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Wistar scientists decipher structure of NatA, an enzyme complex that modifies most human proteins | e! Science News

A team of researchers from Philadelphia and Norway has determined the structure of an enzyme complex that modifies one end of most human proteins and is made at elevated levels in numerous forms of cancer.

A study in Nature Structural & Molecular Biology, led by researchers at The Wistar Institute, depicts the structure and the means of action of a protein complex called NatA. Their findings, they believe, will allow them to create an inhibitor -- a potential drug -- that could knock out NatA in order to curb the growth of cancer cells. "NatA appears essential for the growth of cells and their ability to divide, and we can see elevated production of this enzyme in many forms of cancer" said Ronen Marmorstein, Ph.D., senior author, Hilary Koprowski, M.D. Professor, and leader of The Wistar Institute Cancer Center's Gene Expression and Regulation program. "Obviously, this is a particularly appealing drug target and we are currently leveraging our recent understanding of how the protein works to develop small molecules that will bind to and inactivate NatA."

NatA is a member of a family of N-terminal acetyltransferase (NAT) enzymes (or enzyme complexes) that modify proteins in order to control their behavior -- for example by turning proteins on, telling proteins where to move, and tagging proteins or the cell for destruction.

According to Marmorstein, NatA works with an amazing specificity for a particular sequence of amino acids -- the individual building blocks of proteins -- and unraveling the roots of that specificity has proven an alluring puzzle for scientists.


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Lost Tombs

7 Lost Tombs

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Lost Tombs

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In search of history's greatest rulers

By JARRETT A. LOBELL and ERIC A. POWELL

Tuesday, July 16, 2013

The improbable discovery last year of Richard III’s skeleton under a parking lot in Leicester, England, is a reminder that while some burials of great historical figures are lost to posterity, careful archaeological sleuthing could still bring them to light. The debate over where to rebury the notorious English king illustrates how important finding the physical remains of these lost rulers can be. And study of Richard III’s remains promises to add to our understanding of both the man himself and the time he lived in. Finding a ruler’s lost tomb may be the most romantic discovery possible in archaeology, but it can also be an opportunity to create a richer picture of ancient life.

 

Here are the stories behind the lost final resting places of seven great royal figures, which, if found, could give us exciting insights into our collective past. We’ve also added one burial to the list no archaeologist would ever seek out.

 
Nefertiti, Great Royal Wife and Queen of EgyptRuled ca. 1348-1330 B.C.Alexander the Great, King of MacedonRuled 336-323 B.C.Boudicca, Queen of the IceniRuled A.D. 60Alfred, King of WessexRuled A.D. 871-899Genghis Khan, Founder of the Mongol EmpireRuled A.D. 1532-1533Atahualpa, Last Inca EmperorRuled A.D. 1532-1533Kamehameha I, King of HawaiiRuled A.D. 1795-1819Tecumseh, Shawnee LeaderRuled ca. A.D. 1789-1813  NEXT
1 2 3 4 5 Also in this Issue:
July/Aug 2013

The First Vikings
Two remarkable ships may show that the Viking storm was brewing long before their assault on England and the continent

 IN THIS ISSUE


FeaturesThe First VikingsMiniature Pyramids of SudanLost TombsLetter from ChinaFrom the TrenchesNot Quite AncientOff the GridChilling Discovery at JamestownOrigins of the MayaSeeds of Europe's Family TreeFrance’s Wealthy WarriorsDid the “Father of History” Get It Wrong?Apollo Returns from the AbyssAfterlife of a DignitarySpain's Lead-Lined LakesIn Style in the Stone AgePortals to the UnderworldRoman London UndergroundWhale-Barnacle BarbecueThe Human Mosaic

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Research: Ginger Selectively Kills Breast Cancer Cells

Research: Ginger Selectively Kills Breast Cancer Cells | ENT ORL Health | Scoop.it

 

New research published in the Journal of Biomedicine and Biotechnology found that "ginger may be a promising candidate for the treatment of breast carcinomas."[i]  This is a timely finding, insofar as breast cancer awareness month is only days away, and one of the primary fund-raising justifications is the false concept that a low-cost, safe and effective breast cancer treatment is not yet available. Could ginger provide the type of cure that conventional, FDA-approved treatments have yet to accomplish?

 

The new study was performed by researchers at the Biological Sciences Department, Faculty of Sciences, King Abdulaziz University, Saudi Arabia, who discovered that a crude extract derived from the medicinal plant ginger (Zingiber officinale) inhibited the proliferation of breast cancer cells, without significantly affecting the viability of non-tumor breast cells -- a highly promising property known as selective cytotoxicity, not found in conventional treatments.

 

The researchers outline the serious problems with present breast cancer therapies thusly:


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Today Quotes

Quotes

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"The current moguls understand that true media power lies not in firing up our outrage, as Hearst did, but in befuddling it or tranquilizing it with new toys. The idea is to render us passive so that they can exercise their power to sell us a bunch of stuff we mostly don't need and mostly don't want." : Richard Schickel - Brill's Content, July/August 2000, p. 122  "It'll be a great day when education gets all the money it wants and the Air Force has to hold a bake sale to buy bombers.": Author unknown, quoted in You Said a Mouthful edited by Ronald D. Fuchs  "War seems to me to be a mean, contemptible thing: I would rather be hacked in pieces than take part in such an abominable business. And yet so high, in spite of everything, is my opinion of the human race that I believe this bogey would have disappeared long ago, had the sound sense of the nations not been systematically corrupted by commercial and political interests acting through the schools and the Press": Albert Einstein  "A common and natural result of an undue respect for law is that you may see a file of soldiers, colonel, captain, corporal, privates, powder-monkeys, and all marching in admirable order over hill and dale to the wars, against their wills, ay, against their common sense and consciences, which makes it very steep marching indeed, and produces a palpitation of the heart. They have no doubt that it is a damnable business in which they are concerned; they are all peaceably inclined. Now, what are they? Men at all? or small movable forts and magazines, at the service of some unscrupulous man in power?": Henry David Thoreau, On the Duty of Civil Disobedience

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Cord Stem Cells a Potential Arthritis Treatment

Cord Stem Cells a Potential Arthritis Treatment | ENT ORL Health | Scoop.it
Umbilical cord stem cells may be useful in the treatment of rheumatoid arthritis.

Via Ella Buzhor
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Wayne Channon's curator insight, July 14, 2013 9:17 AM

Umbilical cord blood stem cells could be the future of regenerative medicine.

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Stem-Cell Heart Repair Questioned. Why you shouldn't believe everything you read.

Stem-Cell Heart Repair Questioned.  Why you shouldn't believe everything you read. | ENT ORL Health | Scoop.it
A new analysis finds hundreds of discrepancies in publications from a German researcher who claims to have repaired diseased hearts using stem-cell therapy.
 

Via Richard D. Hammer, M.D.
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Richard D. Hammer, M.D.'s curator insight, July 13, 2013 10:28 AM

A set back for sure.  Evaluating studies takes experience and knowledge.  Many published studies are poorly done and have flaws.  Claims are sensationalized by the media and accepted as truth without a rigourous evaluation.

Such was the case with the NIH Womens Health Initiative Study which incorrectly impacted horomone use in women until recent re-evaluation.  Many reviews of the incorrect and overblown conclusions are available.  Yet the impact over a 10 year period was tremendous, decreasing hormone use by 71% and precluding the potential benefits to a large group of women.  

 

While this may not be of the same impact, it is certainly a set back in understanding the use of stem cells.  I firmly believe the future of medicine is in stem cell and cellular therapies.  This doesn't help us get there.