Scientists at Johns Hopkins have linked a stem-cell gene to a portion of one of the most common childhood brain cancers, opening the door to tailored therapies that block the genes tumor-promoting ability.
The gene, called Notch2, whose pathway is known to be an important factor in regulating brain stem-cell growth and survival, has been studied in fruit flies for almost a century. The research team at the Johns Hopkins Pathology Department and Kimmel Cancer Center found that a protein made by the Notch2 gene promotes cancer cell growth by 27 percent in a childhood brain tumor, called medulloblastoma. Their studies, reported in the November 1 issue of Cancer Research, also revealed that children with high Notch2 gene activity fared worse in the course of their disease than those with less activity in Notch2.
The researchers report that a drug first developed for Alzheimers disease called DFK-167, which blocks activation of all Notch proteins, reduces growth of cancerous cells in culture by 80 percent, although unwanted side effects and dosing problems may make it a poor choice for treating human brain cancer. But the investigators are testing more potent drugs of the same class and developing new ones that block only the Notch2 pathway. No clinical trials with any drug have yet been planned, the researchers emphasize.
Vanessa Wasta | EurekAlert!
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Ultrafast lasers have introduced new possibilities in engraving ultrafine structures, and scientists are now also investigating how to use them to etch microstructures into thin glass. There are possible applications in analytics (lab on a chip) and especially in electronics and the consumer sector, where great interest has been shown.
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Terahertz excitation of selected crystal vibrations leads to an effective magnetic field that drives coherent spin motion
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Researchers from the Institute for Quantum Computing (IQC) at the University of Waterloo led the development of a new extensible wiring technique capable of controlling superconducting quantum bits, representing a significant step towards to the realization of a scalable quantum computer.
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In a paper in Scientific Reports, a research team at Worcester Polytechnic Institute describes a novel light-activated phenomenon that could become the basis for applications as diverse as microscopic robotic grippers and more efficient solar cells.
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By forcefully embedding two silicon atoms in a diamond matrix, Sandia researchers have demonstrated for the first time on a single chip all the components needed to create a quantum bridge to link quantum computers together.
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25.10.2016 | Earth Sciences