The high level of genetic diversity between individual tumors suggests that if it were to be developed, a broad cancer vaccine would be unlikely to work for more than 0.3 per cent of the population, according to new research published in the open access journal Genome Medicine.
Next generation sequencing has revealed a wealth of information on the genetic diversity of tumors, which in turn has led to research into individualised treatments for cancer based on the molecular characteristics of a patient’s tumor.
Cancer vaccines are one type of prospective treatment that involves turning the patient’s immune system against the tumor.
Dr Ryan Hartmaier, lead author from Foundation Medicine, USA, said: “A broad or semi-universal vaccine capable of targeting many different tumors would be seen by some as the ‘holy grail’ of cancer therapy as it wouldn’t involve the time or cost of individualising treatment. Continue reading Broad cancer vaccine may be out of reach
Finding practical solutions to detect proteins, cancer biomarkers, viruses and other small objects has been a key challenge for researchers worldwide for decades. These solutions hold promise for saving lives through more timely diagnosis and treatment of serious infections and diseases.
Now a UCLA team’s new research shows how such detections might be done for a fraction of the cost by using “smart” mobile devices designed by machine learning.
One method to detect small objects and related biomarkers is called plasmonic sensing, which involves shining light onto metal nanostructures to amplify the local electric field. The interaction between this amplified electric field and the molecule of interest can be measured, revealing important information about molecular concentration and kinetics. Continue reading Machine learning helps researchers design less costly optical sensors
Nasa’s Spitzer Space Telescope has revealed the first known system of seven Earth-size planets around a single star. Three of these planets are firmly located in the habitable zone, the area around the parent star where a rocky planet is most likely to have liquid water.
The discovery sets a new record for greatest number of habitable-zone planets found around a single star outside our solar system. All of these seven planets could have liquid water – key to life as we know it – under the right atmospheric conditions, but the chances are highest with the three in the habitable zone.
Inquisitr.com: Scientists at Nasa’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, California, are developing a new method of chemical analysis which stands to be 10,000 times more sensitive than tests currently used on the Mars Curiosity Rover.
Eurekalert.org: According to new research involving Colorado campers, being in natural light during the day and true darkness at night can help us fall asleep earlier and potentially benefit our health.
Rapid advances in the ability to grow cells, tissues and organs of one species within an organism of a different species offer an unprecedented opportunity for tackling longstanding scientific mysteries and addressing pressing human health problems, particularly the need for transplantable organs and tissues.
Scientists have made a breakthrough in understanding how different compartments (or organelles) of human cells interact.
Organelles are the functional units of a cell. Like organs in a body, they perform specialised functions. To allow survival of the cell, organelles have to interact and cooperate. How this is mediated and regulated in the cell is an important and challenging question in cell biology. Continue reading Breakthrough by Exeter cell biologists
A team of researchers from Los Alamos National Laboratory and Curtin University in Australia developed a theoretical model to forecast the fundamental chemical reactions involving molecular hydrogen (H2), which after many decades and attempts by scientists had remained largely unpredicted and unsolved
“Chemical reactions are the basis of life so predicting what happens during these reactions is of great importance to science and has major implications in innovation, industry and medicine,” said Mark Zammit, a post-doctorate fellow in the Physics and Chemistry of Materials group at Los Alamos National Laboratory. “Our model is the first to very accurately calculate the probability of fundamental electron-molecular hydrogen reactions.” Continue reading New model predicts once-mysterious chemical reactions
Some consumers crave tastier tomatoes than those available at the supermarket.
Now, scientists at the University of Florida Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences (UF/IFAS) and their partners have found a way to get tomatoes to produce the compounds that make them more flavorful.
The material – atomic metallic hydrogen – was created by Thomas D. Cabot Professor of the Natural Sciences Isaac Silvera and post-doctoral fellow Ranga Dias. In addition to helping scientists answer fundamental questions about the nature of matter, the material is theorized to have a wide range of applications, including as a room-temperature superconductor. The creation of the rare material is described in a January 26 paper published in Science.
An innovative soft robotic sleeve which can help a heart to beat has been developed by researchers including Dr Ellen Roche of National University of Ireland Galway.
The soft robotic sleeve wraps around the organ, twisting and compressing in synch with the beating heart, potentially opening new treatment options for people suffering from heart failure.
Dr Roche is the paper’s first author and former PhD student at the Harvard John A. Paulson School of Engineering and Applied Sciences (SEAS) and The Wyss Institute of Biologically Inspired Engineering at Harvard University. The research took place at Harvard and at Boston Children’s Hospital. Continue reading Soft robot can help a heart to pump
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