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Brain tumours can be confused with harmless bright spots, it has never been clear whether finding these abnormalities via MRI should be a cause for concern. Wikimedia Commons

Researchers have identified an enzyme inhibitor that may help fight the most deadly brain tumour in children.

The study, published in the journal Nature Communications, suggests that an inhibitor of ACVR1 enzyme slows tumour growth and increases survival in an animal model of diffuse intrinsic pontine glioma (DIPG) — the most deadly brain tumour in children.


According to the researchers, currently, there are no approved drugs for treating DIPG.

“Our results are encouraging and suggest that it might be reasonable to test an inhibitor of this enzyme in a clinical trial,” said senior author Oren Becher, Associate Professor at Northwestern University in the US.

“Prior to that, we need to evaluate different ACVR1 inhibitors in animal models to make sure we bring the most safe and effective agent to trials with children,” Becher added.


Representation of a Brain Tumor. Flickr

In 2014, Becher’s lab co-discovered that ACVR1 mutations are found in approximately 25 per cent of DIPGs, leading the enzyme to be overactive.

In this study, the team demonstrated for the first time in an animal model that this enzyme mutation cooperates with a histone mutation (H3.1 K27M) found in 20 per cent of DIPGs. Together, these mutations are important in initiating tumour development.

Also Read- UN Considers Nitrogen Pollution As a Big Issue

Histone is a protein that acts like a spool for DNA, helping to package the six-feet long DNA strand into the tiny nucleus of every cell.

“Our future work will examine why and how the ACVR1 and histone mutations work together to trigger DIPG development,” Becher noted. (IANS)


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Indian wrestler Ravi Kumar (57kg) and Deepak Punia (86kg) enjoyed fruitful outings at the Tokyo Olympic Games as they secured semifinal berths in their respective weight categories at the Makuhari Messe on Wednesday.

On the opening day of the wrestling competition, Ravi Kumar defeated Bulgaria's Georgi Vangelov 14-4 on technical superiority to reach the last-four in the men's 57kg category, while compatriot Deepak Punia overcame China's Zushen Lin 6-3 on points to advance to the semifinals.

Ravi Kumar will take on Nurislam Sanayev of Kazakhstan in the last-four, while Punia will be up against David Morris Taylor of the USA.

Earlier, Ravi Kumar had won his opening-round bout by technical superiority against Colombia's Oscar Tigreros to secure a quarterfinal spot. Competing in the Round-of-16 bout against the Colombian wrestler, the 23-year-old Ravi Kumar, who is making his Olympic debut, showed no nerves as he dominated the bout to win by technical superiority (13-2).

Ravi Kumar landed attack after attack and went 13-2 up, winning the bout by technical superiority with minutes to spare. In wrestling, building up a 10-point lead over the opponent results in a victory by technical superiority.

India's 86kg freestyle wrestler Deepak Punia showed no signs of the niggle that had forced him to pull out of the Poland Open Ranking Series in Warsaw in June, as he defeated Nigeria's Ekerekeme Agiomor on technical superiority to secure a quarterfinal berth.

He got his Olympic campaign to a fine start as he was in control from the start of the bout and hardly ever allowed his Nigerian opponent any room to maneuver his moves, finally winning with a 12-1 on technical superiority.

Punia, who had also suffered an elbow injury just before the Games, was slow at the start but came into his own as the bout progressed, inflicting takedowns at regular intervals to earn points.

The Indian wrestler eased into a 4-1 lead at the break and extended his lead comfortably in the second period.

Punia, the silver medallist from the 2019 world wrestling championships, then set up a clash with China's Lin Zushen in the quarterfinals and defeated him 6-3.

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