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Research Snapshot: A better understanding of t-cell leukemia virus

Photo: CC, https://flic.kr/p/hn5TJc

The particles of the human T-cell leukemia virus type 1 (HTLV-1), a human retrovirus closely related to HIV, are known to be non-infectious. They don’t cause much damage alone. But when those particles invade other cells, the virus becomes highly infectious, and can cause leukemia. About 5 percent of people with HTLV-1 will develop adult t-cell leukemia.

University of Minnesota researchers recently captured 3-D images of HTLV-1 through advanced electron imaging, a technology that enabled them to study the virus particles in more detail than ever before. Their finding, recently published in The Journal of Virology, could provide insight into why some particles are more infectious than others.

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research-and-clinical-trials

Small steps for big changes in 2015

As January comes to a close, many find the resolutions they made on New Year’s Day, are becoming harder to maintain. Before you throw out your resolution to be healthy in 2015, HealthTalk compiled a short list of easy steps you can take to achieve your goals.

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research-and-clinical-trials

Research Snapshot: Identified core structure of “Q” could lead to better understanding of other enzymes, future methane uses

University of Minnesota researchers have identified the structure of the key intermediate “Q” in the enzyme methane monooxygenase (MMO), which converts methane (natural gas) and oxygen into methanol and water.

John Lipscomb, Ph.D., professor in the Department of Biochemistry, Molecular Biology and Biophysics at the University of Minnesota partnered with a team of researchers at Michigan State University on the project. It was published this month in Nature.

The study confirms that Q, one of the most powerful oxidizing intermediates occurring in nature, has a diamond-shaped core consisting of two highly oxidized iron atoms connected by twin, single-oxygen atom bridges.

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research-and-clinical-trials

Does accreditation impact centers of hematopoietic cell transplantation (HCT)?

Photo courtesy Flickr user lighthouse50

There are two hematopoietic cell transplantation (HCT) center-accrediting organizations in the nation, the Foundation for the Accreditation of Cellular Therapy (FACT) and core Clinical Trial Network certification (CTN).

In a recent study conducted by Schelomo Marmor, PhD, M.P.H., from University of Minnesota Department of Surgery, Marmor assessed if these accreditations improved clinical care and survival for HCT, a complex treatment viable for several hematological disease groups.

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research-and-clinical-trials

New findings in cell communication may contribute to new cancer treatments

Image courtesy of Dr. Emil Lou

Human ovarian cancer SKOV3 OC cells (stained green) connected with immortalized ovarian surface epithelial cell stromal cells (stained red) via tunneling nanotubes.

Researchers from the University of Minnesota recently discovered cells directly transfer tumor-causing microRNAs via tunneling nanotubes. Intercellular communication among distant and proximal cells is vital to survival in multicellular organisms. This communication is also extremely important in understanding cancerous tumor growth.

Gastrointestinal oncologist Emil Lou, M.D., Ph.D., collaborated with assistant professor and microRNA expert Subree Subramanian, Ph.D., on the findings published in the journal Translational Research.

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research-and-clinical-trials

Research snapshot: E-cigarettes may result in lower consumed toxicants for users, says new UMN research

Jonny Williams/CC 2.0/https://flic.kr/p/pBjdmA

E-cigarettes are a quickly growing market, and potentially for good reason. New research out of the Masonic Cancer Center, University of Minnesota shows the metabolized levels of disease-causing compounds are significantly lower in e-cigarettes than traditional cigarettes.

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