Health

08/27/2014 - 13:28

Duke University researchers have found a ”roving detection system” on the surface of cells that may point to new ways of treating diseases like cancer, Parkinson's disease and amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS). The cells, which were studied in nematode worms, are able to break through normal tissue boundaries and burrow into other tissues and organs -- a crucial step in many normal developmental processes, ranging from embryonic development and wound-healing to the formation of new blood vessels.

 

08/27/2014 - 07:48

Continuous positive airway pressure is effective at treating sleep apnoea in older people, a new study has found.  Obstructive sleep apnoea (OSA) is a condition where the walls of the throat relax and narrow during sleep, interrupting normal breathing and causing profound sleepiness. For people with moderate or severe OSA, doctors usually recommend using a continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP) device, which consists of a small pump that delivers pressurised air into the nose through a mask, stopping the throat from closing.

 

08/25/2014 - 19:00

Researchers at the University of California, San Diego School of Medicine have found one of the keys to why certain glioblastomas – the primary form of a deadly brain cancer – are resistant to drug therapy. The answer lies not in the DNA sequence of the tumor, but in its epigenetic signature. These findings have been published online as a priority report in the journal Oncotarget.

 

08/22/2014 - 09:34

Howard Hughes Medical Institute (HHMI) scientists have developed a strategy for finding disease-causing mutations that lurk in only a small fraction of the body's cells. Such mutations can cause significant problems, but cannot be detected with traditional methods of genetic testing, as well as newer, more costly genome sequencing technologies.

 

08/22/2014 - 08:45

Researchers in The Cancer Genome Atlas (TCGA) Network have made a number of new findings about the biology and development of a rare form of kidney cancer. They found that the disease – chromophobe renal cell carcinoma (ChRCC) – stems in part from alterations in genes in the mitochondria, the cell’s energy supplier. They also discovered that the tumor is characterized by genetic rearrangements near a gene important in DNA repair and in maintaining telomerase, the enzyme which determines a cell’s lifespan. Finally, investigators also found that ChRCC is a distinct disease and shares few genomic characteristics with other kidney cancers.

 

08/19/2014 - 14:13

Malaria is a life-threatening disease caused by a parasite that invades one red blood cell after another. Little is known about this infection process because it happens so quickly, potentially explaining why there is currently no approved malaria vaccine. In a study published by Cell Press August 19th in the Biophysical Journal, researchers used a tool called laser optical tweezers to study interactions between the disease-causing parasite and red blood cells.