A successful, and novel, technique to kill metastatic breast cancer cells by circumventing their chemo- and radioresistant mechanisms was by presented by Dr John Giannios, Head of Radiotherapeutic Cancer Research at the IASO Hospital, Athens, Greece at the 18th Meeting of the European Association for Cancer Research today (Tuesday 6 July 2004).
Advanced breast cancer, with metastases to lung and bone, has a very poor prognosis and current treatment protocols for this stage of disease generally result in survival periods of less than two years. One of the reasons for this poor prognosis is that metastatic cancer cells are less responsive to treatment than primary tumour cells. This is partly caused by the fact that the normal cell death process (apoptosis) is repressed by the overexpression of oncogenes such as bcl-2, HER-2, Raf-1 and cdc25c (these oncogenes are expressed more strongly in metastatic tumour cells), which means that the cells fail to die following treatment with chemotherapy drugs and radiation therapy.
Using metastatic tumour tissue taken from a patient with advanced breast cancer, Dr Giannios’s team analysed the cells to determine if known oncogenes were being overexpressed. In addition to finding overexpression of the oncogenes bcl-2, HER-2, Raf-1 and cdc25c they also detected overexpression of DNMT1 (a DNA methyltransferase, involved in DNA replication during cell division, and implicated in cancer development) and they also detected methylation of BRCA1 promoter (a process implicated specifically in the development of breast cancer tumours).
Bell Stuart | alfa
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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.
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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.
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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.
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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...
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