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Researchers find new target for stopping tumors developing their own blood supply

2010-11-19
Researchers have found that a newly developed drug, which is aimed at a particular receptor involved in the development of blood vessels that sustain tumour growth, is active in patients with advanced cancers and, in some cases, has halted the progress of the disease. The drug, ACE-041, targets a different molecular pathway to other anti-angiogenesis drugs and may provide a new option to treat cancer. Results from a phase I clinical study of ACE-041 were presented at the 22nd EORTC-NCI-AACR [1] Symposium on Molecular Targets and Cancer Therapeutics in Berlin today (Friday). ...

UCLA team uncovers mechanism behind organ transplant rejection

UCLA team uncovers mechanism behind organ transplant rejection
2010-11-19
UCLA researchers have pinpointed the culprit behind chronic rejection of heart, lung and kidney transplants. Published in the Nov. 23 edition of Science Signaling, their findings suggest new therapeutic approaches for preventing transplant rejection and sabotaging cancer growth. The team focused on the mechanism behind narrowing of the donor's grafted blood vessels, which blocks blood from reaching the transplanted organ. Starved of oxygen and other nutrients, the organ eventually fails, forcing the patient back on the transplant waiting list. "Chronic rejection ...

In fending off diseases, plants and animals are much the same, research shows

2010-11-19
It may have been 1 billion years since plants and animals branched apart on the evolutionary tree but down through the ages they have developed strikingly similar mechanisms for detecting microbial invasions and resisting diseases. This revelation was arrived at over a period of 15 years by teams of researchers from seemingly disparate fields who have used classical genetic studies to unravel the mysteries of disease resistance in plants and animals, according to a historical overview that will appear in the Nov. 19 issue of the journal Science. The report, written ...

Global economic woes make universal access to aids drugs unlikely, Stanford analysis shows

2010-11-19
STANFORD, Calif. — Universal access to lifesaving AIDS drugs — a United Nations' Millennium Development Goal that officials hoped to accomplish by 2010 — would require a staggering $15 billion annual investment from the international community at a time when the economic downturn is challenging continued funding for relief efforts, according to a new analysis by researchers at the Stanford University School of Medicine. The study underscores the need for groups combating AIDS to rethink how they allocate scarce resources, as what was once the centerpiece of the movement ...

Care for prisoners will improve public health

2010-11-19
GALVESTON, Texas — In a comprehensive global survey, researchers in Texas and England have concluded that improving the mental and physical health of inmates will improve public health. In their article, "The health of prisoners," Seena Fazel of the University of Oxford and Jacques Baillargeon of the University of Texas Medical Branch at Galveston, write that caring for the mental and physical health of prisoners has a direct and important impact on public health that should be recognized. Their findings, to be published Online First in the British medical journal The ...

Magnetic trapping will help unlock the secrets of anti-matter

2010-11-19
A clearer understanding of the Universe, its origins and maybe even its destiny is a significant step closer, thanks to new research. As part of a major international experiment called ALPHA*, based at CERN in Switzerland, researchers have helped to achieve trapping and holding atoms of 'anti-hydrogen', which has not previously been possible. The project involves physicists at Swansea University led by Professor Mike Charlton, Dr Niels Madsen and Dr Dirk Peter van der Werf and the University of Liverpool under Professor Paul Nolan, all supported by the Engineering ...

Gangster birds running protection racket give insight into coevolution

2010-11-19
Like gangsters running a protection racket, drongos in the Kalahari Desert act as lookouts for other birds in order to steal a cut of their food catch. The behaviour, revealed in research funded by the Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council (BBSRC) published in Evolution and reported in Nature's Research Highlights today (18 November), may represent a rare example of two species evolving from a parasitic to a mutualistic relationship. The team from the Universities of Bristol, Cambridge and Cape Town showed that victimised pied babblers gained a mitigating ...

Shockwaves work better than surgery for smaller kidney stones trapped in the ureter

2010-11-19
Different techniques should be used to remove single stones that have become lodged in the distal ureter after being expelled by the kidney, depending on whether they are under or above one centimetre, according to the December issue of BJUI. Surgeons from the Department of Urology at University Federico II, Naples, Italy, believe that extracorporeal shockwave lithotripsy (ESWL) - which uses a non-invasive acoustic pulse to break down ureteric stones - should be the treatment of first choice in patients with a stone of up to 1cm. Patients with a stone over 1cm should ...

Video games lead innovation in the e-services economy

2010-11-19
The video games industry is leading the overall trend of transformation of digital products into e-services, according to the report "Born digital/ Grown digital – Assessing the future competitiveness of the EU video games software industry" published today by the European Commission's Joint Research Centre. Online games, for example, play a major role in the digital content convergence process based on digital distribution of different types of content and the diffusion of interactive capabilities for consumers. This phenomenon is having an effect on the movie, video, ...

University of Leicester space scientists involved in development of new breed of space vehicle

University of Leicester space scientists involved in development of new breed of space vehicle
2010-11-19
Scientists and engineers at the internationally acclaimed Space Research Centre at the University of Leicester are developing a conceptual motor design for a Mars 'hopping' vehicle which should lead to a greater understanding of the 'Red Planet'. Their research findings have been published this month by the Proceedings of the Royal Society A (http://rspa.royalsocietypublishing.org/content/early/2010/11/11/rspa.2010.0438.short?rss=1 ) Robots exploring Mars can carry scientific instruments that measure the physical and chemical characteristics of the Martian surface ...

Bioscience researchers defeating potato blight

2010-11-19
Researchers funded by the BBSRC Crop Science Initiative have made a discovery that could instigate a paradigm shift in breeding resistance to late blight – a devastating disease of potatoes and tomatoes costing the industry £5-6 billion a year worldwide. They will share this research with industry at an event in London later today (18 November). Professor Paul Birch of the University of Dundee and his team at the Scottish Crop Research Institute (SCRI), the University of Dundee, and the University of Aberdeen have developed a new approach to breeding resistance to the ...

New disease-resistant food crops in prospect

2010-11-19
Researchers have uncovered the genetic basis of remarkable broad-spectrum resistance to a viral infection that, in some parts of the world, is the most important pathogen affecting leafy and arable brassica crops including broccoli, cauliflower, cabbage, kale, swede and oilseed rape. They have tested resistant plants against a range of different strains of the virus taken from all over the world and so far, no strain has been able to overcome the resistance. The research on the so-called Turnip mosaic virus (TuMV), led by Dr John Walsh of the University of Warwick and ...

Organ procurement air transportation displays poor safety record

2010-11-19
The transplant community was largely unaware of sub-standard transportation practices for donor organs until a number of fatal air crashes took the lives of transplant personnel, calling attention to procurement aviation safety. A new report highlighting the need for improved safety measures in organ procurement travel appears in the December issue of Liver Transplantation, a peer-reviewed journal published by Wiley-Blackwell on behalf of the American Association for the Study of Liver Diseases (AASLD). In the U.S., the Organ Procurement and Transplantation Network (OPTN) ...

Hormone therapy use may increase or decrease dementia risk depending upon timing

2010-11-19
OAKLAND, Calif. – Compared to women never on hormone therapy, those taking hormone therapy only at midlife had a 26 percent decreased risk of dementia; while women taking HT only in late life had a 48 percent increased risk of dementia, according to Kaiser Permanente researchers. Women taking HT at both midlife (mean age 48.7 years) and late life had a similar risk of dementia as women not on HT, according to the study which appears in the Annals of Neurology. The study was funded in part by the National Institutes of Health. Although previous research has shown that ...

Modulating a protein in the brain could help control Alzheimer's disease

2010-11-19
A protein known to exist in the brain for more than 30 years, called 5-lipoxygenase, has been found to play a regulatory role in the formation of the amyloid beta in the brain, the major component of plaques implicated in the development of Alzheimer's disease, according to researchers at Temple University's School of Medicine. The researchers also found that inhibitors of this protein currently used to control asthma could possibly be used to prevent or treat Alzheimer's disease. The researchers published their findings, "5-Lipoxygenase as Endogenous Modulator of Amyloid ...

Transcription factor scan identifies genetic cause for inherited blindness

2010-11-19
Retinitis pigmentosa is an inherited eye disorder characterized by progressive loss of vision that in many instances leads to legal blindness at the end stage. In a ChIP-Seq based approach, the researchers identified a key regulatory role of the transcription factor Crx (Cone-rod homeobox) in the expression of retina-specific genes and thus described an important genetic basis for visual perception. In-depth analysis of Crx mediated regulation in photoreceptors with latest technology provided by Genomatix lead then to the identification of nonsense mutations in the human ...

The enigma of the missing stars in space may be solved

2010-11-19
New stars are born in the Universe around the clock – on the Milky Way, currently about ten per year. From the birth rate in the past, we can generally calculate how populated space should actually be. But the problem is that the results of such calculations do not match our actual observations. "There should actually be a lot more stars that we can see," says Dr. Jan Pflamm-Altenburg, astrophysicist at the Argelander-Institut für Astronomie of the University of Bonn. So, where are those stars? For years, astronomers worldwide have been looking for a plausible explanation ...

Strike a pose: Research uncovers what's behind image in the modeling industry

2010-11-19
The casting sessions aren't just for movie stars, but what is involved in casting decisions that can launch fashion models to fame – or at the very least – to land a job? Stephanie Sadre-Orafai, a University of Cincinnati assistant professor and socio-cultural anthropologist, spent 11 months of fieldwork at a premiere casting agency in New York to uncover the decisions that happen behind the scenes of the glossy photos and slick commercials. Her research, "Polaroids and Go-Sees: Casting Encounters, Casting Epistemologies," was presented Nov. 17 at the 109th annual meeting ...

UTHealth discoveries shed more light on deadly thoracic aortic disease

2010-11-19
HOUSTON – (Nov. 18, 2010) – Discovery of a fifth gene defect and the identification of 47 DNA regions linked to thoracic aortic disease are the subject of studies released this month involving researchers at The University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston (UTHealth). In both studies, the investigators have identified alterations in the genetic material or DNA that affect the ability of smooth muscle cells, which line the aorta and other blood vessels, to contract. This can lead to a weakening of the wall of the aorta, the main blood vessel leading out of the ...

On the way to lead-free technology

On the way to lead-free technology
2010-11-19
Technical progress in the automobile industry is unbroken. But, the sector has still some hard nuts to crack: "Lead-free materials" is one of the challenges – hidden behind this challenge is a EU environmental directive which, based on a step-by-step plan, gradually bans all lead-containing materials and components from automotive vehicles – such as piezoelectric components. These elements are important for diesel engine injectors, for example, which control the supply of fuel to the combustion chamber. The problem: Up to now lead-zirconate-titanate (PZT) is the material ...

Conductor paths for marvelous light

Conductor paths for marvelous light
2010-11-19
A short push on the light switch – and the whole ceiling lights up in a uniform and pleasant color. This "illuminated sky" is not available as yet, but researchers from all over the world are working on it flat out. The technology behind this marvel is based on organic light-emitting diodes, or OLEDs for short. These diodes use special molecules to emit light as soon as current passes through them. Although the first OLEDs have only recently become available, they are small and expensive. A flat disk with a diameter of eight centimeters costs around Euro 250. Experts of ...

Compound that blocks sugar pathway slows cancer cell growth

2010-11-19
Scientists at Johns Hopkins have identified a compound that could be used to starve cancers of their sugar-based building blocks. The compound, called a glutaminase inhibitor, has been tested on laboratory-cultured, sugar-hungry brain cancer cells and, the scientists say, may have the potential to be used for many types of primary brain tumors. The Johns Hopkins scientists, are inventors on patent applications related to the discovery, caution that glutaminase inhibitors have not been tested in animals or humans, but their findings may spark new interest in the glutaminase ...

Process leading to protein diversity in cells important for proper neuron firing

Process leading to protein diversity in cells important for proper neuron firing
2010-11-19
PHILADELPHIA – Cells have their own version of the cut-and-paste editing function called splicing. Researchers at the University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine have documented a novel form of splicing in the cytoplasm of a nerve cell, which dictates a special form of a potassium channel protein in the outer membrane. The channel protein is found in the dendrites of hippocampus cells -- the seat of memory, learning, and spatial navigation -- and is involved in coordinating the electrical firing of nerve cells. Dendrites, which branch from the cell body of the neuron, ...

Does sex matter? It may when evaluating mental status

2010-11-19
Montreal, November 18, 2010 – Schizophrenia is a mental disorder that differs between the sexes in terms of age at onset, symptomatology, response to medication, and structural brain abnormalities. Now, a new study from the Université de Montréal shows that there is gender difference between men and women's mental ability – with women performing better than men. These findings, published recently in, Schizophrenia Research, have implications for the more than 300 000 affected Canadians. "We are the first to report sex differences in brain function of schizophrenics," ...

10 years of Soufriere Hills Volcano research published

10 years of Soufriere Hills Volcano research published
2010-11-19
The Soufriere Hills Volcano on Montserrat erupted in 1995, and an international team of researchers has studied this volcano from land and sea since then to understand the workings of andesite volcanos more completely. "To the extent that the Soufriere Hills Volcano is typical of andesitic dome building volcanoes, results from this research can be expected to apply more generally," said Barry Voight, professor emeritus of geosciences, Penn State. Voight and R. S. J. Sparks, the Channing Wills professor of geology, Bristol University, guest edited and introduced a special ...
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