Cancer patients receiving chemotherapy have not noticed a restriction in their access to treatment following the enactment of the Medicare Prescription Drug, Improvement and Modernization Act of 2003 (MMA), despite the act's significant reduction in government reimbursement to oncologists, according to a new study led by researchers in the Duke Clinical Research Institute (DCRI).
“Critics of the MMA often said that it would reduce patients’ access to chemotherapy services, because doctors would receive 30 to 40 percent less reimbursement from the government for administering treatment,” said Kevin Schulman, M.D., director of the DCRI’s Center for Clinical and Genetic Economics, and senior investigator on the study.
Researchers in a multicenter international study state that if the HMMR gene becomes mutated it may increase a woman’s risk of breast cancer by more than a third.
Further, the researchers found that the gene interacts with the well-known breast cancer gene BRCA1. Alternations in either gene cause genetic instability and interfere with cell division, which could be a path to breast cancer developing. This leads researchers to not just a single gene, but a pathway that may be a potential target for treating or detecting breast cancer.
HMMR is mutated in about 10 percent of the population. Mutations in the two main genes involved in breast cancer susceptibility, BRCA1 and BRCA2, occur in about one of every 300 individuals, or less than 1 percent of the population.
Not literally aspirin, but researchers at the Boyce Thompson Institute for Plant Research (BTI) say methyl salicylate (MeSA), an aspirin-like compound, alerts a plant's immune system to shift into high gear.
It has long been known that plants often develop a state of heightened resistance, called systemic acquired resistance, following pathogen infection; this phenomenon requires the movement of a signal from the infected leaf to uninfected parts of the plant. Until now, however, no one knew what that signal was.
"Now that we have identified a signal that activates defenses throughout the plant, as well as the enzymes that regulate the level of this signal, we may be able to use genetic engineering to optimize a plant's ability to turn on those defenses," said Daniel F.
Evolution has mastered the art of turning trash to treasure - though, for scientists, witnessing the transformation can require a bit of patience. In new genetic research, scientists have traced the 170 million-year evolution of a piece of “junk” DNA to its modern incarnation as an important regulator of energy balance in mammals.
The discovery, they said, suggests that regions of the genome formerly presumed to be a genetic junkyard may actually be a hardware superstore, providing components that can be used to evolve new genes or new species.
Energy lost from hot engines could save billions of dollars if it could be captured and converted into electricity via thermoelectric devices, according to Clemson University physicist Terry Tritt.
“Thermoelectric generators are currently used in NASA’s deep-space probes to convert the heat of radioactive elements to electrical energy, powering these systems for over 30 years,” Tritt said. “Thermoelectric energy conversion is a solid-state technology that is environmentally friendly. One of the more promising ‘down-to-earth’ applications lies in waste-heat recovery in cars.”
Otto, the first of the two ALMA antenna transporters, was given its name at a ceremony on the compounds of heavy-vehicle specialist Scheuerle Fahrzeugfabrik GmbH, in Baden-Württemberg. This new colossus is 10 meters wide, 20 meters long and 6 meters high and will be shipped to Chile by the end of the month.
The transporter was named 'Otto' in honor of Otto Rettenmaier, the owner of the Scheuerle company. "The rather unusual move to name a vehicle is a recognition of the remarkable achievement these unique machines represent," said Hans Rykaczewski, the European ALMA Project Manager. "Their sizes alone would justify using superlatives to describe them.