What's the buzz...

What's the buzz...

New hope for treating osteoporosis

Researchers have discovered a new target that may be critical for the treatment of osteoporosis.

The group of researchers in The Netherlands and in Germany have found in their studies in zebrafish and mice that injection of human plastin 3 (PLS3) or related proteins in zebrafish where PLS3 action has been suppressed can replace its loss and repair the bone development anomalies associated with this deficiency.

According to the study, over-expression of human (PLS3) in normal mice had a significant impact on bone development and maintenance, making them more resistant to fractures.

Professor Brunhilde Wirth, Head of the Institute of Human Genetics, University of Cologne, Germany, said that in most of their recent research, they have started out by using zebrafish embryos in which PLS3 was knocked-out and studying their development at the three and five day-old stage.

He said that they have found that they had massive impairment of craniofacial skeletal development, however, this was fully restored when they added human PLS3 and the same thing happened when we added two other proteins, actinin 1 and actinin 4, F-actin proteins2 which are involved in 'bundling' or building the ‘scaffolding’ for cells, and it seems that these proteins can compensate for the loss of PLS3.

The scientists now intend to use PLS3 knock-out mice, where the PLS3 gene has been removed, in the search for the disease-causing mechanism involved.

Breath test to help identify early onset of lung cancer

A new research has revealed that through a device an analysis of organic compounds in exhaled breath can test for patients with lung cancer and it can also determine the stage of any cancer present.

Fred R Hirsch, MD, PhD said that the study could totally revolutionise lung cancer
diagnosis and the perspective here was the development of a non-traumatic, easy, cheap approach to early detection and differentiation of lung cancer.

They could also eventually measure the change in patients’ levels of Volatile Organic Compounds (VOC) across time with the intent of, for example, monitoring how well a patient responds to specific treatments, he added.

The process involves a balloon, which a person has to blow and it is then attached to a really sensitive gold nanoparticle sensor, after that the particles in the sensor trap and they help to evaluate VOCs in the exhaled breath.

How green tea helps cure pancreatic cancer

A new study has revealed how green tea and its extracts might be able to help fight the cancer risks as well as some other diseases.

The study has found that EGCG, the active biologic constituent in green tea, changed the metabolism of pancreatic cancer cells by suppressing the expression of an enzyme associated with cancer, LDHA.

Researchers also found that an enzyme inhibitor, oxamate, which is known to reduce LDHA activity, also disrupted the pancreatic cancer cells metabolic system. Wai-Nang Lee, MD, said that it was earlier believed that molecular mechanism is required in order to treat cancer but this study stated that they can change the metabolic system and have an impact on cancer.

This new knowledge will open the door to a whole new area of cancer research and could allow trying altering the course of cancer or preventing cancer with the help of different foods, he added.