A paradigm-changing study by cancer researchers and computer scientists at the University of California San Diego and other institutions found that short fragments of circular DNA that encode cancer genes are far more common in cancer cells than previously believed. Published online in the journal Nature, the study* also concluded that the circular DNA probably plays a central role in generating the cellular diversity that makes advanced cancers so difficult to treat. The new findings are likely to change the way tumor evolution is understood by scientists and could ultimately lead to new ways to prevent and treat many malignancies.
A newly discovered type of genetic mutation that occurs frequently in cancer cells may provide clues about the disease’s origins and offer new therapeutic targets, according to new research from Weill Cornell Medicine and the New York Genome Center
Scientists at The Wistar Institute and Inovio Pharmaceuticals, Inc. have devised a novel DNA vaccine approach through molecular design to improve the immune responses elicited against one of the most important cancer antigen targets. Study results were published in the journal Molecular Therapy.
Scientists at The Wistar Institute have shown that an anti-diabetic drug can inhibit the growth of melanoma in older patients by activating an anti-aging gene that in turn inhibits a protein involved in metastatic progression and resistance to targeted therapies for the disease. The study was published online in Clinical Cancer Research.
Losing a breast or a lung to cancer leaves a scar, both physical and emotional. But even a biopsy to determine if a tumor is cancerous, or to track a tumor’s response to drugs, brings short-term pain and can miss signs of metastasis. So, the possibility of a scalpel-free biopsy has been something of a holy grail — a way to relieve trauma, speed diagnosis and shrink medical bills.
Infectious diarrhea, a common disease of children, is responsible for over 2 million infant deaths annually in developing counties alone. A primary cause of this and other devastating conditions is enteropathogenic bacteria, which attack the intestinal tract when contaminated food is consumed.The infection process involves hundreds of genes and proteins, both in the infectious bacteria and the human host. However, the processes by which the pathogens establish themselves in our gut are poorly understood.
For decades, scientists working with genetic material have labored with a few basic rules in mind. To start, DNA is transcribed into messenger RNA (mRNA), and mRNA is translated into proteins, which are essential for almost all biological functions. A central principle regarding translation has long held that only a small number of three-letter sequences in mRNA, known as start codons, could trigger the production of proteins. But researchers might need to revisit and possibly rewrite this rule, after recent measurements from a team including scientists from the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST).
DNA, the stuff of life, may very well also pack quite the jolt for engineers trying to advance the development of tiny, low-cost electronic devices. Much like flipping your light switch at home---only on a scale 1,000 times smaller than a human hair---an ASU-led team has now developed the first controllable DNA switch to regulate the flow of electricity within a single, atomic-sized molecule.
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