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Damage Control: Recovering from Radiation And Chemotherapy

Published: May 1, 2014.
Released by University of California - San Diego  

Researchers at the University of California, San Diego School of Medicine report that a protein called beta-catenin plays a critical, and previously unappreciated, role in promoting recovery of stricken hematopoietic stem cells after radiation exposure.

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Electric Fields Remove Nanoparticles from Blood with Ease
Engineers at the University of California, San Diego developed a new technology that uses an oscillating electric field to easily and quickly isolate drug-delivery nanoparticles from blood. The technology could serve as a general tool to separate and recover nanoparticles from other complex fluids for medical, environmental, and industrial applications.

RNA-based Drugs Give More Control over Gene Editing
In just the past few years, researchers have found a way to use a naturally occurring bacterial system known as CRISPR/Cas9 to inactivate or correct specific genes in any organism. CRISPR/Cas9 gene editing activity runs continuously, though, leading to risk of additional editing at unwanted sites. Now, researchers at University of California, San Diego School of Medicine, Ludwig Cancer Research and Isis Pharmaceuticals demonstrate a commercially feasible way to use RNA to turn the CRISPR-Cas9 system on and off as desired -- permanently…

New Fat Cell Metabolism Research Could Lead to New Ways to Treat Diabetes And Obesity
Researchers at the University of California, San Diego report new insights into what nutrients fat cells metabolize to make fatty acids. The findings pave the way for understanding potential irregularities in fat cell metabolism that occur in patients with diabetes and obesity and could lead to new treatments for these conditions. The researchers published their findings online in the Nov. 16 issue of Nature Chemical Biology.

Modulating Brain's Stress Circuity Might Prevent Alzheimer's Disease
In a novel animal study design that mimicked human clinical trials, researchers at University of California, San Diego School of Medicine report that long-term treatment using a small molecule drug that reduces activity of the brain's stress circuitry significantly reduces Alzheimer's disease (AD) neuropathology and prevents onset of cognitive impairment in a mouse model of the neurodegenerative condition.

Brushing Up Peptides Boosts Their Potential as Drugs
Peptides promise to be useful drugs, but they're hard to handle.  Because peptides, like proteins, are chains of amino acids, our bodies will digest them and excrete the remnants. Even if delivered to their targets intact through intravenous injection, peptides mostly can't get into cells without help. Chemists at the University of California, San Diego, have found a simple, potentially broadly useful way to send peptides into cells and tissues. 

Novel Stem Cell Line Avoids Risk of Introducing Transplanted Tumors
Human pluripotent stem cells (hPSC) can become any type of cell in the adult body, offering great potential in disease modeling, drug discovery and creating replacement cells for conditions ranging from cardiovascular to Alzheimer's disease.

New Technique Could Expand Number of Diseases Detected by Noninvasive Prenatal Testing
Researchers at the University of California, San Diego School of Medicine developed a method to expand the types of chromosomal abnormalities that noninvasive prenatal testing (NIPT) can detect. The study, published November 9 by Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, uses a semiconductor sequencing platform to identify small chromosomal deletions or duplications, such as occur in Cri du Chat Syndrome and DiGeorge Syndrome, with a simple blood test from the expectant mother.

First Precision Medicine Trial in Cancer Prevention Identifies Chemoprevention Strategy
A team of scientists, led by researchers at University of California, San Diego Moores Cancer Center and The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center, report that a genetic biomarker called loss of heterozygosity or LOH is able to predict which patients with premalignant mouth lesions are at highest risk of developing oral cancer.

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