Diabetes-linked Gene Regulates Cell’s Powerhouse
A team led by researchers from the Perelman School of Medicine at the Univ. of Pennsylvania found that a susceptibility gene for type 1 diabetes regulates self-destruction of the cell’s energy factory. They report their findings this week in Cell.
The pathway central to this gene could be targeted for prevention and control of type-1 diabetes and may extend to the treatment of other metabolic-associated diseases.
Read more: http://www.laboratoryequipment.com/news/2014/06/diabetes-linked-gene-regulates-cells-powerhouse
Researchers Find Weakness in Antibiotic-resistant Bacteria
New research from the Univ. Of East Anglia, published in the journal Nature, reveals an Achilles’ heel in the defensive barrier that surrounds drug-resistant bacterial cells.
The findings pave the way for a new wave of drugs that kill superbugs by bringing down their defensive walls rather than attacking the bacteria itself. It means that in future, bacteria may not develop drug-resistance at all.
Read more: http://www.laboratoryequipment.com/news/2014/06/researchers-find-weakness-antibiotic-resistant-bacteria
Researchers at the Johns Hopkins Kimmel Cancer Center have developed and tested a vaccine that triggered the growth of immune cell nodules within pancreatic tumors, essentially reprogramming these intractable cancers and potentially making them vulnerable to immune-based therapies.
In their study described in today’s issue of Cancer Immunology Research, the Johns Hopkins team tested the vaccine in 39 people with pancreatic ductal adenocarcinomas (PDAC), the most common form of pancreatic cancer. The disease becomes resistant to standard chemotherapies and is particularly lethal, with fewer than 5 percent of patients surviving five years after their diagnosis.
Read more: http://www.laboratoryequipment.com/news/2014/06/vaccine-reprograms-cancers-respond-treatment
New-found Compound to Treat Depression
There is new hope for people suffering from depression. Researchers have identified a compound, hydroxynorketamine (HNK), which may treat symptoms of depression just as effectively and rapidly as ketamine, without the unwanted side effects associated with the psychoactive drug, according to a study in the July issue of Anesthesiology, the official medical journal of the American Society of Anesthesiologists (ASA). Interestingly, use of HNK may also serve as a future therapeutic approach for treating neurodegenerative disorders such as Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s diseases, the authors note.
Read more: http://www.laboratoryequipment.com/news/2014/06/new-found-compound-treat-depression
Vibrating ‘Pill’ May Replace Laxatives
Constipation, the most common digestive health disorder, affects up to 42 million Americans. Symptoms of chronic constipation include pain, bloating, infrequent bowel movements and painful and hard stools.
Now a new treatment in the form of a vibrating pill-size capsule may serve to alleviate chronic constipation, as demonstrated by a new pilot study from researchers led by Yishai Ron of the Department of Gastroenterology and Hepatology at Tel Aviv Univ.-affiliated Tel Aviv Sourasky Medical Center. The team presented its findings last month at the Digestive Disease Week convention in Chicago.
Read more: http://www.laboratoryequipment.com/news/2014/06/vibrating-pill-may-replace-laxatives
New Antibiotic is Effective in Single-dose
In the battle against stubborn skin infections, including methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA), a new single-dose antibiotic is as effective as a twice-daily infusion given for up to 10 days, according to a large study led by Duke Medicine researchers.
Researchers say the advantage of the new drug, oritavancin, is its potential to curtail what has been a key driver of antibiotic resistance: a tendency for patients to stop taking antibiotics once they feel better. In such instances, the surviving bacteria may become impervious to the drugs designed to fight them.
Read more: http://www.laboratoryequipment.com/news/2014/06/new-antibiotic-effective-single-dose
Strep Bacteria Can Fight Colon Cancer
Researchers at Univ. of Western Ontario have shown how the bacteria primarily responsible for causing strep throat can be used to fight colon cancer. By engineering a streptococcal bacterial toxin to attach itself to tumor cells, they are forcing the immune system to recognize and attack the cancer.
Kelcey Patterson, a PhD Candidate at Western and the lead author on the study, showed that the engineered bacterial toxin could significantly reduce the size of human colon cancer tumors in mice, with a drastic reduction in the instances of metastasis. By using mouse models that are stripped of their immune system, they were able to create a “humanized mouse” – one that would not only grow human colon cancer cells, but would also support a human immune system, to test the anti-cancer immunotherapy.
Read more: http://www.laboratoryequipment.com/news/2014/05/strep-bacteria-can-fight-colon-cancer
Vitamin D has Little Benefit as Asthma Treatment
Adding vitamin D to asthma treatment to improve breathing only appears to benefit patients who achieve sufficient levels of the supplement in the blood. Overall, the ability to control asthma did not differ between a study group that received vitamin D supplements and a group that received placebo, according to new research at Washington Univ. School of Medicine in St. Louis.
“Previous studies suggested that if you have asthma and low levels of vitamin D in the blood, you have worse lung function, more asthma attacks and more emergency room visits than asthma patients with higher vitamin D levels,” says Mario Castro, a professor of pulmonary and critical care medicine. “This is the first randomized controlled trial to investigate whether taking vitamin D supplements can improve asthma control.”
Read more: http://www.laboratoryequipment.com/news/2014/05/vitamin-d-has-little-benefit-asthma-treatment
Measles Vaccine Key to Cancer Cure
In a proof of principle clinical trial, Mayo Clinic researchers have demonstrated that virotherapy — destroying cancer with a virus that infects and kills cancer cells but spares normal tissues — can be effective against the deadly cancer multiple myeloma. The findings appear in the journal Mayo Clinic Proceedings.
Two patients in the study received a single intravenous dose of an engineered measles virus (MV-NIS) that is selectively toxic to myeloma plasma cells. Both patients responded, showing reduction of both bone marrow cancer and myeloma protein. One patient, a 49-year-old woman, experienced complete remission of myeloma and has been clear of the disease for over six months.
Read more: http://www.laboratoryequipment.com/news/2014/05/measles-vaccine-key-cancer-cure
RNA, Nanoparticles Team to Silence Genes, Treat Cancer
RNA interference (RNAi), a technique that can turn off specific genes inside living cells, holds great potential for treating many diseases caused by malfunctioning genes. However, it has been difficult for scientists to find safe and effective ways to deliver gene-blocking RNA to the correct targets.
Up to this point, researchers have gotten the best results with RNAi targeted to diseases of the liver, in part because it is a natural destination for nanoparticles. But now, in Nature Nanotechnology, an MIT-led team reports achieving the most potent RNAi gene silencing to date in nonliver tissues.
Read more: http://www.laboratoryequipment.com/news/2014/05/rna-nanoparticles-team-silence-genes-treat-cancer
ADHD Treatment Linked to Lower Smoking Rates
Treating attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) with stimulant medication may reduce smoking risk, especially when medication is taken consistently, according to an analysis led by researchers at Duke Medicine. The findings appear online today, May 12, in the journal Pediatrics.
“Given that individuals with ADHD are more likely to smoke, our study supports the use of stimulant treatment to reduce the likelihood of smoking in youth with ADHD,” says senior author Scott Kollins, professor of psychiatry and behavioral sciences and director of the Duke ADHD Program. “The risk is further lowered when adherence to medication treatment is consistent, presumably since this increases the chances that symptoms are managed effectively.”
Read more: http://www.laboratoryequipment.com/news/2014/05/adhd-treatment-linked-lower-smoking-rates
Chemo Timing is Key to Success
MIT researchers have devised a novel cancer treatment that destroys tumor cells by first disarming their defenses, then hitting them with a lethal dose of DNA damage.
In studies with mice, the research team showed that this one-two punch, which relies on a nanoparticle that carries two drugs and releases them at different times, dramatically shrinks lung and breast tumors. The MIT team, led by Michael Yaffe and Paula Hammond describe the findings in Science Signaling.
Read more: http://www.laboratoryequipment.com/news/2014/05/chemo-timing-key-success
When cancer progresses and spreads to the bone, patients often suffer debilitating pain. Now, a new phase III clinical trial shows that non-invasive, focused and magnetic resonance-guided ultrasound treatment that heats the cancer within the bone, relieves pain and improves function for most patients when other treatment options are limited. The results were published in the Journal of the National Cancer Institute (JNCI).
Magnetic resonance guided focused ultrasound surgery (MRgFUS) is a technique that’s been safely used to treat thousands of women with uterine fibroids. However, “this is the first phase III study to use this technology in the treatment of cancer,” says the study’s principal investigator and lead author Mark Hurwitz, Vice Chairman of Quality, Safety and Performance Excellence and Director of Thermal Oncology in the department of Radiation Oncology at Thomas Jefferson Univ.
Read more: http://www.laboratoryequipment.com/news/2014/05/ultrasound-reduces-cancer-pain
Hospital Access Quickly Lowers Infant Mortality Rate
Few problems in developing countries are as gut-wrenching as high infant mortality — and yet it is a problem that has solutions. A policy change in Thailand’s health care system has quickly led to significantly lower infant mortality rates among less-wealthy citizens, as a study co-authored by MIT economists shows.
“It’s a very dramatic shift,” says Robert Townsend, the Elizabeth and James Killian Professor of Economics at MIT, and a co-author of a new paper outlining the findings. The study was conducted along with Jon Gruber, an MIT professor of economics and health care expert, and Nathaniel Hendren, an economist at Harvard Univ.
Read more: http://www.laboratoryequipment.com/news/2014/05/hospital-access-quickly-lowers-infant-mortality-rate
Treatment for Heart Disease May Be Found in Bones
Taking stem cells from a patient’s bone marrow and injecting them into damaged heart tissue may become an effective way to treat heart disease, suggests a new study. Researchers reviewed data from the clinical trials that have been conducted so far of these novel therapies.
“This is encouraging evidence that stem cell therapy has benefits for heart disease patients. However, it is generated from small studies and it is difficult to come to any concrete conclusions until larger clinical trials that look at longer-term effects are carried out,” says Enca Martin-Rendon of the Univ. of Oxford and a member of the Cochrane Heart Review Group that carried out the study.
Read more: http://www.laboratoryequipment.com/news/2014/04/treatment-heart-disease-may-be-found-bones