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research-and-clinical-trials

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

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

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)?

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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in-the-news

Promising research for a new antibiotic

A recent study in Nature identifying a potential new antibiotic garnered a lot of attention in the media and research community. Besides identifying a new antibiotic, the study used a method that has the potential to unlock significantly more antibiotics.

Health Talk spoke about the study with Courtney Aldrich, Ph.D., associate professor of medicinal chemistry in the College of Pharmacy and editor-in-chief of ACS Infectious Diseases, the first chemical-based journal on infectious diseases.

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research-and-clinical-trials

New findings in cell communication may contribute to new cancer treatments

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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in-the-news

In the News: UMN researchers identify new strain of deadly pig virus in U.S.

Porcine epidemic diarrhea virus (PEDv) has resulted in the deaths of millions of pigs and piglets since its introduction to the United States in early 2013. Since its introduction, the University of Minnesota has been on the frontline of PEDV disease spread prevention research with the development of rapid detection and herd surveillance tests.

University of Minnesota College of Veterinary Medicine experts have now contributed to PEDV understanding by detecting a new, third strain of the disease on a Minnesota hog farm. The strain was found to be at least as virulent as the original strain that emerged in the U.S. in early 2013, according to Reuters.

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