Drugs used to treat the tumors common in people with a disorder called neurofibromatosis 1 rarely work, and scientists now know why. The chemotherapy drugs target a group of related proteins, call RAS proteins, which are thought to be responsible for these tumors. But researchers at Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis found that the disease affects only one member of the protein family, and it happens to be the one form of RAS that does not respond well to these particular treatments.
The study, which will appear in the Jan. 1 issue of the journal Cancer Research, suggests where researchers should now look for more promising approaches to treating neurofibromatosis tumors, and may help scientists understand other cancers related to RAS. "The downside is our study proves were not using the right therapies for this particular problem," says principal investigator David H. Gutmann, M.D., Ph.D., the Donald O. Schnuck Family Professor of Neurology and professor of genetics and of pediatrics. "But theres a chance to make lemonade out of this lemon: We now have a rational reason for why these drugs arent working, so we should be able to explore new, more effective treatment options."
About one in 4,000 newborns has neurofibromatosis 1, in which every cell in the body has one normal and one mutated copy of a gene called NF1. If a cells normal copy also is mutated, tumors can form. Children with neurofibromatosis 1 are therefore predisposed to developing a variety of serious complications as they grow older, including skin, spine and brain cancers.
Gila Z. Reckess | EurekAlert!
The personality factor: How to foster the sharing of research data
06.09.2017 | ZBW – Leibniz-Informationszentrum Wirtschaft
Europe’s Demographic Future. Where the Regions Are Heading after a Decade of Crises
10.08.2017 | Berlin-Institut für Bevölkerung und Entwicklung
At the productronica trade fair in Munich this November, the Fraunhofer Institute for Laser Technology ILT will be presenting Laser-Based Tape-Automated Bonding, LaserTAB for short. The experts from Aachen will be demonstrating how new battery cells and power electronics can be micro-welded more efficiently and precisely than ever before thanks to new optics and robot support.
Fraunhofer ILT from Aachen relies on a clever combination of robotics and a laser scanner with new optics as well as process monitoring, which it has developed...
Plants and algae use the enzyme Rubisco to fix carbon dioxide, removing it from the atmosphere and converting it into biomass. Algae have figured out a way to increase the efficiency of carbon fixation. They gather most of their Rubisco into a ball-shaped microcompartment called the pyrenoid, which they flood with a high local concentration of carbon dioxide. A team of scientists at Princeton University, the Carnegie Institution for Science, Stanford University and the Max Plank Institute of Biochemistry have unravelled the mysteries of how the pyrenoid is assembled. These insights can help to engineer crops that remove more carbon dioxide from the atmosphere while producing more food.
A warming planet
Our brains house extremely complex neuronal circuits, whose detailed structures are still largely unknown. This is especially true for the so-called cerebral cortex of mammals, where among other things vision, thoughts or spatial orientation are being computed. Here the rules by which nerve cells are connected to each other are only partly understood. A team of scientists around Moritz Helmstaedter at the Frankfiurt Max Planck Institute for Brain Research and Helene Schmidt (Humboldt University in Berlin) have now discovered a surprisingly precise nerve cell connectivity pattern in the part of the cerebral cortex that is responsible for orienting the individual animal or human in space.
The researchers report online in Nature (Schmidt et al., 2017. Axonal synapse sorting in medial entorhinal cortex, DOI: 10.1038/nature24005) that synapses in...
Whispering gallery mode (WGM) resonators are used to make tiny micro-lasers, sensors, switches, routers and other devices. These tiny structures rely on a...
Using ultrafast flashes of laser and x-ray radiation, scientists at the Max Planck Institute of Quantum Optics (Garching, Germany) took snapshots of the briefest electron motion inside a solid material to date. The electron motion lasted only 750 billionths of the billionth of a second before it fainted, setting a new record of human capability to capture ultrafast processes inside solids!
When x-rays shine onto solid materials or large molecules, an electron is pushed away from its original place near the nucleus of the atom, leaving a hole...
19.09.2017 | Event News
12.09.2017 | Event News
06.09.2017 | Event News
25.09.2017 | Power and Electrical Engineering
25.09.2017 | Health and Medicine
25.09.2017 | Physics and Astronomy