Preventing the spread of cancer with copper molecules

Preventing the spread of cancer with copper molecules

Chemists at Bielefeld University have developed a molecule containing copper that binds specifically with DNA and prevents the spread of cancer. First results show that it kills the cancer cells more quickly than cisplatin - a widely used anti-cancer drug that is frequently administered in chemotherapy. When developing the anti-tumor agent, Professor Dr. Thorsten Glaser and his team cooperated with biochemists and physicists. The design of the new agent is basic research.

University 'ethics boards' as a way to evade scientific controversy

University 'ethics boards' as a way to evade scientific controversy

Evaluations of research ethics do not benefit from a tick-box approach. Image sourced from Shutterstock.com

Australia’s social science research, like that in most developed countries since the infamous Milgram experiments took place at my alma mater in 1961, occurs under the watchful eye of ethics boards.

Mobile phones have quietly become a global government ID device

Mobile phones have quietly become a global government ID device

Spurring production of a sluggish enzyme for crop yields

Australian scientists have found a way to improve production of the Rubisco enzyme, essential to plant growth. Important staple crops, such as wheat, cotton and rice stand to benefit.

The discovery advances efforts to improve global food security that aim to increase the yields of some of our most important staple crops, such as wheat, cotton and rice.

Leukemia-associated mutations almost inevitable as we age

It is almost inevitable that we will develop genetic mutations associated with leukaemia as we age, according to research published today in Cell Reports. Based on a study of 4219 people without any evidence of blood cancer, scientists estimate that up to 20 per cent of people aged 50-60 and more than 70 per cent of people over 90 have blood cells with the same gene changes as found in leukaemia.

Mitochondrial 'shield' that helps cancer cells survive identified

Why can cancer cells be so resilient, even when faced with the onslaught of nearly toxic drug cocktails, radiation, and even our own immune system?

A new research report appearing in the March 2015 issue of The FASEB Journal, shows that intermediate filaments formed by a protein called "vimentin" or VIF, effectively "insulate" the mitochondria in cancer cells from any attempt to destroy the cell. Under normal circumstances, VIF serves as the "skeleton" for cells by helping them maintain their shapes.

Human Activity May Be Supporting Growth of Harmful Algae in Lakes

Intensified land-use, sewage discharge, and climate change have likely favored disproportionate development of harmful algae in freshwaters. A new study found that blooms of one type of harmful algae, called cyanobacteria, have increased disproportionately over the past two centuries relative to other species, with the greatest increases since 1945.
Cyanobacteria pose a serious threat to drinking water sources worldwide because they can release toxins into the surrounding environment.

The more friends you drink with, the more you drink

A new study shows that alcohol consumption of individuals appears to increase with the number of friends in their drinking group.

Why Are Girls More Likely to Die in Pediatric Intensive Care Units?

In a study of 2,609 patients from a pediatric intensive care unit in a children's hospital in Spain, investigators found that more boys than girls were admitted (57.5% vs. 42.5%) but death rates were higher in girls (4.9% vs. 3.3%).

Girls died from a broader range of causes while boys died most often from respiratory and polytraumatic injuries, which could reflect an increased likelihood to engage in risky activities or behave more carelessly, the authors conclude.

The O.J. Simpson Effect and forensic science reform

Forensic science expert John Collins has published a commentary at Science 2.0 in which he cites the 1995 murder trial of O.J. Simpson as "kick-starting" legal and political activism against forensic science in the United States.

In Keeping the Gate - A Science & Justice Blog, Collins, president and founder of the Forensic Foundations Group, said that the activism has distorted perceptions about science in the courtroom.