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Text Version   RSS   Unsubscribe   Archive   Media Kit                     April 16, 2015

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Welcome to the ICBS Discovery e-NewsBrief from the International Chemical Biology Society. This is a free, bi-weekly digest of headlines and news related to the chemical biology field. With a variety of stories selected from media outlets around the world, we hope you will find this publication informative. The e-NewsBrief will arrive in your email inbox every other Thursday.

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New fluorescent probes detect problems related to lysosomes
The Medical News
Lysosomes are the garbage disposals of animal cells. As the resources are limited in cells, organic materials are broken down and recycled a lot — and that's what lysosomes do. Detecting problems with lysosomes is the focus of a new set of fluorescent probes developed by researchers at Michigan Technological University. The Royal Society of Chemistry published their work in January.
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How a bacterial cell recognizes its own DNA
Phys.Org
It may come as a bit of a surprise to learn that bacteria have an immune system — in their case, to fight off invasive viruses called phages. And like any immune system, its first challenge is to detect the difference between "foreign" and "self." This is far from simple, as viruses, bacteria and all other living things are made of DNA and proteins. A group of researchers has now revealed exactly how bacteria do this. Their results were published online in Nature.
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Researchers deliver large particles into cells at high speed
Science Daily
A new device developed by engineers and doctors may eventually help scientists study the development of disease, enable them to capture improved images of the inside of cells and lead to other improvements in medical and biological research. The researchers created a highly efficient automated tool that delivers nanoparticles, enzymes, antibodies, bacteria and other "large-sized" cargo into mammalian cells at a rate of 100,000 cells per minute.
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New treatment for drug-resistant breast cancer found
Medical News Today
Researchers investigating the way in which HER2-positive breast cancer becomes resistant to treatment have made a surprising discovery concerning how this resistance develops. However, they may have also discovered a way to prevent this resistance from manifesting entirely. The study, published in Cell Reports, reveals a new combination therapy involving the commonly-used drug lapatinib and a novel experimental drug called a BET bromodomain inhibitor whose role is to disrupt the expression of certain genes.
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New low-temperature plasma treatment for prostate cancer developed
Medical News Today
Researchers from the University of York in the UK have discovered a potential new treatment option for patients with early-stage prostate cancer — low-temperature plasmas. The study, published in the British Journal of Cancer, seeks to address the current inadequacy of long-term treatment for prostate cancer, despite the continual improvements that have been made to methods of treatment in recent years.
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Shorter stature may pose higher risk of heart disease
The New York Times
To the surprise of researchers who had thought the very notion a joke, an international consortium of investigators has reported that shorter stature increases the risk of heart disease. After gathering genetic data from nearly 200,000 men and women worldwide, the investigators found that each extra 2.5 inches of height brings a 13.5 percent reduction in heart disease risk. The relationship is present throughout the range of adult heights.
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Human immune system can control reawakened HIV
Science Daily
The human immune system can handle large bursts of HIV activity and so it should be possible to cure HIV with a "kick and kill" strategy, finds new research led by the University of Oxford and the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. The "kick and kill" strategy aims to cure HIV by stimulating the immune system with a vaccine, then reawakening dormant HIV hiding in white blood cells with a chemical "kick" so that the boosted immune system can identify and kill them.
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Certain genes might affect whether people experience placebo effect
Medical Xpress
Researchers are beginning to explore whether the genetics of patients who experience a placebo effect are different from those of patients who don't. It's well known that people can feel better if they believe they are receiving treatment, but the biological pathways involved are relatively unexplored. In a new review published in Trends in Molecular Medicine, scientists discuss what we know as well as possible ethical issues related to conducting genetic tests to determine whether a patient is a placebo responder.
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Researchers identify drug target for ATRA, the first precision cancer therapy
Medical Xpress
Targeted cancer therapies work by blocking a single oncogenic pathway to halt tumor growth. But because cancerous tumors have the unique ability to activate alternative pathways, they are often able to evade these therapies — and regrow. Moreover, tumors contain a small portion of cancer stem cells that are believed to be responsible for tumor initiation, metastasis and drug resistance. Thus, eradicating cancer stem cells may be critical for achieving long-lasting remission, but there are no drugs available that specifically attack cancer stem cells.
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