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 91 
 on: March 13, 2012, 02:39:28 pm 
Started by Francis Umeoguaju - Last post by Francis Umeoguaju
By engineering cells to express a modified RNA called "Spinach," researchers have imaged small-molecule metabolites in living cells and observed how their levels change over time. Metabolites are the products of individual cell metabolism. The ability to measure their rate of production could be used to recognize a cell gone metabolically awry, as in cancer, or identify the drug that can restore the cell's metabolites to normal.

Researchers at Weill Cornell Medical College say the advance, described in the March 9 issue of Science, has the potential to revolutionize the understanding of the metabolome, the thousands of metabolites that provide chemical fingerprints of dynamic activity within cells.
"The ability to see metabolites in action will offer us new and powerful clues into how they are altered in disease and help us find treatments that can restore their levels to normal," says Dr. Samie R. Jaffrey, an associate professor of pharmacology at Weill Cornell Medical College. Dr. Jaffrey led the study, which included three other Weill Cornell investigators.

"Metabolite levels in cells control so many aspects of their function, and because of this, they provide a powerful snapshot of what is going on inside a cell at a particular time," he says.
For example, biologists know that metabolism in cancer cells is abnormal; these cells alter their use of glucose for energy and produce unique breakdown products such as lactic acid, thus producing a distinct metabolic profile. "The ability to see these metabolic abnormalities can tell you how the cancer might develop," Dr. Jaffrey says. "But up until now, measuring metabolites has been very difficult in living cells."

In the Science study, Dr. Jaffrey and his team demonstrated that specific RNA sequences can be used to sense levels of metabolites in cells. These RNAs are based on the Spinach RNA, which emits a greenish glow in cells. Dr. Jaffrey's team modified Spinach RNAs so they are turned off until they encounter the metabolite they are specifically designed to bind to, causing the fluorescence of Spinach to be switched on. They designed RNA sequences to trace the levels of five different metabolites in cells, including ADP, the product of ATP, the cell's energy molecule, and SAM (S-Adenosyl methionine), which is involved in methylation that regulates gene activity. "Before this, no one has been able to watch how the levels of these metabolites change in real time in cells," he says.
Delivering the RNA sensors into living cells allows researchers to measure levels of a target metabolite in a single cell as it changes over time. "You could see how these levels change dynamically in response to signaling pathways or genetic changes. And you can screen drugs that normalize those genetic abnormalities," Dr. Jaffrey says. "A major goal is to identify drugs that normalize cellular metabolism."

This strategy overcomes drawbacks of the prevailing method of sensing molecules in living cells using green fluorescent protein (GFP). GFP and other proteins can be used to sense metabolites if they are fused to naturally occurring proteins that bind the metabolite. In some cases, metabolite binding can twist the proteins in a way that affects their fluorescence. However, for most metabolites, there are no proteins available that can be fused to GFP to make sensors.

By using RNAs as metabolite sensors, this problem is overcome. "The amazing thing about RNA is that you can make RNA sequences that bind to essentially any small molecule you want. They can be made in a couple of weeks," Dr. Jaffrey says. These artificial sequences are then fused to Spinach and expressed as a single strand of RNA in cells.
"This approach would potentially allow you to take any small molecule metabolite you want to study and see it inside cells," Dr. Jaffrey says. He and his colleagues have expanded the technology to detect proteins and other molecules inside living cells.

He adds that uses of the technology to understand human biology can be applied to many diseases. "We are very interested in seeing how metabolic changes within brain neurons contribute to developmental disorders such as autism," Dr. Jaffrey says. "There are a lot of opportunities, as far as this new tool is concerned."
Co-authors of the study include Dr. Jeremy S. Paige, Mr. Thinh Nguyen Duc, and Dr. Wenjiao Song from the Department of Pharmacology at Weill Cornell Medical College.

The study was funded by the National Institute of Biomedical Imaging and Bioengineering of the NIH, and the McKnight Foundation. The Cornell Center for Technology Enterprise and Commercialization (CCTEC), on behalf of Cornell University, has filed has filed for patent protection on this technology. Dr. Samie Jaffrey is the founder and scientific advisor to Lucerna Technologies, and holds equity interests in this company. In addition, Lucerna Technologies has a license that is related to technology described here.
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 92 
 on: March 06, 2012, 05:32:16 am 
Started by Francis Umeoguaju - Last post by Francis Umeoguaju
This story illustrates the path to discovery. Discovery comes in several steps

 93 
 on: March 06, 2012, 05:27:13 am 
Started by Francis Umeoguaju - Last post by Francis Umeoguaju
Studying tiny bits of genetic material that control protein formation in the brain, Johns Hopkins scientists say they have new clues to how memories are made and how drugs might someday be used to stop disruptions in the process that lead to mental illness and brain wasting diseases.
In a report published in the March 2 issue of Cell, the researchers said certain microRNAs—genetic elements that control which proteins get made in cells— are the key to controlling the actions of so-called brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF), long linked to brain cell survival, normal learning and memory boosting.

During the learning process, cells in the brain’s hippocampus release BDNF, a growth-factor protein that ramps up production of other proteins involved in establishing memories. Yet, by mechanisms that were never understood, BDNF is known to increase production of less than 4 percent of the different proteins in a brain cell.

That led Mollie Meffert, M.D., Ph.D., associate professor of biological chemistry and neuroscience at the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine to track down how BDNF specifically determines which proteins to turn on, and to uncover the role of regulatory microRNAs.
MicroRNAs are small molecules that bind to and block messages that act as protein blueprints from being translated into proteins. Many microRNAs in a cell shut down protein production, and, conversely, the loss of certain microRNAs can cause higher production of specific proteins.

The researchers measured microRNA levels in brain cells treated with BDNF and compared them to microRNA levels in neurons not treated with BDNF. The researchers noticed that levels of certain microRNAs were lower in brain cells treated with BDNF, suggesting that BDNF controls the levels of these microRNAs and, through this control, also affects protein production. Homing in on those specific microRNAS that disappeared when cells were treated with BDNF, the team found all were of the same type, so-called Let-7 microRNAs, and that all shared a common genetic sequence.

“This short genetic sequence has been shown by other researchers to behave like a bar code that can selectively prevent production of Let-7 microRNAs,” says Meffert.
To test if the loss of Let-7 microRNAs lets BDNF increase production of specific proteins, Meffert’s team genetically engineered neurons so they could no longer decrease Let-7 microRNAs. They found that treating these neurons with BDNF no longer resulted in decreased microRNA levels or an increase in learning and memory proteins.

In measuring microRNA levels in cells treated with BDNF, the researchers also found more than 174 microRNAs that increased with BDNF treatment. This suggested to the research team that BNDF treatment also can increase other microRNAs and, thereby, decrease production of certain proteins. Says Meffert, some of these proteins may need to be decreased during learning and memory, whereas others may not contribute to the process at all.

To confirm that BDNF, via microRNA action, halts the production of certain proteins, the researchers monitored living brain cells to find out where messages go in response to BDNF. Messages that aren’t translated into proteins can accumulate inside small formations within cells. Using a microscope, the researchers watched a lab dish containing brain cells that had been marked with a fluorescent molecule that labels these formations as glowing spots. Treating cells with BDNF caused the number and size of the glowing spots to increase. The researchers determined that BDNF uses microRNA to send messages to these spots where they can be exiled away from the translating machinery that turns them into protein.

“Monitoring these fluorescent complexes gave us a window that we needed to understand how BDNF is able to target the production of only certain proteins that help neurons to grow and make learning possible,” Meffert says.

Adds Meffert, “Now that we know how BDNF boosts production of learning and memory proteins, we have an opportunity to explore whether therapeutics can be designed to enhance this mechanism for treatment of patients with mental disorders and  neurodegenerative diseases like Alzheimer’s disease.”


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 94 
 on: March 06, 2012, 05:25:59 am 
Started by Francis Umeoguaju - Last post by Francis Umeoguaju
Johns Hopkins neurologists report success with a new means of getting rid of potentially lethal blood clots in the brain safely without cutting through easily damaged brain tissue or removing large pieces of skull. The minimally invasive treatment, they report, increased the number of patients with intracerebral hemorrhage (ICH) who could function independently by 10 to 15 percent six months following the procedure.
At the International Stroke Conference taking place January 31 through February 2 in New Orleans, the researchers will present their findings from 93 patients, ages 18 to 80, who randomly got either the new treatment or standard-of-care “supportive” therapy that essentially gives clots a chance to dissolve on their own.

The new study was coordinated by Johns Hopkins and the surgical review centers at the University of Cincinnati and the University of Chicago. All 93 patients were diagnosed with ICH, a particularly lethal or debilitating form of stroke long considered surgically untreatable under most circumstances.
“The last untreatable form of stroke may well have a treatment,” says study leader Daniel F. Hanley, M.D., a professor of neurology at the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine. “If a larger study proves our findings correct, we may substantially reduce the burden of strokes for patients and their families by increasing the number of people who can be independent again after suffering a stroke.”

ICH is a bleed in the brain that causes a clot to form, often caused by uncontrolled high blood pressure. The clot builds up pressure and leaches inflammatory chemicals that can cause irreversible brain damage, often leading to death or extreme disability. The standard of care for ICH patients is general supportive care, usually in an ICU; only 10 percent undergo the more invasive and risky craniotomy surgery, which involves removing a portion of the skull and making incisions through healthy brain tissue to reach and remove the clot. Roughly 50 percent of people who suffer an intracerebral hemorrhage die from it.

Although in the United States just 15 percent of stroke patients have ICH, that rate translates to roughly 30,000 to 50,000 individuals — more often than not, Asians, Hispanics, African-Americans, the elderly and those who lack access to medical care. The more common form of stroke is ischemic stroke, which occurs when an artery supplying blood to the brain is blocked.

Surgeons performed the minimally invasive procedure by drilling a dime-sized hole in each patient’s skull close to the clot location. Using a CT scan that Hanley likens to “GPS for the brain,” they guided the catheter through the hole and directly into the clot. The catheter was then used to drip small doses of the clot-busting drug t-PA into the clot for a couple of days, shrinking the clots roughly 20 percent per day. Those patients who underwent supportive therapy saw their clots shrink by about 5 percent per day.
A major advantage is that the minimally invasive surgery busted the clot without the potentially injurious side effects associated with craniotomy, Hanley says.
The minimally invasive approach was also found to be as safe as general supportive therapy, which can involve intense blood pressure control, artificial ventilation, drugs to control swelling and watchful waiting for the clot to dissipate on its own.                          

For the new study, patients were treated at more than two dozen sites throughout the United States, Canada and Europe, by staff neurologists and surgeons. Hanley says it’s a bonus that patients don’t need specialized equipment to have the procedure done. 
“More extensive surgery probably helps get rid of the clot, but injures the brain,” he says. “This ‘minimalist approach’ probably does just as much to clear the clot while apparently protecting the brain.”

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 95 
 on: March 06, 2012, 05:22:15 am 
Started by Francis Umeoguaju - Last post by Francis Umeoguaju
Johns Hopkins and National Taiwan University researchers have discovered more details about how an energy sensing “thermostat” protein determines whether cells will store or use their energy reserves.

In a report in the Feb. 9 edition of Nature, the researchers showed that a chemical modification on the thermostat protein changes how it’s controlled. Without the modification, cells use stored energy, and with it, they default to stockpiling resources. When cells don’t properly allocate their energy supply, they can die off or become cancerous. The Johns Hopkins team focused especially on enzymes that add or remove so-called acetyl groups from protein molecules.

“Understanding how cells are affected by adding acetyl groups to proteins, particularly those involved in energy use, is important because there is increasing use of drugs that block acetyl-removing enzymes for treatment of cancer and neurodegenerative diseases,” says Jef Boeke, Ph.D., professor of molecular biology, genetics and oncology, and director of the High Throughput Biology Center at the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine. “Blocking acetyl-removing enzymes turns on anticancer genes that help fight cancer; however, it is not known what other genes and cellular processes may also be affected by these treatments.”

To determine which enzymes remove acetyl chemical groups from which proteins, the researchers engineered human cells with reduced levels of each of 12 enzymes known to remove acetyl chemical groups. In each of these cell lines, they then turned down each of about 20,000 genes and used a DNA “chip” to identify which genes were affected by reduced levels of the acetyl-removing enzymes. The DNA chip highlighted a specific interaction between the thermostat protein, AMP-activated protein kinase (AMPK), and one of the acetyl-removing enzymes, HDAC1. 

With less HDAC, AMPK was turned “off,” presumably because it retains its acetyl group, the researchers concluded.  AMPK acts like an energy thermostat because when energy levels are low in the cell, AMPK kick-starts processes that use the cell’s energy reserves and cuts off reactions that store energy. On the other hand, when the cell has plenty of energy, AMPK turns off, causing energy in the form of sugar and fats being stored for later use.

Because the HDAC1 protein turned on AMPK, the researchers presumed there would be a corresponding acetyl-adding enzyme to specifically turn off AMPK. To find this enzyme, they extracted AMPK protein from eight different cell lines, each with reduced levels of a type of acetyl-adding enzyme. They found that AMPK in cells with reduced levels of this acetyl-adding enzyme, called p300, was less acetylated than in cells containing normal amounts of p300.

To confirm the idea that adding or removing acetyl groups directly affects how AMPK controls the way the cell uses energy, they measured the cell’s energy stores with the help of a dye that accumulates in the fat globules of a cell. The dye let them estimate the size of fat globules that store energy. The cells unable to add acetyl to AMPK contained less of the dye and therefore smaller fat globules compared to normal human cells. Conversely, the cells unable to remove acetyl groups from AMPK contained more of the dye, indicating bigger fat globules. The research team concluded that when AMPK contains acetyl groups the cell uses less of its energy reserves than when AMPK does not contain acetyl groups. 

Boeke says the work on human cells followed similar studies on yeast energy proteins done earlier in his laboratory.

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 96 
 on: March 06, 2012, 05:19:41 am 
Started by Francis Umeoguaju - Last post by Francis Umeoguaju
Hearing loss has been linked with a variety of medical, social and cognitive ills, including dementia. However, a new study led by a Johns Hopkins researcher suggests that hearing loss may also be a risk factor for another huge public health problem: falls.
The finding could help researchers develop new ways to prevent falls, especially in the elderly, and their resulting injuries that generate billions in health care costs in the United States each year, by some estimates.
To determine whether hearing loss and falling are connected, Frank Lin, M.D., Ph.D., at Johns Hopkins, and his colleague Luigi Ferrucci, M.D., Ph.D., of the National Institute on Aging, used data from the 2001 to 2004 cycles of the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey. This research program has periodically gathered health data from thousands of Americans since 1971.
During those years, 2,017 participants ages 40 to 69 had their hearing tested and answered questions about whether they had fallen over the past year. Researchers also collected demographic information, including age, sex and race, and tested participants’ vestibular function, a measure of how well they kept their balance. Their findings are published in the Archives of Internal Medicine.
Lin, an assistant professor at the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine and the university’s Bloomberg School of Public Health, and Ferrucci found that people with a 25-decibel hearing loss, classified as mild, were nearly three times more likely to have a history of falling. Every additional 10-decibels of hearing loss increased the chances of falling by 1.4 fold. This finding still held true, even when researchers accounted for other factors linked with falling, including age, sex, race, cardiovascular disease and vestibular function. Even excluding participants with moderate to severe hearing loss from the analysis didn’t change the results.
Lin, an otologist and epidemiologist, says among the possible explanations for the link is that people who can’t hear well might not have good awareness of their overall environment, making tripping and falling more likely.
Another reason hearing loss might increase the risk of falls, Lin adds, is cognitive load, in which the brain is overwhelmed with demands on its limited resources.
“Gait and balance are things most people take for granted, but they are actually very cognitively demanding,” Lin says. “If hearing loss imposes a cognitive load, there may be fewer cognitive resources to help with maintaining balance and gait.”

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 97 
 on: March 04, 2012, 12:31:39 pm 
Started by Francis Umeoguaju - Last post by Francis Umeoguaju
Job Title
Medical Doctors

Requirements
Medical Doctors, Registered Lab scientists, Nurses

How to apply
All applications to be directed to the Chairman,
Osina Community Management Board.
P.O Box 53, Osina Ideato North LGA Imo State
Email: inf@osinacommunityhospital.com
TEL: 08023206011

Application Deadline
14th March 2012

Source of this Job information
  http://www.recentnigerianjobs.com/2012/03/medical-doctorsnurses-laboratory.html

Latest listings of bioscience related job openings in Nigeria can be accessed from http://nigerianbioscientist.com/jobs.html
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Please be wise as you apply for any job!

 98 
 on: March 04, 2012, 12:30:51 pm 
Started by Francis Umeoguaju - Last post by Francis Umeoguaju
Job Title
Quality Control Manager

Requirements
This is a management position and the successful applicant will be expected to have the following minimum qualifications:
A university degree or HND in Physical Science, Chemistry, Biochemistry or Food Science and Technology
8 years’ experience in Quality Control/Assurance function in Food/Beverage sector, three of which must be in management capacity
Must also be proficient in Laboratory, Chemical and Physical analysis, problem solving, performance management, planning and control
Good knowledge of bottling technology and operation
Between 35 and 40 years age bracket
Must be highly computer literate

How to apply
Interested candidates to apply in their own handwriting, within two weeks from the date of this Advert with relevant CV/credentials to: 
The Executive Director,
Seven-Up Bottling Company PLC,
247, Moshood Abiola way, Ijora,
P.O.Box 134, Apapa, Lagos

Application Deadline
March 10 2012

Source of this Job information
  http://www.jobberman.com/job/157736/quality-controls-managers-at-sevenup-bottling-company/

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 99 
 on: March 04, 2012, 12:29:56 pm 
Started by Francis Umeoguaju - Last post by Francis Umeoguaju
Job TitleMedical Laboratory Scientist

Requirements
Candidate must possess a Certificate of the Associate of the Institute of Medical Laboratory Science Council of Nigeria (AMLSCN)
Candidate must possess current practicing license.
Should be able to perform hematological, chemical pathological and microbiological analysis. 
Candidate must possess at least five 1- 3 years cognate experience.
Ability to use good judgment and work under pressure
Attention to details
An uncompromising focus on excellent service delivery
Strong communication and organizational skills
Exceptional client interaction and relationship management skills
Innovative approach to resolving challenges

How to apply
Visit source site below

Application Deadline
March 10, 2012

Source of this Job information
  http://www.jobberman.com/job/157762/medical-laboratory-scientist-at-a-reputable-specialist-hospital/

Latest listings of bioscience related job openings in Nigeria can be accessed from http://nigerianbioscientist.com/jobs.html
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Please be wise as you apply for any job!


 100 
 on: March 04, 2012, 12:29:01 pm 
Started by Francis Umeoguaju - Last post by Francis Umeoguaju
Job Title
Medical Delegates

Requirements
BSc degree or HND in any of these disciplines (Minimum of Second Class lower or Lower Credit Grade)– Food Science & Technology, Chemistry, Microbiology, Biochemistry, Biology, Human Nutrition, Pharmacy, Nursing.
At least 2 years Ethical & Field Sales experience.
Excellent written and verbal communication skills.
Excellent Knowledge of Food & Nutrition with emphasis on Infant Nutrition.
Ability to develop excellent working relationships with internal and external stakeholders.
Excellent interpersonal and convincing skills.
Possession of a Valid Drivers License and ability to drive long distances (Interstate)
Excellent Computer skills- Ms Word, Ms Excel, Ms Power Point
Good Planning and Organization Skills.
Excellent ability to use initiative and work with minimum supervision.
Strong Drive and Passion for business results.


How to apply
Register and apply at  http://dragnetnigeria.com/nnplc/apply.aspx?job_id=32

Application Deadline
March 6 2012

Source of this Job information
  http://nigeriabestjobs.com/2012/02/nestle-nigeria-plc-recruits/

Latest listings of bioscience related job openings in Nigeria can be accessed from http://nigerianbioscientist.com/jobs.html
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Please be wise as you apply for any job!


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