ALSO NOTED: Genes identified in ovarian cancer; gene activity predicts metastasis; new transgenic mice developed for leukemia r

More Research

Researchers at McGill University Health Center in Montreal have come up with a new model to identify the specific ovarian cancer genes that are causing the disease. "This model not only allows us to identify the specific human chromosome 3 genes responsible for affecting tumor growth, but also has great potential to pinpoint genes in the entire human genome that would be most affected by this process," said Dr. Patricia Tonin, an associate professor of medicine and human genetics. Report

By studying the pattern of gene activity in immune cells, researchers have been able to accurately predict tumor metastasis in liver cancer. Report

Researchers have developed a new strain of transgenic mice that that develop a malignancy close to chronic lymphocytic leukemia. The mice are likely to play a lead role in new research into new therapies as well as molecular targets for CLL. Release

Researchers from the University of Nice in France have been working to determine the influence of TREK-1--a gene that can affect transmission of serotonin in the brain--on depression. By breeding mice with an absence of TREK-1, researchers were able create a depression-resistant strain. The details of this research are published in Nature Neuroscience this week. Report

Scientists say that they have found genetic variations that are linked to premature birth and prostate cancer among blacks. Report

Researchers at the University of Florida have demonstrated how cigarette smoke condensate--a surrogate for cigarette smoke--can cause DNA damage and can block the DNA repair of a cell or compromise the DNA repair capacity of a cell. Report

In a series of academic reports, William Kinlaw, an associate professor of medicine at Dartmouth Medical School, outlines his case for making the S14 protein a drug target in breast cancer. Kinlaw believes that breast cancer tumors are addicted to S14, needing it for metastasis. Release

A team headed by biologists from the University of California, San Diego has discovered the cells and the protein that enable us to detect sour, one of the five basic tastes. The scientists, who included researchers from the National Institute of Dental and Craniofacial Research, suggest that this protein is also the long-sought sensor of acidity in the cerebrospinal fluid. Release

A man's prostate specific antigen, or PSA, level after seven months of hormone therapy for advanced prostate cancer predicted how long he would survive, according to a new multicenter study conducted by the Southwest Oncology Group and led by researchers at the University of Michigan Comprehensive Cancer Center. Report

Dr. Rafick-Pierre Sékaly, an eminent researcher in cell biology, immunology, and virology, has confirmed the identification of a new therapeutic target (the PD-1 protein) that restores the function of the T cells whose role is to eliminate cells infected with the virus. The research opens new prospects for the development of therapeutic strategies for controlling HIV infection. The research findings appear in the journal Nature Medicine. Release

Researchers at the University of York have been working to understand how bacteria uses protein toxins to kill each other as a way to develop a new generation of tailor-made antibiotics that can attack specific microorganisms. Report

Primate experts writing in the American Journal of Primatology are suggesting new ways to limit the spread of viruses from primates to humans, saying that disease transmission presents serious threats to human health. Release

Tools and Technology

Scientists at the Max Planck Institute of Colloids and Interfaces in Potsdam, Germany and Ludwig-Maximilian-University in Munich have intentionally released a substance in a tumor cell. The scientists placed the substance in a tiny capsule which gets channeled into cancer cells and is then "unpacked" with a laser impulse. The laser light cracks its polymer shell by heating it up and the capsule's contents are released. Report

The Forsyth Institute has created a new computerized system for monitoring, analyzing and controlling cognitive science experiments. Researchers will have the ability to automate the analysis of animal behavior, while also conducting functional experiments on a large number of subjects simultaneously. The Forsyth Automated Training Apparatus (ATA), also provides a methodology to conduct drug screening and potentially shorten the development time for new drugs. Release

Deals and Dollars

Breast cancer has become a marketable commodity that corporate sponsors trade in without any real regard for finding a cure, according to a researcher at Queen's University. And much of the money raised by corporate groups for breast cancer never finds its way into the hands of research groups. Report

National Human Genome Research Institute, part of the National Institutes of Health, today announced grants totaling $54 million over five years to establish one new Center of Excellence in Genomic Science (CEGS) and continue support for two existing centers. NHGRI will renew the awards for the Microscale Life Sciences Center at the University of Washington, Seattle and the Yale Center of Excellence in Genomic Science, Yale University, New Haven, Conn. Each center will receive $18 million over the next five years. In addition, NHGRI awarded $18 million over five years to create a new CEGS at the California Institute of Technology, Pasadena, Calif., which will be called the Center for In Toto Genomic Analysis of Vertebrate Development. Release