Deoxyribonucleic acid or DNA encodes information, not only in its sequence but also in its shape. Building upon previous revelatory work, a team of scientists, led by researchers at University of California San Diego, the UC San Diego branch of the Ludwig Institute for Cancer Research, Stanford University and the Howard Hughes Medical Institute, report that in cancer, distinct doughnut-shaped circles of extrachromosomal DNA (ecDNA) are found abundantly in human tumor cells; change how cancer-related oncogenes are expressed; promote aggressive malignant behavior; and play a key role in the ability of tumors to evolve quickly and resist threats, such as chemotherapy, radiation and other treatments.
One of the ways a cancer-causing gene works up enough power to turn a normal cell into a cancer cell is by copying itself over and over, like a Xerox machine. Scientists have long noticed that when cancer-causing genes do that, they also scoop up some extra DNA into their copies. But it has remained unclear whether the additional DNA helps drive cancer or is just along for the ride.
Without occasionally looking under the hood, it’s difficult to predict whether expensive car repairs lie ahead. In a similar way, preventive cardiologists are looking for ways to detect early stage heart disease in people who aren’t currently in treatment.
Within the electromagnetic middle ground between microwaves and visible light lies terahertz radiation, and the promise of “T-ray vision.”
When your immune system is exposed to a vaccine, an allergen, or an infectious microbe, subsets of T cells that can recognize a foreign intruder leap into action. Some of these T cells are primed to kill infected cells, while others serve as memory cells that circulate throughout the body, keeping watch in case the invader reappears.
When it comes to managing anxiety disorders, William Shakespeare’s Macbeth had it right when he referred to sleep as the “balm of hurt minds.” While a full night of slumber stabilizes emotions, a sleepless night can trigger up to a 30% rise in anxiety levels, according to new research from UC Berkeley.
A combination of drugs that affect mitochondria — the power plants inside cells — may become the best weapons yet to fight acute myeloid leukemia, according to Rice University researchers.
Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) is one of the most common psychiatric disorders, affecting some 8 million adults at some point in their lifetime in the United States. Despite this, it is not clear why only some people who experience a traumatic event develop PTSD. Some researchers have suggested that the disorder is only a social construct, but previous studies have hinted that genetics plays a role. A new study identifies a clear biological basis for PTSD.
Women make up two-thirds of patients with Alzheimer’s disease — so why is it that women are less likely than men to be diagnosed with its precursor, amnestic mild cognitive impairment (aMCI)? This was the question guiding a new study by University of California San Diego School of Medicine researchers studying how the life-long female advantage in verbal memory performance might be masking early symptoms of dementia in women.
The production of hydrogen peroxide can be much safer and simpler through a process developed at Rice University.
A reactor developed by Haotian Wang and his colleagues at Rice’s Brown School of Engineering requires only air, water and electricity to make the valuable chemical in the desired concentration and high purity.