Building a bigger brain

A gene, found only in humans and active in the cerebral cortex, can enlarge the ferret brain (Mehr in: Pressemitteilungen – idw – Informationsdienst Wissenschaft)

Doped by food

Dopamine release regulates our eating behaviour

When it comes to our food intake, we are only partially in control. Scientists at the Max Planck Institute for Metabolism Research in Cologne were able to show that our gastrointestinal tract is in constant contact with the brain and uses reward stimuli to control our desire for food. (Mehr in: Pressemitteilungen – idw – Informationsdienst Wissenschaft)

Stopping cancer from recruiting immune system double agents

Cancerous tumors trick myeloid cells, an important part of the immune system, into perceiving them as a damaged part of the body; the tumors actually put myeloid cells to work helping them grow and metastasize (spread). Researchers have now discovered a potential therapy that can disrupt this recruitment and abnormal function of myeloid cells in laboratory mice. (Mehr in: Cancer News — ScienceDaily)

New mechanism to ‚activate‘ the immune system against cancer

A new mechanism for activating the immune system against cancer cells allows immune cells to detect and destroy cancer cells better than before, and most effectively in lung cancer and melanoma. (Mehr in: Cancer News — ScienceDaily)

Essential amino acid in humans, methionine, controls cell growth

A recent study from the Laxman lab elucidates how a small metabolite and amino acid, methionine, acts as a growth signal for cells, by setting into motion a metabolic program for cell proliferation. (Mehr in: Cancer News — ScienceDaily)

No egg is like another: Female age and laying order drive variation of egg quality in blue tits

Little more than fifty years after the German ornithologist Wolfgang Makatsch published his book entitled “No egg is like another” (Kein Ei gleicht dem anderen), new research at the Max Planck Institute for Ornithology in collaboration with the Max Planck Institute of Biochemistry and the University of Hohenheim reveals exactly how right he was. The study describes for the first time the egg albumen and yolk proteomes (that is, all measurable proteins) of a common songbird, the blue tit. It shows that breeding females can fine tune their eggs’ composition to the needs of their young. (Mehr in: Pressemitteilungen – idw – Informationsdienst Wissenschaft)

Experimental treatment shows promise against triple-negative breast cancer

A naturally occurring protein called Tinagl1 reduced the spread of triple-negative breast cancer in a study conducted in mice. (Mehr in: Cancer News — ScienceDaily)

Sex differences identified in deadly brain tumors

More males get, and die of, the deadly brain cancer glioblastoma than females. A team of researchers has identified distinct molecular signatures of glioblastoma in men and women that help explain disparities in patients‘ response to treatment and survival. The research suggests that tailoring treatments to men and women with glioblastoma based on the molecular subtypes of their tumors may improve survival for all patients. (Mehr in: Cancer News — ScienceDaily)

AI predicts cancer patients‘ symptoms

Doctors could get a head start treating cancer thanks to new AI that is able to predict symptoms and their severity throughout the course of a patient’s treatment. (Mehr in: Cancer News — ScienceDaily)

Tumors backfire on chemotherapy

Chemotherapy is an effective treatment for breast cancer, yet some patients develop metastasis in spite of it. Researchers have now discovered that chemotherapy-treated mammary tumors produce small vesicles that may help them spread to other organs. (Mehr in: Cancer News — ScienceDaily)

Unmuting large silent genes lets bacteria produce new molecules, potential drug candidates

By enticing away the repressors dampening unexpressed, silent genes in Streptomyces bacteria, researchers at the have unlocked several large gene clusters for new natural products. Since many antibiotics, anti-cancer agents and other drugs have been derived from genes readily expressed in Streptomyces, the researchers hope that unsilencing genes that have not previously been expressed in the lab will yield additional candidates in the search for new antimicrobial drugs. (Mehr in: Cancer News — ScienceDaily)

Gene Therapy – Ready for the Market?

The last years were very promising for gene therapeutic approaches. A number of successful treatments of cancer or rare diseases were reported, as well as FDA approval of first gene therapeutic products. Until now, these pioneering treatments have been used primarily when conventional therapies reach their limits. Development, manufacturing, quality control and clinical application of gene therapeutic products are very challenging – and still far from routine. (Mehr in: Veranstaltungen – idw – Informationsdienst Wissenschaft)

Gene Therapy – Ready for the Market?

Are the new and promising gene therapeutic approaches for the treatment of cancer or rare diseases ready for the market yet? Internationally renowned keynote speakers will set the spotlight on the challenges in the production, quality control, regulatory issues and clinical implementation of gene therapeutic products. Papers can be submitted until 3 September 2018. (Mehr in: Veranstaltungen – idw – Informationsdienst Wissenschaft)

Breaking down AGEs: Insight into how lifestyle drives ER-positive breast cancer

Consumption of processed foods high in sugar and fat increase levels of advanced glycation end products (AGEs). Researchers report that AGE levels are higher in patients with estrogen receptor (ER)-positive than ER-negative breast cancer. Addition of AGEs caused breast cancer cells, whose growth had previously been controlled by tamoxifen, to begin to grow again. This suggests that patients with high AGEs may be less likely to respond to tamoxifen treatment. (Mehr in: Cancer News — ScienceDaily)

Confronting the side effects of a common anti-cancer treatment

Results of a new study suggest that a new treatment approach is needed — and how this may be possible — to address adverse effects of aromatase inhibitors, drugs commonly prescribed to both men and women to prevent recurrence of estrogen-positive breast cancer. (Mehr in: Cancer News — ScienceDaily)

Human blood cells can be directly reprogrammed into neural stem cells

Scientists have succeeded for the first time in directly reprogramming human blood cells into a previously unknown type of neural stem cell. These induced stem cells are similar to those that occur during the early embryonic development of the central nervous system. They can be modified and multiplied indefinitely in the culture dish and can represent an important basis for the development of regenerative therapies. (Mehr in: Cancer News — ScienceDaily)

Earliest records of three plant groups uncovered in the Permian of Jordan

A “hidden cradle of plant evolution” has been uncovered in Jordan. In Permian sedimentary rocks exposed along the east coast of the Dead Sea, a team led by palaeobotanists from the University of Münster discovered well-preserved fossils of plant groups bearing characteristics typical of younger periods of Earth history. (Mehr in: Pressemitteilungen – idw – Informationsdienst Wissenschaft)

Elegant trick improves single-cell RNA sequencing

Droplet microfluidics has revolutionized single-cell RNA sequencing, offering a low-cost, high-throughput method for single-cell genomics. However, this method has been limited in its ability to capture complete RNA transcription information. Researchers have now come up with an elegant, low-cost method that solves that problem. And not only does it push single-cell genomics forward, it may allow for new avenues for studies of infection and immune biology. (Mehr in: Cancer News — ScienceDaily)

AIDS: An approach for targeting HIV reservoirs

Current HIV treatments need to be taken for life by those infected as antiretroviral therapy is unable to eliminate viral reservoirs lurking in immune cells. Scientists have identified the characteristics of CD4 T lymphocytes that are preferentially infected by the virus. Thanks to metabolic activity inhibitors, the researchers have managed to destroy these infected cells, or ‚reservoirs‘, ex vivo. (Mehr in: Cancer News — ScienceDaily)

Bacteria-based drug delivery system that outperforms conventional methods

An interdisciplinary team has created a drug delivery system that could radically expand cancer treatment options. (Mehr in: Cancer News — ScienceDaily)

Bacteria rely on classic business model

The pneumonia causing pathogen Pseudomonas aeruginosa has developed a twin-track strategy to colonize its host. It generates two different cells – motile spreaders and virulent stickers. Researchers at the University of Basel’s Biozentrum have now elucidated how the germ attaches to tissue within seconds and consecutively spreads. Just like the business model: settling – growing – expanding. The study has been published in Cell Host & Microbe. (Mehr in: Pressemitteilungen – idw – Informationsdienst Wissenschaft)

Keine Gesundheitsgefährdung durch implantierte kupferhaltige Verhütungsmittel im MRT

Studie zur Risikobewertung kupferhaltiger Verhütungsmittel während bildgebender Untersuchungen mittels MRT und CT gibt Entwarnung (Mehr in: Pressemitteilungen – idw – Informationsdienst Wissenschaft)

German-Iranian project team develops measures for sustainable water resource management in Iran

BMBF project „IWRM Zayandeh Rud“ successfully completed. Opening of a German-Iranian training center. (Mehr in: Pressemitteilungen – idw – Informationsdienst Wissenschaft)

Sulfate Helps Plants Cope With Water Scarcity

Plants absorb the mineral sulfate from groundwater. An international research team led by scientists from Heidelberg University has uncovered how sulfate controls the production of the drought stress hormone ABA in plants and thus contributes to their drought-resistance. These findings improve scientists‘ understanding of how the drought-stress signal travels from the roots to the leaves. The studies in Heidelberg were carried out at the Centre for Organismal Studies (COS). (Mehr in: Pressemitteilungen – idw – Informationsdienst Wissenschaft)

Targeted treatment slows progression of rare connective tissue tumor

A drug called sorafenib stopped progression of desmoid tumors for 80 percent of patients taking the drug over a two-year period as part of a phase 3 trial. (Mehr in: Cancer News — ScienceDaily)