Tag: "ucsf" at biology news

UCSF scientist Joe Derisi named MaCarthur Fellow

Joseph DeRisi, PhD, of UCSF, has been named a 2004 MacArthur Fellow, one of the highest honors bestowed on an individual in the United States.... ...A molecular biologist, DeRisi has designed new tools for exploring the activity of genes, and used them to make major advances in understanding such infectious diseases as SARS (severe acute respiratory syndrome) and malaria. He is an associate profe...

UCSF finding advances insight into adult stem cells in human brain

UCSF researchers have made a notable advance in the effort to illuminate the existence of adult stem cells in the human brain, identifying a ribbon of stem cells that potentially could be used to develop strategies for regenerating damaged brain tissue - and that could offer new insight into the most common type of brain tumor. ... ...The study, conducted by investigators in the UCSF Department...

UCSF-led study raises doubts about marrow cell treatment for brain, heart

A study led by UCSF investigators indicates that bone marrow-derived cells from mice that are transplanted into other mice fuse with cells in the animals' heart, brain and liver, and take on their characteristics. The finding is significant in part because it offers strong, new evidence that bone marrow-derived cells do not actually differentiate into specialized cells themselves, a goal of some...

Five UCSF faculty scientists elected to National Academy of Sciences

Five faculty scientists at UCSF have been elected to the National Academy of Sciences, considered one of the highest honors for an American scientist. The new elections bring to 30 the number of UCSF faculty who are members of the Academy. ...... The new UCSF members are: Cornelia I. Bargmann, PhD, professor and vice chair of anatomy and an investigator in the Howard Hughes Medical Institute at U...

Renowned yeast and human geneticist at UCSF receives major research honor

Ira Herskowitz, PhD, professor of biochemistry and biophysics and co-director of the Program in Human Genetics at the University of California, San Francisco, has received the 2003 Lewis S. Rosenstiel Award for Distinguished Work in Basic Medical Research.... ...The internationally recognized honor, considered on par with the Lasker award, is given annually to scientists for recent discoveries of...

UCSF study suggests novel factor could contribute to adult obesity

UCSF researchers have identified a novel physiological process that may contribute to obesity in middle-aged mice. The scientists suspect the same process occurs in humans and could be a factor in the weight gain that many people experience as they age. The finding, they say, suggests a possible target for therapy. ... ... In the study, published in the February issue of Diabetes, the researchers...

UCSF study of ancient fly gene offers insights into male fertility

Using a human gene, UCSF scientists were able to correct a defect in infertile flies that prevented them from carrying out a key step in the creation of sperm. The finding advances the effort to identify the genes involved in human male infertility, the researchers say, and suggests a possible target for a male contraceptive. .........In their study of the fly, published in the January 15 issue o...

UCSF celebrates opening of new vascular research laboratory

The UCSF division of vascular surgery, along with the UCSF division of biomedical sciences and the Cardiovascular Research Institute, is sponsoring a symposium to celebrate the opening of the Pacific Vascular Research Laboratory. ... ...The new UCSF laboratory, funded by a $6.5 million grant from the Pacific Vascular Research Foundation and the Wayne and Gladys Valley Foundation, represents a co...

UCSF-led team reports new test improves detection of prions in animals

...UCSF-led researchers have developed a highly sensitive, automated test for detecting prions (PREE-on) that they report significantly improves the accuracy and speed of detecting the various forms of the infectious agent, which causes a set of neurodegenerative diseases, in cattle, sheep, deer and elk.... ...Because the test is automated, the researchers say, it could be used for high-throughp...

UCSF begins distributing the first of its two embryonic stem cell lines

The University of California, San Francisco this week has begun distributing the first of its two human embryonic stem cell lines to academic researchers, increasing the opportunity for scientists around the world to study the therapeutic potential of the cells....... The UCSF cells are being sent to nine academic researchers in the United States and two in England, the total number of scientist...

UCSF finding offers provocative insight into what drives cancer

In a finding that calls into question a prevailing belief about the way in which cancers develop and progress, researchers led by a UCSF scientist report that it may take only two interlocking genetic steps to cause tumors to develop. ...... In their study, published in the May 3 issue of Cell, the researchers focused on a protein known as c-Myc, which is produced by the c-myc oncogene. Oncogenes...

UCSF prion finding in mice leads team to urge similar study in cattle

University of California, San Francisco researchers have made a finding regarding prions in mice that they say warrants similar study in cattle....... In their investigation, published in the March 19 issue of Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, the researchers report that mice exposed to the lethal prion (PREE-on) pathogen develop high levels of the infectious agent in some skeleta...

Stanford, UCSF researchers home in on key gene in multiple sclerosis progression

Stanford, Calif. - A critical gene, osteopontin, which is involved in the development of multiple sclerosis, has been identified by researchers at Stanford University Medical Center and the University of California San Francisco. Osteopontin is already known to be a factor in the inflammatory immune response characteristic of MS, but now researchers believe it may be positioned at a number of che...

UCSF study finds two old drugs may help fight prion diseases

... ... ......... UCSF researchers have determined that two drugs currently approved to treat either malaria or certain psychotic illnesses are effective in treating mouse cells infected with the infectious protein known as the prion (PREE-on). Prions cause new variant Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease, the human equivalent of "mad cow disease," as well as numerous other rare neurodegenerative diseases...

UCSF scientists halt tumor growth by manipulating telomerase enzyme

UCSF researchers report that they were able to slow the growth of human cancer cells - or cause them to commit suicide altogether -- by creating just a miniscule mutation in the telomerase enzyme. ... ...The study, conducted in breast and prostate cells grown in culture and in tumors formed from human breast cancer cells grafted into mice, suggests that human cancer cells are much more sensitive...

UCSF studies illuminate possible new landscape for targeting cancer

...Dual UCSF findings dramatize what scientists have just begun to recognize: While so-called oncogenic cells drive the development of cancerous tumors, other, seemingly innocent cells -- inflammatory cells - within emerging tumors can influence the fate of tumors, their aggression and their response to therapy. ... ...The findings, both reported in recent publications, suggest that blocking the...

UCSF-led study points to pivotal, early event in cancer development

. Researchers led by UCSF scientists report that they may have identified a pivotal - and very early -- event in the development of breast cancer, with an unexpected revelation regarding the behavior of mammary epithelial cells. The finding, they say, could point to a new target for very early detection and treatment of breast cancer. . . The investigation was conducted in cell culture studies...

UCSF study of HIV patients identifies interleukin-7 as a key factor in controlling T-cells

.Researchers at the Gladstone Institute of Virology and Immunology have learned how T-cell levels may be maintained in people. The study has important implications for developing treatment strategies for patients who have diseases like HIV and cancer where the immune system is destroyed and for patients whose immune system is suppressed by chemotherapy or who are undergoing a bone marrow transpl...

High animal protein intake may increase risk of bone loss and fractures in elderly women, UCSF study finds

. Elderly women who get a much higher intake of their dietary protein from animal products rather than vegetables have an increased risk of bone loss and hip fracture, a University of California, San Francisco study has found, suggesting women may be able to improve bone health by eating more vegetables.. . "We should be encouraged to eat more vegetables and realize that our diets play an impor...

Hepatitis C drug overwhelms virus with flood of mutations - surprising mechanism may improve anti-viral treatments, UCSF study finds

. One of the few drugs available to treat hepatitis C has been shown to kill viruses by generating a flood of new mutations that overwhelm the virus - a mechanism known as error catastrophe, according to a new study from researchers at University of California, San Francisco. The newly discovered mechanism for the drug ribavirin should help pharmaceutical companies to create more effective vers...

SFVAMC/UCSF researchers develop lead for a new Alzheimer's disease drug - a fragment of a brain growth protein

. In findings that could lead to a new Alzheimer's disease drug, researchers at San Francisco Veterans Affairs Medical Center (SFVAMC) and University of California, San Francisco have isolated a protein fragment that nurtures brain cells, an effect that could prevent loss of brain function caused by the disease. . . The fragment acts through the same mechanisms as its larger parent protein. Ho...

UCSF-Harvard team publishes major HIV therapy study over objections of sponsor; compound shows no effect on slowing disease progression

.Researchers led by University of California, San Francisco and Harvard School of Public Health are reporting the largest randomized trial among HIV-1 infected persons conducted during the 1990s. The compound tested in the trial, intended to boost the immune response of HIV patients, had no effect on slowing disease progression, the research team reports. . .The researchers and their colleagues...

UCSF researchers reveal a fundamental decision-making unit of cells

. University of California, San Francisco scientists have stripped the fundamental decision-making apparatus of a cell down to its bare essentials, revealing the inner workings of one of life's smallest "decision nodes" - the biochemical switches by which cells take in multiple signals and integrate them, leading to a course of action. . The decision node they studied leads cells to initiate mov...

UCSF-led study offers insight into cancer development, resistance to therapy: finding focuses on Ras oncogene

.UCSF-led scientists have determined that under certain conditions the Ras oncogene, a key culprit in many cancers, suppresses the function of the p53 tumor-suppressor gene, offering an important insight into the development of some cancers, and an explanation for why some cancers are resistant to radiation therapy. The finding is published in the current issue of Cell.. The Ras gene is part of...

UCSF team reveals how the most selective of all cell gatekeepers works -- a 'three-faced' channel vital to most human organs

.Advancing a 30-year quest to understand how nerve cells can precisely select what kinds of molecules they allow in, a University of California, San Francisco biochemist and colleagues have revealed the atom-by-atom structure of an ancient and extremely discriminating kind of channel embedded in cell membranes, from bacteria to humans. .The revealed structure of the cellular gatekeeper is so de...

New obesity treatment program to sustain weight loss, UCSF study finds

. An obesity treatment that avoids restrictive diets and weight loss drugs, but instead focuses on training individuals in developing two fundamental internal skills, has resulted in weight loss that was sustained for six years, according to a new University of California, San Francisco study.. "This is the first report of a non-surgical obesity intervention to demonstrate continued weight loss...

UCSF Comprehensive Cancer Center program triumphs

.UCSF Comprehensive Cancer Center basic scientists and clinical researchers have received a highly coveted grant from the National Cancer Institute that they say will fuel their ongoing mission to methodically and aggressively move in on prostate cancer.. .The $11.9 million five-year grant, with an additional $12 million in matching funds raised by an advocacy group led by Andy Grove, co-founder...

UCSF researchers identify regulator of critical brain messenger, hinting at therapy

.In the dynamic world of the central nervous system, the neurotransmitter glutamate is a key player, ceaselessly transmitting critical instructions between nerve cells. Now, UCSF researchers have identified the protein that transports the chemical signal to its launch site in nerve cells, offering a possible new target for treating such diseases as Alzheimer's disease.. .The discovery opens a va...

UCSF research reveals how the embryo brings its heart together

. Early in the life of every vertebrate embryo, be it human or hamster, there is a moment when the heart comes together -- literally. Scientists at the University of California, San Francisco have discovered a molecule that directs the two halves of the primordial heart to join as one.. . Under the molecule's influence, separate tubes of the would-be heart -- primordial heart buds, essentially...

UCSF finding could lead to long-sought alternative to morphine

. UCSF researchers have discovered a pain relief strategy that could provide a long-sought alternative to morphine, without the drug's addictive quality. The finding, the latest in a series of revelations regarding a class of drugs known as kappa-opioids, illuminates just how intricately wired and discriminating the human brain is. . Kappa-opioids have been clinically available for 40 years, but...

UCSF researchers find evidence of faulty DNA repair in some infertile men

. Some infertile men have mutations or errors in their DNA code, suggesting that faulty DNA repair may be a reason for their infertility, according to UC San Francisco researchers.. . Moreover, this kind of DNA repair problem is similar to that found in certain kinds of cancer patients, and is linked to the abnormal growth of tumor cells. This finding has prompted the UCSF researchers to wonder...

UCSF study reveals mechanism of telomerase enzyme that could lead to target for cancer therapy, cell regeneration

. UC San Francisco researchers have discovered a region in the telomerase enzymethat they say could prove to be a target for killing cancer cells and. regenerating damaged cells, and could also lead to a possible target forattacking HIV.. . The enzyme -- brought to popular fame two years ago by studies showing that it could be manipulated in cell culture to increase the life span of cells - has...

UCSF study finds danger in marathon runners drinking too much water

. Drinking too much water while running a marathon can kill you. That may sound like a rumor passed around on the Internet, but it does happen in some cases. Now researchers at the University of California, San Francisco think they know why. The excess water can help to cause the brain to swell, and fluid to leak into the lungs, either of which can be fatal. They confirm that the cure is a s...

New Gladstone/UCSF study finds inhibiting fat synthesis results in obesity resistance in mice

. The regulation of fat mass in the body appears to be more complicated than previously thought, according to new study findings.. Researchers from the Gladstone Institute of Cardiovascular Disease and the University of California, San Francisco report their findings in the May issue of Nature Genetics.. One key step in fat regulation is the production, or synthesis, of triglycerides, the majo...

UCSF researchers find link between vitamin C and gallbladder disease

. A large study of more than 13,000 people found an inverse relationship between. blood levels of vitamin C, also known as ascorbic acid, and the prevalence of. gallbladder disease and undetected gallstones in women. In addition, the. researchers observed that women who used vitamin C supplements had a lower. prevalence of clinical gallbladder disease. The study appears in...

NIH awards UCSF $12 million in new national effort to learn how genes affect people's repsonses to medicines

.As the high-profile effort to decipher the human genome nears completion, scientists nationwide are launching another ambitious project -- this time to learn how variations in genes affect people's responses to drugs. Differences of a single "letter" among many thousands in the DNA instructions of a gene are thought to often affect drug response. The emerging research, in the field known as ph...

UCSF researcher reports on protein therapy to reverse facial birth defects

. WASHINGTON, DC -- In the early stages of fetal development, a nudge in the. wrong direction can lead to irreparable birth defects, such as major brain and. facial deformations. New research from the University of California, San. Francisco shows that a brief deprivation of vitamin A in the heads of. developing chickens can generate these severe craniofacial deformities, and. that dosing the c...

UCSF School of Medicine receives $3.8 Million grant for biomedical research

.The UCSF School of Medicine received a grant of $3.8 million this week from.the Howard Hughes Medical Institute to support biomedical research. The.school's plans for the grant include startup funds for new faculty and support.for the study of genetic diseases.. .HHMI's Biomedical Research Support Program awarded 41 similar grants,.including UCSF's, to medical schools across the country in an e...

Gladstone/UCSF team discovers interaction of two brain proteins may be key factor in development of Alzheimer's disease

.A team of San Francisco scientists studying Alzheimer's disease has found the.interaction of two brain proteins may be a critical factor in development of the.debilitating disorder.. .Both proteins have been the focus of intense scientific scrutiny because of.their independent roles in different diseases and basic cell biology. The.current study reveals a novel interaction between the two that...

SFVAMC-UCSF scientists solve a key protein structure

.Completing a decades old quest by biochemists and biophysicists scattered around.the world, a multi-institutional team of researchers has discovered the.structure of Complex II, a protein essential to the production of energy within.cells. Complex II is a generic name for one of the five proteins in the.process.. .This discovery is important because it increases scientists' understanding of.on...
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