Robert Weinberg, MIT professor of biology and Whitehead Institute for Biomedical Research member, has created cancer stem cells in a Petri dish by isolating and transforming a particular population of cells from human breast tissue. After being injected with just 100 of these transformed cells, mice developed tumors that metastasized (spread to distant tissues).
“The operational definition of a cancer stem cell is the ability to initiate a tumor, so these are cancer stem cells,” declares Weinberg, who is also an MIT professor of biology.
Engineering these potent cells was not the original intent, says pathologist Tan Ince.
Two new studies may lead to the development of more effective therapies for individuals with multiple myeloma (MM), a common and incurable blood cell cancer. The research provides new insight into the molecular mechanisms that underlie aberrant NF-κB activity in MM tumor cells and underscores the relevance of the NF-κB signaling pathway as a target for MM therapy.
MM is a cancer of the plasma cell, a blood cell that produces antibodies to help the body fight off infections. Previous research implicates abnormal activation of the NF-κB signaling pathway as a key event in MM pathology. NF-κB target genes are known to be involved in cell proliferation and cell survival.
James Spivey, professor of chemical engineering at LSU, and Challa Kumar, group leader of nanofabrication at LSU’s Center for Advanced Microstructures and Devices, are working with Clemson University and Oak Ridge National Laboratories to boost the efficiency of ethanol.
Both the Department of Energy and Conoco-Phillips are behind the project and have invested $2.9 million.
“We’re working with our project partners to produce ethanol from a coal-derived syngas, a mixture of primarily carbon monoxide and hydrogen. The United States has tremendous reserves of coal, but converting it to affordable, clean fuels is a challenge – one that we are addressing in this DOE-funded project,” said Spivey.
In a study scheduled for publication in the August issue of the American Journal of Chinese Medicine, a team of kinesiologists at the University of Illinois suggest that older adults who adopt an exercise regimen combining Taiji ( western: T'ai Chi) and Qigong may get an extra boost from their annual flu shot.
“We have found that 20 weeks of Taiji can increase the antibody response to influenza vaccine in older adults,” said the study’s lead author Yang Yang, an adjunct professor of kinesiology and community health, and a Taiji master with 30-plus years of experience as a practitioner and instructor.
Researchers who use the TeraGrid, the nation’s most comprehensive and advanced infrastructure for open scientific research, can now leverage the computing resources of a powerful, 2048-processor BlueGene/L system at the National Center for Atmospheric Research (NCAR).
NCAR plans to provide up to 4.5 million processor-hours of BlueGene/L computing annually to researchers who have received computing grants from the National Science Foundation (NSF).
The operational integration of TeraGrid with the BlueGene/L system, nicknamed “frost,” involved extensive preparation by NCAR’s Computational and Information Systems Laboratory (CISL).
Central Michigan University Research Corporation and Dendritic Nanotechnologies, Inc. have developed technology capable of absorbing toxic chemicals from ground water that could lead to a revolutionary ground water purification system.
The U.S. Department of Defense’s Strategic Environmental Research and Development Program has awarded CMU-RC and DNT a $1.3 million contract to refine the process using DNT's Priostar dendrimer-based nanotechnology.
The project focuses on a worldwide breakthrough that will result in a cost effective ground water purification system. Its anticipated commercial launch is set for September 2008.