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Growth Signal Can Influence Cancer Cells’ Vulnerability to Drugs, Study Suggests

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In theory, a tumor is an army of clones, made up of many copies of the original cancerous cell. But tumor cells don’t always act like duplicates, and their unpredictable behavior can create problems for treatment. For while some cells within a tumor succumb to anti-cancer drugs, others may survive to bring the cancer back to life once therapy has ended.

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Curb Overuse of Antibiotics to Reduce Drug-Resistant Superbug

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An aggressive campaign to reduce the unnecessary use of antibiotics has helped cut the rate of infection with a dangerous drug-resistant bacteria at The Valley Hospital in Ridgewood, NJ, by nearly 40 percent.

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Chinese Institute Funds New Antibiotics Work

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Margaret Riley, an evolutionary biologist and pioneer research in antibiotic-resistant bacteria, announced a partnership with a Chinese scientist to develop a new drug platform, pheromonicins, with $400 million per year from Beijing. Riley plans to open a sister institute in Amherst, Mass.

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When Strep Throat Is Something Else: Forgotten Bacterium Is the Cause of Many Severe Sore Throats in Young Adults

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New research from UAB suggests that Fusobacterium necrophorum more often causes severe sore throats in young adults than streptococcus — the cause of the much better known strep throat. The findings, suggest physicians should consider F. necrophorum when treating severe sore throat in young adults and adolescents that worsens.

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Researchers Design “Evolutionary Trap” to Thwart Drug Resistance

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Using theoretical and experimental approaches, researchers at the Stowers Institute for Medical Research have developed a two-pronged strategy that uses an evolving cell population’s adaptive nature against it.

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Yonath Discusses Visualizing Ribosomes and Antibiotic Resistance

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Ada Yonath, a pioneer in using crystallographic techniques to visualize ribosome structure, was the most recent Eugene P. Wigner Distinguished Lecturer at the Department of Energy's Oak Ridge National Laboratory. Her work continues to contribute to ribosomal research, prompting researchers to look more closely at antibiotics that target bacterial ribosomes, including those of pathogenic bacteria species, an avenue that could help reverse current levels of antibiotic resistance. At the talk, she steered conversation to species-specific antibiotic resistance.

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Case of Mistaken Identity Leads to Much-Needed Drug Target Against MRSA, Gram-Positive Infections

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Scientists at the University of Utah and the University of Georgia have uncovered a pharmacological target that could enable development of novel drugs against antibiotic-resistant pathogens, including Methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA), Vancomycin-resistant enterococci (VRE) and other infectious Gram-positive organisms such as Listeria and Mycobacterium tuberculosis. The target was revealed upon discovery of a Gram-positive bacteria-specific pathway for making heme, an essential iron-carrying molecule. The findings were reported in the journal, Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (PNAS).

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Does Getting “Expensive” Drug Affect How Much Patient Benefits?

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People’s perceptions of the cost of a drug may affect how much they benefit from the drug, even when they are receiving only a placebo, according to a new study of people with Parkinson’s disease published in the January 28, 2015 online issue of Neurology®, the medical journal of the American Academy of Neurology.

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SLU Scientist Aims to Improve Antibiotics to Treat Staph Infections

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Saint Louis University's Mee-Ngan F. Yap, Ph.D., discovered new information about how antibiotics like azithromycin stop staph infections, and why staph sometimes becomes resistant to drugs.

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How Staph Infections Elude the Immune System

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By tricking the immune system into generating antibodies specific for only one bacterial protein, Staphylococcus aureus dodges the production of antibodies that might otherwise protect against infection. Vaccine approaches must be designed to side-step this bacterial subterfuge.