ALSO NOTED: New T-cell research; Scientists use RNAi to stop hep B; Genetic variation linked to macular degeneration;

Immunologists studying T-cells say that the presence of even a small amount of virus can quickly turn on the T-cells, which hunt them down and kill them. Researchers at the Kimmel Cancer Center at Thomas Jefferson University in Philadelphia say that "antigen presenting" proteins recognize the virus, attach to the virus and make it visible to the immune system, which dispatches T-cells to kill the virus. Release

Scientists in South Africa have modified a virus to enable it to carry RNAi compounds to stop HBV replication, a process they say can be used to stop hepatitis B. Report

Researchers say they've found a genetic variation that significantly increases the risk of age-related macular degeneration. Report

A team from the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute in Boston say it has found a protein that activates the brain's antioxidant defenses to protect itself from toxic free radicals. Animal studies indicate that the regulatory protein PGC-1a is responsible for switching on the defense system, suggesting that it could hold the key to preventing stroke and other consequences of the aging process. Report

Dartmouth researchers are among a team of doctors that have learned more about how people may or may not benefit from taking aspirin in the effort to curb colon cancer. Release

New research suggests that statins can significantly reduce the incidence of stroke, myocardial infarction (MI), or all-cause death in patients with severe carotid arterial disease not revascularized. Release

Researchers at the University of Manitoba in Winnipeg, Canada say that anxiety disorders are linked to other ailments such as thyroid disease and arthritis, and that people who suffer from anxiety also suffer from more severe forms of disability. Report

Scientists at Virginia Commonwealth University say they've learned how an interactive molecule is transported out of mast cells, suggesting a new therapeutic target that would prevent that from happening. The transportation of S1P is implicated in the development of asthma, allergies and cancer. Report

Investigators at St. Jude Children's Research Hospital have concluded that the cell wall of pneumonia-causing bacteria can trigger heart damage. Report

Scientists have successfully sequenced the DNA of 15 mouse strains which are commonly used in research, which will shed new light on the genetic traits that put people at risk of disease. Report

An NIH-funded study suggests that inhibiting GTP cyclohydrolase activity might help to prevent or treat chronic pain, which affects as many as 50 million people in the United States. Doctors also may be able to screen people for the gene variant to predict their risk of chronic post-surgical pain before they undergo surgery. Release

Researchers at the University of Oregon say they've found an elusive neurotransmitter pathway in the skin that may play a key role in regulating body temperature. The work followed their study of the NK-1 receptor pathway. Report

Researchers at Pennington Biomedical Research Center have been studying how the human cold virus prompts fat stem cells to make fatter stem cells that spur obesity. Report

Scientists have discovered a neuronal mechanism that may explain why moderate amounts of alcohol may improve memory. The research has implications for Alzheimer's. Report

University of Oregon researchers have found an unexpected regulatory link between cellular responses to hypoxia and heat shock. Central to the discovery is a gene known as Hypoxia-Inducible Factor-1 (HIF-1) that is critical for both normal and pathological changes, making it a potential target for both health promotion and cancer therapies. Release

New research suggests a newfound role for wt-p53 in the control of the tumor's ability to communicate with the normal stromal cells surrounding it. Release

From humans to honey bees, neuropeptides control brain activity and, hence, our behaviors. Understanding the roles these peptides play in the life of a honey bee will assist researchers in understanding the roles they play in their human counterparts. Release

454 Life Sciences today announced that research on small RNAs, conducted by Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory, has revealed the dual role of the ARGONAUTE 4 protein (AGO4) in RNA-directed DNA methylation. The research, which describes a method for obtaining a comprehensive view of the total small RNAs from a single sample, was published today in Nature. Release

Researchers at Columbia University Medical Center say they've discovered that people who have suffered their first ischemic stroke have elevated inflammatory biomarkers in their blood, a discovery that could provide better insight into treating these cases. Report

The SSRI drug Paroxetine can be used to treat compulsive hoarding, according to a new study in the Journal of Psychiatric Research. Report

Deals & Dollars

The Caring for Carcinoid Foundation has awarded a $250,000 grant for carcinoid research under the direction of Lee M. Ellis, M.D., professor of surgery and cancer biology and the John E. and Dorothy J. Harris Professor in Gastrointestinal Cancer Research at the University of Texas M. D. Anderson Cancer Center. Release

Researchers at North Carolina State University have received a $3.5 million grant to develop a mathematical model that can predict the best course of treatment for "acutely" infected HIV patients, or patients who have recently been infected with the virus. Release

Tools & Technology

An R&D program involving CXR Biosciences and Artemis Pharmaceuticals along with ITI Life Sciences has developed a series of new models to test for and predict toxicity. A commercial license for this model covering Europe and Japan has been granted to by CXR Biosciences and Artemis and the model is expected to be sold by the two companies to pharmaceutical and biotechnology firms. Release

A new tool that measures the autofluorescence of skin can be used to determine if diabetics are developing serious complications. Release