In drug design, the protein K-Ras has been on everyone's target list for more than 30 years due to its status as the most commonly mutated oncogene in human cancers.

Despite its high profile, K-Ras has been "undruggable" - many pharmaceutical, biotech, and academic laboratories have failed to design a drug that successfully targets the mutant gene.

New therapeutic targets and drugs may someday benefit people with certain types of leukemia or blood cancer.

Pre-clinical and pharmacological models found that cancer cells with a mutation in the KIT receptor -- an oncogenic/cancerous form of the receptor -- in mast cell leukemia and acute myeloid leukemia can be stopped.

Researchers have managed to measure the internal pressure that enables the herpes virus to infect cells in the human body, a discovery which paves the way for the development of new medicines to combat viral infections and indicates ways to stop herpes infections in the future.

Reports of a new hepatitis virus earlier this year were a false alarm, according to U.C. San Francisco researchers who correctly identified the virus as a contaminant present in a type of glassware used in many research labs.

The finding highlights both the promise and peril of today’s powerful “next-generation” lab techniques that are used to track down new agents of disease. 

A new paper has found that vaccinating cattle against the E. coli O157 bacterium could cut the number of human cases of the disease by 85%.

The bacteria, which cause severe gastrointestinal illness and death in humans, are spread by consuming contaminated food and water, or by contact with livestock feces in the environment. Cattle are the main reservoir for the bacterium. The vaccines that are available for cattle are rarely used.

The study used veterinary, human and molecular data to examine the risks of E. coli O157 transmission from cattle to humans, and to estimate the impact of vaccinating cattle.

The sweetness of summer vacations can quickly turn sour for those affected by lupus erythematosus.

For them, absorption of the UV-light component in sunlight may cause florid inflammation and redness of the skin. Lupus erythematosus (LE) is an autoimmune disorder in which the immune system erroneously attacks the body's own tissues. Where most people merely suffer sunburn, LE prone patients may develop severe redness and inflammation in sun-exposed skin. 

Researchers have now discovered which signaling pathway of the innate immune system promotes autoimmune symptoms following sun-induced DNA damage and an immune mechanism that triggers LE skin lesions.

It is generally accepted that Parkinson's disease is aggravated when a specific protein is transformed by an enzyme but a new study found instead that this transformation tends to protect against the progression of the disease. 

Parkinson's disease is characterized by the accumulation of a protein known as alpha-synuclein in the brain. If too much of it is produced or if it's not eliminated properly, it then aggregates into small clumps inside the neurons, eventually killing them. Several years ago scientists discovered that these aggregated proteins in the brain had undergone a transformation known as "phosphorylation" -- a process in which an enzyme adds an extra chemical element to a protein, thus modifying its properties. 

Tuberculosis (TB) is a wildly successful pathogen, if your goal is to infect up to two billion people in every corner of the world, with a new infection of a human host every second.

A new analysis of dozens of tuberculosis genomes gathered from around the world has shed some light on how it evolves to resist countermeasures - it that marches in lockstep with human population growth and history, evolving to take advantage of the most crowded and wretched human conditions.

The analysis reveals that tuberculosis experienced a 25-fold expansion worldwide in the 17th century, a time when human populations underwent explosive growth and European exploration of Africa, the Americas, Asia and Oceania was at its peak.

More people are seeking natural alternatives to medicine and products containing probiotics have flooded the marketplace. Probiotics are safe and tolerable but their value remains unknown. Studies are being done with specific illnesses to see if probiotics work and how.

A randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled trial found that the probiotic Saccharomuces boulardii (S. boulardii) does not appear to have any significant beneficial effects for patients with Crohn's disease who are already in remission.
Obesity has risen for decades and social scientists and government officials have scrambled to link cause and correlation, proposing everything from low income to public parks to a thrifty phenotype hypothesis, which says that poor people are biologically unfit to not be poor.

Income may be less of a factor, according to a report by The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Despite record-level food stamp usage, chronic under-employment and earnings increases below the rate of inflation, 19 states saw obesity among low-income preschoolers decline between 2008 and 2011.