Friday October 18, 2019

Researchers Discover Enzyme Inhibitor To Treat Deadly Brain Tumours in Kids

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

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MRI
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 Tumour. Flickr
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)

Next Story

Salesforce CEO Calls Facebook as ‘New Cigarettes’ for Kids

Zuckerberg, however, has promised his employees to "fight and win" if Democratic presidential hopeful Warren wins the 2020 election and moves forward with her stated plan to break up the big US tech firms

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facebook, instant games
FILE - Attendees walk past a Facebook logo during Facebook Inc's F8 developers conference in San Jose, California, United States. VOA

Pitching for breaking up Facebook, US-based software giant Salesforce CEO Marc Benioff has called the social networking platform “new cigarettes” which are making kids addictive.

Responding to Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg’s announcement that he will make a speech about his views on free expression, Benioff said the company must be held accountable now.

“Facebook is a publisher. They need to be held accountable for propaganda on their platform. We must have standards & practices decided by law. FB is the new cigarette – it’s addictive, bad for us, & our kids are being drawn in. We need to abolish section 230 Indemnifying them,” he tweeted on Wednesday.

Section 230 of the US Communications Decency Act of 1996 gives automatic liability protection to social media firm for any content posted by their users.

In an interview with CNN later, the Salesforce chief pushed for the breakup of Facebook.

“They’re also acquiring other companies and co-mingling (data)… they probably should be broken up because they’re having an undue influence as the largest social media platform on the planet,” he was quoted as saying.

Fake, News, WhatsApp, Facebook, India
The Facebook mobile app on an Android smartphone. Wikimedia Commons

Zuckerberg was scheduled to make a speech on free expression on Thursday.

“Why I believe voice is important, how giving people voice and bringing people together go hand in hand, how we might address the challenges that more voice and the internet introduce, and the major threats to free expression around the world,” Zuckerberg posted.

Several US lawmakers like Senators Kamala Harris and Elizabeth Warren have been pitching to break up Facebook.

Also Read: NASA Making a ‘Rigorous’ Search for Vikram with Fresh Lunar Pictures

Warren in fact successfully run a fake ad on the social media platform that claimed “Mark Zuckerberg and Facebook just endorsed Donald Trump for re-election”.

Zuckerberg, however, has promised his employees to “fight and win” if Democratic presidential hopeful Warren wins the 2020 election and moves forward with her stated plan to break up the big US tech firms. (IANS)