Metabolism

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News • Focus on protein GDF15

Newfound mechanism could improve efficiency of diabetes treatments

Research reveals how a new mechanism could improve the efficiency of current treatments for diabetes. This may open up new ways of approaching metabolic diseases that are a global health problem.

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News • Excessive fluid consumption

Thirsty all the time: harmless habit or hormonal disorder?

Drinking more than three liters of fluid per day may be a harmless habit – or a warning sign for a rare hormone deficiency. Swiss researchers investigated tests to differentiate between the two.

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News • The role of arginine

Cancer research: Metabolite drives tumor development

University of Basel scientists have discovered that high levels of the amino acid arginine drive metabolic reprogramming to promote tumor growth. This could lead to improved liver cancer treatment.

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News • Production of biological contrast agents

Hyperpolarized MRI to advance cancer imaging

A new imaging method devised by German researchers offers a fast and cost-effective way to observe abnormal metabolic processes live in the MRI scanner.

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News • Experimental biology

Global warming: how hot is too hot for human health?

Ongoing research at the University of Roehampton, UK has identified the upper critical temperature (UCT) for humans - and why our bodies cannot handle more heat.

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News • Metabolic activity diffusion imaging

New MRI technique reveals cells’ energy activity in organs and tissues

US researchers have developed a way to use MRI scanning to map body cell metabolism, opening up new possibilities for detecting cancers and revealing if a tumor is responding to treatment.

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News • Singlet contrast imaging

Hyperpolarized MRI enables real-time view on metabolic processes

Hyperpolarized MRI is a recent development and its research and application potential has yet to be fully explored. Researchers at Johannes Gutenberg University Mainz (JGU) and the Helmholtz Institute Mainz (HIM) have now unveiled a new technique for observing metabolic processes in the body. Their singlet-contrast MRI method employs easily-produced parahydrogen to track biochemical processes in…

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Article • Imaging tumour metabolism

Hyperpolarised MRI boosts cancer diagnosis

Tumour metabolism can be imaged with MRI as a technique to help determine cancer aggressiveness and response to therapy. The work by a UK-based group, on probing cancer metabolism non-invasively with clinical hyperpolarised carbon-13 MRI, can detect metabolic changes in the tumour. As metabolic changes occur much earlier than change in tumour size, this could have implications for quicker…

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News • Neuro-map reveals nourishment mechanisms

Food for thought: How our brain keeps its supply up

Our brains are non-stop consumers. A labyrinth of blood vessels, stacked end-to-end comparable in length to the distance from San Diego to Berkeley, ensures a continuous flow of oxygen and sugar to keep our brains functioning at peak levels. But how does this intricate system ensure that more active parts of the brain receive enough nourishment versus less demanding areas? That’s a century-old…

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News • Infection research

Mutations help bacteria resist antibiotic treatment

Bacteria have many ways to evade the antibiotics that we use against them. Each year, at least 2.8 million people in the United States develop an antibiotic-resistant infection, and more than 35,000 people die from such infections, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control. Most of the mutations known to confer resistance occur in the genes targeted by a particular antibiotic. Other…

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Article • Mass spectrometry-based metabolomics

A new technique to understand metabolic pathways

Mass spectrometry-based metabolomics has emerged as a powerful tool to help study chemical ecology. Recent advances in the technique make it possible to study microbial interactions from complex communities. Laia Castaño-Espriu outlined the role and benefits of MS in this context in her presentation ‘Analysis of microbial ecology by mass spectrometry-based metabolomics techniques’, at the…

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News • Dietary dangers

Sugar consumption: a driving factor in onset of pancreatic cancer

A diet high in sugar increases the likelihood of developing pancreatic cancer in some people and can also drive the aggressive growth of tumours, a new study finds. During this study, researchers from the University of Surrey, VIB-KU Leuven, Belgium and the Babraham Institute in Cambridge, sought to understand the impact of diet on the development and progression of pancreatic cancer. This rare…

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News • Cutting the energy supply

Disrupting cellular pH balance blocks pancreatic cancer

Scientists at Sanford Burnham Prebys have found a new way to kill pancreatic cancer cells by disrupting their pH equilibrium. The study, published in Cancer Discovery, reports how depleting an ion transport protein lowers the pH to a point that compromises pancreatic cancer cell growth. Pancreatic cancer cells—like all cancer cells—have a constant need for energy to support their growth and…

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News • Intestinal distress

Celiac disease: 'Reprogramming' the immune system to tolerate gluten

Celiac disease affects 0.3-2.4% of people in most countries world-wide, and approx. 2% in Finland. Celiac patients suffer from a variety of symptoms, typically intestinal complaints, such as diarrhea, but are often symptom-free. Immunologist Tobias Freitag co-developed and tested nanoparticles containing gliadin for the immunomodulatory treatment of celiac disease in Professor Seppo Meri’s…

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News • Promising metabolite

Gut flora could hold the key for new diabetes treatments

An organic compound produced by the gut flora – the metabolite 4-Cresol – is considered to have protective effects against both type 1 and 2 diabetes, notably by stimulating the growth of the insulin-producing pancreatic beta cells. This is according to a new study led by Inserm researcher Dominique Gauguier at the Environmental Toxicology, Therapeutic Targets, Cell Signaling and Biomarkers…

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News • Iron dependent cell death

Ferroptosis could be key for new anticancer approach

A team of researchers lead by Helmholtz Zentrum München and the University of Würzburg identified an enzyme as a novel and strong inhibitor of ferroptosis, the iron dependent form of cell death: ferroptosis suppressor protein-1, short FSP1. This protein is expressed in a variety of cancer cell lines and therefore represents an attractive drug target for cancer treatment. In fact, the first FSP1…

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News • Metabolic mystery solved

Why fatty livers are more susceptible to cancer

Fatty liver disease is contributing to an increase in liver cancer and basic scientists at The University of Texas Health Science at Houston (UTHealth) have new insight as to why. In the journal Cancer Research, the investigators report that in mouse models, excess fat impairs the ability of a tumor-suppressing protein named HNF4α to do its job. “This study provides potential mechanisms for…

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