Brightsurf Science News & Current Events

April 29, 2007
Reversing cancer cells to normal cells
A Northwestern University scientist describes new research that used an innovative experimental approach to provide unique insights into how scientists can change human metastatic melanoma cells back to normal-like skin cells -- by exposing the tumor cells to the embryonic microenvironment of human embryonic stem cells, the zebra fish and the chick embryo.

'Exercise pill' switches on gene that tells cells to burn fat
By giving ordinary adult mice a drug -- a synthetic designed to mimic fat -- scientists are now able to chemically switch on PPAR-d, the master regulator that controls the ability of cells to burn fat.

US conservation efforts bring more marine turtles to UK
US and Mexican conservation efforts may have boosted the number of marine turtles visiting UK waters, according to University of Exeter biologists.

Chinese medicinal compound stops formation of cysts in polycystic kidney disease in lab
Using a compound from a centuries-old Chinese traditional medicine, Yale University researcher Dr.

New animal study may explain why alcohol consumption increases breast cancer risk
A new study presents the first animal model to confirm alcohol consumption stimulates tumor growth and malignancy of breast cancer and reveals some of the mechanisms of alcohol-induced breast cancer.

Green tea compound suppresses factors causing cartilage, bone destruction in arthritis
In rheumatoid arthritis, a person's own immune system attacks the joints by activating the synovial tissue that lines the body's movable joints, causing inflammation, swelling, pain and eventually erosion of the bone and cartilage and deformation of the joint.

Salk scientists hammer out a pathway that promotes muscle cell survival in mice
Scientists at the Salk Institute for Biological Studies have identified an enzyme that pumps up a cell's ability to maintain healthy muscle and restores normal muscle function in genetically engineered mice with weak muscles.

Adult stem/progenitor cells repair of damaged brain, pancreas, kidney cells newly understood
New studies in the laboratory of Dr. Darwin J. Prockop, Director of Tulane University's Center for Gene Therapy, are shedding light on the previously mysterious mechanism through which even relatively small amounts of stem/progenitor cells taken from a patient's own bone marrow enhance repair of damaged tissues.

Fat tissue-derived hormone leptin increases e-cadherin expression, obesity-breast cancer link noted
Being obese increases the risk of breast cancer in post-menopausal women, shortens the time between return of the disease and lowers overall survival rates.

Study finds role of mid-brain in integrating heart and respiratory response to exercise
Oxford University researchers recently examined several deep brain nuclei during exercise and have concluded that the periaqueductal grey area, the small-celled gray matter adjoining or surrounding the cerebral aqueduct and the third ventricle in the midbrain, contains the greatest number of neural changes in connection with anticipation of exercise.

Linking DNA and histone methylation
In the May 15 issue of G&D, Dr. Michael Carey (UCLA's Jonsson Comprehensive Cancer Center) and colleagues lend new insight into the mechanism of epigenetic silencing of euchromatic genes.

Panbio files first patent application for Homogenous Assay Technology
International medical diagnostics company Panbio Limited today announced that it has filed its first patent application for the panDA Homogeneous Immunoassay Technology.

Does a peptide affect the heart's response to social isolation?
A team of researchers investigating the effects of oxytocin, a peptide produced by the brain that regulates social behavior, has found that it can prevent detrimental cardiac responses in adult female animals exposed to social isolation.

Fish oil may help kidney disease sufferers
A new study by the Queensland University of Technology in Brisbane, Australia, is investigating if fish oil can help kidney disease sufferers and decrease the inflammation often associated with dialysis.

Enhanced environment restores memory in mice with neurodegeneration
Mice whose brains had lost a large number of neurons due to neurodegeneration regained long-term memories and the ability to learn after their surroundings were enriched with toys and other sensory stimuli, new studies have shown.

Green tea compound may be a therapy for people with rheumatoid arthritis
A new study from the University of Michigan Health System suggests that a compound in green tea may provide therapeutic benefits to people with rheumatoid arthritis.

UN engages banks to light up rural India; Solar loans, energy access transform life for poor
A four-year UNEP-led project to create affordable financing for home solar energy systems has improved life in major ways for more than 100,000 people in rural India and lit the way to better health and less poverty for countless more in other developing countries.

When smell cells fail they call in stem cell reserves
Hopkins researchers have identified a backup supply of stem cells that can repair the most severe damage to the nerves responsible for our sense of smell.

Correlation between bile duct obstruction and ductal cancer found
When bile duct cancer cells were placed in the liver of animals with bile duct obstruction, they grew more rapidly than identical cells placed in animals without bile duct obstruction.

University of Texas researcher earns APS Bowditch award
Univ. of Texas researcher James D. Stockand earns the American Physiological Society's 2007 Henry Pickering Bowditch award.

Wellcome Trust and GlaxoSmithKline announce partnership to target drug-resistant hospital infections
The Wellcome Trust and GlaxoSmithKline today announced a collaboration to develop a new class of antibacterials to combat the rise of certain drug-resistant hospital-acquired infections, including those that lead to pneumonia.

Free weight training gets workers with rotator cuff injuries back on the job
Resistance training, some of it job-specific, was successful in getting 90 percent of workers with severe rotator cuff injuries back to work, the majority -- 75 percent -- at their previous job, after traditional physical therapy had failed to do so.

Breathing easy: When it comes to oxygen, a bug's life is full of it
Because of new imaging technology, researchers are getting a better understanding of a physiological paradox: how insects, which have a respiratory system built to provide quick access to a lot of oxygen, can survive for days without it.

Unicellular microRNA discovery
In the May 15 issue of Genes & Development, an international collaboration of researchers, led by Dr.
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