Studies of the enzyme CTP synthetase in the parasite Trypanosoma brucei have brought researchers at Umeå University in Sweden closer to a cure for African sleeping sickness. Their findings are now being published in the April issue of The Journal of Biological Chemistry.

Nanotechnology is the ability to measure, see, manipulate and manufacture things usually between 1 and 100 nanometers. A nanometer is one billionth of a meter; a human hair is roughly 100,000 nanometers wide. More than $30 billion in products incorporating nanotechnology were sold globally in 2005. By 2014, Lux Research estimates this figure will grow to $2.6 trillion.

Despite the potential for conflict of interest, virtually all practicing physicians in the U.S. have some form of relationship with pharmaceutical manufacturers but the nature and extent of those relationships vary, depending on the kind of practice, medical specialty, patient mix, and professional activities, reports a study in the April 26 issue of the New England Journal of Medicine.

A Johns Hopkins team has stopped in its tracks a form of blood cancer in mice by engineering and inactivating an enzyme, telomerase, thereby shortening the ends of chromosomes, called telomeres.

"Normally, when telomeres get critically short, the cell commits suicide as a means of protecting the body," says Carol Greider, Ph.D., the Daniel Nathans chair of molecular biology and genetics at Johns Hopkins. Her study, appearing online this month at Cancer Cell, uncovers an alternate response where cells simply - and permanently - stop growing, a process known as senescence.

University of Virginia researchers have discovered that microRNAs, a form of genetic material, can function as tumor suppressors in laboratory studies.

In the May 1 issue of Genes & Development, UVa researchers Drs. Yong Sun Lee and Anindya Dutta have shown that microRNAs can suppress the overexpression of a gene called HMGA2. This gene is related to creation of fatty tissue and certain tumors, as well as diet-induced obesity.

MicroRNA is a single-stranded RNA that is typically only 20-25 nucleotides long and is related to regulating the expression of other genes.

Consumers may claim they don't like diet soda because of the taste of artificial sweeteners, but Shelly Schmidt, a University of Illinois professor of food chemistry, thinks people are also influenced by a subtle difference called "mouth-feel." Think body, fullness, thickness; regular soda contains high-fructose corn syrup, diet soda doesn't.

One out of three sexually active older adults infected with HIV has unprotected sex, according to a study by Ohio University researchers. A survey of 260 HIV-positive older adults found that of those having sex, most were male, took Viagra and were in a relationship.

The total number of carbon atoms on Earth is fixed – they are exchanged between the ocean, atmosphere, land and biosphere. The fact that human activities are pumping extra carbon dioxide into the atmosphere, by fossil fuel burning and deforestation, is well known.

A new hereditary breast cancer gene has been discovered by scientists at the Lundberg Laboratory for Cancer Research and the Plastic Surgery Clinic at the Sahlgrenska Academy in Sweden. The researchers found that women with a certain hereditary deformity syndrome run a nearly twenty times higher risk of contracting breast cancer than expected.

Several research teams around the world have long been searching for new hereditary breast cancer genes, but thus far few have been found.

Cell membranes are like two-dimensional fluids whose molecules are distributed evenly through lateral diffusion but many important cellular processes depend on cortical polarity, the locally elevated concentration of specific membrane proteins.