Thiiiiiis is pretty crazy.
Before the bad news, she’d spent 28 years coughing, wheezing, and sitting in hospital beds with bouts of asthma and pneumonia.
A few weeks later, the Seminole Heights woman was sitting at a traffic light when one of her violent coughing fits struck. This time, however, she coughed up a fruit pit. It turns out that the fruit pit was likely the “spot” found on her lung.
- Woman coughs up “tumor” (boingboing.net)
One of the things I love about science is that the passion shown for it can be as much for the people around us as for the field itself. Who knows what would be left to discover if a single person hadn’t experienced some sort of suffering and thought “I wonder what I could do to change that.”
The blog post above is an example of just such passion. Through the pain of losing a loved one to lung cancer, Professor of Medicine at the University of Chicago, Stephen Archer, sought to explore the mitochondrial networks in cancer cells.
With the help of colleagues, including the author of the post, Jalees Rehman, Archer began to pave the way toward something great. The basis of the discovery was:
The mitochondria in the vast majority of cancer cells appeared to be small and fragmented, while healthy epithelial cells predominantly contained elongated, filamentous-like mitochondria that formed large intact networks.
Two of the players in cancer cell proliferation are Drp-1 and Mitofusion-2. Drp-1 is a mitochondrial fission protein while Mfn-2 is a mitochondrial fusion protein. (See the article for more information.)
Displaying the nature of scientists, Rehman questions what else is left to be discovered.
As with any research, our study also points towards many unanswered questions, some of them highlighting the importance of how the nucleus communicates with other organelles: what are the specific mechanisms by which preventing mitotic mitochondrial fission signals back to the nucleus and halts the progression of the cell cycle? How does the cell coordinate the dynamics of other organelles during cell cycle? Could the dynamics of other organelles also be therapeutically targeted in cancer cells?
The presence of mitochondrial fission may be critical in other diseases, such as Alzheimer’s. Whatever the future of this research holds is sure to be exciting!
- Possible New Target For Cancer Therapy – Energy Network Within Cells (medicalnewstoday.com)
- Scientists unlock key to cancer cell death mystery (eurekalert.org)
- In Alzheimer’s Disease, Mitochondrial Dysfunction Present Before Memory Loss (medicalnewstoday.com)
- Cure for Cancer Goes Unnoticed (elderlymedicalalert.wordpress.com)
If only we could all be so lucky…
Thiiiiis is pretty freakin’ cool. I ♥ science.
- There’s hope for a breast cancer vaccine (cbsnews.com)
- New drug combo targets multiple cancers (eurekalert.org)
- NIH researchers design a light therapy that targets and destroys cancer cells in mice (nih.gov)
- Using epigenetics in lung cancer (genome-engineering.com)
On Saturday, I went to the Light the Night walk for Lymphoma and Leukemia with a girlfriend of mine in support of Team Shawn. Shawn had Hodgkin’s Lymphoma. He was my age, 22, when he lost his fight two years ago. I never knew him, but I was fortunate enough to meet his mother and some of his friends who came in support of him. At the walk, different colored balloons mean different things. They all have a little light fixture inside that flashes so that walkers can literally light up the night. When a gentleman came around to ask how many balloons we needed, Shawn’s mother said 15. When asked what color, she said gold, which is the color for those walking in memory of someone. The man said he’d never been asked for 15 gold balloons.
Unfortunately, it was raining and freezing out. My girlfriend and I suited up in spandex and under armour and grabbed some Starbucks and toughed it out for an incredible cause. There was still a pretty great turn out for the weather.
Hodgkin’s Lymphoma is a blood cancer that affects white blood cells (lymphocytes). Age 15-35 and over 55 are the peak times to develop the cancer for whatever reason. They affect lymph nodes, which are found all over the body, and produce immune cells. There is quite a long list of symptoms for the disease. Prevention is difficult as the cause is either unknown or multifaceted. Treatment has been improving over the years, but of course, every patient is different. Hopefully, with more research effort, this type of cancer will be on the decline.
If you would like to donate to Light the Night on Shawn’s behalf, or anyone else’s, you can visit http://www.lightthenight.org/donate/ and search “Tiffany” “Rushin” or “Team Shawn”. Either Tiffany works (somehow I signed up twice).
- Smudge and Symba’s sister Sookie got adopted last week! That just leaves Tara, also known as Terror to me, and the Fantastic Four will all have homes!
- Someone is interested in Barkley!
- VMCAS Deadline Countdown: NOW! Submitted everything this weekend! Stress procrastination you know…