Tech

HERSHEY, Pa. -- A common, inexpensive drug that is used to prevent heart attacks and lower blood pressure may also help melanoma patients live longer, according to researchers.

Researchers at Penn State found that melanoma patients who received immunotherapy while taking a specific type of beta blocker lived longer than patients who received immunotherapy alone. In a follow-up experiment with mice, the researchers saw the same results.

A new blood stabilization method, developed at the Massachusetts General Hospital Center for Engineering in Medicine (MGH-CEM), significantly prolongs the lifespan of blood samples for microfluidic sorting and transcriptome profiling of rare circulating tumor cells (CTCs), living cancer cells carried in the bloodstream.

Cold Spring Harbor, NY - Cancer researchers today announced they have developed a way of sidelining one of the most dangerous "bad actors" in leukemia. Their approach depends on throwing a molecular wrench into the gears of an important machine that sets genes into motion, enabling cancer cells to proliferate.

In tests in mice, the newly discovered method has resulted in what the researchers describe as the "melting away" of aggressive blood cancers while at the same time having no harmful impact on the function of normal cells.

PITTSBURGH (January 8, 2018) ... Implanted devices send targeted electrical stimulation to the nervous system to interfere with abnormal brain activity, and it is commonly assumed that neurons are the only important brain cells that need to be stimulated by these devices. However, research published in Nature Biomedical Engineering reveals that it may also be important to target the supportive glial cells surrounding the neurons.

Adolescents with severe obesity who had bariatric surgery showed significant improvements in cardiovascular disease risk factors, according to the most recent "Teen Longitudinal Assessment of Bariatric Surgery" (Teen-LABS) study, published online today by Pediatrics. Prior to bariatric surgery, 33 percent of the study participants had three or more defined cardiovascular disease risk factors.

Philadelphia, January 8, 2018 - Dietary self-monitoring is a key component of successful behavioral weight loss interventions and is essential for facilitating other behavior change techniques (eg, setting goals, providing behavioral feedback). Few studies, however, have examined weekly and seasonal patterns of dietary self-monitoring, particularly when using a smartphone application (app).

A powerful antiviral protein may act as a checkpoint for keeping or ending a pregnancy.

When exposed to Zika virus before birth, mouse fetuses with the protein commit cell suicide, while fetuses without it continued to develop. The result, published January 5 in Science Immunology, suggests that the protein, a receptor involved in immune cell signaling, plays a role in spontaneous abortions and other human pregnancy complications.

MISSOULA - University of Montana researchers have made another discovery at the cellular level to help understand the basic processes of all life on our planet - this time within the unusual bacteria that has lived inside cicada insects since dinosaurs roamed Earth.

During the past 70 million years, the bacteria underwent extreme adaptations to live within the insects' bodies, losing between an estimated 95 to 97 percent of their genes and resulting in some of the smallest genomes known to any organisms. In the process, they lost the ability to live anywhere outside of cicadas.

An old drug supercharged by University of Queensland researchers has emerged as a new antibiotic that could destroy some of the world's most dangerous superbugs.

The supercharge technique , led by Dr Mark Blaskovich and Professor Matt Cooper from UQ's Institute for Molecular Bioscience (IMB), potentially could revitalise other antibiotics.

Antibiotic-resistant bacteria - superbugs - cause 700,000 deaths worldwide each year, and a UK government review has predicted this could rise to 10 million by 2050.

Engineers at Rice University's Nanotechnology Enabled Water Treatment (NEWT) Center have found a catalyst that cleans toxic nitrates from drinking water by converting them into air and water.

The research is available online in the American Chemical Society journal ACS Catalysis.