Washington, August 16 : Scientists at Dana-Farber Cancer Institute and the Broad Institute of MIT and Harvard have discovered an entirely new class of genes that may serve as an Achilles' heel for many forms of cancer.
The researchers identified 56 such genes, only a few of which had previously been identified as potential targets for cancer therapy. Unlike most such targets, these genes don't cause normal cells to turn cancerous. Instead, they are essential to all cells but have been disrupted as cancer progresses.
Washington, August 15 : In a major breakthrough, an international team of scientists have proven that addiction to morphine and heroin can be blocked, while at the same time increasing pain relief.
The team from the University of Adelaide and University of Colorado has discovered the key mechanism in the body's immune system that amplifies addiction to opioid drugs.
Laboratory studies have shown that the drug (+)-naloxone (pronounced: PLUS nal-OX-own) will selectively block the immune-addiction response.
Washington, August 15 : A number of research studies have demonstrated inflammation's role in fuelling dangerous arterial plaque buildup, also known as atherosclerosis, which is the underlying cause of most heart attacks and strokes, but knowledge of which immune cells are key to this process has been limited - until now.
Researchers at the La Jolla Institute for Allergy and Immunology have now identified the specific type of immune cells (CD4 T cells) that orchestrate the inflammatory attack on the artery wall.
Washington, August 15 : Researchers in Leuven (VIB/KU Leuven) have uncovered a strategy that would make chemotherapy more effective while reducing the harmful side effects on healthy organs.
The effectiveness of chemotherapy is first and foremost limited by the difficulties of delivering the anticancer drugs to the actual tumor.
Washington, August 15 : A history of yo-yo dieting - the repetitive loss and regain of body weight, also called weight cycling - does not negatively affect metabolism or the ability to lose weight long term, according to researchers at Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center.
Until now, the degree to which weight cycling may impact metabolism or thwart a person's ability to lose weight in the long run has been unclear.
Washington, August 15 : Two researchers at Weill Cornell Medical College have made a remarkable advance in longstanding efforts to restore vision to blind.
They have deciphered a mouse's retina's neural code and coupled this information to a novel prosthetic device to restore sight to blind mice.
The researchers say they have also cracked the code for a monkey retina - which is essentially identical to that of a human -and hope to quickly design and test a device that blind humans can use.
Washington, August 15 : Exercise may improve quality of life for people with cancer, a new study has revealed.
In two separate Cochrane systematic reviews, the authors gathered together evidence showing that activities such as walking and cycling can benefit those who are undergoing or have completed treatment for cancer.
People with cancer suffer from many different physical, psychological and social effects related to cancer, as well as treatment-related symptoms.
There has been much interest in the effects of exercise on physical and psychological well-being in people with cancer.
Washington, August 15 : A simple meditation program lasting just eight weeks reduces loneliness in older adults, a new study has revealed.
Further, knowing that loneliness is associated with an increase in the activity of inflammation-related genes that can promote a variety of diseases, the researchers at UCLA examined gene expression and found that this same form of meditation significantly reduced expression of inflammatory genes.
Washington, August 15 : People with blood types A, B, or AB have a higher risk for coronary heart disease as compared to those with blood type O, a new study has revealed.
People in this study with the rarest blood type - AB, found in about 7 percent of the U. S. population - had the highest increased heart disease risk at 23 percent.
Those with type B had an 11 percent increased risk, and those with type A had a 5 percent increased risk. About 43 percent of Americans have type O blood.
Washington, August 15 : Compounds in cocoa may help to reduce blood pressure, a new study has revealed.
For the new systematic review in The Cochrane Library, the researchers reviewed evidence from short-term trials in which participants were given dark chocolate or cocoa powder daily and found that their blood pressure dropped slightly as compared to a control group.
Cocoa contains compounds called flavanols, which are thought to be responsible for the formation of nitric oxide in the body. Nitric oxide causes blood vessel walls to relax and open wider, thereby reducing blood pressure.
Washington, August 14 : Even after being frozen for 18 years, human embryos can be thawed, grown in the laboratory, and successfully induced to produce human embryonic stem (ES) cells, which represent a valuable resource for drug screening and medical research.
Kamthorn Pruksananonda and coauthors from Chulalongkorn University and Chulalongkorn Memorial Hospital, Bangkok, Thailand, demonstrated that ES cells derived from frozen embryos have a similar ability to differentiate into multiple cell types-a characteristic known as pluripotency-as do ES cells derived from fresh embryos.
Washington, August 14 : The risk of rare but devastating neurological disease amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) is increased among smokers, a population-based case-control study has revealed.
However, surprisingly, the risk of ALS was found to be markedly lower among consumers of alcohol than among abstainers.
Forum reviewers thought that this was a well-done and important paper, as it is a population-based analysis, with almost 500 cases of ALS, a very large number of cases for this rare disease.
Washington, August 14 : Researchers have discovered a mechanism that may explain how alpha hydroxyl acids (AHAs) -- the key ingredient in cosmetic chemical peels and wrinkle-reducing creams -- work to enhance skin appearance.
An understanding of the underlying process may lead to better cosmetic formulations as well as have medical applications.
Washington, August 14 : Researchers have developed a novel method to identify genes that, when over expressed, make normal cells behave like cancer cells.
A team of researchers at Case Western Reserve University School of Medicine, led by Dr. Mark W. Jackson, has identified a new oncogene, which is a gene that contributes to the development of cancer, named FAM83B.
"We made our discovery in a model of breast cancer," said Mark W. Jackson, Ph. D., Assistant Professor, Department of Pathology, Case Western Reserve University School of Medicine, Case Comprehensive Cancer Center.
Washington, August 14 : A popular class of diabetes drugs increases patients' risk of bladder cancer, a new study led by Indian-origin researcher has revealed.
Researchers from the Perelman School of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania found that patients taking thiazolidinedione (TZDs) drugs - which account for up to 20 percent of the drugs prescribed to diabetics in the United States -- are two to three times more likely to develop bladder cancer than those who took a sulfonylurea drug, another common class of medications for diabetes.
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