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Second-line cetuximab active beyond progression in quadruple wild-type patients with mCRC

2015-07-04
BARCELONA-LUGANO, 4 July 2015 - Patients with metastatic colorectal cancer (mCRC) that are mutation-free in the KRAS, NRAS, BRAF and PIK3CA genes showed significant benefit from continuing anti-epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR) therapy beyond progression following first-line chemotherapy and an anti-EGFR monoclonal antibody, according to study results (1) presented today at the ESMO 17th World Congress on Gastrointestinal Cancer in Barcelona, Spain. Prof Fortunato Ciardiello from Seconda Università degli Studi di Napoli, Italy, presented results from the CAPRI-Goim ...

Early exposure to cat urine makes mice less likely to escape from cats

Early exposure to cat urine makes mice less likely to escape from cats
2015-07-03
Mice that are exposed to the powerful smell of cat urine early in life do not escape from cats later in life. Researchers at the A. N. Severtsov Institute of Ecology and Evolution, Russia, have discovered that mice that smell cat urine early in life, do not avoid the same odour, and therefore do not escape from their feline predators, later in life. "Because the young mice (less than 2 weeks-old) are being fed milk while being exposed to the odour, they experience positive reinforcement," says Dr Vera Voznessenskaya, one of the lead researchers behind this study. "So ...

Nobel Laureates appeal for climate protection

2015-07-03
To mark the final day of the 65th Lindau Nobel Laureate Meeting, on Friday, 3 July, over 30 Nobel laureates assembled on Mainau Island on Lake Constance signed a declaration on climate change. The "Mainau Declaration 2015 on Climate Change" states "that the nations of the world must take the opportunity at the United Nations Climate Change Conference in Paris in December 2015 to take decisive action to limit future global emissions." It is expected that a new international agreement on climate protection will be approved at the 21st UN Climate Conference to succeed the ...

Old World monkey had tiny, complex brain

Old World monkey had tiny, complex brain
2015-07-03
DURHAM, N.C. -- The brain hidden inside the oldest known Old World monkey skull has been visualized for the first time. The creature's tiny but remarkably wrinkled brain supports the idea that brain complexity can evolve before brain size in the primate family tree. The ancient monkey, known scientifically as Victoriapithecus, first made headlines in 1997 when its fossilized skull was discovered on an island in Kenya's Lake Victoria, where it lived 15 million years ago. Now, thanks to high-resolution X-ray imaging, researchers have peered inside its cranial cavity ...

Studies confirm regorafenib benefit in pre-treated metastatic colorectal cancer

2015-07-03
BARCELONA-LUGANO, 3 July 2015 - The phase IIIb CONSIGN study has confirmed the benefit of regorafenib in patients with previously treated metastatic colorectal cancer (mCRC), researchers announced at the ESMO 17th World Congress on Gastrointestinal Cancer 2015 in Barcelona.(1) The safety profile and progression free survival were similar to phase III trial results. CONSIGN was a prospective, observational study that was initiated to allow patients with mCRC access to regorafenib before marketing authorisation and to assess safety, which was the primary endpoint. The randomised ...

Seafaring spiders depend on their 'sails' and 'anchors'

Seafaring spiders depend on their sails and anchors
2015-07-03
Spiders travel across water like ships, using their legs as sails and their silk as an anchor, according to research published in the open access journal BMC Evolutionary Biology. The study helps explain how spiders are able to migrate across vast distances and why they are quick to colonise new areas. Common spiders are frequently observed to fly using a technique called 'ballooning'. This involves using their silk to catch the wind which then lifts them up into the air. Ballooning spiders are estimated to move up to 30 km per day when wind conditions are suitable, helping ...

The bioprinted 'play dough' capable of cell and protein transfer

The bioprinted play dough capable of cell and protein transfer
2015-07-03
Scientists have developed a new technique allowing the bioprinting at ambient temperatures of a strong paste similar to 'play dough' capable of incorporating protein-releasing microspheres. The scientists demonstrated that the bioprinted material, in the form of a micro-particle paste capable of being injected via a syringe, could sustain stresses and strains similar to cancellous bone - the 'spongy' bone tissue typically found at the end of long bones. This work, published today (3 July 2015) in the journal Biofabrication, suggests that bioprinting at ambient temperatures ...

Gene therapy for cystic fibrosis shows encouraging trial results

2015-07-03
A therapy that replaces the faulty gene responsible for cystic fibrosis in patients' lungs has produced encouraging results in a major UK trial. One hundred and thirty six patients aged 12 and over received monthly doses of either the therapy or the placebo for one year. The clinical trial reached its primary endpoint with patients who received therapy having a significant, if modest benefit in lung function compared with those receiving a placebo. Patients from across England and Scotland participated, and were treated in two centres, Royal Brompton Hospital in ...

Romeo and Juliet roles for banded mongooses

Romeo and Juliet roles for banded mongooses
2015-07-03
Banded mongooses take extraordinary risks to ensure that they find the right mate. Female banded mongooses risk their lives to mate with rivals during pack 'warfare' and both males and females have also learned to discriminate between relatives and non-relatives to avoid inbreeding even when mating within their own social group. Researchers from the University of Exeter and Liverpool John Moores University found that 18% of wild banded mongoose pups are fathered by males from rival packs. Banded mongooses are found living in stable social groups across Central ...

The Lancet Respiratory Medicine: First trial of gene therapy for cystic fibrosis to show beneficial effect on lung function

2015-07-03
For the first time gene therapy for cystic fibrosis has shown a significant benefit in lung function compared with placebo, in a phase 2 randomised trial published in The Lancet Respiratory Medicine journal. The technique replaces the defective gene response for cystic fibrosis by using inhaled molecules of DNA to deliver a normal working copy of the gene to lung cells. "Patients who received the gene therapy showed a significant, if modest, benefit in tests of lung function compared with the placebo group and there were no safety concerns," said senior author Professor ...

Income-tax earnings data give more accurate picture of value of college degree

2015-07-02
LAWRENCE -- A new study that is the first to use Social Security Administration's personal income tax data tracking the same individuals over 20 years to measure individual lifetime earnings has confirmed significant long-term economic benefits of college education. ChangHwan Kim, a University of Kansas researcher, said the research team was also able to account for shortcomings in previous studies by including factors such as gender, race, ethnicity, place of birth and high school performance that would influence a person's lifetime earnings and the probability of college ...

Rapid response to kids' stroke symptoms may speed diagnosis

2015-07-02
DALLAS, July 2, 2015 -- An emergency room rapid response plan for children can help diagnose stroke symptoms quickly, according to new research in the American Heart Association journal Stroke. "Just as there are rapid response processes for adults with a possible stroke, there should be a rapid response process for children with a possible stroke that includes expedited evaluation and imaging or rapid transfer to a medical center with pediatric stroke expertise," said Lori Jordan, M.D., Ph.D., study senior author and an assistant professor of pediatrics and neurology ...

HKUST researchers discover ways to regenerate corticospinal tract axons

HKUST researchers discover ways to regenerate corticospinal tract axons
2015-07-02
Researchers at the Hong Kong University of Science and Technology (HKUST) have found a way to stimulate the growth of axons, which may spell the dawn of a new beginning on chronic SCI treatments. Chronic spinal cord injury (SCI) is a formidable hurdle that prevents a large number of injured axons from crossing the lesion, particularly the corticospinal tract (CST). Patients inflicted with SCI would often suffer a loss of mobility, paralysis, and interferes with activities of daily life dramatically. While physical therapy and rehabilitation would help the patients to ...

Infection with Wolbachia bacteria curbs fighting among fruit flies

2015-07-02
Washington, D.C. - July 2, 2015 - Male fruit flies infected with the bacterium, Wolbachia, are less aggressive than those not infected, according to research published in the July Applied and Environmental Microbiology, a journal of the American Society for Microbiology. This is the first time bacteria have been shown to influence aggression, said corresponding author Jeremy C. Brownlie, PhD, Deputy Head, School of Natural Sciences, Griffith University, Brisbane, Australia. The research began with a discovery by University of Arizona student Elizabeth Bondy, an undergraduate ...

Astronomers predict fireworks from rare stellar encounter in 2018

Astronomers predict fireworks from rare stellar encounter in 2018
2015-07-02
Astronomers are gearing up for high-energy fireworks coming in early 2018, when a stellar remnant the size of a city meets one of the brightest stars in our galaxy. The cosmic light show will occur when a pulsar discovered by NASA's Fermi Gamma-ray Space Telescope swings by its companion star. Scientists plan a global campaign to watch the event from radio wavelengths to the highest-energy gamma rays detectable. The pulsar, known as J2032+4127 (J2032 for short), is the crushed core of a massive star that exploded as a supernova. It is a magnetized ball about 12 miles ...

Genes may not be to blame for link between migraine and heart disease

2015-07-02
MINNEAPOLIS - A new study suggests that genes may not be to blame for the increased risk of heart disease some studies have shown in people with migraine, especially those with migraine with aura. The research is published during Headache/Migraine Awareness Month in the inaugural issue of the journal Neurology® Genetics, an open access, or free to the public, online-only, peer-reviewed journal from the American Academy of Neurology. Aura are sensations that come before the headache, often visual disturbances such as flashing lights. "Surprisingly, when we looked ...

Study shows novel HIV vaccine regimen provides robust protection in non-human primates

2015-07-02
BOSTON -- A new study led by scientists at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center (BIDMC) shows that an HIV-1 vaccine regimen, involving a viral vector boosted with a purified envelope protein, provided complete protection in half of the vaccinated non-human primates (NHPs) against a series of six repeated challenges with simian immunodeficiency virus (SIV), a virus similar to HIV that infects NHPs. These findings are published online today in Science. Based on these pre-clinical data, the HIV-1 version of this vaccine regimen is now being evaluated in an ongoing Phase ...

Found: Antibody that zaps resilient dengue serotype

Found: Antibody that zaps resilient dengue serotype
2015-07-02
One more piece and we are done! A research team led by the Duke-NUS Graduate Medical School Singapore (Duke-NUS) has found the second-to-last piece of the puzzle needed to potentially cure or treat dengue. This is welcome news as the dengue virus infects about 400 million people worldwide annually, and there is currently no licensed vaccine available to treat it. Associate Professor Shee-Mei Lok and Research Fellow Guntur Fibriansah, from the Duke-NUS Emerging Infectious Diseases (EID) Programme, led research that showed how an antibody neutralises dengue virus serotype ...

The sting in dengue's tail

2015-07-02
In a new Science study, Duke-NUS Graduate Medical School Singapore (Duke-NUS) scientists have identified how small changes in dengue's viral genome can affect the virus' ability to manipulate human immune defences and spread more efficiently. This research is the first of its kind that examined the dengue virus starting from broad population level observations and then linked it to specific molecular interactions, to explain an outbreak. This work provides a framework for identifying genomic differences within the virus that are important for epidemic spread. Dengue virus ...

Miniature landscapes show how hills and valleys form

2015-07-02
This news release is available in Japanese. Detailed tabletop experiments are helping researchers understand how Earth's landscapes erode to form networks of hills and valleys. The findings, which highlight a balance between processes that send sediments down hills and those that wash them out of valleys, might also help researchers predict how climate change could transform landscapes in the future. Kristin Sweeney and colleagues developed a laboratory device that mimicked the processes that smooth or disturb soil to make hillslopes, and those that cut it away to make ...

Human antibody blocks dengue virus in mice

2015-07-02
This news release is available in Japanese. Researchers have discovered that a human antibody specific to dengue virus serotype 2, called 2D22, protects mice from a lethal form of the virus -- and they suggest that the site where 2D22 binds to the virus could represent a potential vaccine target. The mosquito-borne virus, which infects nearly 400 million people around the world each year, has four distinct serotypes, or variations, and there is currently no protective vaccine available. Recent phase 3 clinical trials of a potential vaccine candidate showed poor efficacy, ...

Why the seahorse's tail is square

Why the seahorses tail is square
2015-07-02
Why is the seahorse's tail square? An international team of researchers has found the answer and it could lead to building better robots and medical devices. In a nutshell, a tail made of square, overlapping segments makes for better armor than a cylindrical tail. It's also better at gripping and grasping. Researchers describe their findings in the July 3 issue of Science. "Almost all animal tails have circular or oval cross-sections--but not the seahorse's. We wondered why," said Michael Porter, an assistant professor in mechanical engineering at Clemson University and ...

Unexpected enzyme may resurrect roses' fading scents

Unexpected enzyme may resurrect roses fading scents
2015-07-02
This news release is available in Japanese. Researchers working with roses have identified an enzyme, known as RhNUDX1, which plays a key role in producing the flowers' sweet fragrances. These ornamental plants, which provide essential oils for perfumes and cosmetics, have been bred mostly for their visual traits, and their once-strong scents have faded over the generations. Restoring their fragrant odors will require a better understanding of the rose scent biosynthesis pathway. Until now, most studies of rose fragrance have focused on a biosynthetic pathway that generates ...

Be square, seahorse; it has mechanical advantages

Be square, seahorse; it has mechanical advantages
2015-07-02
This news release is available in Japanese. The seahorse tail is square because this shape is better at resisting damage and at grasping than a circular tail would be, a new engineering study shows. Insights gleaned from the study could inspire new armor and advances in robotics, the authors say. While most animals with tails, including certain monkeys, lizards and rodents, have soft, cylindrical-shaped appendages, tails of seahorses are organized into square prisms surrounded by bony plates. To better understand why the seahorse tail deviates from the norm, and what ...

Researchers find mass killings, school shootings are contagious

2015-07-02
Mass killings and school shootings in the U.S. appear to be contagious, according to a team of scientists from Arizona State University and Northeastern Illinois University. Study author Sherry Towers, research professor in the ASU Simon A. Levin Mathematical, Computational and Modeling Sciences Center, explained, "The hallmark of contagion is observing patterns of many events that are bunched in time, rather than occurring randomly in time." Her team examined databases on past high-profile mass killings and school shootings in the U.S. and fit a contagion model to ...
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