Gastric cancer, one of the most common types of cancer, is associated with high mortality rates. In the last decades, a decrease in the worldwide incidence has been observed with some changes in the therapeutic and diagnostic options. However, the prognosis for this disease still remains poor, mainly when the diagnosis is performed at advanced stages. The therapy most effective is still surgical resection and in a significant number of cases, especially in the advanced stage, it is only palliative. Thus, it is of extreme importance to study the mechanisms that act in gastric carcinogenesis and research possible markers that can assist in earlier diagnosis. Helicobacter pylori (H. pylori) is one of the more important etiological factors in gastric cancer, especially in those who have the cagA gene in their genome. In addition to the accepted role of H. pylori in the pathogenesis of gastric cancer, the Epstein Barr virus (EBV) has been associated with gastric cancer. DNA methylation is an epigenetic modification found in many physiological events, however, when it is aberrant it has been identified as being associated with inactivation of tumor suppressor genes.
Topic: Mathematical modeling of life cycle, stage conversion, and clonal expansion of Toxoplasma gondii Meeting dates: May 13-15, 2010 Organizers: Xiaopeng Zhao (Biomedical Engineering Dept., University of Tennessee, Knoxville) Chunlei Su (Department of Microbiology, University of Tennessee, Knoxville) Jitender P. Dubey (Laboratory of Parasitic Diseases, United States Department of Agriculture) Michel Langlais (Institut Mathematiques de Bordeaux, Universite Victor Segalen Bordeaux) Suzanne Lenhart (NIMBioS Associate Director for Education and Outreach; Department of Mathematics, University of Tennessee, Knoxville) Jaewook Joo (Department of Physics and Astronomy, University of Tennessee, Knoxville) Objectives: Toxoplasma gondii (T. gondii) is considered as one of the most successful parasites for its unusual ability to infect a wide range of intermediate hosts, including all mammals and birds. Up to 11% of the human population in the US and 20% in the world are chronically infected.
Dana-Farber Cancer Institute and the Sanford-Burnham Medical Research Institute have signed a license agreement with Genentech, a wholly owned member of the Roche group, and Roche, that grants the companies exclusive rights to manufacture, develop and market human monoclonal antibodies to treat and protect against group 1 influenza viruses. These viruses include the strains for the current seasonal and H1N1 influenzas. Genentech and Roche also have a non-exclusive right to manufacture, develop and market diagnostic tests for group 1 influenza. The discovery of the antibodies was first reported by Wayne A. Marasco, MD, PhD, associate professor of medicine at Dana-Farber and Harvard Medical School; Robert Liddington, PhD, professor and director, Infectious and Inflammatory Disease Center at Sanford-Burnham; and Ruben Donis, PhD, chief of the Molecular Virology and Vaccines Branch at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, in Nature Structural and Molecular Biology in February 2009.
The first head-to-head comparison of therapeutic monoclonal antibodies produced from plants versus the same antibodies produced from mammalian cells has shown that plant-produced antibodies can fight infection equally well. Scientists from Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis and Arizona State University conducted the comparison as a test of the potential for treating disease in developing nations with the significantly less expensive plant-based production technique. The results are reported online in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. Antibodies, which are part of the immune system, bind to foreign invaders to disable them and label them for destruction. Because of their finely tuned targeting capabilities, scientists have developed ways to mass-produce a particular antibody. They have used such monoclonal antibodies in a variety of contexts. For example, a monoclonal antibody against West Nile virus, originally developed at Washington University School of Medicine in St.
NOVAVAX Reports Additional Positive Data From Its Trivalent Seasonal Influenza VLP Vaccine Clinical Study In Healthy Adults
Novavax, Inc. (Nasdaq: NVAX) announced new data from a clinical study that began in May of 2009 among healthy adults 18 to 49 years of age with Novavax's trivalent seasonal influenza Virus-like Particle (VLP) vaccine. The vaccine matched the influenza strains recommended for the 2008-2009 influenza season including H1N1 A/Brisbane/59/2007, H3N2 A/Brisbane/10/2007, and B/Florida/04/2006 strains. The study enrolled 241 subjects, including 221 who were randomized to receive either VLP vaccine at 15 mcg or 60 mcg doses or a placebo and 20 subjects who received a licensed inactivated influenza vaccine (TIV). Novavax reported safety and hemagglutination inhibition (HAI) antibody titers from this study in a poster presentation at the 47th Annual Meeting of the Infectious Diseases Society of America (IDSA). In addition to the HAI titers, functional antibody against the Neuraminidase enzyme was measured in the sera of immunized subjects using a neuraminidase inhibition assay (NAI) developed by Novavax scientists.
Osteomyelitis means infection of the bone or bone marrow; inflammation of the bone due to infection. Osteomyelitis sometimes occurs as a complication of injury or surgery. In some cases, the infection may get into bone tissue from the bloodstream. Patients with osteomyelitis typically experience deep pain and muscle spasms in the inflammation area, as well as fever. Osteomyelitis is usually caused by a bacterial infection. In some cases, a fungal infection may be the cause. Bone infections commonly affect the leg and upper arm bones, as well as the spine and pelvis - the long bones. There are three types of osteomyelitis: Acute osteomyelitis - the infection develops within two weeks of an injury, initial infection, or the start of an underlying disease. Sub-acute osteomyelitis - the infection develops within one or two months of an injury, initial infection, or the start of an underlying disease. Chronic osteomyelitis - the bone infection starts at least two months after an injury, initial infection, or the start of an underlying disease.
Monash University biochemists have found a critical piece in the evolutionary puzzle that explains how life on Earth evolved millions of centuries ago. The team, from the School of Biomedical Sciences, has described the process by which bacteria developed into more complex cells and found this crucial step happened much earlier in the evolutionary timeline than previously thought. Team leader and ARC Federation Fellow Trevor Lithgow said the research explained how mitochondria -- the power house of human and other cells, which provide complex eukaryotic cells with energy and ability to produce, divide and move -- were thought to have evolved about 2000 million years ago from primitive bacteria. "We have now come to understand the processes that drove cell evolution. For some time now the crux of this problem has been to understand how eukaryotes first came to be. The critical step was to transform small bacteria, passengers that rode within the earliest ancestors of these cells, into mitochondria, thereby beginning the evolution of more complex life-forms, " Professor Lithgow said.
An assistant professor with the Virginia Tech College of Engineering has won a $750, 000 federal grant to formulate a mathematical framework that can track the spread of pandemics among populations and malware across wireless computer networks, as well as how a blackout occurring on one major power grid can cause a cascade of additional neighboring networks to fail. Funded by the U.S. Department of Energy's Early Career Principal Investigator program, the five-year grant was awarded to Anil Vullikanti, an assistant professor with Virginia Tech department of computer science and a member of the Virginia Bioinformatics Institute. He will design by computer a unified mathematical framework with an eye toward preventing future pandemics such as the recent H1NI flu virus and the 1918 influenza pandemic that is said to have killed an estimated 50 million people worldwide, as well as malware/computer virus attacks, and mass power grid network disasters akin to the so-called Northeast Blackout of 2003 that left 10 million Canadians and 45 million U.
Within a virus's tiny exterior is a store of energy waiting to be unleashed. When the virus encounters a host cell, this pent-up energy is released, propelling the viral DNA into the cell and turning it into a virus factory. For the first time, Carnegie Mellon University physicist Alex Evilevitch has directly measured the energy associated with the expulsion of viral DNA, a pivotal discovery toward fully understanding the physical mechanisms that control viral infection and designing drugs to interfere with the process. "We are studying the physics of viruses, not the biology of viruses, " said Evilevitch, associate professor of physics in the Mellon College of Science at Carnegie Mellon. "By treating viruses as physical objects, we can identify physical properties and mechanisms of infection that are common to a variety of viruses, regardless of their biological makeup, which could lead to the development of broad spectrum antiviral drugs." Current antiviral medications are highly specialized.
A new virology textbook published by ASM Press educates the reader by focusing on the families. Based on the author's experiences teaching virology for more than 35 years, Virology: Molecular Biology and Pathogenesis enables readers to develop a deep understanding of fundamental virology by emphasizing principles and discussing viruses in the context of virus families. "Virology: Molecular Biology and Pathogenesis is meant to be used as a textbook for a comprehensive virology course aimed at advanced undergraduate and graduate students. It was conceived and organized to express my avid belief that the best way to teach virology is to discuss viruses in the context of virus families, " says author Leonard Norkin of the University of Massachusetts, Amherst. The individual virus families are examined within the context of the Baltimore classification system, a key unifying theme that allows readers to assume basic facts about the replication strategy of a virus based on the nature of its genome.