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THE BIOWORLD BIOME: Our Habitat for All Things Science

T CELLS' WARBURG EFFECT

Breaking the immune system's tolerance to cancer cells has been the biggest breakthrough in cancer therapies in recent years, but to date the approach is successful only in a minority of patients. Now, a team at Yale University has reported that one of the factors that inhibit antitumor T-cell responses is the lack of glucose in the tumor microenvironment.

TCA TWO FOR ONE

Decades of data show "a very strong relationship between chronic neuropathic pain and depression." Venetia Zachariou told BioWorld Today. That relationship is, of course, a complicated one. Neuropathic pain is pain that persists in the absence of painful stimuli, after pain-sensing circuits have been remodeled by conditions like diabetes or trauma.

TAKING A SPLICE AT RESISTANCE
HONG KONG — The findings of a new study of gene regulation by androgen receptor (AR) splice variants (AR-Vs) by U.S and Chinese scientists could provide a pivotal pathway for drug designers to target, in order to disrupt AR-V signaling as a novel strategy for the effective treatment of advanced prostate cancer.
BUT NOT YET ONE AND DONE
Flu vaccines are simultaneously a triumph of modern medicine and an annual exercise in controlled chaos. Now, two separate research teams have been able to generate antigens that elicited immune responses to a highly conserved region of the type one influenza A virus.
HELPING THE BRAIN HELP ITSELF
Breaking the body’s immune tolerance to tumors has been the biggest advance for cancer treatment in recent years. Now, scientists have reported that the same strategy might be successful against neurodegenerative diseases.
GITR DONE
HONG KONG — The discovery that a novel mechanism of CD4+ T helper (Th) cell differentiation is mediated by co-stimulation of glucocorticoid-induced tumor necrosis factor receptor- (TNFR)-related protein (GITR) explains the mechanism of action of GITR-mediated cancer immunotherapies and warrants clinical trials of GITR agonists, a Korean study has found.
PRETTY GOOD PRIVACY
In recent years, technological advances in both biomedical and computer science have contributed to a massive increase in the amount of data available to researchers. What has not quite caught up yet, though, are the statistical methods to analyze such so-called big data.
COCKTAIL HOUR
HONG KONG – Two stem cell labs in China have independently reported the successful transformation of fibroblasts into functional neurons using only chemicals, with one group using human cells from healthy individuals and Alzheimer's patients, while the other used mouse cells, potentially providing other sources of neuronal cells for drug discovery and regenerative medicine.
GOOD HELP IS HARD TO FIND
There is "a mysterious relationship between antioxidants and boosting the immune system," Howard Petrie told BioWorld Today. Antioxidants clearly boost immune function. But the molecular mechanisms of how they do so remain largely unclear.

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