Biosingularity

Archive for April 2006

Scientists at Yale and the University of Rhode Island report the development of a peptide that can specifically and directly deliver molecules to the inside of cells like a nanosyringe, creating a new tool for drug delivery, gene control and imaging of diseased tissues.

Their "cargo carrier" peptide called pHLIP, for pH (Low) Insertion Peptide, accumulates in the membranes of cells in acidic environments and spontaneously transfers attached molecules across the membrane. The cargo is then released by cleavage of a sulfur-sulfur bond that is only unstable if it is inside the cell.

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Bile must have been the most important thing in medicine for the physicians of ancient Greece and Rome. Yellow bile and black bile are half of the four humors that they believed made up the body, along with blood and phlegm. In their view, restoring health required correcting imbalances in these four components.
Studies by researchers from Baylor College of Medicine in a report that appears in today's issue of the journal Science suggest that they may have been on the right track.
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Scientists in the Ohio State University Comprehensive Cancer Center say that just one, single, malfunctioning microRNA is sufficient to cause cancer in mice. The discovery offers new insight into the development of some forms of leukemia and lymphoma and at the same time underscores the powerful role that these tiny snippets of non-coding RNA play in cell signaling pathways active in carcinogenesis.

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Groundbreaking research published today could revolutionise the way drugs are made and have major implications for the industrial sector, say its authors.

The University of Manchester team, working with colleagues in Bristol, has provided a unique insight into the working of enzymes – biological molecules that speed up chemical reactions in the body.When these chemical reactions go wrong they can lead to disease, so modern drugs are designed to target enzymes and 'switch them off'. But their ability to accelerate chemical reactions means enzymes are also used in a number of commercial processes, including brewing, food processing, domestic cleaning and paper manufacturing.
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The biological processes underlying diseases such as rheumatoid arthritis and cancer are fundamentally linked, and should be linked in how they are treated with drugs, a series of MIT studies indicates. Key to the work: The researchers applied an engineering approach to cell biology, using mathematical and numerical tools normally associated with the former discipline.

In a series of three papers, the latest of which appeared in the March 24 issue of Cell,  members of MIT's Center for Cancer Research, looked at how cells make life-or-death decisions. Understanding what tips a cell toward survival or death is key to treating diseases and fighting cancer through radiation, drug therapy and chemotherapy. Read the rest of this entry »

Ultra-small particles loaded with medicine – and aimed with the precision of a rifle – are offering a promising new way to strike at cancer, according to researchers working at MIT and Brigham and Women's Hospital.

In a paper to appear the week of April 10 in the online edition of the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, the team reports a way to custom design nanoparticles so they home in on dangerous cancer cells, then enter the cells to deliver lethal doses of chemotherapy. Normal, healthy cells remain unscathed.

nano.cancer.jpg
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A bacterium that lives in rivers, streams and human aqueducts uses nature's strongest glue to stay in one place, according to new research by Indiana University Bloomington and Brown University scientists reported in next week's (April 11) Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.
glue.jpg
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