Scientists discover ‚jumping‘ genes that can protect against blood cancers

New research has uncovered a surprising role for so-called ‚jumping‘ genes that are a source of genetic mutations responsible for a number of human diseases. Scientists made the unexpected discovery that these DNA sequences, also known as transposons, can protect against certain blood cancers.

Quelle: Sciencedaily

Modern Human Brain Originated in Africa Around 1.7 Million Years Ago

The human brain as we know it today is relatively young. It evolved about 1.7 million years ago when the culture of stone tools in Africa became increasingly complex. A short time later, the new Homo populations spread to Southeast Asia, researchers from the University of Zurich have now shown using computed tomography analyses of fossilized skulls.

Quelle: IDW Informationsdienst Wissenschaft

Novel unusual sugar from cyanobacteria acts as natural herbicide

Chemists and microbiologists at Tübingen University discover sugar molecule that inhibits the growth of plants and microorganisms and is harmless to human cells ‒ An alternative to controversial glyphosate?

Quell: IDW Informationsdienst Wissenschaft

Opposite effect: Protein widely known to fight tumors also boosts cancer growth

Researchers studying p53, the heralded cancer-fighting ‚guardian of the genome,‘ found that the human protein also plays a role in promoting tumors, in addition to suppressing them. They found that the PUMA protein works inside the cell’s mitochondria to switch energy production processes and stimulate cancer growth.

Quelle: Sciencedaily

Structure of a central metabolic enzyme determined

Kiel research team provides key to functional understanding of the human mARC1 enzyme

One of the primary challenges for every living being is to determine the usefulness or harmfulness of ingested substances. In the case of food intake, for example, highly-specialised enzymes are used, which assist with the production of energy from chemically complex food substances. On the other hand, completely different enzymes are involved in breaking down certain non-usable or toxic foreign substances: similar to the immune system, they act as a protective barrier for the body to prevent the absorption of pollutants.

Quell: IDW Informationsdienst Wissenschaft

Shellfish could revolutionize human health research

Shellfish like oysters and mussels have the potential to revolutionize human health research, according to a new article. The study reveals how using bivalves as model organisms offers numerous promising avenues for medical research — from pharmaceutical development to bone regeneration.

Quelle: Sciencedaily

Frog eggs help researchers understand repair of DNA damages

The DNA replication process, which takes place every time a cell divides, also triggers repair of DNA damage, researchers have described in a new study. Scientists have studied extracts from frog eggs, whose proteins are very similar to those of human cells. The researchers hope the new research results can be used to develop more effective treatments for cancer in the long run.

Quelle: Sciencedaily

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)

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)

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)

Novel imaging technique brings diagnostic potential into operating room

Researchers have successfully visualized the tumor microenvironment of human breast tissue shortly after it was surgically removed from a patient in the operating room. The researchers achieved this using a new portable optical imaging system. (Mehr in: Cancer News — ScienceDaily)

From a plant sugar to toxic hydrogen sulfide

In a doctoral research project conducted at the Department of Biology, the degradation of the dietary sugar sulfoquinovose by anaerobic bacteria to toxic hydrogen sulfide was described for the first time – increased production of hydrogen sulfide in the human intestinal system has been associated with inflammatory bowel disease and colon cancer. (Mehr in: Pressemitteilungen – idw – Informationsdienst Wissenschaft)

Das Musikverständnis der Weißbüscheläffchen

Beim Sprechen und Musizieren hängen die einzelnen Worte und Noten voneinander ab. Menschen können diese Zusammenhänge, das heißt die strukturellen Abhängigkeiten, ausgezeichnet wahrnehmen. Der evolutive Ursprung dieser Fähigkeit ist noch weitgehend ungeklärt. KognitionsbiologInnen der Universität Wien haben nun Playbackexperimente mit Weißbüscheläffchen durchgeführt und herausgefunden, dass die Sensibilität für strukturelle Abhängigkeiten bereits im gemeinsamen Vorfahren von Weißbüscheläffchen und Menschen existiert haben könnte. Die Ergebnisse der Studie erschienen kürzlich im Fachmagazin „Evolution and Human Behavior“. (Mehr in: Pressemitteilungen – idw – Informationsdienst Wissenschaft)

A versatile vaccine that can protect mice from emerging tick-borne viruses

Researchers have developed a vaccine that is effective in mice against Powassan virus, an emerging tick-borne virus that can cause life-threatening encephalitis in humans. They also show that the vaccine produces antibodies that can protect the mice against other, related tick-transmitted flaviviruses. (Mehr in: Cancer News — ScienceDaily)

HPV discovery raises hope for new cervical cancer treatments

Researchers have made a discovery about human papillomavirus (HPV) that could lead to new treatments for cervical cancer and other cancers caused by the virus, the most common sexually transmitted disease. (Mehr in: Cancer News — ScienceDaily)

New epigenetic cervical cancer test has 100 per cent detection rate

A new test for cervical cancer was found to detect all of the cancers in a trial of 15,744 women, outperforming both the current Pap smear and human papillomavirus (HPV) test at a reduced cost, according to a new study. (Mehr in: Cancer News — ScienceDaily)

Exercise-induced hormone irisin triggers bone remodeling in mice

Exercise has been touted to build bone mass, but exactly how it actually accomplishes this is a matter of debate. Now, researchers show that an exercise-induced hormone activates cells that are critical for bone remodeling in mice. A study identifies a receptor for irisin, an exercise hormone, and shows that irisin impacts sclerostin in mice, a major cellular regulator of bone structure in humans. (Mehr in: Cancer News — ScienceDaily)

Drug targets for Ebola, Dengue, and Zika viruses found in lab study

No drugs are currently available to treat Ebola, Dengue, or Zika viruses, which infect millions of people every year and result in severe illness, birth defects, and even death. Scientists may finally change that. They identified key ways the three viruses hijack the body’s cells, and they found at least one potential drug that can disrupt this process in human cells. (Mehr in: Cancer News — ScienceDaily)

You are what you eat: High dietary versatility characteristic for early hominins

Frankfurt am Main, 12/13/2018. To eat what grows locally – today’s dietary trend was every day’s practice for prehistoric humans. Studying fossil tooth enamel, German researchers from the Senckenberg research institutes and Goethe University Frankfurt discovered that the early hominins Homo rudolfensis and Paranthropus boisei, who both lived around 2.4 million years ago in Malawi, were surprisingly adaptable and changed their diet according to the availability of regional resources. Being this versatile contributed to their ability to thrive in different environments. The new findings close a significant gap in our knowledge, according to the researchers’ paper just published in “PNAS”. (Mehr in: Pressemitteilungen – idw – Informationsdienst Wissenschaft)

Individualisierte Therapie soll Lebensqualität von Patienten mit Kopf-Hals-Tumoren verbessern

Patienten mit bösartigen Tumoren im Mund- und Rachenraum leiden trotz erfolgreicher Behandlung oft ein Leben lang unter schweren Nebenwirkungen. Ärzte am Nationalen Centrum für Tumorerkrankungen Dresden (NCT/UCC) und am NCT Heidelberg wollen nun in einer klinischen Studie prüfen, ob sich durch eine individualisierte Strahlentherapie die negativen Folgen der Therapie reduzieren lassen. Am Universitätsklinikum Dresden hat nun die erste Patientin ihre Behandlung im Rahmen der Studie begonnen. Sie leidet an einer speziellen Tumorart, die durch humane Papillomviren verursacht wird. Auch an acht weiteren Universitätsklinika in Deutschland können Patienten an der Studie teilnehmen. (Mehr in: Pressemitteilungen – idw – Informationsdienst Wissenschaft)

New data on disease prevention and the utilization of medical services by children and adolescents

Has tooth brushing frequency improved among children and adolescents? At what age is occupational therapy most commonly used? How many girls have been vaccinated against Human papillomavirus (HPV)? What influence does social status have on the utilization of medical services? The Robert Koch Institute (RKI) has published new and comprehensive data on disease prevention and the utilization of medical services in the Journal of Health Monitoring. The findings are based on data from the German Health Interview and Examination Survey for Children and Adolescents (KiGGS Wave 2). (Mehr in: Pressemitteilungen – idw – Informationsdienst Wissenschaft)

Neue Daten zu Prävention und Inanspruchnahme medizinischer Leistungen durch Kinder und Jugendliche

Hat sich die Zahnputzhäufigkeit bei Kindern und Jugendlichen verbessert? In welchem Alter wird Ergotherapie am häufigsten in Anspruch genommen? Wie viele Mädchen sind gegen Humane Papillomviren (HPV) geimpft? Welchen Einfluss hat der Sozialstatus auf die Nutzung medizinischer Leistungen? Zur Prävention und Inanspruchnahme medizinischer Leistungen hat das Robert Koch-Institut (RKI) im Journal of Health Monitoring neue und umfassende Ergebnisse der Studie zur Gesundheit von Kindern und Jugendlichen in Deutschland (KiGGS Welle 2) veröffentlicht. (Mehr in: Pressemitteilungen – idw – Informationsdienst Wissenschaft)

New light-based technology reveals how cells communicate in human disease

Scientists have developed a new technique that uses light to understand how cells communicate in human disease. (Mehr in: Cancer News — ScienceDaily)

Cancer cells distinguished by artificial intelligence-based system

A research team has created a system that uses a convolutional neural network to learn the features distinguishing different cancer cells, based on images from a phase-contrast microscope. This system accurately differentiated human and mouse cancer cells, as well as their radioresistant clones. This novel approach can improve the speed and accuracy of cancer diagnosis by avoiding the laboriousness and potential errors associated with equivalent analyses by humans. (Mehr in: Cancer News — ScienceDaily)

How does cancer spread?

How does cancer spread? While studying human brain tumour cells, a team of scientists found some answers to this crucial, yet so far unanswered question. They looked at a gene called EGFRvIII, which is present in patients with glioblastoma — a highly aggressive form of brain cancer that spreads quickly and that is difficult to treat. (Mehr in: Cancer News — ScienceDaily)