Science Writer



Breathing easier with combinations

The first drug to target the most common genetic defect of cystic fibrosis was approved in July 2015 by the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA). The new drug, Vertex’s Orkambi, can treat as many as half of cystic fibrosis patients. Orkambi combines Vertex’s first approved cystic fibrosis drug, Kalydeco (ivacaftor), with a second small molecule, lumacaftor. This first approved combination therapy will open up an increasing proportion of patients for treatment. But companies are banking on even more efficacious combinations. Nature Biotechnology 3000 words ARTICLE

Gene therapy ‘cure’ for blindness wanes 
Two independent groups recently reported  long-term results for a gene therapy of Leber’s congenital amaurosis (LCA), a rare form of inherited childhood blindness. Both trials, testing a single eye in each patient, found that efficacy diminished after three or more years, sounding a cautious note amid the technology’s rapturous renaissance Nature Biotechnology 820 words ARTICLE 

Tracing Ebola’s Evolution
The ongoing Ebola outbreak is the largest on record. The World Health Organization (WHO) this week (June 17) reported 27,305 confirmed cases, including 11,169 deaths. In an effort to better understand the deadly virus, scientists have mapped the transmission and evolution of Ebola at the epicenter of the 2014 epidemic (Guinea, Liberia, and Sierra Leone), providing a detailed look at the virus throughout the first nine months of the outbreak. Together with previously published Ebola sequencing analyses, the results of two independent studies published this week could help health officials better prepare for and control future outbreaks. The Scientist 850 words ARTICLE

Industry chases pan-genotypic and shorter HCV treatments
The dramatic success enjoyed by Gilead Sovaldi (sofosbuvir) and more recently Harvoni (ledipasvir and sofosbuvir) have left few gaps in the HCV market. But a pan-genotypic treatment could simplify the treatment options, now a dizzying array of combination genotype matches, and, if the biotech giant has its way, shorten treatment considerably from the current 12 weeks. Nature Biotechnology 1200 words ARTICLE 

Resistance Fighter
Stuart Levy has spent a lifetime studying mechanisms of antibiotic resistance and crusading to abolish the use of antibiotics in animal feed.  Here, Levy talks about the prank he and his twin brother (Jay Levy, who was among the first to discover the HIV virus) executed that earned them a brief spot in the limelight; how science allowed him to travel the world—and befriend Samuel Beckett; and an urgent call to a castle in Prague about chicken eggs. The Scientist 2500 Words ARTICLE

Brain Teaser
Autism is thought to arise from a combination of factors, some genetic and others the result of environmental issues such as the mother’s health during pregnancy, parental age, and exposure to pollutants. New research indicates that mouse pups born to mothers who had the flu during pregnancy show characteristics of autism and exhibit brain changes. So far, the work suggests that the link to autism likely is not the flu itself, but the response of the mother’s immune system. Princeton Alumni Weekly 500 words ARTICLE

First-in-class HIV drug enters phase 3 trials
New York–based Bristol-Myers Squibb (BMS) has moved a first-in-class HIV attachment inhibitor into phase 3 testing, after announcing positive results from a 48-week phase 2b study in February. BMS-663068 is the first drug to target the protein gp120 on the viral envelope to prevent initial attachment to the CD4 receptor. Because this small molecule works through a novel mechanism and targets a highly conserved area of the virus, it could be particularly useful in people with resistant HIV who have had many other treatments. Nature Biotechnology 680 words ARTICLE

Targeting Antibiotic-Resistant Bacteria with CRISPR and Phages
Using bacteriophages to deliver a specific CRISPR/Cas system into antibiotic-resistant bacteria can sensitize the microbes to the drugs, according to a study published in PNAS. The approach, developed by Udi Qimron of Tel Aviv University and his colleagues, is a modified version of phage therapy that does not require the delivery of phages to infected tissues and could help offset the pressure on bacterial populations to evolve drug resistance, according to the team. The Scientist 850 words ARTICLE

Gut Microbes Influence Circadian Clock 
The mammalian gut microbiome is involved in controlling the circadian rhythm of its host, according to a mouse study published in Cell Host & Microbe. In both mice and humans, timing of feeding and diet type can impact the bacterial populations of the gut. Now, Eugene Chang of the University of Chicago Medical Center and his colleagues have found that mouse gut microbiota produce metabolites in diurnal patterns, and these can influence the expression of circadian clock genes in the liver. The Scientist 850 words ARTICLE

Brain’s Role in Browning White Fat 
Tver since energy-storing white fat has been shown to convert to metabolically active beige fat, through a process called browning, scientists have been trying to understand how this switch occurs. The immune system has been shown to contribute to activation of brown fat cells. Now, researchers from Monash University in Australia and their colleagues have shown that insulin and leptin—two hormones that regulate glucose metabolism and satiety and hunger cues—activate “satiety” neurons in the mouse hypothalamus to promote the conversion of white fat to brown. The results are published today (January 15) in Cell. The Scientist 850 words ARTICLE

New Antibiotic from Soil Bacteria  
Many of the most widely used antibiotics have come out of the dirt. Penicillin came from Penicillium, a fungus found in soil, and vancomycin came from a bacterium found in dirt. Now, researchers from Northeastern University and NovoBiotic Pharmaceuticals and their colleagues have identified a new Gram-positive bacteria-targeting antibiotic from a soil sample collected in Maine that can kill species including methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) and Mycobacterium tuberculosis. Moreover, the researchers have not yet found any bacteria that are resistant to the antibiotic, called teixobactin. Their results are published in Nature.The Scientist 850 words ARTICLE

Stem Cell Divisions Help Explain Cancer Risk  
An analysis of 31 tissues finds that random mutations acquired during stem cell divisions correlate with lifetime cancer risk—more so than heritable mutations and environmental factors combined. The Scientist 850 words ARTICLE


Mind Games: The Truth About Brain-Fitness Programs 
An investigative report on the brain fitness companies that claim their on-line brain games will improve your daily life by sharpening your cognitive skills, including memory, mental speed, task switching, and verbal fluency. However, experts say that increasing your brain-fitness score doesn’t do much beyond improving your game-playing ability. Consumers Digest 2400 words ARTICLE

Reprogramming Redux  
The stem cell field was rocked earlier this year by investigations into researchers’ claims to have reprogrammed somatic cells into pluripotent progenitors without the aid of transcription factors, which—given several failed attempts at independent replication, among other things—eventually led to the retraction of two Nature studies. So it was somewhat of a surprise when last month, another team claimed to have reprogrammed somatic cells toward a stem-like state by manipulating mechanical forces alone. The Scientist 850 words ARTICLE

All Systems Go 
Alan Aderem earned his PhD while under house arrest for protesting apartheid in South Africa. His early political involvement has guided his scientific focus, encouraging fellow systems biologists to study immunology and infectious diseases. Aderem discusses how exile from South Africa led him to study diseases such as malaria, tuberculosis, and HIV; why all of his experiments in graduate school were on the millisecond time scale; and how he helped launch the world’s first systems-biology institute. The Scientist 2500 words ARTICLE

New Stem Cell State
Researchers have uncovered a new type of pluripotent mouse stem cell—the “F-class” cell—through use of a somatic cell reprogramming approach. An F-class cell is able to differentiate into all three embryonic precursor tissues, yet is phenotypically and molecularly different from previously characterized induced pluripotent stem cells (iPSCs) made from somatic cells. The Scientist 850 words ARTICLE

Brains in Action 
An inspiring lecturer turned Marcus Raichle’s focus from music and history to science. Since then, he has pioneered the use of imaging to study how our brains function. Raichle discusses the clay brain he made in medical school, how a language barrier almost forced him to fly a cargo airplane, and how not one scientist but a whole mass of talented people from different disciplines developed crucial techniques for brain imaging. The Scientist 2500 words ARTICLE

Beyond Counting: New Way To Use Circulating Tumor Cells 
Researches are developing new ways to detect, count, and analyze circulating tumor cells. It is also now possible to use CTCs to establish individual patient–based cell lines and xenograft models. Journal of the National Cancer Institute 1800 words ARTICLE

An Eye for Detail  
Vision researcher John Dowling has spent a lifetime studying the neural architecture of the retina. He is closing his laboratory after 53 years, opting to extend these studies as a postdoc–something he has never done before. The Scientist 2400 words ARTICLE

The Brain at Work 
Uri Hasson, professor of psychology at Princeton University is developing a model to understand how memory is used by the brain to process information. His work may help clinicians devise better methods for diagnosing memory disorders and provide insights about attention deficit hyperactivity disorder. Princeton Alumni Weekly 600 words ARTICLE

Supporting the “Good” Gut Microbes 
Mice with systemic bacterial infections induce a pathway that makes a sugar called fucose readily available to feed the beneficial microbiota in the small intestine, according to a study published today (October 1) in Nature. This newly uncovered protective mechanism helps maintain the “good” bacterial populations in the gut while the animal is sick—and appears to protect against further infections. The Scientist 900 words ARTICLE

Cities Launch Global Alliance to Lower Carbon Emissions 
More than 2,000 cities have banded together in what the UN calls the largest effort by cities so far to curb their greenhouse gas emissions. The goal of the Compact of Mayors is to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 454 million tonnes a year by 2020 — equivalent to the carbon dioxide emissions from 130 coal power plants — through knowledge sharing and transparent and accountable measures. SciDev.Net 400 words ARTICLE

Three Views on Psychology: the Brain at Work 
Uri Hasson, an associate professor of psychology and a member of the Princeton Neuroscience Institute, is developing a model to understand how memory is used by the brain to process information. His work may help clinicians devise better methods for diagnosing memory disorders and provide insights about attention deficit hyperactivity disorder. Princeton Alumni Weekly 330 words ARTICLE

Identifying Cancer Mutations as Therapeutic Targets 
Cancer therapies are increasingly targeting specific molecular pathways and mutations. Molecular testing to identify a mutation expressed in a tumor is becoming common both in clinical research and to gauge whether a patient is eligible for a Food and Drug Administration–approved therapy. These molecular testing efforts have focused on well-defined pathways that drive tumor growth. And yet researchers are just beginning to understand the genes and pathways important for progression of various tumor types. Journal of the National Cancer Institute 1800 words ARTICLE

Sugar Substitutes, Gut Bacteria, and Glucose Intolerance 
Non-caloric sweeteners can spur glucose intolerance in mice and some people, according to a study published in Nature. Researchers from the Weizmann Institute of Science in Israel and their colleagues have uncovered that artificial sweeteners can drive changes in the gut microbiota that then promote glucose intolerance. Immunologist Eran Elinav and computational biologist Eran Segal, both of the Weizmann Institute, identified changes in the composition and function of the mouse gut microbiome after the animals consumed artificial sweeteners—changes similar to those previously linked to obesity and diabetes in humans, the authors noted. Two small human studies also support these fundings. The Scientist 900 words ARTICLE

Next Generation: Blood-Cleansing Device 
A microfluidic device filled with magnetic nanometer-sized beads that bind a plethora of pathogens and toxins was able to clear these invaders from the blood of rats with sepsis, improving their outcomes, according to a paper published today (September 14) in Nature Medicine. The design of the extracorporeal device was inspired by the small vessels and sinusoids within the spleen, through which blood “trickles slowly, almost like in a wetlands, efficiently capturing pathogens” said lead study author Donald Ingber, a professor at Harvard Medical School and founding director of the Wyss Institute in Boston. The Scientist 800 words ARTICLE

Brain Genetics Paper Retracted
The authors of a June PNAS paper that purported to identify sets of genes associated with a specific brain function last week (August 29) retracted the work because of flaws in their statistical analyses. “We feel that the presented findings are not currently sufficiently robust to provide definitive support for the conclusions of our paper, and that an extensive reanalysis of the data is required,” the authors wrote in their retraction notice. The Scientist 800 words ARTICLE

Crossing Boundaries 
In the early 1980s, Pascale Cossart was a researcher at the Institut Pasteur, working on the interaction of E. coli proteins with DNA, when the Pasteur’s scientific director encouraged her to switch to the study of infectious diseases so as not to have to compete with bigger laboratories working on E. coli in the U.S. A biochemist with no biology training, Cossart chose to work on the food-borne bacterium Listeria monocytogenes, a little-studied and intriguing intracellular pathogen that can have serious consequences if it infects a pregnant woman or travels to the brain. Those with a compromised immune system are particularly at risk from complications of a Listeria infection.“ This was a time when researchers were only just beginning to use molecular biology to study organisms other than E. coli,” says Cossart. The Scientist 2400 words ARTICLE

When the Neanderthals Disappeared 
Neanderthals overlapped with early modern humans and, based on genetic evidence, even interbred. But the extent of the overlap of the two species both in terms of time and geography is still not fully known, mainly because it has been difficult to accurately date archaeological specimens that go back more than 30,000 years. Using newer techniques, a large-scale dating effort of Neanderthal specimens from Western Europe to Russia now narrows the timing of the extinction of Neanderthals to a span of 2,000 years—between 39,000 and 41,000 years ago. The study is published in Nature. The Scientist 800 words ARTICLE

Cancer Prognosis: Role of BMI and Fat Tissue 
Data are emerging that individuals with advanced cancers—and other acute or chronic diseases—may have advantage against poorer outcomes if they have a higher body mass index (BMI). That obesity increases risk of acute and chronic disease diagnosis but protects individuals against worse outcomes once diagnosed is the so-called obesity paradox. But how best to explain this observation is far from clear. JNCI 1800 words  ARTICLE

Connecting the Dots
Entomologist, and evolutionary and theoretical biologist, Mary Jane West-Eberhard started out by studying the behaviors of  social wasps, first in Michigan and then in Central America. She spent her career probing the evolutionary relationship between social behavior and developmental flexibility–making many connections others may not notice. The Scientist 2085 words ARTICLE

Markers Distinguish “Good” from “Bad” Fat
Since the discovery that not all fat cells are created equal, there has been a search for ways to reliably identify the so-called “good,” metabolically active, brown adipocytes, and the “bad,” relatively inert, white adipocytes. Thus far, biomarkers to distinguish brown from white fat have all been either intracellular or secreted proteins, which are not useful for whole-tissue or in vivo studies. Now, researchers have identified three cell-surface markers specific to adipocytes that are differentially expressed on white, brown, or third form of fat cell—beige—in both mice and in human tissue. The Scientist 800 words ARTICLE

Neurodegeneration and Protein Translation Linked
Searching for new mutations associated with neurodegenerative and cognitive defects, researchers have uncovered two mouse genes that function in the same critical pathway such that, when both are lost, neurodegeneration results. The genes are both involved in protein translation and, surprisingly, one encodes a transfer RNA (tRNA) gene uniquely expressed in the brain—a first example of such differential expression in vertebrates. The Scientist 820 words ARTICLE

Added Layers of Proteome Complexity
There may be more to the human proteome than previously thought. Some genes are known to have several different alternatively spliced protein variants, but the Scripps Research Institute’s Paul Schimmel and his colleagues have now uncovered a broad spectrum–almost 250 protein splice variants–of an essential, evolutionarily conserved, and well-studied family of human genes. The Scientist 750 words ARTICLE

Gestational Malnutrition Affects Offspring’s Sperm
The effects of malnutrition in the late stages of a female mouse’s pregnancy can produce epigenetic changes in the sperm of her male offspring. While prenatal undernourishment had previously been shown to result in metabolic disease for two subsequent generations, a new study is the first to demonstrate the extent to which an expecting mother’s nutrition can affect the methylation of DNA in the germ cells of her offspring, The Scientist 720 words ARTICLE

Rewriting History 
Yael Niv, an assistant professor of psychology and neuroscience, is teasing out how our brains learn from experience and how we can unlearn fears and habits. The research has important implications for those with post-traumatic stress disorder. “We want to understand how an old, possibly traumatic memory can be erased,” she explains. The key, according to Niv, is understanding when the brain forms new memories and when it updates old ones. Princeton Alumni Weekly 500 words ARTICLE

Not All Stem Cells Created Equal
In the process of converting a somatic cell to a stem cell, researchers have questioned whether the resulting cells retain characteristics of their prior, non-stem-cell states. Applying two pioneering approaches to create human pluripotent stem cells from somatic cells—by inducing pluripotent stem cells (iPSCs) or using a process called somatic cell nuclear transfer (SCNT)—researchers from Oregon Health & Science University (OHSU) and their colleagues have compared the genomic and epigenomic landscapes of the resulting cell types. The Scientist 900 words ARTICLE

Light-Sensing Retina in a Dish
Researchers have taken another step toward creating a functional human retina in the laboratory. Previous studies showed that an early-stage retina, including photoreceptors with primary cilia and parts of the inner segment structure, can be generated in culture from induced human pluripotent stem cells (iPSCs). Now, Maria Valeria Canto-Soler, director of the retinal degeneration research center at Johns Hopkins University and her colleagues demonstrate the ability to grow the most mature retinal tissue from iPSCs yet: the in vitro product was able to develop functional photoreceptor cells. The Scientist 790 words ARTICLE

Q&A: Denise Mauzerall, Clearing the Air 
Denise Mauzerall bridges science and policy to study the effects of air pollution on health, agriculture, and climate change. A professor of environmental engineering with an appointment at the Woodrow Wilson School, Mauzerall identifies ways to improve air quality while reducing climate warming. PAW spoke with Mauzerall about opportunities to address air pollution and climate change. Princeton Alumni Weekly 650 words ARTICLE

Uncertain of the future, three ALS patients spearhead a new fund
Since his diagnosis in August of 2013, Garmt van Soest has been using his management consulting background to strategize how best to contribute to the ALS community. He soon met two fellow ALS patients and entrepreneurs, Robbert Jan Stuit and Bernard Muller. On 19 May the three launched an ALS-specific investment fund, called Qurit Alliance. Qurit Alliance aims to raise €100 million Euros ($139 million) to then invest into ALS-focused private biotechnology companies and institutions to kick start projects of drug discovery and smarter design drug trials to find ALS treatments. Nature Medicine Spoonful of Medicine blog 710 words ARTICLE

Human Proteome Mapped 
Two international teams have independently produced the first drafts of the human proteome. These curated catalogs of the proteins expressed in most non-diseased human tissues and organs can be used as a baseline to better understand changes that occur in disease states. Both teams uncovered new complexities of the human genome, identifying novel proteins from regions of the genome previously thought to be non-coding. The Scientist 775 words ARTICLE

Female Pigs May Sense Sex of Sperm 
A new study suggests that female mammals may be able to sense and respond differently to X and Y chromosome sperm. Researchers show that in the presence of either predominantly X or Y sperm populations, the oviducts of pigs respond differently—by increasing or decreasing the expression of various genes. According to the study authors, this is the first evidence that the female can somehow tell the difference between X and Y chromosome sperm prior to fertilization and activate signaling pathways in a sex-specific way.The Scientist 720 words ARTICLE

Ancient Skeleton Sheds Light on Native American Roots
The uncovering of an almost completely intact, 12,000-year-old skeleton of a 15- or 16-year-old girl—found in an underwater cave near Mexico—lends support to the idea that modern Native Americans originated from an ancient population that came from Beringia, not from distinct migrations of peoples from different parts of Asia and Europe. The discovery of this remarkably well-preserved specimen by divers has, for the first time, allowed researchers to perform both genetic and morphological analyses from a single, ancient individual. The Scientist 760 words ARTICLE

Faster Downloads–From the Moon 
Don Boroson ’73 *77 and his team at MIT’s Lincoln Laboratory designed a communications system using laser beams, which was tested last fall as it flew on NASA’s Lunar Atmosphere and Dust Environment Explorer satellite. Their laser system transmitted data from the moon-orbiting spacecraft to the ground station on Earth more than six times faster than what had been done using radio waves. Princeton Alumni Weekly 300 words ARTICLE

Bytes to Fight Bites 
A mathematician builds models to stem malaria, polio, tuberculosis, and HIV: Growing up in Haiti, on the grounds of a hospital where his parents worked as doctors, Philip Eckhoff *09 had malaria 15 times and knew people who died of the disease. Those experiences later sparked his avid interest in malaria and global public health. Princeton Alumni Weekly 520 words ARTICLE

Mystery around drug adherence still plagues medical literature 
The randomized controlled trial, or RCT, represents the gold standard of interventional studies of new drugs. But how reliable are the results when it remains unknown whether subjects in the trial actually took their medicines at all? A 2007 analysis found that only 33% of 192 papers describing RCTs of oral therapies for six chronic diseases disclosed adherence results (Am. J. Med. Sci. 334, 248–254, 2007). Now, in light of new data suggesting a continued lack of information about drug adherence in the medical literature, some researchers are calling for a reform of reporting guidelines. Nature Medicine 680 words ARTICLE

Fuel Gauge
Human brain cells use about one-fifth of the body’s energy. Scientists assume that neurons are energy hogs, but know little about how they manage those energy demands, says Timothy Ryan, a biochemist and neuroscientist at Weill Cornell Medical College. The energy needs of presynaptic nerve terminals must be addressed locally, as the synapse can be as far away as one meter from the cell body. Together with colleagues, Ryan has engineered an optical reporter system called Syn-ATP that, when expressed in neurons, can directly measure the number of ATP molecules specifically located at presynaptic nerve terminals. The Scientist 400 words ARTICLE

Inactive Actin
For decades, scientists observed clathrin-mediated endocytosis (CME)—the process of forming vesicles to pull protein cargo into a cell—ceasing during mitosis in mammalian cells. But they didn’t know why. From prophase to anaphase, shallow clathrin-coated pits form at the plasma membrane, but the cell never internalizes them. A new study shows that endocytosis shuts down during mitosis in eukaryotic cells because all of the required actin is hoarded by the cytoskeleton. The Scientist 500 words ARTICLE

Sequencing the Tree of Life 
Charting the progress of the various large-scale genome-sequencing projects as researchers working separately on their chosen species begin to pool analytical resources The Scientist 1250 words ARTICLE

Protecting Babies by Vaccinating Parents
During his neonatology fellowship, Shetal Shah ’96 was called to the emergency room to treat a baby who had contracted influenza, which can be deadly in babies under 6 months of age. Shah recognized the infant as one who had been cared for previously in his neonatal intensive care unit (NICU). hat experience led Shah to take a leading role in boosting immunization of parents with babies in the NICU. Princeton Alumni Weekly 280 words ARTICLE

Visualizing the Earth’s Interior 
Jeroen Tromp, professor of geology and applied and computational mathematics is attempting to understand what goes on in deep inside the Earth. He develops new 3-D seismic tomography techniques to create detailed maps of the Earth’s interior. Princeton Alumni Weekly 350 words ARTICLE

Cancer Risk: The Fat Tissue–BMI–Obesity Connection
Released in February, the International Agency for Research on Cancer’s World Cancer Report 2014 predicted that in the next 20 years, new cancer cases will increase by about 57% each year, from 14 million to 22 million. Many of these cancers are linked to lifestyle choices, such as tobacco and alcohol use, eating processed foods, and low levels of physical activity, the report said. Studies are also showing that the risk of being diagnosed with esophageal, colon, pancreatic, endometrial, kidney, and postmenopausal breast cancers is higher in people with excess body fat. The Journal of the National Cancer Institute 1600 words ARTICLE

Molecular Multi-tasker 
Scientists create a clever way, called the transcriptome in vivo analysis (TIVA) tag,  to isolate mRNA from a single living cell within a tissue. The Scientist 400 words ARTICLE

Antibiotic Resistance: Invasion of the Superbugs 
The stubborn problem of drug-resistant bacterial diseases is escalating. Over the last several decades, the number of drug-resistant strains of diseases has been growing. Each year more than 2 million people in the United States are infected with “superbugs” that have developed resistance to most antibiotics, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), and 23,000 of them die. Princeton researchers and scientists are working on better understanding how antibiotic resistance and works, how government policies can help to combat the problem, and novel antibiotic approaches to tackle antibiotic resistance, one bug at a time. Princeton Alumni Weekly 1000 words ARTICLE

Protein Protects Aging Brain 
A long-standing question in neurology is why some elderly people develop dementia and others do not. Researchers are also left to wonder why some people have Alzheimer’s disease-like brain pathology yet show no cognitive symptoms. A study published in Nature provides new clues that could help solve both puzzles, showing that a previously unknown stress response kicks in later in life to protect aging neurons. Researchers at Harvard Medical School found that a protein called REST, which is well characterized as a transcription factor that represses neuron-specific genes during embryogenesis, is switched on during middle- and late-adulthood, helping to protect neurons of the hippocampus and cortex from oxidative stress and the aggregated and misfolded proteins characteristic of Alzheimer’s and other neurodegenerative diseases. The Scientist 850 words ARTICLE

Summoned From the Depths
Geobiologist Roger Summons analyzes organic material in rocks found deep inside Earth, looking for evidence of how life originated and evolved on our planet—and possibly on Mars. The Scientist 2100 words ARTICLE

Tension Tracker
Researchers develop the first quantitative tool to quantify the mechanical forces cells exert on one another within a tissue or embryo. The Scientist 400 words ARTICLE

Turning Back the Clock
Can some of the declines associated with aging be delayed or even prevented? Princeton Molecular biologist and aging researcher Coleen Murphy discusses her research to better understand how fertility declines with age (and what can be done about that) as well as how the latest research to understand aging may provide a way to stall or prevent certain age-related declines of our bodies. PAW 2200 words ARTICLE

A Cheaper Battery for Electric Cars
Electric cars are good for the environment, but two factors — their high price and short battery life — have kept them from catching on. Dan Steingart, an assistant professor of mechanical and aerospace engineering, is working on a less expensive battery for electric cars.  PAW 400 words ARTICLE

First Ancient North American Genome Sequenced
Sequencing DNA from the 12,600-year-old skeleton of an infant found in central Montana, scientists have confirmed that early Native Americans descended from ancient Asians, not from Western Europeans, according to a study published in Nature today (February 12). This work, led by ancient DNA expert Eske Willerslev of the University of Copenhagen and his colleagues, marked the first ancient North American genome to have been fully sequenced. The Scientist 700 words ARTICLE

Academic medical centers fear squeeze from Affordable Care Act
Teaching hospitals in the US have always juggled patient care and doctor training alongside their research missions. But the advent of the Affordable Care Act (ACA), which led to the creation of new insurance plans that became active on 1 January, is bringing changes to the financials of the country’s academic medical centers (AMCs)—and they may need to look for new revenue streams to sustain current funding levels for their research. Nature Medicine 844 words ARTICLE

Repurposing To Fight Cancer: The Metformin–Prostate Cancer Connection
Already recommended as a first-line therapy for diabetic men diagnosed with prostate cancer, metformin is one of the most widely prescribed drugs in the world. Diabetics use it every day to control blood sugar. Oncology may offer another use for the drug. Results from retrospective studies have been mixed depending on whether the study examined prevention or cancer outcomes. But on the basis of recent evidence, researchers suggest that it may be time to conduct prospective trials of metformin to test its effectiveness on prostate cancer progression. Journal of the National Cancer Institute 1400 words ARTICLE

Meiosis Maven: Profile of Abby Dernburg, professor of molecular and cellular biology at the University of CA, Berkeley 
Fueled by her love of visual data and addicted to chromosomes, Abby Dernburg continues to study how homologous chromosomes find each other during gamete formation. She discusses her fruit fly “coitus interruptus” experiments, how she conquered her fear of public speaking, and initial apprehensions about running her own laboratory. The Scientist 2200 words ARTICLE

Aloft, Zondlo Tracks Greenhouse Gases 
Scientists don’t know the exact conditions needed for cloud formation, but understanding the process could clarify how human activity, especially pollution, is contributing to climate change. Professor of environmental engineering at Princeton University, Mark Zondlo takes to the skies to track changes in water vapor–the most abundant greenhouse gas–and learn how it affects our climate. Princeton Alumni Weekly 400 words ARTICLE

Strong Surgical Glue on Demand
Researchers create a nature-inspired nontoxic polymer that, when activated by light, becomes tacky and can seal ruptured, torn blood vessels and patch up holes in a pig heart. The Scientist 800 words ARTICLE

Will Your Thoughts Always Be Private? Q&A with Joshua Greene,  the director of the Moral Cognition Lab at Harvard University 
Joshua Greene *02, uses fMRI — functional magnetic resonance imaging — to study how our brains make decisions. The technology “detects the concentration of oxygenated versus de-oxygenated blood, so you can see where oxygen is being used in the brain,” a proxy for the activity of neurons, he explains. That gives scientists a way to see what is taking place in the brain when someone is making decisions — assuming that person happens to be inside an fMRI machine at the time. I spoke with him about the technology’s potential and shortcomings: Are we approaching a time when we cannot guard even our thoughts? Princeton Alumni Weekly 1300 words ARTICLE

A Believer From the Start 
With his boyish appearance, Jedd Wolchok ’87 could be mistaken for a medical resident. But he is an oncologist and an immunologist at Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center in New York who has spent 25 years studying how drugs and vaccines could arm the immune system to fight cancer. A leader in the immunotherapy field, he is at the center of the development of a new class of drugs that could provide a turning point in cancer treatment. Princeton Alumni Weekly 617 words ARTICLE

Improving the Internet’s Busy Roadways
Princeton professor Jennifer Rexford, with professor David Walker and colleagues at Cornell University, has developed a family of programming languages called Frenetic that makes it easier to modify network infrastructure. The goal is for modifications to be accessible by programmers while making network communications more energy-efficient, secure, and reliable. Princeton Alumni Weekly 420 words ARTICLE


HIV’s Killer Tactics Revealed, New Therapy Approach Found 
The reason people who are infected with HIV die is because their white blood cells die, leaving them unable to fight infections. Now, researchers show for the first time that this cell death is caused by cellular self-destruction, and is linked with inflammation. LiveScience 600 words ARTICLE

Conjugating Antibodies to Cytotoxic Agents:  Getting the Best of Both Worlds? 
Pairing a cytotoxin with a targeted monoclonal antibody into what is called an antibody–drug conjugate (ADC) is now an active area of research. Like any successful partnership, playing up the strengths of each partner is key and requires a linker, the Lego-like connector that holds the antibody and toxin together. Journal of the National Cancer Institute 1200 words ARTICLE

Going Inside a Cell
Haw Yang, chemistry professor at Princeton University is working to build a tiny lab that can travel into a cell, à la Fantastic Voyage. Yang’s laboratory is building a robot designed to travel inside a cell, much like the tiny submarine, above, that slips into someone’s bloodstream in the 1966 science-fiction. Princeton Alumni Weekly 600 words ARTICLE

What Does It Take To Build A Heart?
We depict the heart as a symmetrical shape on Valentine’s Day cards, but the heart actually starts out in the developing fetus as a tube. That symmetry is broken when the heart migrates to the left side of the body. Rebecca Burdine, an associate professor of molecular biology, has been working to understand how a crucial protein called Nodal helps break the body’s initial symmetry, guiding the asymmetrical development and positioning of the organs, including the heart. Princeton Alumni Weekly 500 words ARTICLE

Concerned About HPV-Related Cancer Rise, Researchers Advocate Boosting HPV Vaccination Rates 
Deaths from the major cancers—lung, colorectal, breast, and prostate—continue to decline, a trend that started in the early 1990s. Cancer incidence is also declining, if slightly, for both sexes. That’s the good news. But researchers are also tracking an uptick in rates of anal and oropharyngeal cancer, a type of head and neck cancer related to infection with the human papillomavirus (HPV), in the 10-year period ending in 2009. Cancer of the oropharynx increased among white men and women (3.9% and 1.7%, respectively). Anal cancer also increased in both sexes, with the greatest increase among black men (5.6%) and white women (3.7%). Rates of vulvar cancer, another HPV-related cancer, also increased among women despite continued lower rates of cervical cancer. Researchers attribute this rise in HPV-related cancers to more HPV infections. Journal of the National Cancer Institute 1,400 words ARTICLE

Supreme Court Ruling Broadens BRCA Testing Options 
The predictive genetic test that screens for mutations in both BRCA genes has been available only through Utah-based Myriad Genetics, a molecular diagnostics company that holds patents on the BRCA genes. But the Supreme Court has lifted what was a monopoly on BRCA genetic testing, invalidating five of Myriad’s BRCA patents. In a unanimous ruling on June 13, the high court deemed isolated genes natural phenomena that companies may not patent. Still, both plaintiffs and defendants announced that the ruling was in their favor. Journal of the National Cancer Institute 1,400 words ARTICLE

Thomas Gregor: Biological Quantifier 
Those who want to study living systems generally major in biology. But Thomas Gregor’s path first took him through math and physics. Only after completing a master’s degree in theoretical physics at the University of Geneva did Gregor return to his core interest: understanding the fundamentals of how life works. The Scientist 500 words ARTICLE

Gravity plays a role in keeping cells small 
The effects of gravity are relevant when building houses or flying airplanes, but biologists have generally accepted that the average cell is too small for gravity to play a role in how it is built or behaves. A finding by Princeton University researchers now shows gravity imposes a size constraint on cells. The results provide a novel reason why most animal cells are small and of similar size.  Princeton University Homepage 900 words ARTICLE

Some Respect, Please, for the Glorious Drosophila 
If you’re one of those people who runs for a can of Raid after finding a swarm of fruit flies hovering over the ripe bananas in your kitchen, consider this: For more than a century, scientists have come to understand some of the most important processes taking place in the human body by studying these flies. Princeton Alumni Weekly 1,000 words ARTICLE

They Rely on the Fly Much of the progress in medicine and human health has resulted from basic science and the search to understand life at a fundamental level: how normal cells function, how genes are expressed, and how cells communicate with one another. These professors, among others, use Drosophila melanogaster in this work.

Loved in the Lab The fruit fly has competition when it comes to popularity. Descriptions of three others on researchers’ hot lists.

BREAKING GROUND: The Physics of Cancer Cells 
In 2009, physics professor Robert Austin received a call from the National Cancer Institute, asking him to take part in a new program that aimed to study the physical principles of cancer. The idea was to develop outside-the-box approaches to cancer research by bringing together chemists, mathematicians, engineers, and physicists: “weird guys who are working on strange things” who might provide insight into the disease, Austin said. 
Princeton Alumni Weekly 500 words  ARTICLE

In Uncertain Times, Funding Supports Key PPPL Project  Despite a squeeze on federal funding for domestic fusion-energy research, government support remains solid for a $94 million upgrade of the Princeton Plasma Physics Lab’s biggest and most important fusion project, the National Spherical Torus ­Experiment (NSTX). Princeton Alumni Weekly 600 words ARTICLE

Common Virus Linked to Alzheimer’s Disease, Study Suggests 
Contracting a common virus called cytomegalovirus (CMV) may contribute to the development of Alzheimer’s disease, a new study of the brains of older adults suggests. 
LiveScience 700 words ARTICLE

Supreme Court Ruling Invalidates Myriad’s BRCA Gene Patents 
The Supreme Court announced a unanimous 9–0 decision that genes cannot be patented. After a long legal battle, the high court ruled in favor of the plaintiffs—the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) and the Association for Molecular Pathology (AMP)—declaring that genes are indeed products of nature and cannot be treated as inventions. The ACLU, along with scientists, clinicians, and patient advocates, had challenged the patents of Utah-based Myriad Genetics on two of the breast cancer susceptibility genes, BRCA1 and BRCA2. The patents on these genes allowed Myriad to have a monopoly on BRCA genetic testing, which is important for women to understand their risk of breast and ovarian cancers. CancerNetwork 675 words ARTICLE

The Promise of Circulating Tumor Cells 
Circulating tumor cells (CTCs)—cells shed from a tumor into the bloodstream as the tumor develops—were first identified in the early 1860s. Although the use of CTCs as a “liquid biopsy” to detect and monitor tumor growth has long been a goal, developing the technology for detecting and analyzing CTCs has been a challenge. Recent advances, however, have moved the field forward, bringing the analysis of CTCs in oncology patient care one step closer to reality. The International Journal of Targeted Therapies in Cancer 670 words ARTICLE

BREAKING GROUND: Opening the Way to Hydrogen Fuel 
Taking cue from a bacteria that can convert water into hydrogen energy, Princeton professor Annabella Selloni and colleagues have designed an enzyme modeled on the ones found in the baceria that could facilitate a lower-energy conversion process of water to hydrogen. The next step is taking the research to the lab bench, to determine if theory can be converted into reality. Princeton Alumni Weekly 500 words  ARTICLE

Could a Drug Prevent Brain Aging? 
Sharply reducing calorie intake, by as much as 40 percent, could slow aging in cells and may even prolong life span, studies have suggested. Now, researchers say they have found a way to mimic the beneficial effects of calorie restriction on the brain with a drug. LiveScience 700 words 

BREAKING GROUND: Bringing Back the Lions and Zebras 
Gorongosa National Park in Mozambique was once one of the world’s most diverse ecosystems. Its 1,525 square miles supported populations of elephants, antelopes, zebras, buffalo, and lions, making it among the most densely populated large-mammal areas in Africa. Then 16 years of civil war, starting in 1977, devastated the park. Robert Pringle, assistant professor of ecology and evolutionary biology at Princeton is seizing an unusual opportunity to observe the repopulation of large mammals and other animals after their near-extinction–and helping conservation efforts. Princeton Alumni Weekly 500 words ARTICLE

BREAKING GROUND: Pursuing a link to aging, cancer 
Because telomeres shorten as a cell ages, telomeres of an older person generally are much shorter than those of someone young. But an enzyme called telomerase can add extra DNA repeats onto the telomeres, and thus can lengthen the shorter telomeres every time a cell divides.How this happens is one of the questions of the laboratory of ­Virginia Zakian, professor of molecular biologyPrinceton Alumni Weekly 500 words ARTICLE

One Size Does Not Fit All: Personalized Immune Therapies Poised to Take Center Stage  
Researchers are taking a patient’s own T cells, arming the cells against that patient’s cancer, and injecting them back into the patient. The approach is working on metastatic cancer patients who have otherwise run out of treatment options. Journal of the National Cancer Institute 1,400 words ARTICLE

FEATURE: After Sandy- Can Princeton Professors help prevent such damage from future storms?
Because of climate change, devastating storms like Hurricane Sandy are likely to become more common. Princeton faculty and alumni are helping the New York area decide what to do about it. Princeton Alumni Weekly 2,270 words ARTICLE

BREAKING GROUND: Simpler Tools for Cosmic Findings 
Is our solar system unique? Are distant planets out there? Are they similar to those in our solar system, or grossly different? Answering these questions is the goal of the HATNet project, which has placed six small, fully automated telescopes around the Northern Hemisphere, including in Hawaii and Arizona. The telescopes’ mission is to capture the night sky to find exoplanets — planets outside of our own solar system. Princeton Alumni Weekly 500 words ARTICLE

Revamping the Way Cancer Vaccines are Made Could Boost Their Efficacy  
While not as toxic as other therapy approaches, cancer vaccines have also not been very effective.  Now, new research suggests that the formulation of a cancer vaccine may affect its efficacy. A group of scientists showed that the most commonly used cancer vaccine delivery system—incomplete Freund’s adjuvant (IFA), a mineral oil-based formulation—only leads to immune cell accumulation at the site of vaccine injection and confers no anti-tumor response CancerCommons Melanoma Need-to-Know Blog 600 words ARTICLE

Prostate Tumor Origin Dictates Aggressiveness
The type of cell that gives rise to a prostate tumor may dictate the aggressiveness of that tumor. Research led by Michael Shen and Zhu Wang of Columbia University Medical Center in New York suggests that tumors originating from a certain type of prostate gland cell are more likely to be associated with a poor patient prognosis. The study is a step forward in determining how to identify which prostate cancer patients may need more aggressive treatment. CancerCommons Prostate Need-to-Know Blog 600 words ARTICLE

BREAKING GROUND: Creating Microscopic Lenses that Work at the Speed of Sound
The Tunable Acoustic Gradient (TAG) lens, developed by Princeton’s Craig Arnold is the first to take advantage of the speed of sound to change the pattern of light that passes through an object. The fast-moving sound allows for microsecond focusing control. The lens can be used in standard microscopes. Princeton Alumni Weekly 500 words ARTICLE

Study Casts Light on Deadly Immune Response  Examining a case study of near-death experiences for six healthy men who volunteered to test an experimental drug in London has yielded important insights into potentially deadly over-reactions of the human immune system. Princeton University News 1000 words ARTICLE

Health Alerts from a Tooth Tattoo  
A mechanical and and aerospace engineering laboratory has developed graphene-based biosensors including  tooth sensor that can detect as little as a single bacterium. The tooth sensor was featured among 32 “innovations that will change your tomorrow” in The New York Times Magazine last year. Princeton Alumni Weekly 500 words ARTICLE

Birds of a feather…track seven neighbors to flock together 
Princeton University researchers have revealed a key piece of math behind this magic, finding that flocking starlings strike an optimal balance between the work of responding to social cues from their neighbors and the need to conserve energy. This trade-off yields a special number: seven. he finding has implications not just for unlocking the mysteries of coordinated animal movements, but also for the field of robotics, in which engineers seek to emulate nature’s efficiency in coordinating the activity of many individuals in uncertain environments. Princeton University News 1000 words ARTICLE

Finding a Target in Triple-Negative Breast Cancer As triple-negative breast cancer (TNBC) continues to be defined by the mutations and genetic aberrations that these tumors lack, researchers continue to use approaches to molecularly characterize TNBC to define subtypes that may have targetable mutations. Targeted Therapy News 750 words ARTICLE

Diagnostic Lens Turns to Difficult-To-Detect Ovarian Cancer 
New diagnostics are in development by both academic institutions and companies for an ovarian cancer screening test. One test, from Johns Hopkins hopes to be able to detect DNA shed from ovarian tumors using a liquid Papanicolaou (Pap) smear sample. Nature Medicine 750 words ARTICLE

Cancer Vaccines: Always a Bridesmaid, Never a Bride? 
The saying “Always a bridesmaid, never a bride” is apt for therapeutic cancer vaccines, which manage to garner excitement in early trials but despite many attempts do not achieve clinical efficacy. Perhaps this time things will change. In the wake of many disappointments, new vaccine approaches have reached late-stage development, having conceivably learned from the pitfalls of predecessors. Journal of the National Cancer Institute 1298 words ARTICLE

Non-Coding but Important Mutations Found In Vast Majority of Melanomas 
Researchers on both sides of the pond—at the Dana Farber Cancer Institute and the Broad Institute of Harvard and MIT in Cambridge, MA, as well as at the German Cancer Research Center and the University Hospital Essen in Germany—found that mutations in a non-coding DNA segment in the TERT gene occur in as many as 70% of melanomas. CancerCommons Melanoma Blog 720 words ARTICLE

Tribute to Farish A. Jenkins: To His Students He Was Indiana Jones 
Farish Jenkins’ students at Harvard sometimes likened him to another academic: Indiana Jones, the fictional professor and adventurer who never lacked for style. Jenkins, after all, had trained as a military officer, did fieldwork in Africa and the Canadian Arctic, and was known for his great charm, his suit vests and ties, and his occasionally colorful language. Princeton Alumni Weekly 485 words ARTICLE

BREAKING GROUND: Teaching an Old Element New Tricks 
A Princeton chemistry laboratory is working to make major industrial chemical reactions more efficient, less costly, and environmentally friendly. The lab has found a way to replace the precious metal platinum with iron, a much cheaper and more abundant base metal. Princeton Alumni Weekly 500 words ARTICLE

The Shifting Prostate Cancer Treatment Paradigm 
Newly available treatments for advanced prostate cancer have come about because researchers have discovered that the available androgen deprivation therapies (ADT) had failed patients and that castrate-resistant prostate cancer (CRPC) is not actually resistant to hormonal manipulation. CancerCommons Prostate Cancer Blog ARTICLE

BREAKING GROUND: New Buzz About Auditory Perception 
Princeton neuroscience professor studies fruit fly courting songs to understand how the brain processed information from the outside world Princeton Alumni Weekly 500 words ARTICLE


PARP Inhibitors: Targeting the Right Patients 
While garnering much excitement, how best to use PARP inhibitors, particularly identifying the right cancer patient sub-population is not easy, both from regulatory and scientific development perspectives Journal of the National Cancer Institute 1200 words ARTICLE

Personalized, Targeted Treatment Options Offer Hope of Multiple Myeloma as a Chronic Disease Researchers are working hard to turn multiple myeloma (MM), a cancer of the plasma cells in the bone marrow, into a chronic disease. “There has been dramatic progress over the past decade and survival has almost doubled,” said Keith Stewart, MB, ChB, dean of Research at the Mayo Clinic in Scottsdale, Arizona. “There is an increasing belief that some patients can be cured of their disease. This has happened because of bortezomib and lenalidomide.” OncLive- Targeted Therapy News Publication December 12, 2012 2,000 words ARTICLE

American Society of Hematology Conference: T-Cell Therapy for Advanced Leukemia Achieves 2-Year Remission Rate 
Success of first few patients treated including the first successful results in a child (read her amazing story here) presented at ASH 2012 CancerNetwork 880 words ARTICLE

Open-Data Advocate Says Health Information Must Be Shared 
A leading and longtime advocate of open access to scientific data, John Wilbanks, delivered a stern message to physicians recently at the recent Living Well Through Data conference at Mt. Sinai Hospital: “You are not ready” for the flood of data that is coming, and you need to take the lead on setting privacy guidelines for that data before someone else does. NY Genome Center 600 words ARTICLE

BREAKING GROUND: Detecting When to Fix a Bridge 
If bridges could talk, some would warn us that they are old, potentially hazardous, and need repair. A  new technology being developed at Princeton has the potential to give bridges a voice, possibly preventing ­disasters like the 2007 collapse of an interstate-highway bridge in Minneapolis that killed 13 people. Princeton Alumni Weekly December 12, 2012 400 words ARTICLE

Assessing Cancer with a Blood Draw 
Scientists are finding ways to analyze and diagnose cancer with a simple blood draw. Different techniques to analyze the circulating tumor DNA (ctDNA) in a patient’s blood can help guide treatment decisions and even detect resistance to therapy. Journal of the National Cancer Institute Dec, 2012 1200 words ARTICLE

Diabetes Drug May Help Ovarian Cancer Patients Live Longer                                                   Another retrospective study adds to the accumulating evidence that metformin has activity against cancer. MyHealthNewsDaily/ Yahoo Health, November 2012 560 words ARTICLE

BREAKING GROUND: Nooks, crannies boost solar cells 
Researchers at Princeton have demonstrated a way to boost efficiency of plastic solar panels by almost 50% using nature’s solar powerhouses—leaves. Princeton Alumni Weekly, November 2012 375 words   ARTICLE

Exercise Boosts Life Expectancy,  Study Finds 
Large, long-term study of over 650,000 men and women shows benefit of exercise, even for those who are overweight. MSNBC Vitals, November 2012 520 words  ARTICLE

BREAKING GROUND: Easing the internet’s growing pains Princeton computer scientists have developed a new system that could soon let your smart device seamlessly switch from one one wireless network to another. Princeton Alumni Weekly, October 2012 400 words ARTICLE

BREAKING GROUND: Taking aim at immune disorders
New computational methods developed by Princeton chemical engineer are facilitating drug discoveries that could help treat rheumatoid arthritis, cardiovascular disease and other immune disorders. Princeton Alumni Weekly October 2012 365 words ARTICLE

Daily Multivitamin Associated with Lower Cancer Risk 
Large study shows daily men’s multivitamin lowers risk of cancer by 8% compared to placebo. CancerNetwork October 2012 780 words ARTICLE

Lack of BRCA testing approval creates snag for cancer trials 
The Myriad Genetics BRCA testing patent case is affecting the development of breast and ovarian cancer drugs. Nature Medicine, September 2012 750 words ARTICLE

BREAKING GROUND: How Cancer Cells Grow 
Princeton molecular biologist is dissecting the mechanism by which breast cancer cells are attracted to bone tissue and how they are able to manipulate bone to support their own growth. Princeton Alumni Weekly, September 2012 375 words ARTICLE

Cancer Stem Cells: Cancer’s Roots                                                                                     Proponents of the cancer stem cell model believe that targeting cancer stem cells is a viable approach to cancer treatment but there are plenty of skeptics of that see cancer stem cell properties in any cancer cell. Journal of the National Cancer Institute June, 2012  1910 words ARTICLE

The Rising Cost of Cancer Care in the Era of Individualized Therapy 
A conversation with Dr. Thomas J. Smith, expert on palliative medicine and director of Palliative Medicine at The Sidney Kimmel Comprehensive Cancer Center at Johns Hopkins Medical School OncLive June, 2012 ARTICLE

Saturated Fats in Diet May Trigger Gut Disease 
A Western diet high in saturated fat may be facilitating inflammation and could explain why colitis and inflammatory bowel disease is on the rise. MyHealthNewsDaily, June 2012 790 words ARTICLE

A Focus on Personalized Medicine at the Annual Society of Clinical Oncology 2012 
A review of approved targeted therapies for cancer and upcoming clinical trial results at the annual ASCO conference. OncLive, June 2012 ARTICLE

Preserving Fertility in Cancer Patients 
Cancer survivors are helping to integrate fertility counseling and preservation treatment options into cancer patient care for women.Journal of the National Cancer Institute May, 2012  1270 words ARTICLE

Coffee Drinkers May Live Longer 
National Institute of Health Study suggests an association between coffee drinking and mortality rates. MyHealthNewsDaily, May 2012 770 words ARTICLE

Companies hope for rare win with cancer stem cell therapies  
Several biotechnology companies are developing therapies that target so-called cancer stem cells that are thought to be the source of all other cancer cell types. Nature Medicine, April 2012 700 words  ARTICLE

‘False Alarm’ Mammograms Linked to Increased Breast Cancer Risk 
Women who have had false-positive mammograms in the past appear to be more likely to develop breast cancer later. MyHealthNewsDaily, April 2012 780 words ARTICLE

Cadmium in Diet May Increase Breast Cancer Risk 
Cadmium found in whole-grains and vegetables from environmental deposits and fertilizer may increase a woman’s risk for breast cancer. MyHealthNewsDaily, March 2012 720 words ARTICLE

Selected Podcasts

Long-Term Effects of Chemo on the Cognitive Function of Cancer Patients 
A conversation with 3 researchers who study the management of side effects and boost quality of life for cancer patients and the psychosocial problems advanced cancer patients face. CancerNetwork, November 2012  PODCAST

Ethics of Cost Containment for Cancer Therapies 
Can the Affordable Care Act trim healthcare costs? A conversation with Arthur Caplan, PhD, a healthcare ethics and policy expert. CancerNetwork, August 2012     PODCAST

Supreme Court Affordable Care Act Decision: Implications for Practicing Physicians 
A discussion on how the practice of oncology will be changing as the Affordable Care Act is implemented. CancerNetwork, July 2012 PODCAST

Breast Cancer Clinical Trials Should Aim to Prevent Metastases 
A conversation with a breast cancer researcher who has recently written a perspective in the journal Nature calling for a shift in both the types of drugs developed for breast cancer and the way clinical trials are designed and executed. CancerNetwork, July 2012 PODCAST

Challenges to the FDA Review Process: Cost Considerations and Long-Term Benefit Benchmarks 
A discussion of the current challenges of the review process faced by the FDA with 2 experts who have recently published a review of the FDA process and its hurdles CancerNetwork, February 2012     PODCAST


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