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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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Researchers discover new gene subgroup that drives prostate cancer
The Medical News
Prostate cancer researchers have drawn a molecular portrait that provides the first complete picture of localized, multi-focal disease within the prostate and also unveils a new gene subgroup driving it. The discoveries, published online in Nature Genetics, are a further step along the road to personalizing prostate cancer medicine, the study's authors say.
DNA mutations get harder to hide
Rice University researchers have developed a method to detect rare DNA mutations with an approach hundreds of times more powerful than current methods. The technique allows the researchers to find a figurative needle in a haystack that's smaller than any needle. The researchers applied their new molecular tools to 44 DNA samples with known cancer-related single-nucleotide variants. Their proof-of-principle study located the variants with a high level of accuracy.
Combination of stem cell and drug therapy could reverse Type 2 diabetes
Stem cell research is heralding a new age of possible medical treatments as scientists use them to grow transplantable cells and organs. Now, it appears those new treatments might include one for Type 2 diabetes. The research was published in StemCell Reports.
DNA double helix does double duty in assembling arrays of nanoparticles
In a new twist on the use of DNA in nanoscale construction, scientists at the U.S. Department of Energy put synthetic strands of the biological material to work in two ways: They used ropelike configurations of the DNA double helix to form a rigid geometrical framework, and added dangling pieces of single-stranded DNA to glue nanoparticles in place.
Ultrasound-activated bubbles could help make cancer drugs more effective
Despite extraordinary advances in new drugs and biotechnology, cancer is still one of the leading causes of death worldwide. In many cases, the problem lies not with the drugs but rather the difficulty in successfully delivering them to the site of a tumor. One of the major goals of research being carried out in the Oxford Institute of Biomedical Engineering is to develop new methods for delivering anti-cancer drugs that overcome barriers.
Study: Microchip captures clusters of circulating tumor cells
National Institutes of Health
Researchers have developed a microfluidic chip that can capture rare clusters of circulating tumor cells, which could yield important new insights into how cancer spreads. Circulating tumor cells are cells that break away from a tumor and move through a cancer patient's bloodstream. Single CTCs are extremely rare, typically fewer than 1 in 1 billion cells. These cells can take up residence in distant organs, and researchers believe this is one mode by which cancer spreads.
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Scientists discover new drug target for halting multiple sclerosis
Medical News Today
A new study shows that blocking a molecule that disrupts the immune system led to 50 percent reduction of multiple sclerosis in a mouse model of the disease. Writing in the Annals of Neurology, researchers describe how they discovered a molecule called MCAM allows white blood cells to cross the blood-brain barrier and enter the central nervous system where they are free to cause the nerve damage seen in multiple sclerosis.
Tissue regeneration could change the way we test drugs
It is often said that the most disruptive and world-shaping ideas don't come from a bolt of insight but are rather the response to rejection. The emerging field of tissue engineering followed such a path. Thirty years ago, Y.C. Fung, a professor at University of California at San Diego, started the school's bioengineering program, hoping to launch a center that would more closely align the study of organs typically done by physiologists and physicians with that of cells — the domain of cell biologists.
New mechanism behind Alzheimer's onset identified
Medical News Today
A new study published in the journal Brain overturns thinking on the role of toxic peptides in the development of Alzheimer's disease. Sporadic Alzheimer's disease accounts for 99 percent of all Alzheimer's cases, and involves the development of toxic peptide deposits in the brain. These peptide deposits cause the neuronal networks to be destroyed, leading to disorientation, memory loss, changes in behavior and death.
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