Regular science news
- Breast cancer detected through breath test
- Genes in fruit flies may shed light on human cancer
- UQ nanotechnology research to detect diseases before they appear
- Viagra® amongst a list of promising drug therapies to treat lung disease
10 April – Volatile organic compounds (VOCs) that are exhaled in the breath of breast cancer patients may ultimately lead to early detection by breath testing. Similar technology developed by Menssana Research in the United States is currently being used to detect VOCs in heart transplant rejection patients. It is hoped that the technology will ultimately have further application in relation to characteristic compounds of other diseases and disorders. Scientists believe that if successful, the technology will be highly advantageous as it provides for early stage detection that is comfortable to administer and more accurate than the presently utilised mammography techniques.
[Source: New Scientist]
4 April – Researchers from the John Hopkins Medical Institute have searched the entire fruit fly genome and identified genes that are required for cell migration. As it is the cells that migrate beyond an original tumour that eventually kill most cancer patients, it is hoped that these findings will assist in the understanding and control of cancer. According to the study's senior author, Denise Montell PhD, the genes uncovered share more similarities with those that arise from studies of human metastatic breast cancer cells than they do with other tissues in the fruit fly. This study involved the innovative method of microarray analysis, which allowed the complete fruit fly genome to studied at the same time.
[Source: Johns Hopkins Medical Institutions]
6 April – The University of Queensland's (UQ) Centre for Nanotechnology and Biomaterials has teamed up with United States researchers from the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Centre, University of Washington and Seattle Biomedical Research Institute to revolutionise cancer and disease detection. The project involves investigating and testing a set of unique Australian-owned nanotechnologies that are hoped will assist in the early detection and diagnosis of many diseases. Nanotechnology is attractive as it offers the possibility to create devices which can rapidly screen for disease biomarkers. The Queensland State Government through the National and International Research Alliances Program have contributed AU$2 million towards the project.
[Source: University of Queensland Media Release]
8 April – The 26th meeting of the International Society for Heart and Lung Transplantation (ISHLT) has discussed the further application of Viagra® as a promising new treatment for patients living with pulmonary arterial hypertension (PAH). PAH is characterised by high blood pressure in the lungs, forcing many patients to undergo lung transplants. Other drug candidates being considered by researchers include endothelin antagonists, Sitaxenta and Bosentan and prostenoids, Trepostenil and Prostacyclin.
[Source: International Society for Heart and Lung Transplantation]