Finding Possible Treatment for the Breast Cancer

According to a research, about one in eight women suffer from the breast cancer in their lifetime.  Furthermore, the death rate of the breast cancer is higher than any other types of cancer. The breast cancer is regarded as a conundrum. However, a team of researchers from the University of Zurich in Switzerland has found a way to invent a treatment for the breast cancer. They developed the new way to destroy cancer cell that they were not able to kill before.

Currently, antibodies such as pertuzumab and trastuzumab are used for the treatment of breast cancer. They detect and target HER2 which plays a vital role in the breast cancer. However, the antibodies only deactivate cancer cells, so cancer cells can be reactivated at any time.

The researchers wanted to find the reason why the antibodies cannot totally destroy the breast cancer cells. They figured out that HER2 uses multiple signaling pathways to develop and reproduce cancer cells, but commonly used antibodies are formed to only block one signaling pathway, which enables cancer cells to recrudesce.

The researchers also found out a solution to overcome the lack of antibodies. They made a protein compound which is able to combine itself with two HER2 receptors and change the structure of receptors. It prevents the growth signals from the RAS, a central hub in the cell, and reactivates the signals released by the HER2 receptor. Furthermore, the antibodies might have negative effects, attacking the healthy body cells, but this protein compound only targets the cancer cells.

It is expected that the way treating breast cancer will be more opened in the future through this research

 

 

<references>

http://www.medicaldaily.com/good-breast-cancer-genes-2-genes-linked-better-survival-rate-395235

http://www.medicaldaily.com/invasive-breast-cancer-new-treatment-388652

http://www.roche.com/research_and_development/what_we_are_working_on/oncology/about-her2-positive-breast-cancer.htm

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Men and Women: Genetic Differences

If you are a man and you think women are complex, there is new evidence that you are correct, at least when it comes to genes.
Chromosomes have the set of instructions that create an organism. Women have two X chromosomes copies. On the other hand, men have one Y chromosome and X chromosome, the former being responsible for traits that make men male, including the ability to produce sperm and male sex organs. Since the X chromosomes contain a large instruction manual compared to the Y chromosomes, the solution of biology is to inactivate one X chromosome in females. Therefore, only one functional one X chromosome is available in men and women.
Depending on the type of gene, having twofold copies can matter very much or very little. When genes from the inactive X are activated and expressed, they create a strong concentration of certain genes. Laura Carrel, assistant professor of biochemistry and molecular biology in Penn State College of Medicine and her colleagues determined the type of genes that normally escape inactivation and the place they are found on the inactive X chromosome. These researchers found that most of the genes that escape inactivation are grouped.
According to a study titled “in X-linked gene expression in females,” the inactive X chromosome in females is not as silent as people thought. The effects of genes from the inactive X chromosome might explain some differences between men and women which are not attributable to sex hormones.
References
https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2005/03/050323124659.htm
http://genetics.thetech.org/ask/ask38

What is a vaccine?

The immune system of our body works as a bastion from innumerable kinds of germs. Briefly summarizing, when a germ invades into the body, the immune system sends special cells to fight it off. However, it is apocryphal to say that it works for every single germ. There might be some germs that cannot be prevented by our natural immune system. Thus, scientists came up with unprecedented, laudable idea, and that idea was a vaccine.

Vaccines are substances that prepare the immune system to fight a disease-causing germ or other pathogens by imitating an infection. Vaccines deter the diseases by tricking the immune system to make a “memory” of that germ without ever having to fight the real germ in the first place. Thus, conspicuously, if the virus comes, the immune system is ready to attack it. Therefore, rather than being languished, people can overcome the diseases such as smallpox and diphtheria easily through a vaccine.

Before the vaccine was invented, it was incoherent and futile to overcome several illnesses such as measles, polio, smallpox, and diphtheria. However, due to extreme scrutiny regarding the bacteria and fervor to invent the medicine, scientists developed a vaccine that protected the people who didn’t suffer from the disease yet. Infamous diseases that killed millions of people were relegated due to the inventions of vaccines, and scientists figured out that vaccinations also can help protect people who are not vaccinated.

It is an objective fact that vaccine is good. However, the way it works is esoteric. It is important to know how it works in order to understand it thoroughly.

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It is a hackneyed fact that the body is designed to fight off foreign invaders, such as germs. Nonetheless, in order to do this, it needs to be able to distinguish elements of itself from that of outside agents. So, the immune system is always on the lookout for evidence of foreign stuff or antigens. Pathogens are covered with small particles, and they look unfamiliar to the human body, so immune system calls out its antigen attack squads. But antigens are specific and only stick to a particular germ.

When a pathogen enters the body, the immune system immediately dispatches antibodies. When the antibodies find the particular antigens, they either disarm the threat by locking onto the antigens or send the signals to adjacent immune cells to come to the site of the infection. After an infection goes away, the immune system memorizes the features of the pathogen’s antigens in B cells. So if the same germ enters the body again, existing antibodies can recognize it immediately and annihilate those germs before it multiplies. This process in our body is called immunity.

One way to amass immunity is through infection. However, it is too risky to have an infection to have immunity since severe infections can kill the person. Therefore, people use injections that contain a weakened form of a disease-causing germ. The vaccine won’t cause severe disease because the weakened germ is ephemeral and can no longer copy itself to release new germs inside the body. But they provide the opportunity for antibodies to get used to the specific types of pathogens.

Even though some dangers still exist with hedonistic diseases such as influenza viruses, scientists are working to enhance new effective vaccines. It is uncertain to say that vaccine can prevent all the diseases, but it can surely save lives from series infections.

Reference

https://www.sciencenewsforstudents.org/article/explainer-what-vaccine

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Vaccine

https://www.news-medical.net/health/What-are-Vaccines.aspx

 

 

 

Natural Selection is Still Occurring in Human Populations Today

New favorable traits develop when genetic mutations occur that offer a survival edge. These beneficial mutations are passed on by the survivors of each generation. Eventually, the mutations became common in the general population.
The genomic revolution has enabled scientists to see the process of natural selection by making the genetic blueprint of thousands of individuals available for comparison. Scientists infer which traits are dwindling or dwindling by tracking the relative fall and rise of certain mutations across generations of people.
In a large-scale study, researchers at Columbia University analyzed the genomes of 60,000 individuals of European ancestry and 150,000 people in Britain. They introduced a method that enabled them to see the ongoing selection in people by identifying genetic variants that have an effect on survival to a given age. Two population-level mutations were observed. In women over 70, the scientists observed a drop in the frequency of the ApoE4 gene associated with Alzheimer’. Starting in middle age, they also saw a similar drop in the CHRNA3 gene mutation linked to heavy smoking in men.
They were shocked to identify just two common mutations in the entire human genome that mainly influences survival.
The researcher s found that a predisposition for LDL (bad) cholesterol and high cholesterol, heart diseases, and high BMI were associated with shorter life spans. Also, they found that people genetically predisposed to delayed child-bearing lived longer.
References
http://www.sci-news.com/genetics/natural-selection-modern-human-populations-05198.html
http://www.sciencemag.org/news/2012/04/natural-selection-still-us

Genetic Factors that Cause Female Infertility

Many women are unable to deliver healthy babies due to genetic factors. Occasionally, this is caused by an inherited chromosome abnormality. It may also be caused by a single-gene defect that is passed from parent to child. Also, if some women in your family have had difficulties conceiving due to endometriosis, premature menopause or other factors, you may experience the same problems.
Chromosomally abnormal embryos normally have a low rate of implantation in the womb of the mother, leading to miscarriages. If implantation of an abnormal embryo occurs, there may be still a miscarriage, or a baby is born with development delays, physical problems, or mental retardation.
There are five main kinds of chromosome abnormalities: translocation, aneuploidy, mutation, inversion, and deletion. Translocation is one of the most common kinds of chromosome abnormalities. Although parents with translocation are frequently normal, their embryos may receive too little or too much genetic material, resulting in a miscarriage.
Changes in the DNA sequence of a gene causes mutations that are known as single-gene abnormalities. Usually, single-gene disorders show the history of specific genetic disorders such as cystic fibrosis (an incurable disease that affect the mucous glands of vital organs) and Tay Sachs (a fatal condition that causes harmful quantities of a fatty substance to build up in nerve cells and tissues in the brain). Although they are rare, these diseases are typically devastating to a family.
References
https://fertilitynj.com/infertility/female-infertility/genetic-causes/
http://accessmedicine.mhmedical.com/content.aspx?bookid=1094&sectionid=61904709

Genetics Might Be the Reason Why You Don’t Want to Exercise

If you don’t like exercising, it is possible you’re not lazy. A new study from the Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam in the Netherlands says the reason some people dislike exercising is genetic.
The study enlisted six sibling pairs, not from families with twins, 35 siblings related to the twins, 111 pairs of non-identical twins and 115 pairs of identical twins. Everyone rode an exercise bike for about 20 minutes, both at a comfortable pace. The researcher’s monitored breathing, ensuring the workouts were low intensity. The routines were accompanied by a warm up and cool down. Participants also completed a short, vigorous ride on the bike.
While exercising, the siblings were asked how much effort they put in while exercising, how they felt, and whether they were lively, tense, energetic or jittery. Also, the subjects were asked how often they exercised. Using the responses, scientists determined the psychological state of the participants during the physical activity.
The researchers concluded that genetics could account for up to about 37% of the differences in the way we experience exercise. While this new study shows that some people are born to love exercising, there is no denying that people should still do it.
References
http://www.kix.fm/2016/11/10/new-study-says-the-reason-you-dont-like-exercise-is-genetic/
http://www.medicaldaily.com/genetics-not-laziness-might-be-why-you-hate-exercising-421561
https://www.cbsnews.com/news/love-or-hate-exercise-it-may-be-in-your-genes/

How Dogs Evolved into the Adorable Pooches We Love Today

In an attempt to explain how dogs evolved into adorable pooches we love, researchers have identified some genetic mutations that may have influenced their personalities. The study is part of a broader push to know mysterious origins of the dog, and explain how they became our best friends.
Dogs have evolved to enjoy being around people. In return for their affection, they have convinced us to take of them. In the prehistoric time, it is believed that wolves began trailing human hunter and gathers to scavenge their kills. Frightening wolves were killed while friendlier wolves were fed extra scraps— and over time, friendlier wolves in due course evolved into dogs.
Monique Udell and Bridgett vonHoldt, evolutionary geneticists at Oregon State University and Princeton University respectively, led a team of researchers to find out the difference between wolves and dogs. Using a combination of behavioral tests and genetic sequencing, they identified a few genetic differences that appear to track with friendliness. According to Adam Boyko, a dog geneticist at Cornell University, the study may be one of the studies ever to pinpoint specific gene variants that played a big role in turning wolves into dogs.
The researchers started by testing how ten wolves and 18 dogs behave around people. The wolves and dogs were tasked with getting a summer sausage from a box either alone or in front of a person. In all trials, the wolves fought the dogs and stayed focused even in the presence of a human. However, the dogs could not; they spent more time gazing affectionately at the person than at the sausage.
In an earlier study, Bridgett vonHoldt pinpointed a gene that mutated more often in dogs compared to wolves— perhaps because of domestication. The gene also resembles one in human that is among several deleted in individuals born with a condition known as WBS (Williams-Beuren syndrome). People with WBS are friendly and social, which made the scientists suspect that these genes are important for friendliness in both human and dogs.
References
https://www.theverge.com/2017/7/19/16000172/dogs-wolves-canines-genetics-evolution-domestication-love-best-friends
http://www.npr.org/2011/11/08/142100653/how-dogs-evolved-into-our-best-friends