Medical News

[ A Small Cut With A Big Impact ]

A Small Cut With A Big Impact

Diseases and injuries trigger warning signals in our cells. As a result, genes are expressed and proteins produced, modified or degraded to adapt to the external danger and to protect the organism. In order to be able to produce a particular protein, the corresponding DNA segment, the gene, needs to be expressed and translated. The DNA is localized in the cell nucleus, and exists as a long string that is coiled and bound by proteins. ARTD1 is one such protein, and therefore has the potential to regulate the expression level of genes through its interaction with DNA. If cells detect warning signals or foreign bodies like bacteria and viruses in their surroundings, the expression profile of genes changes and an inflammatory response is triggered. To induce changes in gene expression, ARTD1 is removed from particular sites of the DNA.

Vaccinating Against Rotavirus

Canada should show leadership in supporting adoption of the rotavirus vaccination in developing countries, but it must also ensure that all Canadian infants are vaccinated against the virus, states an editorial in CMAJ (Canadian Medical Association Journal). Rotavirus is the most common cause worldwide of severe diarrhea in babies and young children, resulting in more than 450 000 deaths every year. Most of these deaths are in the developing world. While Canada supports the provision of the rotavirus vaccine to developing countries through funding of the Global Alliance for Vaccines and Immunisation (GAVI), the vaccine is publicly covered in only four Canadian provinces - British Columbia, Ontario, Quebec and Prince Edward Island. "To be true role models, our provincial and federal policymakers must ensure that all Canadian infants are offered vaccination against rotavirus, " writes Dr.

Promising, Achievable Solutions To Nigeria's Childhood Mortality Crisis Identified By New Study

A study released by the International Vaccine Access Center (IVAC) at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health has identified the most feasible and impactful solutions for Nigeria's immunization program that could offer the best hope yet for scaling up vaccine access to the nation's most rural areas and taking aim at the country's precipitous number of child deaths. While the nation has made progress on child survival in recent years, Nigeria is still responsible for one out of every eight child deaths worldwide. The country is second only to India in number of annual child deaths, many of which result from diseases that can be prevented with vaccines. Recent projections from Decade of Vaccines Economics (DoVE) show that by achieving 90% coverage with vaccines for the five leading childhood diseases - including Hib, pneumococcal disease, rotavirus, measles and pertussis - Nigeria could save more than 600, 000 lives over the next ten years and add $17 billion to its economy.

Cellular System For Detecting And Responding To Poisons And Pathogens Discovered By Researchers

Two Massachusetts General Hospital (MGH)-based research teams, along with a group from the University of California at San Diego, have discovered that animals have a previously unknown system for detecting and responding to pathogens and toxins. In three papers published in the journals Cell and Cell Host & Microbe, the investigators describe finding evidence that disruptions to the core functions of animal cells trigger immune and detoxification responses, along with behavioral changes. "Viewing many diseases through the prism of this newly discovered system will eventually allow a reinterpretation of disorders from several branches of medicine as aberrant responses to toxins and bacteria, " says Gary Ruvkun, PhD, of the MGH Department of Molecular Biology, senior author of a paper in the April 13 issue of Cell.

Identification Of Key Regulator Of Inflammatory Response Could Impact Treatment Of Cancer, Type 2 Diabetes And Other Diseases

Researchers at Boston University School of Medicine (BUSM) have identified a gene that plays a key role in regulating inflammatory response and homeostasis. These findings could help lead to the development of innovative methods to reduce the inflammation associated with cancer, type 2 diabetes and other diseases. The study, which was led by Valentina Perissi, PhD, assistant professor of biochemistry at BUSM, was done in collaboration with the Howard Hughes Medical Institute (HHMI) at the University of California, San Diego. The results are published online and in the print issue of Molecular Cell. Cells respond to inflammation by producing cytokines, which are cellular signaling protein molecules that allow for intercellular communication. Cytokines, such as TNF-alpha for example, bind to specific receptors on cellular membranes, activating an intracellular signaling process.


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