ALSO NOTED: Researchers determine how protein blocks HIV spread; Gene mutation linked to breast cancer; Scientists develop canc

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A team of South Korean researchers say they've made a key breakthrough in determining how the TRIM5 protein blocks the progression of HIV. The team says it found a domain in TRIM5 that blocks advancement and also determined the three-dimensional structure of the domain. That work, they say, can advance research into finding a cure for AIDS. Report

Scientists at the University of Vermont have clarified the cellular process responsible for signaling regional blood flow changes in the brain, thereby uncovering possible causes for such disorders as stroke, migraine, and Alzheimer's disease. The study was published November 1, 2006 in the journal Nature Neuroscience. Release

U.K. researchers have determined that a damaged copy of the PALB2 gene is linked to a significantly higher risk of breast cancer. Report

By joining a sugar to a short-chain fatty acid compound, Johns Hopkins researchers have developed a two-pronged molecular weapon that kills cancer cells in lab tests. Release 

Changes in blood glucose levels could help stop the development of type 2 diabetes. Report

The study of sea slugs suggests that the interaction of clusters of genes within cells influences learning and brain disorders. Report

Scientists at UT Southwestern Medical Center have determined that the hepatitis C virus can turn off immune system defenses by interfering with the interactions of cellular proteins. Report

Scientists at the NIH have begun human trials of an experimental DNA vaccine to combat avian flu. The vaccine relies on a part of DNA from the virus to trigger the production of antibodies. It does not contain a weakened form of the virus, as most standard vaccines do. Report

Researchers at the Johns Hopkins and Yale university medical schools have found that a simple blood test to measure uric acid, a measure of kidney function, might reveal a risk factor for cognitive problems in old age. Of 96 community-dwelling adults aged 60 to 92 years, those with uric-acid levels at the high end of the normal range had the lowest scores on tests of mental processing speed, verbal memory and working memory. Release

Researchers at the NIH have found a genetic defect responsible for one type of brittle bone disease. Report

Two MIT scientists have developed a method to create tiny natural scaffolds a thousand times smaller than current scaffolds to grow stem cells as well as cells for skin grafts and damaged brains. These minuscule scaffolds should make it easier to grow cells to use for medical procedures. Report

Scientists are making progress in understanding why toxoplasma parasites are harmless to most people but lethal to a few. Report

Researchers at Columbia University's Mailman School of Public Health in conjunction with Hebrew University of Jerusalem found that men who had only daughters had a higher risk of prostate cancer than men who had at least one son, signifying a possible defect on the father's Y chromosome. Release

Persons with chronic hepatitis C being treated with Interferon are at risk of developing retinopathy as early as two weeks into treatment according to the results of a new study published in the January 2007 issue of Investigative Ophthalmology & Visual Science. Release

A gene linked to a risk of Alzheimer's disease also promotes cold sores, allowing the virus to be more active in the brain compared to other forms of the gene. That link is adding credibility to the theory that herpes may play a role in spurring Alzheimer's. Report

A student at Sweden's Karolinska Institutet has linked certain cases of bulimia to a hormonal imbalance that can be corrected with oral contraceptives. Report

Caucasian patients with chronic hepatitis C virus are more likely to have hepatic steatosis, or fat in the liver, compared to African-American patients. However, steatosis is not associated with HCV treatment response. Release

Researchers at the University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine have pinpointed a key regulatory protein that translates blood flow into gene expression. Release

A diet rich in fish was linked by researchers to a 50 percent reduction in the risk of developing dementia. Release