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2012-01-30 11:50:06

Glioblastomas grow extremely aggressively into healthy brain tissue and, moreover, are highly resistant to radiation therapy and chemotherapy. Therefore, they are regarded as the most malignant type of brain tumor. Currently available treatment methods are frequently not very effective against this type of cancer. Glioblastoma can affect people of all ages, but is less common in children than in adults. In order to gain a better understanding of the molecular processes involved in the...

2012-01-30 08:24:04

Washington University Pediatric Cancer Genome Project provides first evidence linking cancer to mutations in genes involved in DNA organization Researchers studying a rare, lethal childhood tumor of the brainstem discovered that nearly 80 percent of the tumors have mutations in genes not previously tied to cancer. Early evidence suggests the alterations play a unique role in other aggressive pediatric brain tumors as well. The findings from the St. Jude Children's Research Hospital...

2012-01-10 23:35:12

University of Leicester scientists announce a major advance in understanding the regulation of an important cancer target in Nature paper Scientists at the University of Leicester have opened up a whole new approach to the therapeutic intervention for a family of anti-cancer drug targets, thanks to a completely new and unexpected finding. Professor Schwabe and his colleagues, Drs Watson, Fairall and Santos, have published their research this week in leading science magazine Nature...

2011-12-28 08:12:12

The findings could point the way to new therapies Scientists at The Scripps Research Institute have discovered that DNA stays too tightly wound in certain brain cells of schizophrenic subjects. The findings suggest that drugs already in development for other diseases might eventually offer hope as a treatment for schizophrenia and related conditions in the elderly. The research, now available online in the new Nature journal, Translational Psychiatry, shows the deficit is especially...

2011-12-02 01:41:49

When a sperm fertilizes an egg, each contributes a set of chromosomes to the resulting embryo, which at these very early stages is called a zygote. Early on, zygotic genes are inert, so embryonic development is largely controlled by parental factors. The activation of the zygotic genome therefore represents an important transition toward a more autonomous mode of embryonic development, and has been the subject of much speculation and scrutiny. Now, a new study published by Cell Press on...

2011-11-15 09:46:57

Researchers at the Keck School of Medicine of the University of Southern California (USC) have discovered key processes by which estrogen, the female sex hormone, activates genes in breast-cancer cells. Greater understanding of how this occurs is expected to eventually lead to new treatments for the disease. Michael R. Stallcup, Ph.D., professor and chair of the Keck School's Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, was the senior author, and Kwang Won Jeong, Ph.D., a postdoctoral...

2011-11-04 22:57:59

The histone protein CenH3 is both necessary and sufficient to trigger the formation of centromeres and pass them on from 1 generation to the next Centromeres are specialised regions of the genome, which can be identified under the microscope as the primary constriction in X-shaped chromosomes. The cell skeleton, which distributes the chromosomes to the two daughter cells during cell division, attaches to the centromeres. In most organisms the position of the centromere is not determined by...

2011-10-17 10:19:55

At the same time that a cell's DNA gets duplicated, a third of it gets super-compacted into repetitive clumps called heterochromatin. This dense packing serves to repress or "silence" the DNA sequences within–which could wreck the genome if activated–as well as regulate the activity of nearby genes. When the cell divides, the daughter cells not only inherit a copy of the mother cell's DNA, but also the exact pattern in which that DNA is clumped into heterochromatin. This...

2011-10-10 09:09:47

In order for cells of different types to maintain their identities even after repeated rounds of cell division, each cell must "remember" which genes were active before division and pass along that memory to its daughter cells. Cells deal with this challenge by deploying a "bookmarking" process. In the same way a sticky note marks the last-read page in a book, certain molecules tag the active genes in a cell so that, after it divides, the same genes are reactivated right away in the new...


Word of the Day
omphalos
  • The navel or umbilicus.
  • In Greek archaeology: A central boss, as on a shield, a bowl, etc.
  • A sacred stone in the temple of Apollo at Delphi, believed by the Greeks to mark the 'navel' or exact center-point of the earth.
'Omphalos' comes from the ancient Greek.
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