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Microbiology

Scientists eliminate HIV from human cells

Scientists at Temple University, Philadelphia, have successfully eliminated the HIV virus from cultured human cells. Patients affected by HIV-1 have to take medication throughout their lives to ensure they remain healthy because the virus inserts its DNA into its host's DNA. However, researchers have found a way to remove the integrated HIV-1 genes from cells permanently. The researchers created molecular tools which they used to delete the HIV-1 proviral DNA. …Read More

MSU team make stem cell breakthrough

Scientists at Michigan State University (MSU) have identified a gene that could make it easier to develop stem cells, which have the potential to benefit millions of people. While the gene, which is known as ASF1A, was not discovered by the team, they determined that it is one of those responsible for cellular reprogramming – a phenomenon which is key to stem cell production as it can transform one cell …Read More

Scientists discover ribosome ‘missing link’

Researchers at the University of California (UC) San Diego have discovered the 'missing link' in the system that enables animal cells to produce ribosomes. The discovery could give biologists a better understanding of how to limit uncontrolled cell growth, such as cancer, that might be regulated by controlling the output of ribosomes. It will also lead to the revision of basic textbooks on molecular biology. Ribosomes contained within each cell …Read More

New research ‘could help combat atherosclerosis’

Researchers have identified a molecule that plays a role in exacerbating atherosclerosis and could provide a target for new therapies. Scientists at the University of Texas (UT) Southwestern Medical Center found that a molecule known as 27HC (27-hydroxycholesterol) promotes the formation of atherosclerotic plaques, which can lead to cardiovascular disease. Atherosclerosis involves the build-up of lesions (or plaques) formed from lipids, such as cholesterol and fatty acids. If these rupture, they …Read More

New T cell therapy protects immunodeficient patients

Scientists at Technische Universitat Munchen (TUM), together with colleagues at Frankfurt, Wurzburg and Gottingen, have discovered a new method to protect patients against viruses following bone marrow transplants.  Immune system cells are created from stem cells in the bone marrow. In diseases affecting the bone marrow, such as leukemia, degenerate cells must be destroyed using radiation or chemotherapy. Stem cells from a healthy donor are required to replace the cells …Read More

Type 1 diabetes reversal ‘could one day benefit humans’

Researchers have succeeded in reversing type 1 diabetes in mice and their efforts could help to combat the disease in humans. Type 1 diabetes currently affects five per cent of all people with diabetes, according to the American Diabetes Association. It is usually diagnosed in children and young adults. The incidence of the disease has increased since the mid-20th century and this could be due to under-stimulation of innate immune …Read More

Cancer drug raises levels of vascular-protective gene

An existing drug that is used to treat cancer patients has been found to be effective in protecting people from vascular clots.  Bortezomib (Velcade), which is used to treat multiple myeloma, was approved for use by the US Food and Drug Association in 2012. As well as attacking cancer cells, it has been found to help prevent clot development common to many forms of the disease. The anti-thrombotic effects of …Read More

Scientists explain link between stress and heart disease

Researchers have uncovered a possible explanation for the observation that stress, emotional shock, or overexertion may trigger heart attacks in vulnerable people. Hormones released during such events may cause bacterial biofilms on arterial walls to disperse and this could allow plaque deposits to rupture into the bloodstream. "Our hypothesis fitted with the observation that heart attack and stroke often occur following an event where elevated levels of catecholamine hormones are …Read More

Longer telomeres linked to increased risk of brain cancers

New research led by scientists at UC San Francisco has revealed a link between common gene variants that lead to longer telomeres and an increased risk of developing deadly brain cancers known as gliomas. Variants in two telomere-related genes known as TERT and TERC are respectively carried by 51 per cent and 72 per cent of the general population. Telomeres are the caps on chromosome ends thought by many scientists …Read More

Research identifies gene involved in Parkinson’s disease

A team of researchers at the University of California Los Angeles (UCLA) has identified a new gene involved in Parkinson's disease, potentially providing a target for drugs that could treat or cure the disorder. Parkinson's disease involves the gradual breakdown and death of multiple neurons in the brain, leading to movement impairments, such as tremor, rigidity, slowness in movement and difficulty walking. Depression, anxiety, sleeping difficulties and dementia can also …Read More