Health

Mayo researchers identify mechanism of oncogene action in lung cancer
January 19, 2017 04:06 PM - Mayo Clinic

Researchers at Mayo Clinic have identified a genetic promoter of cancer that drives a major form of lung cancer. In a new paper published this week in Cancer Cell, Mayo Clinic researchers provide genetic evidence that Ect2 drives lung adenocarcinoma tumor formation.

Georgia State Study Uses Social Media, Internet To Forecast Disease Outbreaks
January 19, 2017 03:49 PM - Georgia State University

When epidemiological data are scarce, social media and Internet reports can be reliable tools for forecasting infectious disease outbreaks, according to a study led by an expert in the School of Public Health at Georgia State University.

“Our study offers proof of concept that publicly available online reports released in real-time by ministries of health, local surveillance systems, the World Health Organization and authoritative media outlets are useful to identify key information on exposure and transmission patterns during epidemic emergencies,” the researchers said. “Our Internet-based findings on exposure patterns are in good agreement with those derived from traditional epidemiological surveillance data, which can be available after considerable delays.”

Scientists discover how to prevent undesirable immune attacks on therapeutic viruses
January 19, 2017 03:14 PM - Salk

LA JOLLA—Normally when we think of viruses, from the common cold to HIV, we want to boost people’s immunity to fight them. But for scientists who develop therapeutic viruses (to, for example, target cancer cells or correct gene deficiencies) a more important question is: How do we keep people’s natural immune responses at bay? In these cases, an overenthusiastic immune response actually undermines the therapy.

Pancreatic tumors rely on signals from surrounding cells
January 19, 2017 03:09 PM - Salk

LA JOLLA—Just as an invasive weed might need nutrient-rich soil and water to grow, many cancers rely on the right surroundings in the body to thrive. A tumor’s microenvironment—the nearby tissues, immune cells, blood vessels and extracellular matrix—has long been known to play a role in the tumor’s growth.

New insights in genetic defect allow prevention of fatal illnesses in children
January 18, 2017 10:37 AM - VIB

A team of scientists led by prof. Adrian Liston (VIB–KU Leuven) and prof. Isabelle Meyts (UZ Leuven – KU Leuven) were able to characterize a new genetic immunodeficiency resulting from a mutation in a gene named STAT2. This mutation causes patients to be extremely vulnerable to normally mild childhood illnesses such as rotavirus and enterovirus. Prof. Liston’s comprehensive analysis of the genetic defect allows clinicians to provide children with the proper therapies before illnesses prove fatal. The findings of the research have been published in the Journal of Allergy and Clinical Immunology.

New insights in genetic defect allow prevention of fatal illnesses in children
January 18, 2017 10:37 AM - VIB

A team of scientists led by prof. Adrian Liston (VIB–KU Leuven) and prof. Isabelle Meyts (UZ Leuven – KU Leuven) were able to characterize a new genetic immunodeficiency resulting from a mutation in a gene named STAT2. This mutation causes patients to be extremely vulnerable to normally mild childhood illnesses such as rotavirus and enterovirus. Prof. Liston’s comprehensive analysis of the genetic defect allows clinicians to provide children with the proper therapies before illnesses prove fatal. The findings of the research have been published in the Journal of Allergy and Clinical Immunology.

Biosimilars Create Opportunities for Sustainable Cancer Care
January 18, 2017 09:46 AM - European Society For Medical Oncology - ESMO

Lugano, Switzerland – Biosimilars create opportunities for sustainable cancer care, says the European Society for Medical Oncology (ESMO) in a position paper published in ESMO Open. The document outlines approval standards for biosimilars, how to safely introduce them into the clinic, and the potential benefits for patients and healthcare systems.

TGen identifies compound that could improve drug development against brain cancer
January 17, 2017 04:47 PM - The Translational Genomics Research Institute

A study led by scientists at the Translational Genomics Research Institute (TGen) has identified "a potent inhibitory compound" in the elusive hunt for an improved treatment against glioblastoma, the most common and deadly type of adult brain cancer.

Aurintricarboxylic Acid (ATA) is a chemical compound that in laboratory tests was shown to block the chemical cascade that otherwise allows glioblastoma cells to invade normal brain tissue and resist both chemo and radiation therapy, according to a TGen-led report published today in the scientific journal Oncotarget.

 

China Cancels Plans For 100 New Coal-Fired Power Plants
January 17, 2017 01:53 PM - Yale Environment 360

China has canceled plans for more than 100 new coal-fired power plants, including several that were already under construction, according to news reports. The power stations, with an estimated price tag of $62 billion, would have had an electricity-generating capacity of more than 100 gigawatts, spread across several provinces.

Giant Middle East dust storm caused by a changing climate, not human conflict
January 16, 2017 10:16 AM - Matt Soniak via Princeton University

In August 2015, a dust storm blanketed large areas of seven Middle East nations in a haze of dust and sand thick enough to obscure them from satellite view. The storm led to several deaths, thousands of cases of respiratory ailments and injuries, and canceled airline flights and closed ports. 

At the time, the storm's unusual severity was attributed to the ongoing civil war in Syria by media outlets in the Middle East, Europe and the United States. Reports blamed the conflict for changes in land use and cover — and for activities like increased military traffic over unpaved surfaces and farmers reducing irrigation or abandoning agricultural land — that created extreme amounts of dust to fuel the storm.

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