Blocking Faulty Replication Could Boost Response to Chemotherapy

Many chemotherapy drugs, including cisplatin, cause damage to DNA and kill cancer cells by interfering with DNA replication and cell division. The damage activates cellular DNA repair mechanisms but, if the damage is too extensive, the cell undergoes apoptosis. Unfortunately,


Stressful ‘Lifestyle’ is Bad for Neurons

Parkinson’s disease is characterised by loss of dopaminergic neurons in the area of the midbrain known as the substantia nigra. Although mitochondrial stress – an accumulation of damaging superoxide and free radicals – is believed to be the cause of


New Insight into Reducing Stroke Damage

Stroke is the third most common cause of death in the developed world and is also the leading cause of serious long-term adult disability; many survivors never recover sufficient function to live independently. Although rapid intervention to restore blood flow


No More (Involuntary) Laughing and Crying

Pseudobulbar affect (PBA) occurs in people with brain injury or underlying neurological conditions such as multiple sclerosis, amyotrophic lateral sclerosis and Parkinson’s disease and is characterised by unpredictable and uncontrollable fits of laughing or crying that may not reflect the


Asthma Treatment Could Get Tastier

Researchers at the University of Maryland School of Medicine in Baltimore have discovered functioning bitter taste receptors (TAS2Rs) on bronchial smooth muscle. Although identical to receptors on the tongue, the receptors in the bronchi are not clustered in buds and


FSH Receptors Outline Tumours

Researchers at Mount Sinai School of Medicine and France’s National Institute of Health and Medical Research (INSERM) have discovered a biomarker that could be applicable to a range of different cancers. In a study of more than 1300 patients, the


Targeting the Tangles

Although the relative importance of β-amyloid plaques and tau protein tangles in the progression of Alzheimer’s disease has been the subject of much debate, early emphasis was placed on the development of drugs to block production of β-amyloid. Although such


Towards a Safer, Sun-free Tan

Although many people believe that a suntan imparts a healthy glow, the truth is that tanning irreversibly damages the skin and can lead to skin cancer. Researchers from Massachusetts General Hospital have now shown that, in mice at least, inhibiting


11β-HSD1 Inhibitor Improves Spatial Memory in Ageing Mice

Inhibitors of 11β-hydroxysteroid dehydrogenase type 1 (11β-HSD1), a microsomal enzyme that converts cortisone into cortisol, are being developed to treat diabetes and metabolic disorders and now, in a study supported by the Wellcome Trust, researchers at the University of Edinburgh


New (Host) Target for Treating HCV

Hepatitis C virus (HCV) is one of the most important causes of chronic liver disease and infection can lead ultimately to cirrhosis and liver cancer. Current standard-of-care treatment – a combination of pegylated α-interferon and ribavirin – is unable to