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Eight-Day Undersea Mission Begins Experiment to Improve Coral Reef Restoration.

13 June 2008—Scientists have begun an eight-day mission, in which they are living and working at 60 feet below the sea surface, to determine why some species of coral colonies survive transplanting after a disturbance, such as a storm, while other colonies die. Coral reefs worldwide are suffering from the combined effects of hurricanes, global warming, and increased boat traffic and pollution. As a result, their restoration has become a priority among those who are concerned. Using as a home base the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration's Aquarius--an underwater facility for science and diving located in Key Largo, Florida--a team of "aquanauts" is working to protect coral reefs from this barrage of threats by investigating ways to improve their restoration.

Check out the webcams!
quote:
Originally posted by miamizsun:
Eight-Day Undersea Mission Begins Experiment to Improve Coral Reef Restoration.

13 June 2008—Scientists have begun an eight-day mission, in which they are living and working at 60 feet below the sea surface, to determine why some species of coral colonies survive transplanting after a disturbance, such as a storm, while other colonies die. Coral reefs worldwide are suffering from the combined effects of hurricanes, global warming, and increased boat traffic and pollution. As a result, their restoration has become a priority among those who are concerned. Using as a home base the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration's Aquarius--an underwater facility for science and diving located in Key Largo, Florida--a team of "aquanauts" is working to protect coral reefs from this barrage of threats by investigating ways to improve their restoration.

Check out the webcams!


*edit* This had appealed to me because 1. I'm a diver 2. they're in Key Largo. I've been fishing and diving all over that place.
Britain’s last Neanderthals were more sophisticated than we thought.

23 June 2008

An archaeological excavation at a site near Pulborough, West Sussex, has thrown remarkable new light on the life of northern Europe’s last Neanderthals. It provides a snapshot of a thriving, developing population – rather than communities on the verge of extinction.

“The tools we’ve found at the site are technologically advanced and potentially older than tools in Britain belonging to our own species, Homo sapiens,” says Dr Matthew Pope of Archaeology South East based at the UCL Institute of Archaeology. “It’s exciting to think that there’s a real possibility these were left by some of the last Neanderthal hunting groups to occupy northern Europe. The impression they give is of a population in complete command of both landscape and natural raw materials with a flourishing technology - not a people on the edge of extinction.”
quote:
Originally posted by FirenzeVeritas:
The book of Genesis states that God made every living creature to be a vegetarian.

Hi Firenze,

That was before the fall of Adam. After that, the rules changed and the world became more difficult and much harder. But, the good side is that one day; the world will revert to that Garden of Eden type world.

God bless, have a wonderful, blessed day,

Bill
quote:
Originally posted by miamizsun:
Genes may play role in risk assessment for prostate cancer among Hispanics and caucasians.

PHILADELPHIA – Genetic differences may explain the greater risk for prostate cancer among Caucasian men compared with Hispanic men, which could help clinicians predict who is more likely to develop the disease, according to a paper published in the May 15, 2008, issue of Clinical Cancer Research, a journal of the American Association for Cancer Research.

Currently, the most common method for assessing risk for prostate cancer is the prostate specific antigen test, but this method can identify tumors that may not be a threat to the health of a man and misses other tumors.

“Men typically have this test after they turn 50 years old, and it can spot a tumor that may not cause a problem in a man’s lifetime if left untreated. It could be more likely that a man will die from heart disease or some other ailment before his prostate cancer would kill him. At this point, it is not possible to accurately tell which tumors will be the more aggressive ones with our current screening tests. This mean that we may be screening and treating some men unnecessarily,” said Kathleen Torkko, Ph.D., an instructor in the Department of Pathology at the University of Colorado Denver. “The goal of research like this is to better classify a disease so we can move toward better management and treatment.”

Prostate cancer is the most commonly diagnosed non-skin cancer and one of the 10 leading causes of death among American men. Compared with white men, Hispanic men have higher rates of cancer overall, but the rate of prostate cancer among Hispanic men, falling just above Asian Americans, is one of the lowest.

“This may be due to the fact that we simply are not looking enough because Hispanic men may not have access to screening or could be reluctant to undergo some of the screening procedures that are becoming routine among Caucasian men,” said Torkko.

Torkko and colleagues observed 932 white men and 414 Hispanic men from south Texas. They analyzed blood samples to establish the relationship between the presence of genetic polymorphisms and the risk for prostate cancer. Specifically, they observed polymorphisms from the nuclear Vitamin D receptor (CDX2 and FokI), which modulates the actions of Vitamin D, and from 5á-reductase type II (V89L & A49T), which converts testosterone to dihydrotestosterone, a more potent form of the male hormone.

Among non-Hispanic white men with V89L, FokI was associated with a more than 50 percent increased risk of prostate cancer. This effect was not seen in Hispanic men. Among Hispanic white men, CDX2 and V89L in combination were linked with a more than three-fold increase in prostate cancer. However, this interaction was not seen in Caucasian men.

Torkko said these results help add a piece to the genetic puzzle of risk and racial differences, but will need to be confirmed by other studies, in larger populations, before they are ready for use in the clinic.

“Prostate cancer is not likely caused by a few genes, but by multiple genes from different pathways. This study illustrates the importance of examining multiple genes to understand genetic risks for prostate cancer and differences seen by ethnicity,” Torkko said. “Going forward, we need not only a better understanding of genetics but a better understanding of race and ethnicity. Studying disease by race is a complex issue, and the public needs to understand that we are trying to raise biological, rather than social, questions.”

Hi Miami,

Do we find this new stuff on the Fiction web site or the Comedy Zone web site? Just curious?

Y'all come back now, ya heah?

God bless, have a wonderful, blessed day,

Bill
American physicist Arno Penzias shared the 1978 Nobel Prize for discovering microwaves in space -- patterns that physicists have interpreted as showing that the universe was created from nothing. Penzias said, "If I had no other data than the early chapters of Genesis, some of the Psalms and other passages of Scripture, I would have arrived at essentially the same picture of the origin of the universe, as is indicated by the scientific data."

God Bless this Scientist for speaking the truth even through science!
Gotta love those scientist who have their head on straight!

God bless.
quote:
Originally posted by Braylan:
American physicist Arno Penzias shared the 1978 Nobel Prize for discovering microwaves in space -- patterns that physicists have interpreted as showing that the universe was created from nothing. Penzias said, "If I had no other data than the early chapters of Genesis, some of the Psalms and other passages of Scripture, I would have arrived at essentially the same picture of the origin of the universe, as is indicated by the scientific data."

God Bless this Scientist for speaking the truth even through science!
Gotta love those scientist who have their head on straight!



Braylan,

I think you may be misinterpreting.

"Most notably our 1973 discovery of DCN, the first deuterated molecular species found in interstellar space, enabled me to trace the distribution of deuterium in the galaxy. This work provided us with evidence for the cosmological origin of this unique element, which had earned the nickname "Arno's white whale". Of all the nuclear species found in nature, deuterium is the only one whose origin stems exclusively from the explosive origin of the Universe. Because deuterium's cosmic abundance serves as the single most sensitive parameter in the prediction of cosmic background radiation, these measurements provided strong support for the "Big Bang" interpretation of our earlier discovery." ~~A. Penzias

The source of that quote can be found here:http://nobelprize.org/nobel_prizes/physics/laureates/1978/penzias-autobio.html

Also, please do give other people credit for their writings. It's a matter of intellectual integrity in an honest academic dialogue. The original source of your full first paragraph is:

"The Nobel Scientists," by Charles Colson. It was published in 2000, and can be found HERE.

Besides, it upsets Mr. Bill when people do that.

Best,
e

[Edited to provide direct link to Colson's article.]
Last edited by e
quote:
Originally posted by Bill Gray:
quote:
Originally posted by miamizsun:
Genes may play role in risk assessment for prostate cancer among Hispanics and caucasians.

PHILADELPHIA – Genetic differences may explain the greater risk for prostate cancer among Caucasian men compared with Hispanic men, which could help clinicians predict who is more likely to develop the disease, according to a paper published in the May 15, 2008, issue of Clinical Cancer Research, a journal of the American Association for Cancer Research.

Currently, the most common method for assessing risk for prostate cancer is the prostate specific antigen test, but this method can identify tumors that may not be a threat to the health of a man and misses other tumors.

“Men typically have this test after they turn 50 years old, and it can spot a tumor that may not cause a problem in a man’s lifetime if left untreated. It could be more likely that a man will die from heart disease or some other ailment before his prostate cancer would kill him. At this point, it is not possible to accurately tell which tumors will be the more aggressive ones with our current screening tests. This mean that we may be screening and treating some men unnecessarily,” said Kathleen Torkko, Ph.D., an instructor in the Department of Pathology at the University of Colorado Denver. “The goal of research like this is to better classify a disease so we can move toward better management and treatment.”

Prostate cancer is the most commonly diagnosed non-skin cancer and one of the 10 leading causes of death among American men. Compared with white men, Hispanic men have higher rates of cancer overall, but the rate of prostate cancer among Hispanic men, falling just above Asian Americans, is one of the lowest.

“This may be due to the fact that we simply are not looking enough because Hispanic men may not have access to screening or could be reluctant to undergo some of the screening procedures that are becoming routine among Caucasian men,” said Torkko.

Torkko and colleagues observed 932 white men and 414 Hispanic men from south Texas. They analyzed blood samples to establish the relationship between the presence of genetic polymorphisms and the risk for prostate cancer. Specifically, they observed polymorphisms from the nuclear Vitamin D receptor (CDX2 and FokI), which modulates the actions of Vitamin D, and from 5á-reductase type II (V89L & A49T), which converts testosterone to dihydrotestosterone, a more potent form of the male hormone.

Among non-Hispanic white men with V89L, FokI was associated with a more than 50 percent increased risk of prostate cancer. This effect was not seen in Hispanic men. Among Hispanic white men, CDX2 and V89L in combination were linked with a more than three-fold increase in prostate cancer. However, this interaction was not seen in Caucasian men.

Torkko said these results help add a piece to the genetic puzzle of risk and racial differences, but will need to be confirmed by other studies, in larger populations, before they are ready for use in the clinic.

“Prostate cancer is not likely caused by a few genes, but by multiple genes from different pathways. This study illustrates the importance of examining multiple genes to understand genetic risks for prostate cancer and differences seen by ethnicity,” Torkko said. “Going forward, we need not only a better understanding of genetics but a better understanding of race and ethnicity. Studying disease by race is a complex issue, and the public needs to understand that we are trying to raise biological, rather than social, questions.”

Hi Miami,

Do we find this new stuff on the Fiction web site or the Comedy Zone web site? Just curious?

Y'all come back now, ya heah?

God bless, have a wonderful, blessed day,

Bill


Bill, I wish you and everyone else good health, but when the day comes and you or yours may need it, please don't reject a life saving treatment because it has a scientific basis that may conflict with your ancient tribal superstitions.

Regards, miamizsun
Researchers hone technique to KO pediatric brain tumors.

Slow release is key

By Melissae Stuart


July 14, 2008 -- An interdisciplinary team of researchers at Washington University in St. Louis, led by Karen L. Wooley, Ph.D., James S. McDonnell Distinguished University Professor in Arts & Sciences, is a step closer to delivering cancer-killing drugs to pediatric brain tumors, similar to the tumor that Senator Ted Kennedy is suffering from.

Such tumors are often difficult to completely remove surgically; frequently, cancerous cells remain following surgery and the tumor returns. Chemotherapy, while effective at treating tumors, often harms healthy cells as well, leading to severe side effects especially in young children that are still developing their brain functions.
Flatfish fossils fill in evolutionary missing link.

Hidden away in museums for more that 100 years, some recently rediscovered flatfish fossils have filled a puzzling gap in the story of evolution and answered a question that initially stumped even Charles Darwin.

All adult flatfishes--including the gastronomically familiar flounder, plaice, sole, turbot, and halibut--have asymmetrical skulls, with both eyes located on one side of the head. Because these fish lay on their sides at the ocean bottom, this arrangement enhances their vision, with both eyes constantly in play, peering up into the water.

This remarkable arrangement arises during the youth of every flatfish, where the symmetrical larva undergoes a metamorphosis to produce an asymmetrical juvenile. One eye 'migrates' up and over the top of the head before coming to rest in the adult position on the opposite side of the skull.

Opponents of evolution, however, insisted that this curious anatomy could not have evolved gradually through natural selection because there would be no apparent evolutionary advantage to a fish with a slightly asymmetrical skull but which retained eyes on opposite sides of the head. No fish—fossil or living—had ever been discovered with such an intermediate condition.

But in the 10 July 2008 issue of Nature, Matt Friedman, graduate student in the Committee on Evolutionary Biology at the University of Chicago and a member of the Department of Geology at the Field Museum, draws attention to several examples of such transitional forms that he uncovered in museum collections of underwater fossilized creatures from the Eocene epoch--about 50 million years ago.

"We owe this discovery, in part, to the European fondness for limestone," said Friedman. The fossils, which he found in museums in England, France, Italy, and Austria, came from limestone quarries in Northern Italy and underneath modern-day Paris.

Tumor-inhibiting protein could be effective in treating leukemia.

Contact: Preston M. Moretz
pmoretz@temple.edu
215-204-4380
Temple University

Angiocidin also shown to stimulate the body's immune system.

Angiocidin, a tumor-inhibiting novel protein discovered by Temple University researchers, may also have a role as a new therapeutic application in treating leukemia, according to a study by the researchers.

The study, "The Novel Angiogenic Inhibitor, Angiocidin, Induces Differentiation of Monocytes to Macropahges," will be published in the July 15 issue of the journal Cancer Research (http://cancerres.aacrjournals.org/future/68.14.shtml). The research was done by Temple biology doctoral student Anita Gaurnier-Hausser under the direction of George Tuszynski, a professor of neuroscience in Temple's School of Medicine and a professor of biology in Temple's College of Science and Technology.

"Angiocidin is a protein that has a lot of anti-cancer activity and inhibits angiogenesis, a physiological process involving the growth of new blood vessels from pre-existing vessels, which is a fundamental step in the transition of tumors from a dormant state to a malignant state," said Tuszynski, who discovered the protein.
This is good news for people who plan on using water.... Wink

New Chlorine-Tolerant, Desalination Membrane Hopes to Boost Access to Clean Water.

“If we make the desalination process more efficient with better membranes, it will be less expensive to desalinate a gallon of water, which will expand the availability of clean water around the world,” Professor Benny Freeman says.

“It promises to eliminate de-chlorination steps that are required currently to protect membranes from attack by chlorine in water,” Freeman says. “We believe that even a small increase in efficiency should result in large cost savings.”
I've watch these kinds of stories for years, Deep. They keep suggesting the same thing: We are getting out butts whipped. Losing our edge. We are a society of lazy people who are willing to outsource our competitive spirit.

Of course is is a reflection on our public education system that is perhaps too willing to bend to the will of politicians and even us parents.

Of course fundamentalism does not help and shold be combatted at every opportunity. But I hesitate to blame the Bill Grays of the world for our education woes. I tend to believe that this crisis is a result of our dumbing-down of education. We value football more than academics. We "helicopter parents" bi*ch when the teacher doesn't send Johnny on to the next grade level. We expect our schools to raise our kids and focus on raw test scores rather than fostering academic excellence.

People who are passionate about stopping this stupidity should get involved before we become an academic wasteland.
quote:
Originally posted by GoFish:
I've watch these kinds of stories for years, Deep. They keep suggesting the same thing: We are getting out butts whipped. Losing our edge. We are a society of lazy people who are willing to outsource our competitive spirit.

Of course is is a reflection on our public education system that is perhaps too willing to bend to the will of politicians and even us parents.

Of course fundamentalism does not help and shold be combatted at every opportunity. But I hesitate to blame the Bill Grays of the world for our education woes. I tend to believe that this crisis is a result of our dumbing-down of education. We value football more than academics. We "helicopter parents" bi*ch when the teacher doesn't send Johnny on to the next grade level. We expect our schools to raise our kids and focus on raw test scores rather than fostering academic excellence.

People who are passionate about stopping this stupidity should get involved before we become an academic wasteland.


That's right.

We should be raising our standards to reflect the new and expanded knowledge base. School/education should be increasingly intellectual, not relaxing, or lowering the bar to include the people not making the grade.

BTW, there is a link to Peter Navarro's book on that site, "The Coming China Wars" which should be required reading. Check it out.

The Coming China Wars.
Survival of the fittest: even cancer cells follow the laws of evolution.

Public release date: 1-Aug-2008

Scientists from The Institute of Advanced Studies at Princeton and the University of California discovered that the underlying process in tumor formation is the same as for life itself—evolution. After analyzing a half million gene mutations, the researchers found that although different gene mutations control different cancer pathways, each pathway was controlled by only one set of gene mutations. This suggests that a molecular "survival of the fittest" scenario plays out in every living creature as gene mutations strive for ultimate survival through cancerous tumors.
This is good news for all.

Harvard-Columbia team creates neurons from ALS patient's skin cells.

New key to understanding and treating ALS, and a step toward personalized regenerative medicine

NEW YORK – Harvard and Columbia scientists have for the first time used a new technique to transform an ALS (amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, or Lou Gehrig's disease) patient's skin cells into motor neurons, a process that may be used in the future to create tailor-made cells to treat the debilitating disease. The research – led by Kevin Eggan, Ph.D. of the Harvard Stem Cell Institute – will be published July 31 in the online version of the journal Science.

This is the first time that skin cells from a chronically-ill patient have been reprogrammed into a stem cell-like state, and then coaxed into the specific cell types that would be needed to understand and treat the disease.

Though cell replacement therapies are probably still years away, the new cells will solve a problem that has hindered ALS research for years: the inability to study a patient's motor neurons in the laboratory.

ALS is caused by the degeneration and death of motor neurons, the nerve cells which convey nerve impulses from the spinal cord to each of the body's muscles. The death of motor neurons leads to paralysis of these muscles, including those involved in swallowing and breathing, and ultimately leads to death of the patient. The disease affects about 30,000 people in the United States.

"Up until now, it's been impossible to get access to the neurons affected by ALS and, although everyone was excited by the potential of the new technology, it was uncertain that we would be able to obtain them from patients' skin cells," says co-author Chris Henderson, Ph.D., professor of pathology, neurology and neuroscience, co-director of the Center for Motor Neuron Biology and Disease at Columbia, and senior scientific advisor of the Project A.L.S./ Jenifer Estess Laboratory for Stem Cell Research. "Our paper now shows that we can generate hundreds of millions of motor neurons that are genetically identical to a patient's own neurons. This will be an immense help as we try to uncover the mechanisms behind this disease and screen for drugs that can prolong life."

The motor neurons were created using a new technique that reprograms human adult skin cells into cells that resemble embryonic stem (ES) cells. The technique used to make these cells – called induced pluripotent stem (iPS) cells – was a major advance in the field that was first reported last November by researchers in Japan and Wisconsin. Those studies used skin cells from healthy adults, but it remained unknown whether iPS cells could be created with cells from chronically-ill patients and then transformed into neurons. The Columbia-Harvard team, in this paper, showed this was possible using an ALS patient's skin cells.
Potatoes may hold key to Alzheimer's treatment.

A virus that commonly infects potatoes bears a striking resemblance to one of the key proteins implicated in Alzheimer's disease (AD), and researchers have used that to develop antibodies that may slow or prevent the onset of AD.

Studies in mice have demonstrated that vaccinations with the amyloid beta protein (believed to be a major AD contributor) to produce A antibodies can slow disease progression and improve cognitive function, possibly by promoting the destruction of amyloid plaques. Some early human trials have likewise been promising, but had to be halted due to the risk of autoimmune encephalitis.

One way to make Alzheimer's vaccinations safer would be to use a closely-related, but not human, protein as the vaccine, much like cowpox virus is used for smallpox immunizations.
Killer carbs -- Monash scientist finds the key to overeating as we age.

A Monash University scientist has discovered key appetite control cells in the human brain degenerate over time, causing increased hunger and potentially weight-gain as we grow older.

The research by Dr Zane Andrews, a neuroendocrinologist with Monash University's Department of Physiology, has been published in Nature.

Dr Andrews found that appetite-suppressing cells are attacked by free radicals after eating and said the degeneration is more significant following meals rich in carbohydrates and sugars.

"The more carbs and sugars you eat, the more your appetite-control cells are damaged, and potentially you consume more," Dr Andrews said.

Dr Andrews said the attack on appetite suppressing cells creates a cellular imbalance between our need to eat and the message to the brain to stop eating.

"People in the age group of 25 to 50 are most at risk. The neurons that tell people in the crucial age range not to over-eat are being killed-off.

"When the stomach is empty, it triggers the ghrelin hormone that notifies the brain that we are hungry. When we are full, a set of neurons known as POMC's kick in.

"However, free radicals created naturally in the body attack the POMC neurons. This process causes the neurons to degenerate overtime, affecting our judgement as to when our hunger is satisfied," Dr Andrews said.

The free radicals also try to attack the hunger neurons, but these are protected by the uncoupling protein 2 (UCP2).

Dr Andrews said the reduction in the appetite-suppressing cells could be one explanation for the complex condition of adult-onset obesity.

"A diet rich in carbohydrate and sugar that has become more and more prevalent in modern societies over the last 20-30 years has placed so much strain on our bodies that it's leading to premature cell deterioration," Dr Andrews said.


Dr Andrews' next research project will focus on finding if a diet rich in carbohydrates and sugars has other impacts on the brain, such as the increased incidences of neurological conditions like Parkinson's disease.
Scientists develop new method to investigate origin of life.

Scientists at Penn State have developed a new computational method that they say will help them to understand how life began on Earth. The team's method has the potential to trace the evolutionary histories of proteins all the way back to either cells or viruses, thus settling the debate once and for all over which of these life forms came first. "We have just begun to tap the potential power of this method," said Randen Patterson, a Penn State assistant professor of biology and one of the project's leaders. "We believe, if it is possible at all, that it is within our grasp to determine whether viruses evolved from cells or vice-versa."

The new computational method will be described in a paper to be published in a future issue of the journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. The journal also will post the paper on the early on-line section of its Web site sometime during the week ending 6 September 2008.

The team is focusing on an ancient group of proteins, called retroelements, which comprise approximately 50 percent of the human genome by weight and are a crucial component in a number of diseases, including AIDS. "Retroelements are an ancient and highly diverse class of proteins; therefore, they provide a rigorous benchmark for us to test our approach. We are happy with the results we derived, even though our method is in an early stage," said Patterson. The team plans to make the algorithms that they used in their method available to others as open-source software that is freely available on the Web.
Tuberculosis drug shows promise against latent bacteria.

Tuberculosis drug shows promise against latent bacteria

Appearing in the Sept. 12 issue of JBC

A new study has shown that an investigational drug (R207910, currently in clinical trials against multi-drug resistant tuberculosis strains) is quite effective at killing latent bacteria. This revelation suggests that R207910 may lead to improved and shortened treatments for this globally prevalent disease.

Despite numerous treatment advances, tuberculosis (TB) remains a serious disease –fueled by co-infection of HIV patients, the rise of drug-resistant strains, and the ability of Mycobacterium tuberculosis to become dormant and linger in the lungs. In fact, one third of the world population is infected, asymptomatically, with latent TB and is at risk of developing active TB disease during their life time.

Anil Koul and colleagues at Johnson & Johnson tested R207910 on dormant M. tuberculosis in three different laboratory models of latency. R207910 targets a protein (ATP synthase) essential for making cellular energy (ATP) in actively replicating TB. The researchers reasoned that even dormant bacteria, which are essentially physiologically "turned off", still need to produce small quantities of ATP to survive. As such, a block in ATP synthesis might be an Achilles heel for killing dormant bacteria.

This reasoning proved to be correct and R207190 was able to kill dormant bacteria by greater than 95% whereas current drugs like isoniazid had no effect. Surprisingly, they found that R207910 is slightly more effective in killing dormant bacteria as compared to actively replicating ones, a unique spin as all known TB drugs are more effective on replicating bugs. Koul and colleagues hope to validate these results clinically, and note that ATP synthase should be looked at as a drug target for other persistent bacterial infections.

###
From the JBC article: "Diarylquinolines are bactericidal for dormant mycobacteria as a result of disturbed ATP homeostasis" by Anil Koul, Luc Vranckx, Najoua Dendouga, Wendy Balemans, Ilse Van den Wyngaert, Karen Vergauwen, Hinrich Göhlmann, Rudy Willebrords, Alain Poncelet, Jerome Guillemont, Dirk Bald and Koen Andries
Anti-tumor therapy with endoscopic ultrasound may fight cancer more safely and effectively.

SAN FRANCISCO, CA, September 12, 2008 - The chairman of EUS2008 today announced that investigational research on a therapeutic technique that will allow physicians to directly inject malignant tumors with cancer fighting agents from inside the body will be presented at the 16th International Symposium of Endoscopic Ultrasonography (EUS2008) in San Francisco on September 12-13. This technique, which uses a flexible gastrointestinal endoscope with a miniature ultrasound transducer on the tip to guide a small needle directly into a tumor, could prove to be a safer and more effective approach to administering chemotherapy since it allows doctors to deliver therapy right to the tumor and avoid damaging normal surrounding tissues. Injecting drugs directly into the cancer using endoscopic ultrasound (EUS) in combination with systemic chemotherapy to kill cancer cells that have spread may prove to be a more effective approach to some cancers.

EUS combines endoscopy and ultrasound in order to obtain the most accurate, high resolution images and information about the digestive tract and the surrounding tissue and organs. A more advanced form of EUS, called curvilinear EUS, allows doctors to operate within the lumen of the gut while at the same time detect, biopsy and treat lesions and tumors that lie outside the intestinal wall. This technique is particularly useful in patients with pancreatic, eso****eal and rectal cancer.

"Curvilinear endosonography will likely become the dominant technology within the field of EUS," said co-chairman of EUS2008, Robert Hawes, M.D., Professor of Medicine and Peter Cotton Chair for Endoscopic Innovation at the Medical University of South Carolina. "The potential for accurate diagnosis using ultrasound-guided biopsy, precise staging with high resolution ultrasound images and then the enormous opportunity for new therapies with the curvilinear endoscope is why we are focusing this meeting on the use of this instrument alone."

Used in conjunction with real time imaging, EUS can help physicians to detect blood flow in blood vessels in and around tumors as well as detect and biopsy tumors and lymph nodes as small as 3-5 mm. This allows doctors to avoid puncturing blood vessels when sampling tissue, get the most accurate view of the cancer and know exactly what stage a cancer is in for optimal therapy for treatment. This could save cancer patients with late stage disease from going through unnecessary surgery. EUS may also play a role in the future of minimally invasive surgery (MIS). A new paradigm in MIS is called natural orifice translumenal endoscopic surgery (NOTES®). This entails using the stomach as a window to the abdominal cavity rather than the skin. EUS could play an important role in helping surgeons gain safe access to the abdominal cavity as part of NOTES.

EUS 2008 will be devoted to teaching current applications of curvilinear endoscopic ultrasonography in order to encourage endosonographers and gastroenterologists to become proficient in these procedures, enhance their techniques and increase collaboration with oncology surgeons. This meeting has a rich tradition dating back to the first meeting held in Stockholm, Sweden in 1982. The meeting has evolved as technology has changed and improved along with the exponential growth of endosonographers around the world.
Aspirin and atherosclerosis.

Public release date: 22-Sep-2008
Contact: Nick Zagorski
nzagorski@asbmb.org
301-634-7366

American Society for Biochemistry and Molecular Biology

Appearing in the October issue of JLR

Aspirin has become one of the most widely used medications in the world, owing to its ability to reduce pain, fevers, inflammation, and blood clotting. In animal studies, aspirin has also been shown to prevent atherosclerosis, though none of its known mechanisms of action would seem to account for this. In a new study, though, researchers have uncovered the mechanism that may explain aspirin's ability to prevent arterial plaque buildup.

Using cell culture and mouse models, Sampath Parthasarathy and colleagues observed that aspirin –specifically its active byproduct salicylate– can greatly increase the expression of two proteins: paraoxonase 1 (PON1) and apolipoprotein A1 (ApoA1); in the mouse studies, low dose aspirin supplements could increase PON1 and ApoA1 levels by 7- and 12- fold, respectively.

Both of these proteins are beneficial components of the HDL complex, the "good cholesterol" that helps prevent atherosclerosis; ApoA1 removes bad cholesterol from the bloodstream while PON1 is an antioxidant that breaks down toxic lipid peroxides.

The researchers also noted that the heightened expression of PON1 was accompanied by an increase in a receptor called AHR (aryl hydrocarbon receptor); this was intriguing as a chemical known to attach to AHR is resveratrol, the "heart healthy" component of red wine.

###

This study is online in the October issue of Journal of Lipid Research.
UNC scientists turn human skin cells into insulin-producing cells.

Public release date: 17-Sep-2008

University of North Carolina School of Medicine

CHAPEL HILL – Researchers at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill School of Medicine have transformed cells from human skin into cells that produce insulin, the hormone used to treat diabetes.

The breakthrough may one day lead to new treatments or even a cure for the millions of people affected by the disease, researchers say.

The approach involves reprogramming skin cells into pluripotent stem cells, or cells that can give rise to any other fetal or adult cell type, and then inducing them to differentiate, or transform, into cells that perform a particular function – in this case, secreting insulin.

Several recent studies have shown that cells can be returned to pluripotent state using "defined factors" (specific proteins that control which genes are active in a cell), a technique pioneered by Dr. Shinya Yamanaka, a professor at Kyoto University in Japan.

However, the UNC study is the first to demonstrate that cells reprogrammed in this way can be coaxed to differentiate into insulin-secreting cells. Results of the study are published online in the Journal of Biological Chemistry.

"Not only have we shown that we can reprogram skin cells, but we have also demonstrated that these reprogrammed cells can be differentiated into insulin-producing cells which hold great therapeutic potential for diabetes," said study lead author Yi Zhang, Ph.D., Howard Hughes Medical Institute investigator, professor of biochemistry and biophysics at UNC and member of the Lineberger Comprehensive Cancer Center.

"Of course, there are many years of additional studies that are required first, but this study provides hope for a cure for all patients with diabetes," said John Buse, M.D., Ph.D., president of the American Diabetes Association and professor and chief of the endocrinology division in the UNC School of Medicine's department of medicine.

About 24 million Americans suffer from diabetes, a disease that occurs when the body is unable to produce or use insulin properly. Virtually all patients with type I diabetes, the more severe of the two types, must rely on daily injections of insulin to maintain their blood sugar levels.

Recent research exploring a possible long-term treatment – the transplantation of insulin-producing beta cells into patients – has yielded promising results. But this approach faces its own challenges, given the extreme shortage of matched organ donors and the need to suppress patients' immune systems.

The work by Zhang and other researchers could potentially address those problems, since insulin-producing cells could be made from diabetic patients' own reprogrammed cells.

Zhang is collaborating with Buse to obtain skin samples from diabetes patients. He said he hoped his current experiments will take this approach one step closer to a new treatment or even a cure for diabetes.

###

The research was funded by the Howard Hughes Medical Institute and the National Institutes of Health. Study co-authors include postdoctoral fellows Keisuke Tateishi, M.D.; Jin He, Ph.D.; Olena Taranova, Ph.D.; Ana C. D'Alessio, Ph.D.; and graduate student Gaoyang Liang, all from the UNC School of Medicine's department of biochemistry and biophysics.
Now this is promising.

First transplant patient to receive an organ grown to order in a laboratory.

"A 30-year-old Spanish woman has made medical history by becoming the first patient to receive a whole organ transplant grown using her own cells.

Experts said the development opened a new era in surgery in which the repair of worn-out body parts would be carried out with personally customised replacements.

Claudia Castillo, who lives in Barcelona, underwent the operation to replace her windpipe after tuberculosis had left her with a collapsed lung and unable to breathe.

The bioengineered organ was transplanted into her chest last June at the Hospital Clinic in Barcelona.

Four months later she was able to climb two flights of stairs, go dancing and look after her children – activities that had been impossible before the surgery. Ms Castillo has also crossed a second medical frontier by becoming the first person to receive a whole organ transplant without the need for powerful immunosuppressant drugs.

Doctors overcame the problem of rejection by taking her own stem cells to grow the replacement organ, using a donor trachea (lower windpipe) to provide the mechanical framework. Blood tests have shown no sign of rejection months after the surgery was complete."
I enjoy these postings, 81. Thanks. Wanted to add this one...

Vaccine for skin cancer 'available in five years'

"The scientist who developed a vaccine for cervical cancer is working on another inoculation against certain types of skin cancer that could be available in five years time. Professor Ian Frazer, of the University of Queensland, said tests of the vaccine had proven successful on animals and that human trials could begin next year.

Mr Frazer, who delivered his findings to the Australian Health and Medical Research Congress, said a vaccine for children aged 10 to 12 could be available in five to 10 years. "

"What we've learnt together, through the study of animal models, is that the skin has natural defences which switch off killer T cells," he told the conference.

"We've also found a number of ways to overcome these blocks and let the immune system work.

"We now want to test vaccines based on this knowledge in clinical trials, to find out whether we can develop vaccines that could be used to treat people at risk of skin cancer."
Public release date: 5-Jan-2009

Federation of American Societies for Experimental Biology

Evolution in action: Our antibodies take 'evolutionary leaps' to fight microbes.

New article in the FASEB Journal explains how 'cluster mutations' help us adapt to infection

With cold and flu season in full swing, the fact that viruses and bacteria rapidly evolve is apparent with every sneeze, sniffle, and cough. A new report in the January 2009 issue of The FASEB Journal (http://www.fasebj.org), explains for the first time how humans keep up with microbes by rearranging the genes that make antibodies to foreign invaders. This research fills a significant gap in our understanding of how the immune system helps us survive.

"We've known for a long time that our antibody-forming system adapts itself to every microbe we encounter," said Gerald Weissmann, M.D., Editor-in-Chief of The FASEB Journal, "but what we didn't understand fully is exactly how this happens. Now that we know, we can begin to find ways to manipulate this process so illnesses can be prevented or made significantly less dangerous."

When the body encounters a foreign invader, like a virus or bacterium, it immediately begins to find a way to neutralize it by means of cellular or antibody-mediated defenses. Part of the process involves tailoring the genes that code for antibodies to specific viruses or bacteria. Researchers have known that this involves two types of genetic manipulation. One type changes a single gene at a time, and the other type changes multiple genes at the same time. In the report, scientists from Wayne State University in Detroit describe how multiple genes can be modified simultaneously to make the "evolutionary leap" necessary to stave off infection. The basic setup of the experiment treated DNA responsible for making antibody molecules with an enzyme, called activation-induced deaminase, while the DNA was being copied by RNA polymerase. Like a scanner, RNA polymerase moves across the DNA to copy it. When this scanning process moved smoothly, there were either single mutations or no mutations. When the researchers made the RNA polymerase stall along the DNA (under certain conditions), it caused several mutations at once (cluster mutations) in the DNA, adapting our antibodies for a rapid and effective response to a new microbial invader.

"As the planet warms, infectious diseases may be one the biggest threats to human survival," Weissmann added. "Nowadays, mosquitoes, parasites and viruses cause diseases in the United States that were once isolated to warmer parts of the world. They evolve, and - a la Darwin - so does our immune system each time we meet a new microbial invader."

Link
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Originally posted by miamizsun:
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Originally posted by GoFish:
I've watch these kinds of stories for years, Deep. They keep suggesting the same thing: We are getting out butts whipped. Losing our edge. We are a society of lazy people who are willing to outsource our competitive spirit.

Of course is is a reflection on our public education system that is perhaps too willing to bend to the will of politicians and even us parents.

Of course fundamentalism does not help and shold be combatted at every opportunity. But I hesitate to blame the Bill Grays of the world for our education woes. I tend to believe that this crisis is a result of our dumbing-down of education. We value football more than academics. We "helicopter parents" bi*ch when the teacher doesn't send Johnny on to the next grade level. We expect our schools to raise our kids and focus on raw test scores rather than fostering academic excellence.

People who are passionate about stopping this stupidity should get involved before we become an academic wasteland.


That's right.

We should be raising our standards to reflect the new and expanded knowledge base. School/education should be increasingly intellectual, not relaxing, or lowering the bar to include the people not making the grade.

BTW, there is a link to Peter Navarro's book on that site, "The Coming China Wars" which should be required reading. Check it out.

The Coming China Wars.


Y'all may be shocked by this, but I agree with both of you. We live in a "dumbed down" society in many ways.
I've been reading about Vitamin D at the Life Extension Foundation lately, and this source looks like it may help confirm their research as well.

Vitamin D 'is mental health aid'

Vitamin D, found in fish and produced by sun exposure, can help stave off the mental decline that can affect people in old age, a study has suggested.

UK and US researchers looked at 2,000 people aged 65 and over.

They found that compared to those with the highest vitamin D levels, those with the lowest were more than twice as likely to have impaired understanding.
This looks very promising....

Meet "Tiny," a mouse grown from induced stem cells.

"Thanks to a little mouse named Tiny, researchers have now shown that full, living mammals can be grown from so-called induced pluripotent stem cells—cells from an adult that act in many ways like embryonic stem cells.

Xiao Xiao, as the rodent is called in its native Chinese, was one of dozens created from induced pluripotent stem cells (iPS cells) and born to a surrogate mother. The process is described in a study published yesterday in Nature (Scientific American is part of Nature Publishing Group).

Researchers used a virus to deliver four genes into fibroblast cells taken from adult mice, triggering the change to iPS cells. These cells were then implanted into an embryo that didn’t have the requisite genetic information for it to develop beyond a placenta. That these implanted embryos developed into full baby mice proved that these cells could indeed do all the work of natural embryonic stem cells."
There was a very good show rather class lecture on University of Cal TV last week on the benefits of Vit D, and what is becoming more and more evident of problems from the lack of it.
Cancers of all types, especially prostate cancer, diabetes, and a host of other "diseases".
They started looking at why black men , especilly those up north, had higher rates of prostate cancer than whites. Found that neither got anywhere near enough, but black people , because of their pigment, got the least.
They NOW are recommending for everyone, at least 15 minutes of direct sun exposure on your bare arms, and legs between the hours of 10 and 2 every day.
Pretty difficult for those who work jobs, but we should all try. They also recommend that if you live above some line they drew on a map that looked kinda like it came through middle Tn, but I couldn't see it that good, that you take a Vit D supplement.
Enough sun in the summer is not a problem for me, but I do take Vit D tabs in the winter.

LMM, that debate over embryonic stem cells as to whether to destroy them (flush them down the toilet) or use them to try to cure devastating diseases , in my opinion should never have happened. Just plane dumb, but I will admit I saw someone in my wife's family die from Hunningtons, and it seems if they could cure that, or other horrible diseases, that is a lot more important than some religious nutcase's unfounded concerns.
This may , like you said, be good news on that front, but I believe they should continue on all fronts to look for cures.
I agree Excell. To throw away the stem cells because it might be considered immoral is stupid when those same cells could be used to cure diseases. I have never argued to destroy them, if the mother of those cells gave rights to the company to do with them what they will, how can that be wrong?

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