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How cancer-driving enzyme works

Cancer researchers are eying to unlock the cellular-level function of the telomerase enzyme, which is linked to the disease's growth.

The latest findings by the researchers at the UT Southwestern Medical Center demonstrated that telomerase repairs chromosomes in one of two ways - depending on whether a cell is dividing normally or if the cell is under stress from enzyme inhibition - and could lead to new or improved cancer-fighting therapies that promote inhibition of this enzyme. The number of times a cell divides is determined by telomeres, protective caps on the ends of chromosomes that indicate cell age.

Every time a cell divides, the telomeres shorten. When telomeres shrink to a certain length, the cell either dies or stops dividing. In cancer cells, the enzyme telomerase keeps rebuilding the telomeres, so the cell never receives the cue to stop dividing. Although telomerase was discovered in 1985, exactly how this enzyme repairs telomeres to enable cancer cells to divide and grow was largely unknown.

DNA from stomach bug can minimise effects of colitis

 “This research shows further evidence that we should leave the bugs alone because there may be a benefit to hosting them in the stomach,” said John Y. Kao, senior author of the University of Michigan’s Division of Gastroenterology.

In the study, researchers found that H. pylori DNA is uniquely immunosuppressive containing high numbers of sequences known to inhibit inflammation.

They isolated the DNA from both H. pylori and another bacterium, E. coli, for further comparison. They found that mice receiving H. pylori DNA displayed less weight loss, less bleeding and greater stool consistency compared with mice infected with E coli DNA.

T-cell therapy may do harm  for multiple sclerosis patients

The T-cell therapy, which was supposed to be a potential treatment for Multiple Sclerosis rather has an opposite effect than expected, according to the researchers. Researchers with the Faculty of Medicine and Dentistry at the University of Alberta have discovered that some ‘protective’ T-cells can kill neurons.

A specific type of T-cell therapy is being touted in the medical community as a potential treatment for MS and other autoimmune conditions. “Using T-cells has been seen as a potential treatment for autoimmune diseases," said Fabrizio Giuliani from the Division of Neurology. “But these cells that are supposed to be regulatory, when activated, they can kill. In our hands, at least, they were able to kill neurons. So this is very important,” he said.

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