The caspase-8 gene plays a critical role in suppressing metastasis (spread) of neuroblastoma, and the expression of this gene is frequently absent in cancer cells that are aggressively metastasizing, according to investigators at St. Jude Childrens Research Hospital and the University of California at San Diego (UCSD). Neuroblastoma is a tumor of the nervous system and is the most common tumor in infants younger than 1 year of age; it accounts for 7-10 percent of childhood cancers.
In the absence of caspase-8 protein, the cell is significantly more capable of escaping from the primary tumor and spreading to other sites in the body, the researchers said. The investigators also showed in laboratory studies that restoring the expression of the caspase-8 gene suppressed neuroblastoma metastases.
The studys findings are significant because they suggest that novel treatments that restore the tumor-suppression role of the caspase-8 gene might prevent the spread of neuroblastoma and improve patient outcome, according to Jill M. Lahti, PhD, an associate member of the Department of Genetics and Tumor Cell Biology. Lahti and David Cheresh, Ph.D., (UCSD) are senior authors of a report on these findings that appears in the January 5 issue of the journal Nature.
Kelly Pery | EurekAlert!
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For the first time ever, scientists have determined the cosmic origin of highest-energy neutrinos. A research group led by IceCube scientist Elisa Resconi, spokesperson of the Collaborative Research Center SFB1258 at the Technical University of Munich (TUM), provides an important piece of evidence that the particles detected by the IceCube neutrino telescope at the South Pole originate from a galaxy four billion light-years away from Earth.
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Physicists working with Roland Wester at the University of Innsbruck have investigated if and how chemical reactions can be influenced by targeted vibrational excitation of the reactants. They were able to demonstrate that excitation with a laser beam does not affect the efficiency of a chemical exchange reaction and that the excited molecular group acts only as a spectator in the reaction.
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Optical spectroscopy allows investigating the energy structure and dynamic properties of complex quantum systems. Researchers from the University of Würzburg present two new approaches of coherent two-dimensional spectroscopy.
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Ultra-short, high-intensity X-ray flashes open the door to the foundations of chemical reactions. Free-electron lasers generate these kinds of pulses, but there is a catch: the pulses vary in duration and energy. An international research team has now presented a solution: Using a ring of 16 detectors and a circularly polarized laser beam, they can determine both factors with attosecond accuracy.
Free-electron lasers (FELs) generate extremely short and intense X-ray flashes. Researchers can use these flashes to resolve structures with diameters on the...
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