A new way to wind the development clock of cardiac muscle cells

These days, scientists can collect a few skin or blood cells, wipe out their identities, and reprogram them to become virtually any other kind of cell in the human body, from neurons to heart cells. The journey from skin cell to another type of functional cell involves converting them into induced pluripotent stem cells (iPSCs), which are similar to the […]

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Conquering cancer’s infamous KRAS mutation

KRAS is one of the most challenging targets in cancer. Despite its discovery more than 60 years, researchers still struggle to inhibit its mutated form — earning its reputation as “undruggable.” Yet, the hunt for an Achilles’ heel continues, as cancers driven by KRAS mutations are both common and deadly. Now, scientists from Sanford Burnham Prebys and PHusis Therapeutics have […]

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Measuring chromosome imbalance could clarify cancer prognosis: A study of prostate cancer finds ‘aneuploid’ tumors are more likely to be lethal than tumors with normal chromosome numbers

Most human cells have 23 pairs of chromosomes. Any deviation from this number can be fatal for cells, and several genetic disorders, such as Down syndrome, are caused by abnormal numbers of chromosomes. For decades, biologists have also known that cancer cells often have too few or too many copies of some chromosomes, a state known as aneuploidy. In a […]

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Removal of gene completely prevents development of aggressive pancreatic cancer in mice

The action of a gene called ATDC is required for the development of pancreatic cancer, a new study finds. The work builds on the theory that many cancers arise when adult cells — to resupply cells lost to injury and inflammation — switch back into more “primitive,” high-growth cell types, like those that drive fetal development. When this reversion happens […]

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Biologists design new molecules to help stall lung cancer: Scientists tie tumor growth to heme availability, build peptide to ‘hijack’ uptake

University of Texas at Dallas scientists have demonstrated that the growth rate of the majority of lung cancer cells relates directly to the availability of a crucial oxygen-metabolizing molecule. In a preclinical study, recently published in Cancer Research, biologist Dr. Li Zhang and her team showed that the expansion of lung tumors in mice slowed when access to heme — […]

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New insight into how obesity, insulin resistance can impair cognition

Obesity can break down our protective blood brain barrier resulting in problems with learning and memory, scientists report. They knew that chronic activation of the receptor Adora2a on the endothelial cells that line this important barrier in our brain can let factors from the blood enter the brain and affect the function of our neurons. Now Medical College of Georgia […]

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Discovery of oral cancer biomarkers could save thousands of lives

Oral cancer is known for its high mortality rate in developing countries, but an international team of scientists hope its latest discovery will change that. Researchers from the University of Otago, New Zealand, and the Indian Statistical Institute (ISI), Kolkata, have discovered epigenetic markers that are distinctly different in oral cancer tissues compared to the adjacent healthy tissues in patients. […]

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Cancers ‘change spots’ to avoid immunotherapy

Cancers can make themselves harder for new immunotherapies to see by ‘changing their spots’ — and switching off a key molecule on the surface of cells that is otherwise recognised by treatment. Researchers found that they could test samples from patients with bowel cancer to identify which were most likely to respond to immunotherapy by assessing molecular changes within miniature […]

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Parkinson’s clues seen in tiny fish could aid quest for treatments

Parkinson’s patients could be helped by fresh insights gained from studies of tiny tropical fish. Research using zebrafish has revealed how key brain cells that are damaged in people with Parkinson’s disease can be regenerated. The findings offer clues that could one day lead to treatments for the neurological condition, which causes movement problems and tremors. Parkinson’s occurs when specialised […]

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Blocking epigenetic Swiss army knife may be a new strategy for treating colorectal cancer

A new study out today in Cancer Cell shows that blocking specific regions of a protein called UHRF1 switches on hundreds of cancer-fighting genes, impairing colorectal cancer cells’ ability to grow and spread throughout the body. “Colorectal cancers are a growing public health problem, particularly in young people who haven’t yet reached the recommended age for regular screening,” said Scott […]

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