Weekly Research Roundup: 12/04/2017 Edition

Here’s a quick rundown of some the most interesting research articles from the last week or so, in no particular order:

From Horses to Humans: Uncovering a Clue to Sore Throats – from HealthDay:

“The fight against germs that cause millions of sore throats each year may have gotten a boost from horses.  Working in partnership, scientists from the Animal Health Trust, a veterinary and scientific research charity in the United Kingdom, and those from the Houston Methodist Research Institute in Texas identified new genes that help explain how the bacteria survive in people.  Infections caused by the bacteria — Streptococcus pyogenes — have surged in the past two decades, according to the researchers. They say the bug is the culprit behind 600 million sore throats caused by inflammation each year, with infection often leading to invasive disease…”

New Technique Reduces Side-Effects, Improves Delivery of Chemotherapy Nanodrugs – from Carnegie Mellon University:

“Carnegie Mellon University researchers have developed a new method for delivering chemotherapy nanodrugs that increases the drugs’ bioavailability and reduces side-effects. Their study, published online in Scientific Reports, shows that administering an FDA-approved nutrition source prior to chemotherapy can reduce the amount of the toxic drugs that settle in the spleen, liver and kidneys…”

HPV vaccine is safe, effective after 10 years: study – from Global News:

“New research looking into the long-term effects of the human papillomavirus (HPV) vaccine has found it to be both safe and effective in protecting against the most virulent strains of the virus.  Led by Dr. Daron G. Ferris, professor in the Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology at the Medical College of Georgia and at the Georgia Cancer Center at Augusta University, the study is the longest followup to date on the vaccine, looking at data from 1,661 male and female participants who were followed for just under 10 years…”

Critical Link Between Obesity and Diabetes Identified – from UT Southwestern:

“UT Southwestern researchers have identified a major mechanism by which obesity causes type 2 diabetes, which is a common complication of being overweight that afflicts more than 30 million Americans and over 400 million people worldwide.   Researchers found that in obesity, insulin released into the blood by the pancreas is unable to pass through the cells that form the inner lining of blood vessels…”

Radiographs of Dolly’s skeleton show no signs of abnormal osteoarthritis – from University of Nottingham:

“Original concerns that cloning caused early-onset osteoarthritis (OA) in Dolly the sheep are unfounded, say experts at the University of Nottingham and the University of Glasgow.  The team, who published last year’s Nottingham Dollies research which showed that the 8 year-old Nottingham ‘Dollies’ had aged normally, have now published a radiographic assessment of the skeletons of Dolly herself, Bonnie (her naturally conceived daughter) and Megan and Morag (the first two animals to be cloned from differentiated cells)…”

New Vaccine Technique Effectively Fights Breast Cancer in Mice – from University of Copenhagen:

“A new vaccine technique can fight a certain type of breast cancer in mice. So-called HER2-positive breast cancer accounts for between 20 and 30 per cent of all cases of breast cancer in humans. Researchers from the University of Copenhagen and the University of Bologna now show that the same type of cancer can be fought in mice with help of their new vaccine…”

Protein Found Only in Old World Primates Halts Rheumatoid Arthritis Progression – from ALN:

“A protein found only in Old World monkeys has the potential to treat rheumatoid arthritis better than established treatments, according to new lab rat research published in PLOS One.  Rheumatoid arthritis or RA, an autoimmune disease, affects approximately 1.5 million people in the United States.  Previous research indicated that θ-defensin 1 (RTD-1), a circular protein found only in non-human primates that live in Asia, the Middle East, and Africa, was effective at modulating inflammation in animal models of infection…”

Why Is This Bacterium Hiding in Human Tumors? – from The New York Times:

“A mysterious bacterium found in up to half of all colon tumors also travels with the cancer as it spreads, researchers reported on Thursday.  Whether the bacterium, called Fusobacterium nucleatum, actually plays a role in causing or spurring the growth of cancer is not known. But the new study, published in the journal Science, also shows that an antibiotic that squelches this organism slows the growth of cancer cells in mice…”

Diet Success May Depend on Your DNA – from Texas A&M University:

“We can add one more thing to the list of traits affected by genetics: how our bodies respond to a particular diet.  Research in animal models with different genetics shows that one diet really doesn’t fit all, and what works for some may not be best for others, according to a Texas A&M study published in the journal Genetics.  “Dietary advice, whether it comes from the United States government or some other organization, tends to be based on the theory that there is going to be one diet that will help everyone,” said David Threadgill, PhD, with the Texas A&M College of Medicine and College of Veterinary Medicine & Biomedical Sciences, senior author of the study…”

‘Mind’s eye blink’ proves ‘paying attention’ is not just a figure of speech – from Vanderbilt University:

“When your attention shifts from one place to another, your brain blinks. The blinks are momentary unconscious gaps in visual perception and came as a surprise to the team of Vanderbilt psychologists who discovered the phenomenon while studying the benefits of attention.  “Attention is beneficial because it increases our ability to detect visual signals even when we are looking in a different direction,” said Assistant Professor of Psychology Alex Maier, who directed the study…”


Header image courtesy of Tina Phillips at FreeDigitalPhotos.net

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