Electronic Cigarettes - An Uncontrolled Experiment with Consumers
Unlike conventional cigarettes, electronic cigarettes do not produce thousands of toxic and carcinogenic substances. Nevertheless, they are not harmless. They contain, as their main ingredient, a substance that irritates the airways, usually along with toxic, addictive nicotine and some carcinogenic substances. In addition, they frequently have various technical flaws. Nevertheless, electronic cigarettes are currently sold unregulated as lifestyle products without any appropriate quality control, turning consumers into involuntary experimental subjects. The German Cancer Research Center (DKFZ) has compiled and analyzed available scientific data on product characteristics, potential health risks and prevalence of the products as well as their potential usefulness in smoking cessation in its latest report entitled “Electronic Cigarettes – An Overview”. According to this report, the electronic cigarette is not a safe product.
Hairpin Serving As Gene Control
Scientists from the German Cancer Research Center (DKFZ) discovered a previously unknown switch controlling how much of a protein a cell produces. The hairpin-shaped structure lies in the messenger RNA – the copy of a gene serving as a template for protein synthesis. As soon the hairpin is forming, various cellular components bind to and degrade the messenger RNA. This is to prevent producing too much of a harmful protein. The researchers headed by Georg Stoecklin published their results in the journal “Cell”.
Disrupted Lipid Metabolism: Young DKFZ Researcher Honored with Two Awards
Molecular biologist Dr. Maria Rohm pursues research on fat decomposition in the human body. Now she has won two prestigious awards at once for her research: the Novartis Young Endocrinologist Award, worth €10,000, of the German Society of Endocrinology (DGE), and the €7,500 sponsorship award of the German Diabetes Association (DDG), donated by Sanofi-Aventis Germany. Maria Rohm works as a scientist at the German Cancer Research Center (DKFZ), where she is studying the molecular foundations of a disrupted lipid metabolism.
Stem Cells for Metastasis Found in Blood of Breast Cancer Patients
For the first time, scientists from the German Cancer Research Center (DKFZ) and the National Center for Tumor Diseases (NCT) Heidelberg have characterized cancer cells that can initiate metastasis in the blood of breast cancer patients. These cells have properties of cancer stem cells and are characterized by three surface proteins. Patients with large numbers of these cells found in their blood show a rather unfavorable disease progression. The pattern of the three molecules may therefore be used as a biomarker for disease progression. The scientists plan to investigate whether the characteristic surface molecules may be used as targets for specific therapies for patients with advanced breast cancer.
Felix Burda Awards for Commitment to Colorectal Cancer Screening Presented to Researchers from DKFZ and NCT
On Sunday, April 14, the Felix Burda Awards were presented for the eleventh time. The award in the category “Medicine and Science” went to Dr. Christian Stock, Dr. Michael Hoffmeister and Professor Hermann Brenner of the German Cancer Research Center (DKFZ). The award in the new category “Best Prevention Idea” was given to Cornelia Ulrich, Dr. Ulrike Bussas and Clare Abbenhardt of the National Center for Tumor Diseases (NCT) Heidelberg. This year, there had been fifty-seven submissions for the awards presented in five categories.
A Sharper Image with Combined PET/MR Technology
The German Cancer Research Center (Deutsches Krebsforschungszentrum, DKFZ) is sending a promising duo into the race against cancer: A new PET/MR system that can combine high-resolution images with functional information to improve cancer diagnosis. The instrument also supports clinicians in choosing the best options for treatments and monitoring their progress.
Immunotherapies against cancer: German Cancer Research Center to broaden strategic alliance with Bayer HealthCare
The German Cancer Research Center (DKFZ) and Bayer HealthCare (Bayer) will extend their successful strategic research alliance in search of novel cancer therapeutics by focusing their activities also on the field of immunotherapy. Immunotherapies are promising to treat cancer by selectively reactivating the body's own immune system to attack tumor cells.
Harald zur Hausen elected into the First Class of the Fellows of the American Association for Cancer Research Academy
The American Association for Cancer Research will inaugurate the first class of the Fellows of the AACR Academy at the AACR Annual Meeting 2013, held in Washington, D.C., April 6-10. Among the first fellows is Nobel Prize Winner Harald zur Hausen, former Scientific Director of the German Cancer Research Center in Heidelberg.
Gangliosides Transmit Satiety Signal
The hypothalamus regulates – alongside other vital functions –food intake and adjusts it to energy needs. In neurons of this brain region, scientists from the German Cancer Research Center (Deutsches Krebsforschungszentrum, DKFZ) have now discovered a previously unknown mechanism controlling body weight in mice.
Breast Cancer Risk: Genes and Environment Interacting
Scientists from the German Cancer Research Center (Deutsches Krebsforschungszentrum, DKFZ) in Heidelberg have been the first to prove that genetic and environmental risk factors for breast cancer do not act independently of each other. Alcohol consumption or the number of births, for example, have an impact on a woman’s risk of developing breast cancer. However, the extent of their impact depends on the genetic makeup of the cells. The scientists have published their results in Plos Genetics.