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Geneticists solve 40-year-old dilemma to explain why duplicate genes remain in the genome

Geneticists solve 40-year-old dilemma to explain why duplicate genes remain in the genome

DUBLIN, IRELAND, October 1st 2014 – Geneticists at Trinity College Dublin have made a major breakthrough with important implications for understanding the evolution of genomes in a variety of organisms.

They found a mechanism sought for more than four decades that explains how gene duplication leads to novel functions in individuals.

Immunotherapy could stop resistance to radiotherapy

Treating cancers with immunotherapy and radiotherapy at the same time could stop them from becoming resistant to treatment, according to a study published in Cancer Research* today (Wednesday).

The researchers, based at The University of Manchester and funded by MedImmune, the global biologics research and development arm of AstraZeneca, and Cancer Research UK, found that combining the two treatments helped the immune system hunt down and destroy cancer cells that weren't killed by the initial radiotherapy in mice with breast, skin and bowel cancers.

Is Australia prepared for Ebola?

Australia needs to be proactive about potential disease outbreaks like Ebola and establish a national centre for disease control.

In an Editorial in the October issue of Australian and New Zealand Journal of Public Health, Allen Cheng from Monash University and Heath Kelly from the Australian National University question Australia's preparation for public health crises.

"Australia would do well to heed the lessons learned in other countries and be proactive in co-ordinating a consistent and outward looking response," the authors said.

Minimum alcohol pricing would be up to 50 times more effective than below cost selling ban

The previous policy of setting a minimum unit price would have had a 40-50 times greater effect, particularly among harmful drinkers, say researchers.

Increasing the price of alcohol has been shown to be effective in reducing both consumption levels and harms, and the UK government has been considering different policy options for price regulation in England and Wales.

Damaging legacy: Mothers who smoke affect the fertility of their sons

Mothers who smoke while they are pregnant or breast feeding may be damaging the future fertility of their sons, according to new findings from research in mice published online today (Wednesday) in Human Reproduction [1], one of the world's leading reproductive medicine journals.

Genetic study casts further doubt that vitamin D prevents the development of type 2 diabetes

A large genetic study, published today in The Lancet Diabetes & Endocrinology journal, has concluded there is no evidence of a causal link between a person's vitamin D levels [1], and whether they develop type 2 diabetes.

Targeted treatment could halt womb cancer growth

A drug which targets a key gene fault could halt an aggressive womb cancer and shrink tumours, according to research published in the British Journal of Cancer*.

The scientists, from the Division of Gynaecologic Oncology at Yale School of Medicine funded by the National Institutes of Health, showed that the drug afatinib not only killed off uterine serous cancer cells after stopping their growth but also caused tumours to shrink.

Third of countries struggling to meet the needs of aging population

People around the world are living longer, but social policies to support their wellbeing in later life are lagging behind in many countries. This is according a new report by HelpAge International, developed in partnership with the University of Southampton.

How dinosaur arms turned into bird wings

Although we now appreciate that birds evolved from a branch of the dinosaur family tree, a crucial adaptation for flight has continued to puzzle evolutionary biologists. During the millions of years that elapsed, wrists went from straight to bent and hyperflexible, allowing birds to fold their wings neatly against their bodies when not flying.

Medical professional liability claims and esophageal cancer screening

An analysis of liability claims related to esophageal cancer screening finds that the risks of claims arising from acts of commission (complications from screening procedure) as well as acts of omission (failure to screen) are similarly low, according to a study in the October 1 issue of JAMA.