STAT3 gene regulates cancer stem cells in brain cancer
In a study published online in advance of print in Stem Cells, Tufts researchers report that the STAT3 gene regulates cancer stem cells in brain cancer. Cancer stem cells have many characteristics of stem cells and are thought to be the cells that drive tumor formation. The researchers report that STAT3 could become a target for cancer therapy, specifically in Glioblastoma multiforme (GBM), a type of malignant and aggressive brain tumor.
Chinese acupuncture affects brain's ability to regulate pain, UM study shows
Acupuncture has been used in East-Asian medicine for thousands of years to treat pain, possibly by activating the body's natural painkillers. But how it works at the cellular level is largely unknown. more
An HIV-blocking gel for women
University of Utah scientists developed a new kind of "molecular condom" to protect women from AIDS in Africa and other impoverished areas. Before sex, women would insert a vaginal gel that turns semisolid in the presence of semen, trapping AIDS virus particles in a microscopic mesh so they can't infect vaginal cells. more
Estrogen-dependent switch tempers killing activity of immune cells
The sex hormone estrogen tempers the killing activity of a specific group of immune cells, the cytotoxic T cells (CTLs), which are known to attack tumor cells and cells infected by viruses. The key player in this process is a cytotoxic T cell molecule which has been known for a long time and which scientists have named EBAG9. Cancer researchers Dr. Constantin Rüder and Dr. Armin Rehm together with immunologist Dr. Uta Höpken of the Max Delbrück Center for Molecular Medicine (MDC) Berlin-Buch and Charité – University Medicine Berlin, Germany, have now unraveled the function of EBAG9. Modulated by estrogen, EBAG9 tempers the activity of CTLs. In the absence of EBAG9, the activity of CTLs is enhanced. more
Misuse of common antibiotic is creating resistant TB
Use of a common antibiotic may be undercutting its utility as a first-line defense against drug-resistant tuberculosis (TB). Fluoroquinolones are the most commonly prescribed class of antibiotics in the U.S. and are used to fight a number of different infections such as sinusitis and pneumonia. They are also an effective first line of defense against TB infections that show drug resistance. New research shows, however, that widespread general use of fluoroquinolones may be creating a strain of fluoroquinolone-resistant TB.
Metabolic bone disease in cirrhosis patients
Long-standing liver disease has long been recognized to result in fragile bones with increased risk of fractures. In various international studies, the overall incidence has varied from 11% to 48%, with a fracture rate of 3%-44%. However, the reason for this is poorly understood. With liver transplantation becoming a viable option in liver disease and offering complete cure and long-term survival, bone disease is becoming the major determinant of survival and quality of life in these patients. more
Gallbladder emptying in primary sclerosing cholangitis patients
Primary sclerosing cholangitis (PSC) is an idiopathic chronic cholestatic inflammatory liver disease characterized by diffuse fibrosing inflammation of intra- and/or extrahepatic bile ducts, resulting in bile duct obliteration, biliary cirrhosis, and eventually hepatic failure. One of the most common symptoms at the time of presentation of PSC is mild to severe abdominal pain localized in the right upper quadrant. However, the mechanisms responsible for the abdominal pain in PSC are not fully understood.
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