The G9a molecule offers new hope for patients with aggressive breast cancer

Researchers at QIMR Berghofer have discovered a set of genes that could be used to predict the survival of breast cancer patients. The findings could in future help to determine which patients would benefit from additional treatments. The scientists, from QIMR Berghofer’s Control of Gene Expression research group, have also discovered one of the factors…

Combination approach improves power of new cancer therapy called ‘Smac Mimetics’

An international research team has found a way to improve the anti-cancer effect of a new medicine class called ‘Smac mimetics’. The team discovered how a protein called MK2 helps to keep cancer cells alive, making them resistant to the anti-cancer effects of Smac mimetics. The findings provide a rationale for combining inhibitors of MK2…

Engineering Antibodies: A FAb-ulous Future for Therapeutics

Engineering the elements of an antibody can create potential therapeutics—ones designed to be more effective and safer than ever. But this often requires optimization of not just selectivity and affinity for the given antigen, but also stability, solubility and immunogenicity of the antibody. The familiar Y-shaped structure includes a variable domain called the fragment antigen-binding…

A giant neuron found wrapped around entire mouse brain

Like ivy plants that send runners out searching for something to cling to, the brain’s neurons send out shoots that connect with other neurons throughout the organ. A new digital reconstruction method shows three neurons that branch extensively throughout the brain, including one that wraps around its entire outer layer. The finding may help to…

Sugar’s “Tipping Point” Link to Alzheimer’s Revealed

For the first time a “tipping point” molecular link between the blood sugar glucose and Alzheimer’s disease has been established by scientists, who have shown that excess glucose damages a vital enzyme involved with inflammation response to the early stages of Alzheimer’s. Abnormally high blood sugar levels, or hyperglycaemia, is well-known as a characteristic of…

Anti-blood clotting breakthrough could advance heart attack and stroke patient outcomes

A designer molecule developed by Monash University researchers opens the way for a powerful new treatment targeting life-threatening blood clots that cause heart attack or stroke – significantly reducing the risk of permanent brain damage or disability. The treatment also comes without the associated side effects of excessive bleeding. Heart attack and stroke are leading…

‘Buying time’ for natural killer cells could enhance cancer immunity

A team of researchers from Australia and France have uncovered new insights into how to prolong the lifespan of the body’s disease-fighting natural killer (NK) cells. The finding offers fresh clues about how best to harness NK cells to improve their disease-fighting function. This may have particular importance for cancer immunotherapy, ‘buying more time’ for NK…

What Can Elephants Teach Us About Cancer?

The majestic pachyderms that are well-known for their extraordinary strength and memory are also quite good at avoiding cancer. Now, scientists studying this phenomenon say they’ve discovered an elephant protein that may destroy human cancer cells. Its an odd phenomenon that scientists have observed: elephants rarely get cancer despite their massive size, and, presumably, more…

Watching Immune Cells Cause Arthritis In Real Time

New technology allows scientists to watch immune cells move in real time, and researchers recently took advantage of this capability to understand the molecular players involved during joint inflammation for individuals with inflammatory arthritis. Inflammatory arthritis, whether as a result of rheumatoid arthritis, lupus, or another autoimmune disease, often stems from a type III hypersensitivity,…