Genetic variations in a fourth gene linked to elevated leukemia risk in Hispanic children

St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital scientists have identified genetic variations in a fourth gene that are associated with an increased risk of acute lymphoblastic leukemia (ALL) in Hispanic children. The research appears today in the journal Blood. The gene is ERG, a transcription factor that is also mutated in the leukemic cells of some ALL patients. In this study, researchers […]

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How to mend broken hearts

Dr. Richard Jabbour’s mission is to fix broken hearts. But he doesn’t dispense relationship advice or provide a shoulder to cry on – as no doubt many others will be doing this Valentine’s Day. Instead, he builds healing, pumping ‘patches’ in a small dish that can help to mend damaged heart tissue. Dr. Jabbour, a cardiologist and researcher, is part […]

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Having a sense of meaning in life is good for you. So how do you get one?

The pursuit of happiness and health is a popular endeavour, as the preponderance of self-help books would attest. Yet it is also fraught. Despite ample advice from experts, individuals regularly engage in activities that may only have short-term benefit for well-being, or even backfire. The search for the heart of well-being – that is, a nucleus from which other aspects […]

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Does that medicine work for women? Why signing up for a medical study could be your next feminist move

You’ve marched in the Women’s March, cheered for women in Congress, grappled with the wide-ranging implications of the MeToo movement, talked with your kids (of both genders) about sexual harassment. Wait—did you forget to sign up for a medical study? In the new pantheon of Women’s Causes We Care About, inclusion in medical research has often ranked somewhere below concern […]

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Bioluminescent deep-sea creatures illuminate the effectiveness of new cancer therapies

Researchers at the Keck School of Medicine of USC have developed a new laboratory tool, which is poised to improve the development and effectiveness of a burgeoning group of therapies that use patients’ immune systems to fight cancer with genetically engineered CAR-T cells. Called the Topanga assay, the tool was inspired by the beauty of Topanga Beach in Malibu and […]

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Interaction between immune factors triggers cancer-promoting chronic inflammation

A Massachusetts General Hospital (MGH) research team has identified interaction between two elements of the immune system as critical for the transformation of a protective immune response into chronic, cancer-promoting inflammation. In their report published in PNAS, the investigators demonstrate that elevated levels of the immune factor IL-33 and regulatory T cells (Tregs), which suppress the action of tumor-fighting immune […]

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Researchers 3-D bio-print a model that could lead to improved anticancer drugs and treatments

University of Minnesota researchers have developed a way to study cancer cells which could lead to new and improved treatment. They have developed a new way to study these cells in a 3-D in vitro model (i.e. in a culture dish rather than in a human or animal). In a paper recently published in Advanced Materials, Angela Panoskaltsis-Mortari, Ph.D., Vice […]

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Prostate cancer: Starving out the enemy

An old military tactic, widely used in Roman and medieval times, is now being put to good use in cancer research. The idea is that if you starve out your enemy—they will either submit or die. And in the race to develop treatments for prostate cancer, starving out those hostile cancer cells is proving effective. Metabolic biologist at the University […]

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