Body

A new drug delivery method using nano-sized molecules to carry the chemotherapy drug doxorubicin to tumors improves the effectiveness of the drug in mice and increases their survival time, according to a study published online June 26 in the Journal of the National Cancer Institute.

Fish use the threat of punishment to keep would-be jumpers in the mating queue firmly in line and the social order stable, a new study led by Australian marine scientists has found.

Their discovery, which has implications for the whole animal kingdom including humans, has been hailed by some of the world’s leading biologists as a “must read” scientific paper and published in the Proceedings of the Royal Society of London Series B.

Any machinist will tell you that a little grease goes a long way toward making a tool work better. And that may soon hold true for plastic electronics as well.

Carnegie Mellon University chemists have found that grease can make some innovative plastics vastly better electrical conductors. They outline a chemical process that could become widely adopted to produce the next generation of tiny switches for transistors in radio frequency identification tags, flexible screen displays, and debit or key cards.

In a host of neurological diseases, including multiple sclerosis (MS) and several neuropathies, the protective covering surrounding the nerves – an insulating material called myelin – is damaged.

Scientists at the Weizmann Institute of Science have now discovered an important new line of communication between nervous system cells that is crucial to the development of myelinated nerves – a discovery that may aid in restoring the normal function of the affected nerve fibers.

Umbilical cord blood may safely preserve insulin production in children newly diagnosed with type 1 diabetes, according to findings from a small national pilot study .

University of Florida researchers sought to determine whether it is feasible to use a patient’s own cord blood stem cells to neutralize the body’s autoimmune attack on the pancreas and help restore the organ’s ability to make insulin, which regulates how the body uses sugar and other nutrients for energy.

Treatment with intravenous bisphosphonates — drugs used to reduce harm done to bones by cancer or cancer therapy — increases the risk of jaw or facial bone disease or infection, a large-scale comparative study by researchers at the University of Texas Medical Branch at Galveston (UTMB) has found.

Researchers at UT Southwestern Medical Center have determined how a substance derived from the bark of the South American lapacho tree kills certain kinds of cancer cells, findings that also suggest a novel treatment for the most common type of lung cancer.

The compound, called beta-lapachone, has shown promising anti-cancer properties and is currently being used in a clinical trial to examine its effectiveness against pancreatic cancer in humans. Until now, however, researchers didn’t know the mechanism of how the compound killed cancer cells.

Constipated? In the early 19th century, the apothecary would most likely have prescribed you calomel, or mercurous chloride, as a purgative, regardless of its toxicity. Because it worked. It was also useful as an insecticide.

This was the sort of thing being concocted at the Apothecaries’ Hall in Blackfriars, then a major center for drug manufacturing in London, says Anna Simmons, a historian of science at the Open University in Milton Keynes. It was also common for patients with chronic skin infections to walk away with a dose of arsenic, she says.

In the first scientific publication from The Genographic Project, a five-year effort to understand the human journey, researchers report their experience of genotyping human mitochondrial DNA during the first 18 months of the project.

Writing in PLoS Genetics, Doron Behar and colleagues describe the procedures used to generate, manage and analyze the genetic data from 78,590 public participants. They also provide the first anthropological insights in this unprecedented effort to map humanity’s genetic journey through the ages.

The first U.S. study to transplant a potent form of purified adult stem cells into the heart muscle of patients with severe angina provided evidence that the procedure is safe and produced a reduction in angina pain as well as improved functioning in patients' daily lives, reports the lead researcher at Northwestern University's Feinberg School of Medicine.

Children suffering from pneumonia could be spared the pain of the doctor’s needle, thanks to new research funded by the British Lung Foundation.

The study, a world-first carried out by researchers at The University of Nottingham, discovered that children given oral treatment recovered as quickly, suffered less pain, required less oxygen therapy in hospital and were able to go home sooner than those given injections.

A search for the molecular clues of longevity has taken Mayo Clinic researchers down another path that could explain why some people who consume excessive calories don’t gain weight. The study, which was done in laboratory mouse models, points to the absence of a gene called CD38. When absent, the gene prevented mice on high-fat diets from gaining weight, but when present, the mice became obese.

The findings were published this month in the online issue of The FASEB Journal, the journal of the Federation of American Societies for Experimental Biology.

During flowering four different types of floral organs need to be formed:

  • Sepals, which protect the inner organs;
  • The frequently ornamental petals;
  • Stamens, which produce pollen and;
  • The carpels, the female reproductive unit.

This process is orchestrated by a large number of genes. Scientists at the Max Planck Institute for Plant Breeding Research in Köln (Germany) found, in cooperation with colleagues in Nijmegen (Netherlands) that a small molecule, a so-called microRNA, is crucial for the control of floral organs identity.

Researchers at UT Southwestern Medical Center have determined how a substance derived from the bark of the South American lapacho tree kills certain kinds of cancer cells, findings that also suggest a novel treatment for the most common type of lung cancer.

The compound, called beta-lapachone, has shown promising anti-cancer properties and is currently being used in a clinical trial to examine its effectiveness against pancreatic cancer in humans. Until now, however, researchers didn’t know the mechanism of how the compound killed cancer cells.

For more than 100 years, scientists have known that humans carry a rich ecosystem within their intestines. An astonishing number and variety of microbes, including as many as 400 species of bacteria, help humans digest food, mitigate disease, regulate fat storage, and even promote the formation of blood vessels.

By applying sophisticated genetic analysis to samples of a year’s worth baby poop, Howard Hughes Medical Institute researchers have now developed a detailed picture of how these bacteria come and go in the intestinal tract during a child’s first year of life.