Cancer Research Uncovers The Fountain Of Youth, University of Toronto Study

Breast Cancer Research Uncovers The Fountain Of Youth

The Fountain of Youth has been discovered and it’s not in Florida as Ponce de Leon claimed. Instead, it was found in the mammary glands of genetically modified mice.

A research team led by Professor Rama Khokha has found that when two factors that control tissue development are removed, you can avoid the impact of aging.

Think of tissue as a building that is constantly under renovation. The contractors would be “metalloproteinases,” which are constantly working to demolish and reconstruct the tissue. The architects in this case, who are trying to reign in and direct the contractors, are known as “tissue inhibitors of metalloproteinases” — or TIMPs. When the architect and the contractors don’t communicate well, a building can fall down. In the case of tissue, the result can be cancer.

To understand how metalloproteinases and TIMPs interact, medical researchers breed mice that have one or more of the four different types of TIMPs removed. Khokha’s team examined the different combinations and found that when TIMP1 and TIMP3 were removed, breast tissue remained youthful in aged mice. The results are presented in Nature Cell Biology.


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Short people’s ‘DNA linked to increased heart risk’

The study, of nearly 200,000 people, found sections of DNA that control both height and heart health.

The findings, published in the New England Journal of Medicine, showed every extra 2.5in (6.4cm) cut coronary disease incidence by 13.5%

The British Heart Foundation said short people should not be unduly worried and everyone needed a healthy lifestyle.

Coronary heart disease, which includes heart attacks and heart failure, is the leading cause of death in the UK.

More than 73,000 people die from the disease each year.

‘Small’ risk

The idea that height plays a role in heart health was first proposed more than 50 years ago, but researchers did not know why.

Some thought the relationship was a consequence of other factors, such as poor childhood nutrition stunting height and also affecting the heart.

But the study at the University of Leicester suggests the answer lies deeper – inside our DNA.

They analysed 180 genes that have a known link to height………


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New way of using sound waves to find rare cancer cells

The cancer cells that circulate in many patients’ bloodstreams are incredibly rare but potentially dangerous. They break off from existing tumors, traveling to new locations where they can grow into new tumors. Scientists have come up with a better way of looking for these cells—using invisible sound waves.

Existing ways to sort cancer cells out of blood are slow, and they can damage cells, rendering them useless for further tests. Sound waves, however, can gently nudge healthy and cancerous cells apart. Here’s how it works, as explained by MIT’s news office.

The researchers built microfluidic devices with two acoustic transducers, which produce sound waves, on either side of a microchannel. When the two waves meet, they combine to form a standing wave (a wave that remains in constant position). This wave produces pressure nodes, or lines of low pressure. Because the sound waves are tilted so they run across the microchannel at an angle, each cell encounters several pressure nodes as it flows through the channel. As cells encounter each node, they are pushed further to the side of the channel; the distance of cell movement depends on their size and other properties, such as compressibility.

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Computer model predicts how our livers will store fat

Computer model developed to predict how ‘T09’ causes the liver to store fat could be used to predict liver fat storage for other drugs and conditions

As part of an effort to understand how an experimental drug for atherosclerosis causes the build-up of fat in the liver, scientists have developed a computer model that can predict how the rate at which liver stores fat in response to various situations. Being able to model liver fat storage gives researchers a way to predict the side effects of drugs and environmental factors at much earlier stages in the research and drug development process, possibly reducing the number of experiments involving animal models. Additionally, this computer simulation helps describe all of the possible ways in which the liver stores fat, including how the liver takes up or creates fats and how it disposes of fat. This knowledge could lay the foundation for future research regarding the liver and its functions. This was published in the April 2015 issue of The FASEB Journal.



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Personal cancer vaccine research ‘exciting’ say experts

Tailor-made cancer vaccines that target unique genetic errors in a patient’s tumour have been developed in the US.

Safety tests on three people, published in the journal Science, showed the immune system could be trained to fight skin cancers.

The American team say the early results mark a “significant step” towards personalised cancer vaccines.

The charity Cancer Research UK called the tests an “exciting but very early-stage trial”.

UV light can transform healthy skin cells into deadly melanomas by damaging the DNA.

The tumours are a genetic mess, containing hundreds of random mutations that are different in every patient.


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New DNA test makes it easier to pinpoint identical twin responsible for a crime

DNA profiling (or genetic fingerprinting) has proved to be a revolutionary tool for forensic investigators as a means to identify potential suspects, exonerate the innocent and convict the guilty. But, like any forensic technique, it has its limitations. One limitation is in cases involving identical twins, something that has raised technical, legal and ethical problems — until now.

The more closely related one human is to another, the more similar their DNA profiles. For example, the probability of a DNA match between two random, unrelated individuals is in the region of one in a billion. For two full siblings, the probability drops to one in 10,000. Identical twins present the same DNA profile.

In forensic investigations, this presents problems. Under the ethical premise that it is better to let ten guilty men go free than to imprison one innocent man, if the courts cannot decide which twin is responsible then both must go free. There have in fact been a small number of high-profile cases where the suspects were identical twins, leading forensic genetics researchers to explore how this could be addressed. Now we’ve come up with a solution, recently published in the journal Analytical Biochemistry.


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