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Publication: Health Tips Weekly
Some cancer drugs bad for heart patients

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       HEALTH TIPS WEEKLY - Thursday, June 26, 2008 
             "News That Keeps You Healthy"   
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          'Grid computing' may help fight cancer

AUSTIN, Texas, -- A U.S. biomedical engineering professor is
using the concept called "grid computing" to allow people to
donate their idle computer time to fight cancer. University 
of Texas at Austin Assistant Professor Muhammad Zaman has 
introduced a grid program called Cellular Environment in 
Living Systems at home -- or CELS@Home. It allows Internet 
users worldwide to contribute their idle computer time, 
creating a "virtual" supercomputer to solve a difficult 
problem. Zaman's "grid computing" program is helping scien-
tists understand the principles of cell migration and cancer
cell metastasis. He said the program has already yielded 
enough information in just two months for two scientific 
journal articles. He said only a screensaver needs to be 
downloaded -- at no cost to the user -- to contribute to 
the CELS@Home effort. A computational program then runs 
whenever the screensaver is activated, requiring no effort 
on the part of the user to run the program or report the 
computations. People interested in participating in the 
program can obtain more information at ...
http://cels-at-home-dev.dyndns.org/cels/

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        New stem cells can regenerate heart tissue

BOSTON,-- U.S. scientists say they've identified a new group
of stem cells that can create cardiomyocytes, or heart 
muscle cells, to regenerate injured heart tissue. The find-
ing by researchers at Children's Hospital Boston follows 
studies that found a specific stem cell or progenitor, 
marked by expression of a gene called Nkx2-5 can form many
components of the heart, including heart muscle cells. In 
the new finding, Children's Hospital scientists showed heart
muscle cells can also be derived from a third type of car-
diac progenitor located within the epicardium, or the 
heart's surface, and identifiable through its expression of 
a gene called Wt1. "There's a lot of interest in finding 
places to obtain new cardiomyocytes, because in heart fail-
ure you lose cardiomyocytes, so the only way to reverse 
heart failure is to make more of these cells," said 
Dr. William Pu, who led the research. Although epicardial 
cells are known to give rise to smooth muscle and endothel-
ial cells during coronary vessel formation, nobody previ-
ously thought epicardial cells might turn into cardiomyo-
cytes. The results were independently corroborated by res-
earchers from the University of California-San Diego. The 
findings are reported online in the journal Nature.

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         Some cancer drugs bad for heart patients

ST. LOUIS,-- U.S. medical scientists say a set of promising 
new anti-cancer agents called hedgehog antagonists might 
present a risk for people with heart disease. Researchers 
at the Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis
said the hedgehog antagonists interfere with a biochemical
process called hedgehog signaling that promotes growth in 
some cancer cells. But the study showed interfering with 
that biochemical process in mice with heart disease led to
further deterioration of cardiac function and ultimately 
death. "This finding should serve as a warning that these 
drugs might have adverse effects on the heart and that it 
could be very important to monitor patients' cardiovascular 
health when using this type of anti-cancer drug," said sen-
ior study author Dr. David Ornitz. He said the study is the 
first demonstration that hedgehog signaling is essential to
maintain a healthy supply of blood vessels in adult heart 
muscle. The research that included Dr. Kory Lavine appears 
in the advance online issue of the Journal of Clinical 
Investigation.
        
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       Scientists ID new Alzheimer's disease gene

MANHASSET, N.Y.,-- U.S. medical scientists say they have 
identified a gene that puts people at risk for developing 
Alzheimer's disease. Philippe Marambaud of the Feinstein 
Institute for Medical Research and Fabien Campagne of the 
Weill Medical College at Cornell University said the calcium
channel modulator gene holds promise as a potentially new 
way to treat or even prevent Alzheimer's disease. They said 
they found the risk gene called CALHM1 strongly expressed in
the hippocampus -- a brain region necessary for learning and
memory. The researchers said CALHM1 leads to a partial loss 
of function, which means less calcium gets into a cell, 
thereby weakening signals normally regulated by calcium. 
They determined one of those signals controls the levels of 
amyloid peptides, the building blocks of the characteristic 
disease plaques. Using DNA from deceased U.S. Alzheimer's 
victims and age-matched controls, along with DNA samples 
from patients in France, Italy and the United Kingdom, the 
researchers ran tests on 3,404 samples. They discovered 
people having the genetic variant had 1.5 times higher risk 
of developing Alzheimer's. The study that included French 
researcher Jean Charles Lambert is detailed in the journal 
Cell.

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Health Tip: Maximize Memory

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Health Tips and Info From EVTV1.com
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End of HEALTH TIPS WEEKLY Copyright 2008 by NextEra Media. 
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