Another suspected bird flu case in China Authorities in China have reported another possible bird flu case in the country, the fourth this year cafergot intake . This most recent case has appeared in the southern Guangdong province in which a 44-year-old woman apparently developed symptoms of the bird flu virus on February 16th. Related StoriesAcetaminophen Awareness Coalition issues safety message to customers about flu medicinesFlu vaccine considerably reduces stroke riskEnsemble models provide accurate real-period estimates of current and impending flu activityThe suspected case comes only a week after the Hong Kong authorities reported China’s third loss of life from bird flu this season. According to the Centre for Health Protection, the full case had yet to be confirmed. On the 20th February a 41-year old man from the Xixiangtang District of Nanning City, in China’s southern Guangxi autonomous region died of the H5N1 bird flu virus. Prior to his death he previously apparently been in contact with sick and lifeless poultry; all who had connection with him have been placed directly under medical observation, but to date all remain healthy. Of the 29 cases confirmed to time in China, 19 have already been fatal. Since 2003, according to the World Health Organisation, there have been 232 human deaths worldwide from the H5N1 strain out of 366 confirmed cases.
Another function for protein Mer in novel, targeted cancer treatments Since the mid-1990s, doctors have had the protein Mer in their sights – it coats the exterior of cancer cells, transmitting signals in the cells that aid their uncontrolled growth. A University of Colorado Cancer Middle study, recently published in the journal PLoS ONE, found another home for Mer – inside cancer cells’ nuclei – and perhaps another role because of this protein that may point the way to novel, targeted treatments. ‘We’ve known that leukemic B and T cells have a whole lot of Mer on their surface, while normal lymphocytes have none, and that this protein promotes tumor cell survival,’ says Justine Migdall, MD/PhD applicant working in the laboratory of Douglas Graham, MD, PhD, CU Cancer Middle investigator and associate professor of pediatrics and immunology at the University of Colorado School of Medicine. Related StoriesStudy shows uncommon HER2 missense mutations usually do not spread breast cancer on their ownOvarian cancer patients with a brief history of oral contraceptive use have better outcomesNew results reveal association between colorectal cancer and melanoma medications’But signaling from the cell surface area may only participate how Mer promotes leukemia. Our recent discovering that Mer also resides in the nucleus suggests there might be additional ways that Mer is promoting cancers from within the cell,’ he says. The question remains, What is Mer performing in the nucleus? Migdall and Graham believe it’s most likely that Mer in the nucleus may influence ‘gene expression’ – assisting to decide which parts of the cells’ DNA are published or expressed into proteins. If Mer is, in fact, altering genes within cells, it might be one way in which healthful cells become cancerous – with the wrong genes expressed, an excellent cell may go bad. Or simply Mer in the nucleus can help existing cancer cells survive and thrive despite chemotherapy treatment, as may be the case in sufferers who relapse commonly. ‘This finding is particularly fascinating within the realm of drug development, which is currently focused on inhibiting Mer signaling,’ Migdall says. ‘Mer in the nucleus may offer another description of how Mer promotes malignancy and thus may end up being another druggable target.’ A second usage of this discovery may be in prognosis – Migdall and Graham hope to discover if the current presence of MER in the nuclei of leukemia cells predicts a far more aggressive form of the disease. The answer will help doctors deliver more accurate information in addition to accurate treatments. ‘If we really have two distinctive mechanisms through which Mer acts – tumor cell signaling and regulation of gene expression within the nucleus – then we would have additional methods to target this cancer-causing agent,’ Graham says.