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.

In sex-reversed cave insects, females have the penises


This shows the female penis of N. aurora.
Researchers reporting in the Cell Press journal Current Biology on April 17 have discovered little-known cave insects with rather novel sex lives. The Brazilian insects, which represent four distinct but related species in the genus Neotrogla, are the first example of an animal with sex-reversed genitalia.

Some immune cells defend only 1 organ

Scientists have uncovered a new way the immune system may fight cancers and viral infections. The finding could aid efforts to use immune cells to treat illness.

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.

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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Microsart @media: Maximum Safety In Microbiological Quality Control

Sartorius Stedim Biotech (SSB), a leading global supplier for the pharmaceutical and biotech industries, is introducing Microsart @media to complement Microsart @vance, a product line for microbiological quality control in these sectors.

April 16, 2014

Wilson Therapeutics Gets $40M In Private Funding For WD Program

Biopharmaceutical company Wilson Therapeutics announced that it has secured $40 million in Series B financing for its late stage development program for Wilson’s disease treatments.

U-M Researchers Use Silly Putty Ingredient To Study Stem Cells

Researchers from the University of Michigan have discovered how mechanical forces in the environment influence stem cell growth and differentiation. The scientists arrived at the findings using a key ingredient in Silly Putty for their experiments.

Influence Of Silanol Content, Humidity And Temperature On Efficacy Of A Silica Based Carrier

Recently, silica based carriers have been widely used for the adsorption of oily and lipid based formulations. Using silica as adsorbent, liquid self emulsifying drug delivery systems could be formulated in tablet or capsule oral dosage form. For this application, an ideal carrier is one which possesses high adsorption capacity and immediate desorption or release at desired site. Three different types of carriers like Granulated fumed silica (GFS) Syloid® XDP-Mesoporous silica gel (MSG) and Magnesium aluminum silicate (MAS) were selected for this study. By Yogesh Choudhari, Upendra Reddy, and Fred Monsuur, Grace

New Blood-based Assay May Help Predict Breast Cancer Recurrence

A non-invasive blood-based assay called cMethDNA has shown high sensitivity in early detection of breast cancer recurrence. The assay also showed promise as a viable tool in predicting treatment outcome in patients.

Nanoparticles Zero In On Cancer With Triple Chemo Drugs

Chemists from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology have found a new way to build nanoparticles designed to deliver chemotherapy drugs directly to tumors and cancer.

Challenges In Biosimilar Monoclonal Antibody Cell Culture Process Development — Media Optimization Is A Key To Success

Biosimilar, a term synonymous to "follow-on biologic" requires very stringent and high standards of comparability with the original biologic drug that is being replicated. Unlike conventional small molecules and chemical generics, "biogenerics" or biosimilars, especially monoclonal antibodies, have complex structure and function that are affected by slight changes in the manufacturing process.

Southwest Airlines Cargo Delivers The Industry's Top Awards

Southwest Airlines Cargo is leader of the pack when it comes to running a successful operation. The airline was recently named the Airforwarders Association’s “Domestic Carrier of the Year” for the fifth year in a row. It also earned the Express Delivery & Logistics Association’s (XLA) “Domestic Airline of the Year.” This is the 14th year in a row Southwest has won the award.

April 15, 2014

MGH Findings Suggest Novel Treatment Approach For Brain Tumors

A team of investigators from the Massachusetts General Hospital (MGH) has identified four transcription factors characterizing the small proportion of glioblastoma cells behind the aggressiveness and treatment resistance of the brain tumor. The team’s findings suggest a novel approach to treating glioblastoma stem cells.

J&J Signs Up As First Partner In TSRI's Drug Discovery Initiative

The Scripps Research Institute (TSRI) announced that the California-based Johnson & Johnson Innovation Center is its first collaborator in Scripps Advance, its new drug discovery initiative.

FDA Develops New Potency Assay For Flu Vaccines

Scientists at the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has developed a new laboratory assay that could speed up the launch of pandemic influenza vaccines to the public by cutting the length of time it takes to test vaccine potency.

UAB Building Drug Discovery Center To Combat West Nile Virus And Influenza

The University of Alabama at Birmingham announced last month that it is building a new drug discovery center in order to develop drug treatments for viral infections with limited options for treatment.

Scientists Find Printing 3D Tumors Could Aid Cancer Research

Researchers at Drexel University have begun using 3D printing in order to further study the cancer cells that make up tumors.

New Study Highlights Benefits Of Combining Light Scattering And Refractive Index Detectors Designed Specifically For UHPLC Applications

Wyatt Technology Corporation, the world leader in absolute macromolecular characterization instrumentation and software, has announced the availability of a new application note which outlines the combined use of the Wyatt μDAWN multi-angle light scattering (MALS) detectorand the Optilab UT-rEX refractive index (RI) detector to measure the absolute molecular weight (or molar mass) and size of eluting species in ultra high performance liquid chromatography (UHPLC),

April 14, 2014

Enzyme Shows Promise For Asthma And Cancer Treatments

Scientists from the Johns Hopkins Kimmel Cancer Center have identified the enzyme SKG1 as a promising target for asthma therapy and for bolstering effects of certain anti-cancer treatments.

Albireo Lead Compound A4250 Shows Promise Against Liver Injury In Mice

Swedish biotechnology company Albireo announced that its lead compound A4250 for cholestatic liver disease was successful in protecting against bile acid-mediated cholestatic liver damage in mice.

UCI Team Discovers Bone Marrow Stem Cells' Potential In Stroke Recovery

Bone marrow stem cells may help in stroke recovery, according to a team of researchers from the University of California, Irvine’s Sue and Bill Gross Stem Cell Research Center.

Irvine Scientific Announces Expansion Of BalanCD™ Product Line To Serve Vaccine Market

Irvine Scientific is pleased to announce the launch of its BalanCD™ MDCK cell culture medium, a next generation cell culture product responding to today’s requirements for media used in cell-based vaccine manufacturing. This new flagship product expands Irvine Scientific’s current BalanCD product portfolio of animal component-free and chemically-defined media with the addition of a new purpose-built product.

Genomics by the beach

A report on the 35th Annual Lorne Genome Conference 2014 held in Lorne, Victoria, Australia, February 16–18, 2014.