News » Archives » June 2013

The 'gold' standard: A rapid, cheap method of detecting dengue virus

Author: Marissa Gebhard

Fraser and Carter

University of Notre Dame biologists are reporting the development of an easy-to-use, low-cost method of detecting dengue virus in mosquitoes based on gold nanoparticles. Their research is published in the Virology Journal this week.

The assay they have developed is able to detect lower levels of the virus than current tests, and is easy to transport and use in remote regions.

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Notre Dame and Harper researchers developing novel method to test for HPV and oral cancers

Author: William G. Gilroy

biochem

Research being carried out at the University of Notre Dame and its affiliated Harper Cancer Research Institute (HCRI) may lead to the development of a rapid, cost-effective means of screening for oral cancers and the human papillomavirus.

M. Sharon Stack, Ann F. Dunne and Elizabeth Riley Director of the HCRI and professor of chemistry and biochemistry, points out that oral cancers are a significant global health problem.

Stack and Hsueh-Chia Chang, Bayer Professor of Engineering and director of Notre Dame’s Center for Microfluidics and Medical Diagnostics, are attempting to prescreen for oral cancer and HPV by examining the micro-RNAs of tumor cells. They are working on developing a microfluidic sensor to help detect the presence of tumor cells.

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Dean to bike more than 3,000 miles in fourth annual Road to Discovery ride

Author: Stephanie Healey

Road to Discovery

Gregory Crawford, dean of the College of Science at the University of Notre Dame, will be embarking on his fourth annual bicycle ride on June 27 (Thursday) to raise funds for research to find a cure or treatments for Niemann-Pick Type C (NPC) disease. He will be biking 3,476 miles from Los Angeles to Baltimore and will arrive on Aug. 2. By the end of this year’s journey, he will have biked more than 11,200 miles to raise awareness for the rare genetic disease.

NPC is a cholesterol-storage disorder that primarily affects children before or during adolescence. The disease causes cholesterol to accumulate in the body’s cells and eventually leads to neurodegenerative problems that are always fatal. Legendary Notre Dame football coach Ara Parseghian lost three of his grandchildren to the devastating disease.

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New paper offers insights into how cancer cells avoid cell death

Author: William G. Gilroy

cancer cell

A new study by a team of researchers from the University of Notre Dame provides an important new insight into how cancer cells are able to avoid the cell death process. The findings may reveal a novel chemotherapeutic approach to prevent the spread of cancers.

Metastasis, the spread of cancer from one organ to other parts of the body, relies on cancer cells’ ability to evade a cell death process called anoikis, according to Zachary T. Schafer, Coleman Assistant Professor of Cancer Biology at Notre Dame. Metastasizing cancer cells are able to block anoikis, which normally results from detachment from the extracellular matrix. However, Schafer notes that the molecular mechanisms that cancer cells detached from the extracellular matrix use to survive have not been well understood.

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NPC Conference fosters research collaborations, family connections

Author: Gene Stowe

Olaf Wiest presents his research at the Michael, Marcia, and Christa Parseghian Scientific Conference for Niemann-Pick Type C

Some 75 researchers and family members from around the world attended the Michael, Marcia, and Christa Parseghian Scientific Conference for Niemann-Pick Type C on June 13-15. The event included more than 20 scientific presentations, posters, events for families, and shared receptions.

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Dean to bike more than 3,000 miles in fourth annual Road to Discovery ride

Author: Stephanie Healey

Road to Discovery

Gregory Crawford, dean of the College of Science at the University of Notre Dame, will be embarking on his fourth annual bicycle ride on June 27 (Thursday) to raise funds for research to find a cure or treatments for Niemann-Pick Type C (NPC) disease. He will be biking 3,476 miles from Los Angeles to Baltimore and will arrive on Aug. 2. By the end of this year’s journey, he will have biked more than 11,200 miles to raise awareness for the rare genetic disease.

NPC is a cholesterol-storage disorder that primarily affects children before or during adolescence. The disease causes cholesterol to accumulate in the body’s cells and eventually leads to neurodegenerative problems that are always fatal. Legendary Notre Dame football coach Ara Parseghian lost three of his grandchildren to the devastating disease.

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Disease-carrying mosquitos pack twice the punch

Author: Sarah Craig

Anopheles mosquito

An international team of researchers from the University of Notre Dame’s Eck Institute for Global Health and Imperial College London has recently published its work on a malaria-filaria co-transmission model, where the same mosquito transmits both diseases together. Found in large areas of sub-Saharan Africa, one mosquito genus, Anopheles, carries both the malaria parasite Plasmodium falciparum and the microfilarial worm Wuchereria bancrofti, which causes lymphatic filariasis, which can develop into elephantiasis.

According to lead researcher Edwin Michael, professor of biological sciences specializing in epidemiology at the University of Notre Dame, “This has major implications for the transmission of each disease in endemic settings, and, of course, for developing better control interventions that ensure that removal of one disease does not have a profound (a worse health impact) outcome for diseases caused by the other pathogen.”

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For breast cancer survival, treat depression

Author: Gail Hinchion Mancini

Rudolph M

Research being presented at two international conferences this summer demonstrates that breast cancer survival improves when a patient’s depressive symptoms—a common occurrence among cancer patients-- are detected and addressed.

The study, by Rudolph M. Navari, MD, Ph.D., FACP,  at the University of Notre Dame and associate professor and dean of the Indian School reports on the experiences of some 200 breast cancer patients five years after their initial diagnosis of early-stage breast cancer and the detection of depressive symptoms in the wake of their diagnosis.

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Notre Dame science alumni address global health during reunion weekend

Author: Gene Stowe

Kevin Olehnik in Haiti

Three Notre Dame Science alumni participated in a panel discussion, “From ND Labs on Campus to Life in the Real World: How Notre Dame Scientists are Making a Difference,” on June 1, during Alumni Reunion Weekend. The Eck Institute for Global Health sponsored the gathering, moderated by Mary Ann McDowell, a member of the institute and an associate professor of biological sciences.

Participants were Dr. Kevin Olehnik (’78), Chief of Surgery at Penobscot Bay Medical Center in Rockport, Maine; Dr. Mary Oconnor (’83), an internist and pediatrician at Everett Clinic in Seattle, Wash.; and Dr. Michael C. Dugan, (’83), chief medical officer at bioTheranostics Inc. in San Diego, Calif.

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