Small changes in protein chemistry play large role in Huntington's disease
In Huntington's disease, a mutated protein in the body becomes toxic to brain cells. Recent studies have demonstrated that a small region adjacent to the mutated segment plays a major role in the toxicity. Two new studies supported by the National Institutes of Health show that very slight changes to this region can eliminate signs of Huntington's disease in mice.
'Self-seeding' of cancer cells may play a critical role in tumor progression
Cancer progression is commonly thought of as a process involving the growth of a primary tumor followed by metastasis, in which cancer cells leave the primary tumor and spread to distant organs. A new study by researchers at Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center shows that circulating tumor cells – cancer cells that break away from a primary tumor and disseminate to other areas of the body – can also return to and grow in their tumor of origin, a newly discovered process called "self-seeding." more
Molecular anchor links the 2 inheritable diseases Fanconi anemia and Bloom's syndrome
A new study establishes a molecular link that bridges two rare inherited disorders and explains why these diseases result in genetic instability. The research, published by Cell Press in the December 24th issue of the journal Molecular Cell, may lead to a better understanding of the complex mechanisms that enable cells to repair damaged DNA. more
Citrus surprise: Vitamin C boosts the reprogramming of adult cells into stem cells
Famous for its antioxidant properties and role in tissue repair, vitamin C is touted as beneficial for illnesses ranging from the common cold to cancer and perhaps even for slowing the aging process. Now, a study published online on December 24th by Cell Press in the journal Cell Stem Cell uncovers an unexpected new role for this natural compound: facilitating the generation of embryonic-like stem cells from adult cells. more
Switching off hunger hormone affects desire to drink
A Faculty of 1000 evaluation examines how a stomach-produced hormone that influences the desire to eat and consume alcohol could be switched off to control drinking problems.
News brief: Knockdown of E2F1 reduces invasive potential of melanoma cells
Inhibition of transcription factor E2F1 reduced epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR) expression and reduced the invasive potential but not proliferation of metastatic melanoma cells, according to a brief communication published online December 23 in the Journal of the National Cancer Institute. more
Columbia scientists discover 2 genes that drive aggressive brain cancers
A team of Columbia scientists have discovered two genes that, when simultaneously activated, are responsible for the most aggressive forms of human brain cancer.
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