal Nature Physics, UCSB researchers show the first demonstration of the coherent control of a multi-resonator architecture. This topic has been a holy grail among physicists studying photons at the quantum-mechanical level ...

Children's genetic potentials are subdued by poverty

2011-02-01
Children from poorer families do worse in school, are less likely to graduate from high school, and are less likely to go to college. A new study published in Psychological Science, a journal of the Association for Psychological Science, finds that these differences appear surprisingly early: by the age of 2. It's not a genetic difference. Instead, something about the poorer children's environment is keeping them from realizing their genetic potentials. Past research has found that a gap between poor children and children from wealthier families opens up early in life, ...

Resolved to quit smoking?

2011-02-01
ANN ARBOR, Mich.--Brain scans showing neural reactions to pro-health messages can predict if you'll keep that resolution to quit smoking more accurately than you yourself can. That's according to a new study forthcoming in Health Psychology, a peer-reviewed journal. "We targeted smokers who were already taking action to quit," says Emily Falk, the lead author of the study and director of the Communication Neuroscience Laboratory at the U-M Institute for Social Research (ISR) and Department of Communication Studies. "And we found that neural activity can predict behavior ...

Smart lasers could make cancer biopsies painless, help speed new drugs to market

2011-02-01
EAST LANSING, Mich. — Biopsies in the future may be painless and noninvasive, thanks to smart laser technology being developed at Michigan State University. To test for skin cancer, patients today must endure doctors cutting away a sliver of skin, sending the biopsy to a lab and anxiously awaiting the results. Using laser microscopes that deploy rapid, ultra-short pulses to identify molecules, doctors may soon have the tools to painlessly scan a patient's troublesome mole and review the results on the spot, said Marcos Dantus. The results touting this new molecule-selective ...

Pakistan floods last summer could have been predicted

2011-02-01
WASHINGTON — Five days before intense monsoonal deluges unleashed vast floods across Pakistan last July, computer models at a European weather-forecasting center were giving clear indications that the downpours were imminent. Now, a new scientific study that retrospectively examines the raw data from these computer models, has confirmed that, if the information had been processed, forecasters could have predicted extremely accurate rainfall totals 8-10 days beforehand. The study also finds that the floods themselves could have been predicted if this data, which originated ...

Pitt team grows arteries with most elastic protein reported, big step for living vascular grafts

Pitt team grows arteries with most elastic protein reported, big step for living vascular grafts
2011-02-01
PITTSBURGH—University of Pittsburgh researchers have grown arteries that exhibit the elasticity of natural blood vessels at the highest levels reported, a development that could overcome a major barrier to creating living-tissue replacements for damaged arteries, the team reports in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. The team used smooth muscle cells from adult baboons to produce the first arteries grown outside the body that contain a substantial amount of the pliant protein elastin, which allows vessels to expand and retract in response to blood flow. ...

Plants can adapt genetically to survive harsh environments

2011-02-01
WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. - A Purdue University scientist has found genetic evidence of how some plants adapt to live in unfavorable conditions, a finding he believes could one day be used to help food crops survive in new or changing environments. David Salt, a professor of horticulture, noticed several years ago that a variant of the research plant Arabidopsis thaliana that could tolerate higher levels of sodium had come from coastal areas. To test the observation, Salt grew more than 300 Arabidopsis thaliana plants from seeds gathered across Europe. The plants were grown ...

New approach needed to prevent major 'systemic failures'

2011-02-01
WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. - A Purdue University researcher is proposing development of a new cross-disciplinary approach for analyzing and preventing systemic failures in complex systems that play a role in calamities ranging from huge power blackouts to the BP Deepwater Horizon disaster and the subprime mortgage crisis. "The striking similarities in such catastrophes necessitates a broader perspective to better understand such failures," said Venkat Venkatasubramanian, a professor of chemical engineering. "In the history of systemic failures, a few disasters have served as ...

Aging safely at home? California's disabled elderly are barely holding on

2011-02-01
The network of public services that supports California's low-income, disabled elderly is fragile, affecting the ability of these vulnerable residents to live independent lives in their own homes, according to a new study from the UCLA Center for Health Policy Research. This policy note reports the first findings from a yearlong effort to follow the lives and challenges encountered by several dozen representative older Californians in Los Angeles, San Diego, San Francisco and Santa Clara who are enrolled in Medicare and Medi-Cal and who receive in-home and community ...

Road may disrupt migration, ruin Serengeti, study finds

2011-02-01
Building a highway through Serengeti National Park may devastate one of the world's last large-scale herd migrations and the region's ecosystem, according to new research by an international team of ecologists, including a University of Guelph professor. The study by John Fryxell, a Guelph integrative biology professor, and four other scientists from the United States and Canada appears in a recent issue of PLoS ONE, a peer-reviewed international journal published by the Public Library of Science. The researchers studied the effects of a proposal by the Tanzanian government ...

Tonsillectomy linked to excess weight gain in kids

2011-02-01
Alexandria, VA — Tonsillectomy is the most common major surgical procedure performed in children. Children who undergo the surgical removal of their tonsils (tonsillectomy), with or without the removal of their adenoids (adenoidectomy), are at increased risk for becoming overweight after surgery, according to new research published in the February 2011 issue of Otolaryngology – Head and Neck Surgery. Pediatric obesity has increased overwhelmingly over the last 20 years, with recent data suggesting that as many as 33 percent of American children are overweight and 17 ...

Repeat MRI screening for breast cancer results in fewer false positives

2011-02-01
OAK BROOK, Ill. – MRI screening for breast cancer delivers consistent rates of cancer detection and fewer false-positive results over time, according to a new study published online and in the April print edition of Radiology. While MRI can be more effective than mammography at identifying suspicious areas of the breast, it is not always able to distinguish between cancerous and benign lesions, which can result in additional testing and false-positive results that may cause anxiety for patients. A screening exam is considered to be false positive when its results recommend ...

Video games are good for girls -- if parents play along

2011-02-01
Dads who still haven't given up video games now have some justification to keep on playing – if they have a daughter. Researchers from Brigham Young University's School of Family Life conducted a study on video games and children between 11 and 16 years old. They found that girls who played video games with a parent enjoyed a number of advantages. Those girls behaved better, felt more connected to their families and had stronger mental health. Professor Sarah Coyne is the lead author of the study, which appears Feb. 1 in the Journal of Adolescent Health. "The surprising ...

Radiologists play key role in teaching physiology to medical students

2011-02-01
In order for medical students to ultimately provide quality patient care medical schools should turn to radiologists to help them teach physiology, one of the core disciplines of medicine, according to a study in the February issue of the Journal of the American College of Radiology (www.jacr.org). Physiology is the science of the function of living systems. "It is vital that medical schools provide first-rate physiology education for their students. We believe that radiologists have an important role to play in teaching physiology, just as many currently do in the teaching ...

Race gap narrows for some cancers in African-Americans; continues to increase for others

2011-02-01
ATLANTA– February 1, 2011 – While the overall death rate for cancer continues to drop among African Americans, the group continues to have higher death rates and shorter survival of any racial and ethnic group in the U.S. for most cancers. The findings come from Cancer Facts & Figures for African Americans 2011-2012, the latest edition of a report produced every two years by the American Cancer Society. The higher overall cancer death rate among African Americans is due largely to higher mortality rates from breast and colorectal cancers in women and higher mortality ...

Vitamin D deficiency associated with reduced lung function

2011-02-01
VITAMIN D DEFICIENCY ASSOCIATED WITH REDUCED LUNG FUNCTION New research shows that vitamin D deficiency is prevalent among patients with interstitial lung disease (ILD), with the largest prevalence seen in patients with concurrent connective tissue disease (CTD). Researchers from the University of Cincinnati College of Medicine evaluated vitamin D levels in 67 patients with CTD-ILD and 51 patients with other forms of ILD. Results showed the overall prevalence of vitamin D deficiency and insufficiency was 38 percent and 59 percent, respectively. Those with CTD-ILD were ...

New 10-year study confirms too many pitches strike out youth athletes early

2011-02-01
CHICAGO, IL – For years, sports medicine professionals have talked about youth pitching injuries and the stress the motion causes on developing bones and muscles. In a new, 10-year study published in the February issue of the American Journal of Sports Medicine, researchers showed that participants who pitched more than 100 innings in a year were 3.5 times more likely to be injured. "The study proved a direct link between innings pitched in youth and adolescent baseball and serious pitching injuries. It highlights the need for parents and coaches to monitor the amount ...

Research uncovers key to understanding cause of lupus

Research uncovers key to understanding cause of lupus
2011-02-01
Potentially impacting future diagnosis and treatment of lupus, an immune illness affecting more than 5 million people worldwide, researchers at the Virginia-Maryland Regional College of Veterinary Medicine at Virginia Tech have likely uncovered where the breakdown in the body's lymphocyte molecular regulatory machinery is occurring. Rujuan Dai, research scientist, and her colleagues in the veterinary college's Department of Biomedical Sciences and Pathobiology, have discovered a "common set of dysregulated miRNAs in murine lupus models." The research, which appears in ...

Lung societies unveil new international classification of lung adenocarcinoma

2011-02-01
Three of the world's top lung associations have published a new international multidisciplinary classification of lung adenocarcinoma, the first revision to the classification in six years. The new classification is published in the February edition of the Journal of Thoracic Oncology, the official publication of the International Association for the Study of Lung Cancer (IASLC). "With the many rapid advances in lung adenocarcinoma affecting clinical, radiologic, pathologic, molecular and surgical aspects of this cancer, it was necessary to develop a new classification ...

High levels of circulating DNA may signal faster progression of lung cancer

2011-02-01
High levels of circulating DNA may indicate faster progression of lung cancer and lower overall survival, according to a study published in the February edition of the Journal of Thoracic Oncology, the official publication of the International Association for the Study of Lung Cancer (IASLC). "Thirty-three years ago it was demonstrated that cancer patients presented more free DNA in the blood than healthy people, and further investigations confirmed that much of the circulating DNA in the patients with cancer derives from the tumor," said Rafael Sirera, an associate professor ...
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