A beach in Maldives awash in bioluminescent Phytoplankton looks like an ocean of stars.

ucsdhealthsciences:

Researchers discover too much or too little of a single enzyme may promote cancer

Researchers at the University of California, San Diego School of Medicine have found that too little or too much of an enzyme called SRPK1 promotes cancer by disrupting a regulatory event critical for many fundamental cellular processes, including proliferation.

The findings are published in the current online issue of Molecular Cell.

The family of SRPK kinases was first discovered by Xiang-Dong Fu, PhD, professor in the Department of Cellular and Molecular Medicine at UC San Diego in 1994. In 2012, Fu and colleagues uncovered that SPRK1 was a key signal transducer devoted to regulating alternative pre-mRNA splicing, a process that allows a single gene to produce multiple mRNA isoforms, which in many cases encode functionally distinct proteins. In this pathway, SRPK1 was a downstream target of Akt, also known as protein kinase B. Akt- activated SRPK1 moves to the nucleus to induce its targeted splicing factors.

In their latest paper, Fu and colleagues report that SRPK1 was found to act as a tumor suppressor because when ablated or removed from mouse embryonic fibroblasts, unwanted cell transformation occurred. Unexpectedly, when SRPK1 was overexpressed in mouse cells, tumor development also happened.

“To my knowledge, this is the first time it has been shown that a signal kinase behaves as a tumor suppressor or a promoter, depending upon its abundance in the same cell” said Fu. “The point is that too much or too little are both bad.” 

Such contrary phenomena are due to a surprising role of SRPK1 in regulating the activity of Akt via a specific Akt phosphatase discovered earlier by Alexandra C. Newton, PhD, professor of pharmacology at UC San Diego. The Akt phosphatase cannot find Akt when there is too little SRPK1 to assist, and the phosphatase is tied up when there is too much SRPK1. In both cases, the result is a dampening of Akt inactivation.

As Akt plays a key role in many cellular processes, such as glucose metabolism, apoptosis, proliferation and all key aspects of tumor development, the elucidated mechanism provides a critical insight into tumorigenesis in humans.  Indeed, compared to normal cells, many tumors show SRPK1 overexpression while others display reduced expression.

The findings may have future therapeutic implications, but Fu said the challenges remain daunting. “Most tumors show SRPK1 overexpression, so it may be possible to treat certain cancers with a specific SRPK1 inhibitor. This has been already demonstrated by others. But suppressing a cancer not related to SRPK1 overexpression could actually stimulate that cancer.”

ucsdhealthsciences:

A star is born!
At 6:30 pm on Thursday, March 13, Imani, an 18 year-old Gorilla at the San Diego Zoo Safari Park, gave birth to a baby girl via emergency C-Section. Neonatologist Dawn Reeves of UC San Diego Health System was on hand to aid the team with this very special delivery.
Pictured above are Dr. Reeves and Caitlin Forrest, one of our NICU nurses, with Imani’s baby very soon after her birth. This little baby melted the hearts of all who cared for her and, despite a few early complications, Imani has successfully reunited with her baby and introduced her to the troop.A happy ending, indeed!

ucsdhealthsciences:

A star is born!

At 6:30 pm on Thursday, March 13, Imani, an 18 year-old Gorilla at the San Diego Zoo Safari Park, gave birth to a baby girl via emergency C-Section. Neonatologist Dawn Reeves of UC San Diego Health System was on hand to aid the team with this very special delivery.

Pictured above are Dr. Reeves and Caitlin Forrest, one of our NICU nurses, with Imani’s baby very soon after her birth.

This little baby melted the hearts of all who cared for her and, despite a few early complications, Imani has successfully reunited with her baby and introduced her to the troop.

A happy ending, indeed!

urbanoutfitters:

Grown-up jellies. (Photography by Magdalena Wosinska)

urbanoutfitters:

Grown-up jellies. (Photography by Magdalena Wosinska)

pubhealth:

The Last Polio Ward In India

Dr. Mathew Varghese, an orthopedic surgeon, runs India’s last polio ward at St. Stephen’s Hospital in Delhi. Five years ago, India accounted for nearly half of all new wild poliovirus cases in the country. As of 13 January 2014, the country will celebrate three years without a single case. It’s one of the greatest public health accomplishments of all time, and a powerful reminder of just how important it is to continue the fight to eradicate polio worldwide.

(From www.endpolio.org)

nprglobalhealth:

Orphans’ Lonely Beginnings Reveal How Parents Shape A Child’s Brain

More than a decade of research on children raised in institutions shows that “neglect is awful for the brain,” says Charles Nelson, a professor of pediatrics at Harvard Medical School and Boston Children’s Hospital. Without someone who is a reliable source of attention, affection and stimulation, he says, “the wiring of the brain goes awry.” The result can be long-term mental and emotional problems.

A lot of what scientists know about parental bonding and the brain comes from studies of children who spent time in Romanian orphanages during the 1980s and 1990s. Children likeIzidor Ruckel, who wrote a book about his experiences.

When Ruckel was 6 months old, he got polio. His parents left him at a hospital and never returned. And Ruckel ended up in an institution for “irrecoverable” children.

But Ruckel was luckier than many Romanian orphans. A worker at the orphanage “cared for me as if she was my mother,” he says. “She was probably the most loving, the most kindest person I had ever met.”

Then, when Ruckel was 5 or 6, his surrogate mother was electrocuted trying to heat bath water for the children in her care. Ruckel ended up in an institution for “irrecoverable” children, a place where beatings, neglect, and boredom were the norm.

Researchers began studying the children in Romanian orphanages after the nation’s brutal and repressive government was overthrown in 1989. At the time, there were more than 100,000 children in government institutions. And it soon became clear that many of them had stunted growth and a range of mental and emotional problems.

When Nelson first visited the orphanages in 1999, he saw children in cribs rocking back and forth as if they had autism. He also saw toddlers desperate for attention.

"They’d reach their arms out as though they’re saying to you, ‘Please pick me up,’ " Nelson says. "So you’d pick them up and they’d hug you. But then they’d push you away and they’d want to get down. And then the minute they got down they’d want to be picked up again. It’s a very disorganized way of interacting with somebody."

The odd behaviors, delayed language and a range of other symptoms suggested problems with brain development, Nelson says. So he and other researchers began studying the children using a technology known as electroencephalography (EEG), which measures electrical activity in the brain.

Many of the orphans had disturbingly low levels of brain activity. “Instead of a 100-watt light bulb, it was a 40-watt light bulb,” Nelson says.

As the children grew older, the researchers were able to use MRI to study the anatomy of their brains. And once again, the results were troubling. “We found a dramatic reduction in what’s referred to as gray matter and in white matter,” Nelson says. “In other words, their brains were actually physically smaller.”

The scientists realized the cause wasn’t anything as simple as malnutrition. It was a different kind of deprivation — the lack of a parent, or someone who acted like a parent.

Continue reading.

Top photo: Izidor Ruckel, shown here at age 11 with his adoptive father Danny Ruckel in San Diego, Calif., says he found it hard to respond to his adoptive parents’ love. (Barry Gutierrez for NPR)

Middle photo: In the Institute for the Unsalvageable in Sighetu Marmatiei, Romania, shown here in 1992, children were left in cribs for days on end. (Tom Szalay)

Bottom: Izidor Ruckel dons a hat of a style common in his birthplace, Romania. He now lives in Denver. (Barry Gutierrez for NPR)

 

cerebrospinalien:

Dare / Osare by G.hostbuster ::

cerebrospinalien:

Dare / Osare by G.hostbuster ::