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  • May 5, 2017
  • 07:00 AM
  • 83 views

Friday Fellow: Toxo

by Piter Boll in Earthling Nature

by Piter Kehoma Boll If I had to bet on a parasite that you who are reading this probably have in your body, I’d go for today’s fellow, the protist Toxoplasma gondii, sometimes simply called toxo. Found worldwide, the toxo is … Continue reading →... Read more »

Tenter, A., Heckeroth, A., & Weiss, L. (2000) Toxoplasma gondii: from animals to humans. International Journal for Parasitology, 30(12-13), 1217-1258. DOI: 10.1016/S0020-7519(00)00124-7  

  • November 11, 2016
  • 05:10 AM
  • 452 views

RCC clinical trials: positive results and new phase III clinical study

by Joana Guedes in BHD Research Blog

Renal cell carcinoma (RCC) is by far the most common type of kidney cancer and it can be caused by genetic conditions such as BHD (Randall et al., 2014). BHD patients can develop multiple kidney tumours. In most cases these tumours can be surgically removed. However, surgery and traditional chemotherapies can leave patients with reduced renal function and at risk of relapse. In addition, advanced or metastatic RCC is difficult to treat with surgery. Therefore, the development and improvement o........ Read more »

  • October 5, 2016
  • 09:06 AM
  • 775 views

Of microbes and men: Evolving as one and terraforming earth

by gdw in FictionalFieldwork

Me and my microbes In the past decade or so, the microbiota, the community of microbes that makes its home in the guts of humans and other animals, has become quite a popular research topic. Quite rightly so, since our little guests seem to affect aspects of our lives that we wouldn’t necessarily consider to […]... Read more »

Faria VG, Martins NE, Magalhães S, Paulo TF, Nolte V, Schlötterer C, Sucena É, & Teixeira L. (2016) Drosophila Adaptation to Viral Infection through Defensive Symbiont Evolution. PLoS genetics, 12(9). PMID: 27684942  

Solé RV, Montañez R, & Duran-Nebreda S. (2015) Synthetic circuit designs for earth terraformation. Biology direct, 37. PMID: 26187273  

  • July 8, 2016
  • 12:38 PM
  • 664 views

FNIP1 and FNIP2 inhibit Hsp90 chaperone cycle and enhance drug binding

by Joana Guedes in BHD Research Blog

Heat shock protein-90 (Hsp90) is a molecular chaperone required for folding, stability and activity of many proteins, known as clients, including drivers of tumour initiation, progression and metastasis (Rohl et al. 2013). ATPase binding and hydrolysis is essential for the chaperone function of Hsp90. ATPase function is regulated by other proteins known as co-chaperones. In an interesting new study, Woodford et al. (2016) show that the stability of the tumour suppressor folliculin (FLCN), whose ........ Read more »

Woodford MR, Dunn DM, Blanden AR, Capriotti D, Loiselle D, Prodromou C, Panaretou B, Hughes PF, Smith A, Ackerman W.... (2016) The FNIP co-chaperones decelerate the Hsp90 chaperone cycle and enhance drug binding. Nature communications, 12037. PMID: 27353360  

  • June 15, 2016
  • 08:05 AM
  • 766 views

Tricky Little Buggers

by Mark Lasbury in As Many Exceptions As Rules

Evolution brings wisdom with age – and bacteria are ancient. Bacteria have evolved defenses ranging from evasion or inhibition of immune systems to protecting crucial functions from environmental injury. New studies have identified spring-loaded spikes that can be assembled and disassembled for puncturing other bacteria and delivering toxins, while other work is focused on using those same toxins to kill antibiotic resistant organisms, with E. coli have been engineered to produce toxins ag........ Read more »

Basler, M., Pilhofer, M., Henderson, G., Jensen, G., & Mekalanos, J. (2012) Type VI secretion requires a dynamic contractile phage tail-like structure. Nature, 483(7388), 182-186. DOI: 10.1038/nature10846  

Saeidi, N., Wong, C., Lo, T., Nguyen, H., Ling, H., Leong, S., Poh, C., & Chang, M. (2011) Engineering microbes to sense and eradicate Pseudomonas aeruginosa, a human pathogen. Molecular Systems Biology. DOI: 10.1038/msb.2011.55  

  • June 8, 2016
  • 09:25 AM
  • 712 views

Immune To Evolution

by Mark Lasbury in As Many Exceptions As Rules

Recent studies show that plant immune reactions include responses that are adaptive. Even more amazing, these responses include the recruitment of parasitic wasps to combat some herbivorous invaders. In addition, several plant chemicals that prime the immune responses have been identified, leading to a sort of immune memory. Plants do all this without a classical immune system. Once again, plants show us that in many ways, they are more complex than mammals.... Read more »

Fatouros, N., Lucas-Barbosa, D., Weldegergis, B., Pashalidou, F., van Loon, J., Dicke, M., Harvey, J., Gols, R., & Huigens, M. (2012) Plant Volatiles Induced by Herbivore Egg Deposition Affect Insects of Different Trophic Levels. PLoS ONE, 7(8). DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0043607  

Yun, B., Feechan, A., Yin, M., Saidi, N., Le Bihan, T., Yu, M., Moore, J., Kang, J., Kwon, E., Spoel, S.... (2011) S-nitrosylation of NADPH oxidase regulates cell death in plant immunity. Nature, 264-268. DOI: 10.1038/nature10427  

  • June 1, 2016
  • 08:10 AM
  • 688 views

The Dirt On Staying Healthy

by Mark Lasbury in As Many Exceptions As Rules

Triclosan is the active ingredient in many anti-bacterial products, but does it make our environment too clean? The hygiene hypothesis states that early childhood exposure to certain antigens can help to balance and control the immune system, and therefore result in lower levels of food and seasonal allergies. One particularly important antigen seems to be arabinogalactan, a fiber/sugar molecule found on farms – maybe that’s why farmers’ kids have lower levels of food and other........ Read more »

Gennady Cherednichenkoa, Rui Zhanga, Roger A. Bannisterb,Valeriy Timofeyevc, Ning Lic, Erika B. Fritscha, Wei Fenga, Genaro C. Barrientosa, Nils H. Schebbd, Bruce D. Hammockd, Kurt G. Beame, Nipavan Chiamvimonvatc, and Isaac N. Pessaha. (2012) Triclosan impairs excitation–contraction coupling and Ca2 dynamics in striated muscle. PNAS. DOI: 10.1073/pnas.1211314109  

  • May 25, 2016
  • 07:45 AM
  • 678 views

Don't Be So Sensitive

by Mark Lasbury in As Many Exceptions As Rules

Just like some people have a tendency to go overboard, so do some immune systems. Here’s all the ways that your immune system can get it wrong and leave you with allergies – and how some allergies can save your life.... Read more »

Calboli FC, Cox DG, Buring JE, Gaziano JM, Ma J, Stampfer M, Willett WC, Tworoger SS, Hunter DJ, Camargo CA Jr, Michaud DS. (2011) Prediagnostic plasma IgE levels and risk of adult glioma in four prospective cohort studies. J Natl Cancer Inst. . DOI: 10.1093/jnci/djr361  

  • May 18, 2016
  • 09:15 AM
  • 889 views

Ironing Out The Black Death

by Mark Lasbury in As Many Exceptions As Rules

The black plague has taken the lives of millions over the centuries. Recent evidence shows that a small number of genetic changes were required to allow Y. pestis to use fleas as a vector. This increased Y. pestis virulence in humans, and might have wiped us out if it weren't for a genetic disease called hereditary hemochromatosis.... Read more »

  • May 11, 2016
  • 06:50 AM
  • 857 views

Viva La Evolution

by Mark Lasbury in As Many Exceptions As Rules

In our continuing story of how being sick can save you, how about three genetic diseases and a genetic condition that can save you from malaria. The genetic diseases might kill you, but usually after you procreate, and that is better for the species than being killed by malaria as a child. Evolution is an emotionless mistress.... Read more »

  • April 29, 2016
  • 11:02 AM
  • 860 views

Bringing ‘Dirty’ Mice Into Labs Opens A World Of Possibilities

by Rita dos Santos Silva in United Academics

Treating immune disorders might have gotten easier with a new mouse model.... Read more »

  • April 27, 2016
  • 08:35 AM
  • 943 views

Your Body Has A Photographic Memory

by Mark Lasbury in As Many Exceptions As Rules

For the first time anywhere - an easy explanation of your immune system in 1500 words! For the low, low price of zero dollars you can find out how your body protects you better the second time you are exposed to a disease. Special bonus offer – we’ll throw in how vaccines work and why you need one every year for the flu, although your old flu vaccines might still be helping you. ... Read more »

  • April 20, 2016
  • 09:30 AM
  • 922 views

Lucky For Me, I'm Diseased

by Mark Lasbury in As Many Exceptions As Rules

When people are sick we isolate, we feel sorry for them, we avoid them. But we don’t think about the many times that being sick is actually good for your health. One example – vaccines. Many vaccines give you disease to prevent disease. Unfortunately, too many people are foregoing vaccination for their children based on fraudulent data. Think anti-vaxxers don’t affect you because you and your kids are vaccinated? Read on and learn better.... Read more »

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). (2012) Pertussis epidemic - washington, 2012. MMWR. Morbidity and mortality weekly report, 517-22. PMID: 22810264  

  • April 8, 2016
  • 09:56 AM
  • 762 views

The Antibacterial Resistance Threat: Are We Heading Toward a Post-Antibiotic Era?

by EE Giorgi in CHIMERAS

Source: PEW Charitable TrustsThe above graphic, from the Antibiotic Resistance Project by the PEW charitable trusts, summarizes how alarming the emergence of drug resistant bacterial strains has gotten over the past few decades. According to data from the Center for Disease Control (CDC), every year 2 million Americans acquire drug-resistant infections [1], in other words infections that do not respond to treatment with ordinary antibiotics. Not only do drug-resistant infections require muc........ Read more »

Hollis, A., & Ahmed, Z. (2013) Preserving Antibiotics, Rationally. New England Journal of Medicine, 369(26), 2474-2476. DOI: 10.1056/NEJMp1311479  

Cherednichenko, G., Zhang, R., Bannister, R., Timofeyev, V., Li, N., Fritsch, E., Feng, W., Barrientos, G., Schebb, N., Hammock, B.... (2012) Triclosan impairs excitation-contraction coupling and Ca2 dynamics in striated muscle. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, 109(35), 14158-14163. DOI: 10.1073/pnas.1211314109  

Van Boeckel, T., Brower, C., Gilbert, M., Grenfell, B., Levin, S., Robinson, T., Teillant, A., & Laxminarayan, R. (2015) Global trends in antimicrobial use in food animals. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, 112(18), 5649-5654. DOI: 10.1073/pnas.1503141112  

  • April 1, 2016
  • 10:12 AM
  • 754 views

Allergies: Can Too Much Hygiene Actually Harm Us?

by EE Giorgi in CHIMERAS

It's that time of the year again. You step out of the house and your eyes itch, your nose starts running and your head feels like an empty balloon. Yes, it's allergy season again. Even the resilient ones, give them enough time and eventually they will develop some form of allergic reaction. But what are allergies and why do so many people suffer from them?Allergies are a glitch in our immune system. The immune system is built to recognize and destroy pathogens -- potential threats like viruses........ Read more »

Ziska, L., Knowlton, K., Rogers, C., Dalan, D., Tierney, N., Elder, M., Filley, W., Shropshire, J., Ford, L., Hedberg, C.... (2011) Recent warming by latitude associated with increased length of ragweed pollen season in central North America. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, 108(10), 4248-4251. DOI: 10.1073/pnas.1014107108  

Platts-Mills, T. (2015) The allergy epidemics: 1870-2010. Journal of Allergy and Clinical Immunology, 136(1), 3-13. DOI: 10.1016/j.jaci.2015.03.048  

Strachan DP. (1989) Hay fever, hygiene, and household size. BMJ (Clinical research ed.), 299(6710), 1259-60. PMID: 2513902  

Molloy, J., Allen, K., Collier, F., Tang, M., Ward, A., & Vuillermin, P. (2013) The Potential Link between Gut Microbiota and IgE-Mediated Food Allergy in Early Life. International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health, 10(12), 7235-7256. DOI: 10.3390/ijerph10127235  

  • March 16, 2016
  • 09:59 AM
  • 854 views

An open letter to all science lovers who want to defend science ... please don't.

by EE Giorgi in CHIMERAS

Last week I had an animated discussion on Facebook over an older post in which I describe some literature I dug out on possible (underline “possible”!) correlations with autism. True, my post is highly incomplete, but it was meant as a discussion starter to point at things that scientists have been looking at in an attempt to unravel what feels like a rise in autism. Is autism the new childhood plague of our modern society or has it always been around and we just became more aware of it? And........ Read more »

Kushak RI, Buie TM, Murray KF, Newburg DS, Chen C, Nestoridi E, & Winter HS. (2016) Evaluation of Intestinal Function in Children with Autism and Gastrointestinal Symptoms. Journal of pediatric gastroenterology and nutrition. PMID: 26913756  

Heijtz, R., Wang, S., Anuar, F., Qian, Y., Bjorkholm, B., Samuelsson, A., Hibberd, M., Forssberg, H., & Pettersson, S. (2011) Normal gut microbiota modulates brain development and behavior. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, 108(7), 3047-3052. DOI: 10.1073/pnas.1010529108  

Mulle, J., Sharp, W., & Cubells, J. (2013) The Gut Microbiome: A New Frontier in Autism Research. Current Psychiatry Reports, 15(2). DOI: 10.1007/s11920-012-0337-0  

  • February 25, 2016
  • 01:53 PM
  • 991 views

How coconuts bring harm and healing

by Rosin Cerate in Rosin Cerate

Curries, macaroons, piña coladas...where would we be without the captivating culinary contributions of the coconut?... Read more »

Campbell-Falck D, Thomas T, Falck TM, Tutuo N, & Clem K. (2000) The intravenous use of coconut water. The American Journal of Emergency Medicine, 18(1), 108-111. PMID: 10674546  

Mulford JS, Oberli H, & Tovosia S. (2001) Coconut palm-related injuries in the Pacific Islands. ANZ Journal of Surgery, 71(1), 32-34. PMID: 11167595  

  • February 12, 2016
  • 09:20 AM
  • 843 views

The Zika outbreak: a wake-up call about climate change?

by EE Giorgi in CHIMERAS

People are still talking about the Ebola virus and its deadly outbreak in West Africa, and now a new virus is making the headlines: mostly innocuous and fairly unknown until a few weeks ago, the Zika virus is suddenly dominating the news for its putative link with a congenital birth defect that causes babies to be born with abnormally small heads and undeveloped brains. But what is the Zika virus, and how can it be harmless to most people yet cause such harm to an unborn fetus? To answer this qu........ Read more »

Paul Shapshak , Charurut Somboonwit, Brian T. Foley, Sally F. Alrabaa, Todd Wills, John T. Sinnott. (2015) Zika Virus. Global Virology I - Identifying and Investigating Viral Diseases. Springer-Verlag. info:/

  • January 14, 2016
  • 05:49 PM
  • 487 views

Separate Roles For Protein Kinases in Embryo Development and Cancer

by Marie Benz in MedicalResearch.com

More on Protein Kinases on MedicalResearch.com MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Dr Angus Cameron Kinase Biology Laboratory Barts Cancer Institute at Queen Mary University of London and Professor Peter Parker Protein Phosphorylation Laboratory The Francis Crick Institute Medical Research: What is the … Continue reading →
The post Separate Roles For Protein Kinases in Embryo Development and Cancer appeared first on MedicalResearch.com.
... Read more »

Dr Angus Cameron and, & Professor Peter Parker. (2016) Separate Roles For Protein Kinases in Embryo Development and Cancer. MedicalResearch.com. info:/

  • January 9, 2016
  • 03:36 PM
  • 863 views

Turning to the “Infected Jelly” to Treat Ebola

by Pranab Chatterjee in Scepticemia

The NEJM has come out with a very interesting paper: Evaluation of Convalescent Plasma for Ebola Virus Disease in Guinea. The explosive outbreak of Ebola Virus Disease in West Africa last year had hijacked the headlines and media space in a big way. Multiple solutions were touted, including the vaccine trial STRIVE. Few articles, however, looked…... Read more »

van Griensven J, Edwards T, de Lamballerie X, Semple MG, Gallian P, Baize S, Horby PW, Raoul H, Magassouba N, Antierens A.... (2016) Evaluation of Convalescent Plasma for Ebola Virus Disease in Guinea. The New England journal of medicine, 374(1), 33-42. PMID: 26735992  

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