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Key: Meeting Journal Funder
Public Release: 24-Apr-2014
New study helps to explain why breast cancer often spreads to the lung
New research led by Alison Allan, Ph.D., a scientist at Western University and the Lawson Health Research Institute, shows why breast cancer often spreads or metastasizes to the lung. The breast cancer stem cell (CSC) has been shown to be responsible for metastasis in animal models, particularly to the lung. And this new research found CSCs have a particular propensity for migrating towards and growing in the lung because of certain proteins found there.
Canadian Breast Cancer Foundation-Ontario Region

Contact: Kathy Wallis
519-661-2111 x81136
University of Western Ontario

Public Release: 24-Apr-2014
Industrial Biotechnology
Engineered E. coli produces high levels of D-ribose as described in Industrial Biotechnology journal
D-ribose is a commercially important sugar used as a sweetener, a nutritional supplement, and as a starting compound for synthesizing riboflavin and several antiviral drugs.

Contact: Vicki Cohn
914-740-2100 x2156
Mary Ann Liebert, Inc./Genetic Engineering News

Public Release: 24-Apr-2014
Cell Reports
Cell resiliency surprises scientists
New research shows that cells are more resilient in taking care of their DNA than scientists originally thought. Even when missing critical components, cells can adapt and make copies of their DNA in an alternative way. In a study published in this week's Cell Reports, a team of researchers at Michigan State University showed that cells can grow normally without a crucial component needed to duplicate their DNA.

Contact: Anzar Abbas
Michigan State University

Public Release: 24-Apr-2014
Genetic code of the deadly tsetse fly unraveled
A decade-long effort by members of the International Glossina Genome Initiative has produced the first complete genome sequence of the tsetse fly, Glossina morsitans. The blood-sucking insect is the sole transmitter of sleeping sickness, a potentially deadly disease endemic in sub-Saharan Africa. The vast store of genetic data will help researchers develop new ways to prevent the disease and provide insights into the tsetse fly's unique biology.

Contact: Jelle Caers
KU Leuven

Public Release: 24-Apr-2014
Scientific Reports
The blood preserved in the pumpkin did not belong to Louis XVI
The results of an international study, which counted on the participation of the Spanish National Research Council, indicate that the DNA recovered from the inside of a pumpkin, attributed so far to the French King Louis XVI, does not actually belong to the monarch, guillotined in 1793. Complete genome sequencing suggests that blood remains correspond to a male with brown eyes, instead of blue as Louis XVI had, and shorter.

Contact: Marta García Gonzalo
Spanish National Research Council (CSIC)

Public Release: 24-Apr-2014
Global Ecology and Biogeography
Amazon rainforest survey could improve carbon offset schemes
Carbon offsetting initiatives could be improved with new insights into the make-up of tropical forests, a study suggests.
Natural Environment Research Council

Contact: Catriona Kelly
University of Edinburgh

Public Release: 24-Apr-2014
Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences
Animals with bigger brains, broader diets have better self control
A new study representing the largest study of animal intelligence to-date finds that animals with bigger brains and broader diets have better self-control. Published this week in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, the results are part of a long history of research aimed at understanding why some species are able to do things like make and use tools, read social cues, or even understand basic math, and others aren't.
National Science Foundation

Contact: Robin Ann Smith
National Evolutionary Synthesis Center (NESCent)

Public Release: 24-Apr-2014
Biomedical Optics Express
Bake your own droplet lens
Researchers have created a new type of lens that costs less than a penny to make, and can be used in a 3-D printed attachment that turns a Smartphone into a dermascope, a tool to diagnose skin diseases like melanoma. Normal dermascopes can cost $500 or more, but this version costs a mere $2 and is slated to be commercially available in just a few months. The work was published today in the journal Biomedical Optics Express.

Contact: Angela Stark
The Optical Society

Public Release: 24-Apr-2014
International Journal of Cancer
Breast cancer replicates brain development process
New research led by a scientist at the University of York reveals that a process that forms a key element in the development of the nervous system may also play a pivotal role in the spread of breast cancer.
United Kingdom Medical Research Council

Contact: David Garner
University of York

Public Release: 24-Apr-2014
Two new US turtle species described
The alligator snapping turtle is the largest river turtle in North America, weighing in at up to 200 pounds and living almost a century. Now researchers from Florida and the University of Vermont have discovered that it is not one species -- but three. One of the new species lives only in the Suwannee River and is highly imperiled.

Contact: Joshua Brown
University of Vermont

Public Release: 24-Apr-2014
Genome Announcements
Novel therapeutic agent for Tamiflu-resistant pH1N1 influenza virus discovered
Researchers at the Institute for Molecular Medicine Finland FIMM, University of Helsinki, with their collaborators have shown that first Tamiflu resistant pandemic influenza pH1N1 viruses have emerged in Finland. Furthermore, they have identified a novel antiviral agent MK2206 and shown that the pH1N1 viruses are not able to develop resistance against it.

Contact: Denis Kainov
University of Helsinki

Public Release: 24-Apr-2014
IEEE Transactions on Ultrasonics, Ferroelectrics and Frequency Control
New ultrasound device may add in detecting risk for heart attack, stroke
Researchers from North Carolina State University and the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill have developed a new ultrasound device that could help identify arterial plaque that is at high risk of breaking off and causing heart attack or stroke.
National Institutes of Health

Contact: Matt Shipman
North Carolina State University

Public Release: 24-Apr-2014
Chemistry & Biology
Large-scale identification and analysis of suppressive drug interactions
Cell analysis finds drug interactions to be startlingly common: baker's yeast is giving scientists a better understanding of drug interactions, which are a major cause of illness and hospitalization worldwide.

Contact: Polly Thompson
416-586-4800 x2046
Lunenfeld-Tanenbaum Research Institute

Public Release: 24-Apr-2014
Genetic legacy from the Ottoman Empire: Single mutation causes rare brain disorder
An international team of researchers have identified a previously unknown neurodegenerative disorder and discovered it is caused by a single mutation in one individual born during the Ottoman Empire in Turkey about 16 generations ago.
NIH/National Human Genome Research Institute, Gregory M. Kiez and Mehmet Kutman Foundation

Contact: Bill Hathaway
Yale University

Public Release: 24-Apr-2014
Tsetse fly genome reveals weaknesses
Mining the genome of the tsetse fly, which transmits sleeping sickness, researchers have revealed weaknesses in its unique biology that they hope will help to eradicate this deadly disease. The 10-year project, which has involved 146 scientists from 78 research institutes across 18 countries, is the most detailed genetic analysis yet of the fly that spreads human African trypanosomiasis, known as sleeping sickness, in humans and Nagana in cattle.

Contact: Mary Clarke
Wellcome Trust Sanger Institute

Public Release: 24-Apr-2014
Genomic diversity and admixture differs for Stone-Age Scandinavian foragers and farmers
An international team led by researchers at Uppsala University and Stockholm University reports a breakthrough on understanding the demographic history of Stone-Age humans. A genomic analysis of eleven Stone-Age human remains from Scandinavia revealed that expanding Stone-age farmers assimilated local hunter-gatherers and that the hunter-gatherers were historically in lower numbers than the farmers. The study is published today, ahead of print, in the journal Science.
Swedish Foundation for Humanities and Social Sciences, Swedish Research Council

Contact: Mattias Jakobsson
Uppsala University

Public Release: 24-Apr-2014
Scientists reprogram blood cells into blood stem cells in mice
Researchers have reprogrammed mature blood cells from mice into blood-forming hematopoietic stem cells, using a cocktail of eight genetic switches called transcription factors. The reprogrammed cells are able to self-renew like HSCs and can give rise to all of the cellular components of the blood like HSCs. The findings mark a significant step toward a major goal of regenerative medicine: the ability to produce HSCs suitable for hematopoietic stem cell transplantation from other cell types.
NIH/National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute, NIH/National Institute of Aging, and others

Contact: Irene Sege
Boston Children's Hospital

Public Release: 24-Apr-2014
Researchers discover new genetic brain disorder in humans
A newly identified genetic disorder associated with degeneration of the central and peripheral nervous systems in humans, along with the genetic cause, is reported in the April 24, 2014, issue of Cell.
National Institutes of Health, Gregory M. Kiez and Mehmet Kutman Foundation

Contact: Scott LaFee
University of California - San Diego

Public Release: 24-Apr-2014
Cell Reports
New type of protein action found to regulate development
Johns Hopkins researchers report they have figured out how the aptly named protein Botch blocks the signaling protein called Notch, which helps regulate development. In a report on the discovery, to appear online April 24 in the journal Cell Reports, the scientists say they expect the work to lead to a better understanding of how a single protein, Notch, directs actions needed for the healthy development of organs as diverse as brains and kidneys.
NIH/National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke, NIH/National Institute on Drug Abuse, Maryland Stem Cell Research Fund, McKnight Endowment Fund for Neuroscience Brain Disorders

Contact: Shawna Williams
Johns Hopkins Medicine

Public Release: 24-Apr-2014
You may have billions and billions of good reasons for being unfit
Although our chromosomes are relatively stable within our lifetimes, the genetic material found in our mitochondria is highly variable across individuals and may impact upon human health, say researchers at the University of Montreal and its affiliated Centre Hospitalier Universitaire Sainte-Justine Hospital.
Genome Quebec, Canadian Partnership Against Cancer, Quebec's Network of Applied Medical Genetics, Fonds de recherche du Québec -- Santé, Fonds de recherche du Québec -- Nature et technologies, Banting and FRSQ Fellowship Programs, and others

Contact: William Raillant-Clark
University of Montreal

Public Release: 24-Apr-2014
Researchers build new 'off switch' to shut down neural activity
Optogenetics ushered in the development of channelrhodopsins, light-activated ion channels that can turn on neurons in which they're genetically expressed. What's lagged behind is the ability to use light to inactivate neurons with an equal level of reliability and efficiency. Now, Howard Hughes Medical Institute scientists have analyzed channelrhodopsin's molecular structure to guide a series of genetic mutations to the ion channel that grant the power to silence neurons with an unprecedented level of control.

Contact: Jim Keeley
Howard Hughes Medical Institute

Public Release: 24-Apr-2014
Surprising new insights into the PTEN tumor suppressor gene
Ever since it was first identified more than 15 years ago, the PTEN gene has been known to play an integral role in preventing the onset and progression of numerous cancers. Now investigators at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center explain more precisely how PTEN exerts its anti-cancer effects and how its loss or alteration can set cells on a cancerous course.
National Inistitutes of Health, American-Italian Cancer Foundation

Contact: Bonnie Prescott
Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center

Public Release: 24-Apr-2014
Breakthrough harnesses light for controlled chemical reaction
One catalyst supplies electrons, other one controls position of raw material. Reactions are powered by visible light, not UV. Technique could allow creation of novel molecules for pharmaceuticals.

Contact: David Tenenbaum
University of Wisconsin-Madison

Public Release: 24-Apr-2014
Researchers create comprehensive map of human B cell development
A Columbia and Stanford team describes a new method for mapping cellular development at the single cell level. By combining emerging technologies with a new, advanced computational algorithm, they created the most comprehensive map ever made of human B cell development. The approach will improve the ability to investigate development in cells of all types, help identify rare aberrations that lead to disease, and guide the next generation of research in regenerative medicine.
National Science Foundation, National Institutes of Health, Packard

Contact: Christopher Williams
Columbia University

Public Release: 24-Apr-2014
Researchers discover new genetic brain disorder in humans
A newly identified disorder affecting the human nervous system is caused by a mutation in a gene never before implicated in human disease. By performing DNA sequencing of children affected by neurological problems, two research teams discovered that a disease marked by reduced brain size, as well as sensory and motor defects, is caused by a mutation in a gene called CLP1. Insights into this disorder may have implications for the treatment of common disorders.

Contact: Mary Beth O'Leary
Cell Press