Cancer Research

Research now indicates that air pollution has a role to play in atherosclerosis (artery hardening), which can contribute to heart attacks or strokes. Findings published in Genome Biology show how the fats that clog arteries work together with air pollution particles, triggering the genes behind inflammation.

A research team drawn from medical and environmental engineering disciplines at the Universities of California, Los Angeles, investigated the relationship between oxidized phospholipids found in the low density lipoprotein (LDL) particles, the ‘bad’ fats that clog arteries, and diesel exhaust particles.

The "itch gene" is GRPR (gastrin-releasing peptide receptor), which codes for a receptor found in a very small population of spinal cord nerve cells where pain and itch signals are transmitted from the skin to the brain. The researchers, led by Zhou-Feng Chen, Ph.D., found that laboratory mice that lacked this gene scratched much less than their normal cage-mates when given itchy stimuli.

The laboratory experiments confirmed the connection between GRPR and itching, offering the first evidence of a receptor specific for the itch sensation in the central nervous system. The findings are reported this week in Nature through advance online publication.

The first threat is at the source of the raw material for nuclear power itself, the uranium mine, processing plant, and transport route. Here, physical protection and security are at a much lower level than at a nuclear installation in the developed world, according to Austrian scientists writing in today's issue of the International Journal of Nuclear Governance, Economy and Ecology.

The second threat is from saboteurs with expertise in the industry and the security of nuclear installations. Researchers from the US Environmental Protection Agency suggest that such saboteurs on the inside could wreak havoc and cause a serious environmental and health threats with only small, shaped explosives or even no explosives at all.

Korea had mummies? Apparently so.

Until recently, no one even knew that mummies existed in Korea. Korea's ancient tradition of ancestor worship and the belief that at death, the soul rises up and the body has to go back to its natural components, without interference by external elements, meant that mummification was in fact anathema in Korean culture. However, with the take-over of the neo-Confucianist Joseon Dynasty in 1392, changes were made to the former Buddhist burial practices.

The burial process involved laying the body on ice for three to thirty days during mourning, placing the body inside an inner and an outer pine coffin, surrounded by the deceased's clothes, and the covering he coffin in a lime soil mixture.

There is little disagreement that the body’s maintenance and repair systems deteriorate with age, even as there is plenty of disagreement as to why.

Stem cells combat the aging process by replenishing old or damaged cells—particularly in the skin, gut, and blood—with a fresh supply to maintain and repair tissue. Unfortunately, new evidence published in the open-access journal PLoS Biology suggests that this regenerative capacity also declines with age as stem cells acquire functional defects.

In the search for better ways of treating children with brain cancer the study, a twelve-year research effort carried out by the Children’s Cancer and Leukaemia Group at The University of Nottingham revealed that a significant proportion of children under the age of three, with the brain tumor ependymoma, can be spared the effects of radiotherapy by using chemotherapy — without compromising their chances of survival.

Experts in the field of childhood cancer recognise that radiotherapy can be harmful to a young child’s developing brain. It can affect IQ, short term memory, growth and puberty. The effective treatment of patients under the age of five remains, say the researchers, one of the more difficult tasks in pediatric oncology.

Researchers at the University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine are the first to observe and measure the internal motion inside proteins, or its “dark energy.” This research, appearing in the current issue of Nature has revealed how the internal motion of proteins affects their function and overturns the standard view of protein structure-function relationships, suggesting why rational drug design has been so difficult.

The situation is akin to the discussion in astrophysics in which theoreticians predict that there is dark matter, or energy, that no one has yet seen,” says senior author A. Joshua Wand, PhD, Benjamin Rush Professor of Biochemistry.

MIT researchers have identified a critical link between two proteins found in brain tumors, a discovery that could eventually help treat a form of brain cancer that kills 99 percent of patients.

Glioblastoma multiforme (GBM), the most aggressive brain tumor in adults, strikes about 15,000 people in the United States each year. GBM is currently treated with a combination of surgery, radiation and chemotherapy, but those treatments have proven ineffective.

University of Delaware scientists have invented a novel biomaterial with surprising antibacterial properties that can be injected as a low-viscosity gel into a wound where it rigidifies nearly on contact--opening the door to the possibility of delivering a targeted payload of cells and antibiotics to repair the damaged tissue.

Regenerating healthy tissue in a cancer-ridden liver, healing a biopsy site and providing wounded soldiers in battle with pain-killing, infection-fighting medical treatment are among the myriad uses the scientists foresee for the new technology.

The patented invention by Joel Schneider, UD associate professor of chemistry and biochemistry, and Darrin Pochan, associate professor of materials science, and their research groups marks a major step forward in the de

Using innovative physics, researchers have proposed a system that may one day bring proton therapy, a state-of-the-art cancer treatment method currently available only at a handful of centers, to radiation treatment centers and cancer patients everywhere. Thomas R. Mackie, a professor at the University of Wisconsin and co-founder of the radiation therapy company TomoTherapy, will present this new design at next week's annual meeting of the American Association of Physicists in Medicine in Minneapolis.

Compared to the x rays conventionally used in radiation therapy, protons are potentially more effective, as they can deposit more cell-killing energy in their tumor targets and less in surrounding healthy tissue.