Posted: 25 Apr 2014 01:23 PM PDT
Biologists have discovered how an outer shield over T-type channels change the electrochemical signaling of heart and brain cells. Understanding how these shields work will help researchers eventually develop a new class of drugs for treating epilepsy, cardiovascular disease and cancer. The researchers discovered T-type channels in the pond snail, Lymnaea stagnalis, can shift from using calcium ions to using sodium ions to generate the electrical signal because of an outer shield of amino acids called a turret situated above the channel's entrance.
Posted: 25 Apr 2014 01:21 PM PDT
A novel DNA vaccine is being trialed to kill cancer, not by attacking tumor cells, but targeting the blood vessels that keep them alive. The vaccine also indirectly creates an immune response to the tumor itself, amplifying the attack by a phenomenon called epitope spreading. The team injected mice with a DNA fusion vaccine. In mouse models of three cancer types, tumor formation was delayed or prevented in mice vaccinated with the vaccine. Specifically, they found that the mouse tumors had suppressed growth, decreased tumor vessel formation, and increased infiltration of immune cells into tumors.
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