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Common Feature of Cancer Cells That Makes Them Appear Overstuffed May Also Be Their Achilles’ Heel


Aneuploid yeast cells on the left have difficulty drawing in fluorescent molecules. Whereas, the normal yeast cells on the right are able to rapidly draw them in. Credit: Rong Li and Hung-Ji Tsai Common Feature of Cancer Cells That Makes Them Appear Overstuffed May Also Be Their Achilles’ Heel 07/22/2019 Aneuploid yeast cells on the left have difficulty drawing in fluorescent molecules. Whereas, the normal yeast cells on the right are able to rapidly draw them in. Credit: Rong Li and Hung-Ji Tsai In a study using yeast cells and data from cancer cell lines, Johns Hopkins University scientists report […]

Test Shown to Improve Accuracy in Identifying Precancerous Pancreatic Cysts


In a proof-of-concept study, an international scientific team led by Johns Hopkins Kimmel Cancer Centerresearchers has shown that a laboratory test using artificial intelligence tools has the potential to more accurately sort out which people with pancreatic cysts will go on to develop pancreatic cancers. The test, dubbed CompCyst (for comprehensive cyst analysis), incorporates measures of molecular and clinical markers in cyst fluids, and appears to be on track to significantly improve on conventional clinical and imaging tests, the research team says.Using information from more than 800 patients with pancreatic cysts who had cyst fluid analysis and cyst removal surgery at […]

Disrupting Immune Cell Behavior May Contribute to Heart Disease And Failure, Study Shows


  On an ice hockey team, the players all start off with identical uniforms, skates and a stick. But if you take one of them, add padding, a glove, and a mask; and switch the stick to one with a larger blade, then you get a goalie. Now, the player has morphed — or differentiated — into one with a specific function: protect the goal from invading pucks. Differentiation of cells in the human immune system is critical to give them the ability to perform specific tasks that, like a biological goaltender, help protect the body from foreign invaders. A new […]

Applications Now Being Accepted to the Francis S. Collins Scholars Program


The Neurofibromatosis Therapeutic Acceleration Program (NTAP/ www.n-tap.org) is dedicated to the advancement of research that will improve outcomes for patients with neurofibromatosis type 1 (NF1).  A major need to accomplish this mission is the training and support of clinician scientists who are dedicated to NF1. NTAP launched the Francis S. Collins Scholars Program in Neurofibromatosis Clinical and Translational Research to address this need. The deadline for application submissions is November 22, 2019. Successful applicants will be notified by January 8, 2019 and the tenure starts in July 1, 2020. NTAP looks forward to receiving applications from excellent candidates meeting the eligibility […]

Loose RNA Molecules Rejuvenate Skin, Researchers Discover


Want to smooth out your wrinkles, erase scars and sunspots, and look years younger? Millions of Americans a year turn to lasers and prescription drugs to rejuvenate their skin, but exactly how that rejuvenation works has never been fully explained. Now, Johns Hopkins researchers have discovered that laser treatments and the drug retinoic acid share a common molecular pathway. Moreover, that pathway — which lets skin cells sense loose RNA molecules — is also turned up in mice when they regenerate hair follicles. Results are described in the June 26 issue of Nature Communications. “Understanding the biology behind how cellular damage […]

Low-Carb ‘Keto’ Diet (‘Atkins-Style’) May Modestly Improve Cognition in Older Adults


Diet that restricts glucose may help brain function   This research was made possible by the Johns Hopkins Institute for Clinical and Translational Research (ICTR) which is funded in part by Grant Number UL1 TR001079 from the National Center for Advancing Translational Sciences (NCATS). In a pilot study of 14 older adults with mild cognitive problems suggestive of early Alzheimer’s disease, Johns Hopkins Medicine researchers report that a high-fat, low-carbohydrate diet may improve brain function and memory. Although the researchers say that finding participants willing to undertake restrictive diets for the three-month study — or partners willing to help them […]

New Animal Study Adds to Evidence of Parkinson’s Disease Origins in the Gut


Experiments in mice show transmission of nerve-killing protein from the gut into the brain In experiments in mice, Johns Hopkins Medicine researchers say they have found additional evidence that Parkinson’s disease originates among cells in the gut and travels up the body’s neurons to the brain. The study, described in the June issue of the journal Neuron, offers a new, more accurate model in which to test treatments that could prevent or halt Parkinson’s disease progression. “These findings provide further proof of the gut’s role in Parkinson’s disease, and give us a model to study the disease’s progression from the start,” […]

Physical Evidence In The Brain for Types of Schizophrenia


Findings suggest a form of schizophrenia has more in common with neurodegenerative diseases than previously thought In a study using brain tissue from deceased human donors, Johns Hopkins Medicine researchers say they found new evidence that schizophrenia can be marked by the buildup of abnormal proteins similar to those found in the brains of people with such neurodegenerative disorders as Alzheimer’s or Huntington’s diseases. Schizophrenia — the specific cause of which remains generally unknown, but is believed to be a combination of genes and environment — is a disabling mental disorder marked by jumbled thinking, feeling and behavior, as well […]

Study Shows Experimental Drug Can Encourage Bone Growth in Children with Dwarfism


Researchers at Johns Hopkins Medicine, the Murdoch Children’s Research Institute in Australia and seven other medical institutions report that an experimental drug called vosoritide, which interferes with certain proteins that block bone growth, allowed the average annual growth rate to increase in a study of 35 children and teenagers with achondroplasia, a form of dwarfism. The patients’ average boost in height to about 6 centimeters (2.4 inches) per year is close to growth rates among children of average stature, and the side effects of the drug were mostly mild, according to the researchers. Results of the four-year study are summarized […]

Apply for the NIH Lasker Clinical Research Scholars Program


The program supports a small number of exceptional clinical researchers in the early stages of their careers to promote their development to fully independent positions. Successful candidates are designated as Lasker Clinical Research Scholars. Lasker Scholars receive 5-7 years of support as an independent principal investigator in the NIH Intramural Research Program, followed by three years of continued financial support, either at the NIH or at an outside medical center/research institution. Qualifications: Candidates must have a clinical doctorate degree (MD, MD/PhD, DO, DDS, DMD, RN/PhD or equivalent) and a professional license to practice in the United States.  The program is […]

Out of Many Ovarian Precancerous Lesions, One Becomes Cancer


Some deadly ovarian cancers arise from lesions genetically unrelated to each other.   In a novel study of cancer genetics using fallopian tube tissue from 15 women, researchers at the Johns Hopkins Kimmel Cancer Center say they have found evidence that the most common and lethal type of ovarian cancer arises not from a uniform group of precancerous lesions, but from individual growths found in groups genetically unrelated to each other. If confirmed in further studies, the discovery, described in the May issue of the Journal of Pathology, would go a long way towards upending a longstanding cancer dogma dictating […]