ALSO NOTED: White blood cells overwhelm cancer; Bacteria used to create vaccine;

More Research

A line of cancer-resistant mice rely on white blood cells that can detect and overwhelm the defenses of cancer cells, according to researchers at Wake Forest University Medical Center. "Apparently, the mutation in the cancer-resistant mice renders the white blood cells capable of sensing unique diffusible and surface signals from cancer cells and responding to those signals by migration and physical contact," they said. Report

The combination of four potent bacterial surface proteins created a vaccine that was able to effectively fight MRSA in mice, according to researchers at the University of Chicago. Reporting in the Nov. 7, 2006, issue of the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, the scientists concluded that the vaccine was able to prevent five serious, drug-resistant strains of infections. Release

Researchers at the University of Minnesota have, for the first time, coaxed umbilical cord blood stem cells to differentiate into a type of lung cell. Eventually, the research could lead to new lung therapies or treatments for respiratory illnesses. Release

Women with early-stage breast cancer may benefit from a new, accelerated approach to radiation therapy making their course of treatment shorter, according to a new study released today in the International Journal for Radiation Oncology*Biology*Physics, the official journal of ASTRO. Release

A new study in Science magazine indicates that a newly found gene produces a protein that could protect people who have it from inflammatory bowel diseases. Researchers noted that they took a somewhat different tact than many scientists, researching the genetics of health rather than the genetics of disease. Report

A team of researchers based at Massachusetts General Hospital say a person's level of the molecule called BH4 can influence their tolerance of pain as well as their risk of chronic pain. Report

Gene therapy may hold the key to curing impotence in men with diabetes, according to a team of researchers at the University of Colorado Health Sciences Centre. In animal studies, they replaced a gene in rats with the equivalent of diabetes to counter erectile dysfunction. Report

Mayo Clinic Cancer Center has opened a new clinical study using a vaccine strain of the measles virus to attack recurrent glioblastoma multiforme, a largely untreatable brain tumor. This is the second of several pending molecular medicine studies in patients using measles to kill cancer. Release

Patients with Type 2 diabetes and periodontal disease who receive periodontal therapy see levels of oxidative stress--a condition in which antioxidant levels are lower than normal--reduced to the same levels as non-diabetic patients, according to a new study that appeared in the November issue of the Journal of Periodontology. Report

Rapid and guided healing of bones has moved a step closer with research by two biomedical engineering students who have found new ways to deliver bone growth enhancers directly to broken or weakened bones. Release

The next generation of treatments for shock or stroke could be based on a protein that is already in our heads--neuroglobin. In a review article to be published in the November issue of the FASEB Journal, scientists from University of Rome describe this protein, which may be the key to unlocking new therapies to minimize brain damage and improve recoveries for patients. Release

Researchers at Oregon Health and Science University's School of Dentistry have uncovered an interaction between two proteins in the nerve cells that carry pain information from the head and neck to the brain. The finding could play a significant role in the development of therapies to cure migraines and other craniofacial pain conditions like TMJ disorder. Release

Scientists at the University of Michigan Medical School say that they believe the common sequence of DNA characteristic in most people with rheumatoid arthritis may be the cause of overproduction of nitric oxide which inhibits apoptosis and leads to the disease symptoms. Release

Scientists studying the proteins spectrin and ankyrin, which shape and fortify cell membranes, say that spectrin's capacity to adhere to membranes may help researchers develop therapeutic molecules. Report

Cell biologists have provided further evidence that a gene thought to play a role in suppressing tumors actually protects against the development of pre-cancerous cell growth as well. The researchers say that the gene, caveolin-1, which they found in two major types of breast cells, could be a potential target for future drugs aimed at preventing breast cancer. The work also suggests a potentially important role of the tumor "microenvironment" in the cancerous process. Release

Researchers at the University of Rochester Medical Center have been studying an enzyme called APOBEC-3G in the white blood cells of HIV-infected patients to determine how it can help stave off infections. Recently, they gained a close look at the A3G to determine how they could develop a therapeutic that would provide the same protection to others. Release

The British company e-Therapeutics has formed a partnership with Brazilian company Grupo TCI to establish a joint research facility close to the Amazonian and Atlantic rain forests, to start testing substances from the millions of plants in the most diverse ecosystem on the planet. Release

Deals & Dollars

The National Palliative Care Research Center, Mount Sinai School of Medicine, has been awarded a $5 million grant from the National Cancer Institute of the National Institutes of Health. Release

The Institute for OneWorld Health has won a $46 million grant from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation to expand its research into new methods to fight diarrheal disease. The announcement was made at Forum 10, the Global Forum for Health Research's annual meeting in Cairo, Egypt. OneWorld Health is a non-profit pharmaceutical company headquartered in San Francisco, California. Release

Tools & Technology

Peter Richardson, a professor of engineering and physiology at Brown University, is using new computing tools to test ideas about clotting. He worked in collaboration with Igor Pivkin and George Karniadakis to create a model that combines fluid dynamics with platelet biochemistry to shed new light on methods to treat and prevent strokes and heart attacks. Report

Greg Albers, M.D., director of the Stanford Stroke Center, and his team report in the November issue of Annals of Neurology that new magnetic resonance imaging techniques can discriminate between stroke patients who are likely to benefit from a stroke medication--even when administered beyond the currently approved three-hour time window--and those for whom treatment is unlikely to be beneficial and may cause harm. Release