April 24, 2014

Pilgrim Software's 10th Global Customer Conference Lauds 'Success Through Quality'

Pilgrim Software, Inc., a leading provider of cloud and on-premise enterprise quality management solutions, hosted its tenth worldwide customer conference this month.

April 23, 2014

Aastrom Biosciences Acquires Sanofi Cell Therapy And Regenerative Medicine Business

Aastrom Biosciences announced that it has signed a definitive agreement to acquire Sanofi’s Cell Therapy and Regenerative Medicine (CTRM) business for $6.5 million.

Researchers Identify Astrocytes' New Role In Neuronal Communication

Scientists from the University of California, Los Angeles, found that brain cells called astrocytes might play a part in neuronal communication only during bursts of neuron activity.

Biomarker Leads To Cancer Drug Resistance And Tumor Formation

Researchers from the University of California, San Diego School of Medicine have identified CD61, a biomarker present on the surface of drug-resistant tumors, which they believe could shed light on why many drugs used in the treatment of lung, breast, and pancreatic cancer also encourage drug resistance and eventually lead to tumor formation in patients.

NSTDA Discovers New Anti-Malaria Drug

Thailand’s state run National Science and Technology Development Agency, or NSTDA, has developed a new medication for malaria that will soon be tested in clinical trials. The medication, a chemical called P218, was designed to target the malarial enzyme and stop the disease’s DNA from replicating. Researchers have said that the drug can completely destroy malaria parasites, and it won’t be expensive for the country to manufacture.

Antimicrobial Chemical Linked to Breast Cancer

Image: Keerati FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Researchers have discovered that the antimicrobial agent triclosan promotes breast cancer cell growth. Triclosan is used in antibacterial soaps, deodorants, cosmetics, toothpaste, and other household products. Triclosan chemicals function similarly to hormones and cause endocrine system disruptions.

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Beckman Coulter Life Sciences To Acquire Cytometer Maker Xitogen

Beckman Coulter Life Sciences has entered into an agreement to acquire Xitogen Technologies Inc. together with Cytojene Corporation. Xitogen, a flow cytometer developer based in Suzhou and Dalian, China, will provide Beckman Coulter Life Sciences with both a strong operational base in the growing China market and a high quality research instrument to round out their world-class cytometry offering.

April 22, 2014

Scientists identify critical new protein complex involved in learning and memory

Scientists from the Florida campus of The Scripps Research Institute (TSRI) have identified a protein complex that plays a critical but previously unknown role in learning and memory formation.

International team sequences rainbow trout genome

Using fish bred at Washington State University, an international team of researchers has mapped the genetic profile of the rainbow trout, a versatile salmonid whose relatively recent genetic history opens a window into how vertebrates evolve.

3M Moves From Upstream Clarification To Improving Efficiencies In Downstream Purification

At Interphex 2014, Todd and Todd interviewMark Trotter, Marketing Manager with 3M Purification.

Sarepta Therapeutics To File NDA For Muscular Dystrophy Drug

Sarepta Therapeutics, a company focused on developing RNA-based treatments, announced its intent to file a New Drug Application for eteplirsen for the treatment of Duchenne muscular dystrophy (DMD) by the end of 2014.

Researchers To Test Drugs On Micro-Organs Instead Of Mice

Researchers from the Vanderbilt University Medical Center in Nashville, Tennessee, are developing miniaturized living copies of human organs to advance research in drug testing.

Genoa's Inhaled Pirfenidone Shows Potential in Lung Fibrosis

Genoa Pharmaceuticals and collaborators Martin Kolb and Kjetil Ask at McMaster University announced additional measured advantages of inhaled GP-101 (aerosol pirfenidone) in the treatment of idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis (IPF).

Emergent BioSolution's BioThrax Receives FDA Orphan Drug Designation

Emergent BioSolutions announced in a press release that the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has granted BioThrax an Orphan Drug Designation.

New Intelligent Rheometer Responds Intuitively To Individual Quality Control Demands

Industrial QA/QC laboratories that analyze the rheological properties of a wide variety of samples can now increase efficiency and reduce user error with an intelligent rheometer that adapts to an individual’s measurement routines and conditions.

Cocaine-associated splicing

Background: Increasing evidence supports a role for altered gene expression in mediating the lasting effects of cocaine on the brain, and recent work has demonstrated the involvement of chromatin modifications in these alterations. However, all such studies to date have been restricted by their reliance on microarray technologies that have intrinsic limitations. Results: We use next generation sequencing methods, RNA-seq and ChIP-seq for RNA polymerase II and several histone methylation marks, to obtain a more complete view of cocaine-induced changes in gene expression and associated adaptations in numerous modes of chromatin regulation in the mouse nucleus accumbens, a key brain reward region. We demonstrate an unexpectedly large number of pre-mRNA splicing alterations in response to repeated cocaine treatment. In addition, we identify combinations of chromatin changes, or signatures, that correlate with cocaine-dependent regulation of gene expression, including those involving pre-mRNA alternative splicing. Through bioinformatic prediction and biological validation, we identify one particular splicing factor, A2BP1(Rbfox1/Fox-1), which is enriched at genes that display certain chromatin signatures and contributes to drug-induced behavioral abnormalities. Together, this delineation of the cocaine-induced epigenome in the nucleus accumbens reveals several novel modes of regulation by which cocaine alters the brain. Conclusions: We establish combinatorial chromatin and transcriptional profiles in mouse nucleus accumbens after repeated cocaine treatment. These results serve as an important resource for the field and provide a template for the analysis of other systems to reveal new transcriptional and epigenetic mechanisms of neuronal regulation.

April 21, 2014

TB Drug May Fight Other Diseases Yet Avoid Resistance

Chemists from the University of Illinois are studying a new multi-targeted tuberculosis drug that could treat other diseases and yet avoid resistance.

Researchers Identify New Pain Relief Targets For Cancer Patients

Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council (BBSRC) funded researchers at King's College London have identified new targets for pain relief in chemotherapy, especially for patients with cancer.

Cyclenium Pharma And SRI Sign Into Drug Discovery Collaboration

Non-profit scientific research organization Southern Research Institute (SRI) announced that it has entered into a drug discovery and development partnership with Cyclenium Pharma.

Mucosis Partners With Chinese Firm Changchun BCHT Biotechnology

Dutch biotechnology company Mucosis B.V. announced that it has entered into a strategic, long-term collaboration and license agreement with China-based Changchun BCHT Biotechnology Co (BCHT).

BioAlliance Pharma Acquires Biopharmaceutical Firm Topotarget

French pharmaceutical company BioAlliance Pharma has agreed to acquire the Scandinavian biopharmaceutical firm Topotarget.

April 18, 2014

Cancer Cell Gene Activity

This shows dividing human cancer cells as visualized by fluorescence microscopy.
Image: Aki Endo (Lamond Lab)

Researchers have used fluorescence microscopy to visually demonstrate gene activity in cancer cells during the cell cycle. Cancer cells divide uncontrollably and may develop as a result of several factors, including recombination errors that occur during the cell cycle and infections from certain cancer viruses.

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Ca2+-binding Motif of {beta}{gamma}-Crystallins [Molecular Biophysics]

βγ-Crystallin-type double clamp (N/D)(N/D)XX(S/T)S motif is an established but sparsely investigated motif for Ca2+ binding. A βγ-crystallin domain is formed of two Greek key motifs, accommodating two Ca2+-binding sites. βγ-Crystallins make a separate class of Ca2+-binding proteins (CaBP), apparently a major group of CaBP in bacteria. Paralleling the diversity in βγ-crystallin domains, these motifs also show great diversity, both in structure and in function. Although the expression of some of them has been associated with stress, virulence, and adhesion, the functional implications of Ca2+ binding to βγ-crystallins in mediating biological processes are yet to be elucidated.

April 17, 2014

Celldex Reports Positive Phase 1 Results For Tumor Vaccine

Celldex Therapeutics reported positive final data from the Phase I study of its tumor vaccine CDX-1401 in solid tumors.

FDA Develops New Potency Assay For Flu Vaccines; J&J Signs Up As First Partner In Drug Discovery Initiative

FDA Develops New Potency Assay For Flu Vaccines; J&J Signs Up As First Partner In Drug Discovery Initiative

Preventing Flu Virus Replication

Influenza Virus Particles
Image: CDC/Frederick Murphy

With influenza viruses developing resistance to current antiviral drugs, it is increasingly important that new antiviral drugs be developed. University of Texas at Austin researchers have identified a protein in influenza A viruses that could be a potential target for new antiviral drugs. When viruses infect cells, they use the host's own genetic machinery to make more virus particles. The body responds with its own antiviral protein DDX21, which blocks the viral replication process. The influenza A virus then counters with the viral protein NS1, which blocks DDX21 and allows viral replication to continue.

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