Biosingularity

Archive for November 2012

A new vaccine strategy could make flu shots cheaper, safer, and easier to produce. Using synthetic messenger RNA (mRNA) instead of proteins purified from viruses, German scientists have shown they can protect mice, ferrets, and pigs against influenza. “This is a very interesting new approach,” says Hans-Dieter Klenk, a virologist at the University of Marburg in Germany who was not involved in the work.

 

sn-fluvirus.jpg

via Making a Flu Vaccine Without the Virus – ScienceNOW.

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Vitamin D slows the progression of cells from premalignant to malignant states, keeping their proliferation in check

A team of researchers at McGill University have discovered a molecular basis for the potential cancer preventive effects of vitamin D. The team, led by McGill professors John White and David Goltzman, of the Faculty of Medicine’s Department of Physiology, discovered that the active form of vitamin D acts by several mechanisms to inhibit both the production and function of the protein cMYC. cMYC drives cell division and is active at elevated levels in more than half of all cancers. Their results are published in the latest edition of Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. Read the rest of this entry »

Ss aging inevitable? What factors make older tissues in the human body less able to maintain and repair themselves, as in the weakening and shrinkage of aging muscles in humans? A new study from Massachusetts General Hospital (MGH) investigators and collaborators at King’s College London describes the mechanism behind impaired muscle repair during aging and a strategy that may help rejuvenate aging tissue by manipulating the environment in which muscle stem cells reside. The report will appear in the journal Nature and has received advance online release. Read the rest of this entry »

Drinking a couple of glasses of wine each day has generally been considered a good way to promote cardiovascular and brain health.  But a new Rutgers University study indicates that there is a fine line between moderate and binge drinking – a risky behavior that can decrease the making of adult brain cells by as much as 40 percent. Read the rest of this entry »

Findings from a study suggest that certain variations in vitamin D metabolism genes may modify the association of low serum 25-hydroxyvitamin D concentrations with health outcomes such as hip fracture, heart attack, cancer, and death, according to a study appearing in the November 14 issue of JAMA.

Vitamin D status is defined by the circulating concentration of 25-hydroxyvitamin D. Lower serum 25-hydroxyvitamin D concentrations are associated with greater risks of many chronic diseases, prompting ongoing clinical trials to test whether vitamin D supplementation can reduce the risk of disease development. Certain complex metabolic pathways suggest that interindividual variability in vitamin D metabolism may alter the clinical consequences of measured serum 25-hydroxyvitamin D, according to background information in the article. Read the rest of this entry »

A landmark project that has sequenced 1,092 human genomes from individuals around the world will help researchers to interpret the genetic changes in people with disease.

The first study to break the ‘1000 genomes barrier’ will enable scientists to begin to examine genetic variations at the scale of the populations of individual countries, as well as guiding them in their search for the rare genetic variations related to many diseases.

The vast majority of genetic variation is shared with populations around the world but it is thought that a lot of the contribution to disease may come from rare variants of genes, found in 1 in 100 people or fewer. Researchers need to find these rare variants to see who has them and work out how they might contribute to a range of conditions from multiple sclerosis to heart disease and cancer.

Illustration of a DNA molecule

via ‘1000 genomes barrier’ broken – University of Oxford.


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