Non-invasive detection of certain cancers on the horizon
Wednesday, November 14, 2018: The realization of the promising field of “liquid biopsy” for cancer detection moved closer this week, with a fascinating new paper published in Nature that measures cancer risk by detecting a type of DNA modification called methylation in circulating DNA in blood
New Discovery - A built-in killer switch eliminates dividing cells from lab-grown transplant tissue to improve patient safety
Wednesday, November 14, 2018: Cells hold great potential as medicine but they can’t be trusted in their current form. “Cells that can divide are dangerous by their nature,”...
Dr. Jeff Wrana Awarded Major Prize for Contributions to Cancer Research
Tuesday, September 18, 2018: Dr. Jeff Wrana, Senior Investigator at the Lunenfeld-Tanenbaum Research Institute, has been awarded the 2018 McLaughlin Medal by the Royal Society of Canada (RSC), recognizing his pivotal contributions to our understanding of biology, human diseases, and its treatment. The RSC also recognized his leadership in the promotion of “Canadian science through collaborative research facilities and international impact.” Dr. Wrana’s vast accomplishments include delineation of the Transforming Growth Factor beta signal transduction system which plays a key role in cancer development and spread.
LINE dancing - a new and essential role for repetitive DNA in embryonic development
Thursday, June 21, 2018: Biologists have long known about segments of repeated sequences of DNA – together such elements comprise almost half of our genomes (and those of other species)... A research team led by Dr. Miguel Ramalho-Santos has now uncovered an important and novel role for the most common of these repetitive elements, called LINE1, which accounts for a full 24% of the human genome.
Sins of the Father - New Research Explores How an RNA-Binding Protein Prevents Paternally-Mediated Epigenetic Sterility
Thursday, August 24, 2017: C. elegans SUP-46, an HNRNPM family RNA-binding protein that prevents paternally-mediated epigenetic sterility. Until the past 15 years or so, it was believed that DNA was the sole blueprint of life. Scientists and laypeople alike supposed that all phenotypes arose only from specific sequences of nucleotides in DNA.
Unravelling the Web of Protein Interactions - Introducing ProHits-viz
Wednesday, July 19, 2017: The field of biochemistry – understanding the chemistry of life – began with reductionism. This reductionist approach provided a linear understanding of protein interaction: that one protein performs an action, which is then directly transmitted to another protein. However, thanks to the work of scientists like the late Dr. Tony Pawson, researchers in the fields of biochemistry and cell biology began to realise that proteins do not work in this merely linear fashion. Instead, they are often part of molecular machines comprised of many proteins, often with transient and variegated interactions.
Getting to the Core of the Problem - New Research Delves into the Role of MOB1 in the Hippo Signalling Pathway
Friday, July 07, 2017: Understanding the complex cellular pathways involved in cancer is a critical aspect in understanding the disease itself. Moreover, studying these pathways may also provide insights for development of new treatments targeted at disrupting aspects of pathways that are disrupted in cancer. Two complementary, recent publications from research teams at the LTRI
Lending Regeneration a Helping Hand - New research suggests TGF-B allows cultured chondrocytes to redifferentiate
Friday, June 23, 2017: According to the Arthritis Society, over three million Canadian suffer from osteoarthritis. This disease affects the cartilage of joints between bones, causing it to break down and resulting in pain, stiffness, and swelling in affected joints, as well as a reduction in the quality of life of sufferers. Moreover, this disease is not only progressive and debilitating, but also currently incurable. While treatments aimed at alleviating symptoms exist, there is a dire need for therapies that can regenerate lost cartilage.
From Jellyfish to Cancer Cells - Why Fluorescent Proteins Are Crucial to Biomedical Research
Monday, June 12, 2017: Brightly glowing cells frequently grace the covers of scientific journals in an array of vivid colours. While often beautiful, their significance to scientific research may not be immediately evident. Put more simply: why do our experiments glow, and why is this important? Many of us have seen images like those of white lab mice that glow green under UV light and have wondered, perhaps, what value exists in such a trait...
Friends, Foes, and Everything In Between - Why Bacteria Get a Bad Rap
Friday, March 31, 2017: Humans have a fraught relationship with bacteria. Advertising for antibacterial soaps, disinfectants, and air purifiers would have us believe that all bacteria are enemies to be eliminated. But contradictions to this message pour in from the flourishing market of probiotics, insisting that our health depends on consuming as many bacteria as we can.
Undermining Malignancy – The next step in understanding Plk4-mediated cancer cell metastasis and invasion
Monday, March 20, 2017: What makes a tumour malignant (and therefore cancerous), and not merely benign? This is a crucial question, given that while benign growths can pose health risks, the malignancy of cancerous growths makes them far more dangerous than their benign counterparts.
New insights into predicting the most aggressive forms of prostate cancer
Tuesday, March 14, 2017: Most prostate cancer (PCa) is diagnosed through a blood test, serum PSA testing. The well appreciated down-side of PSA testing is the diagnosis of a considerable proportion of indolent cancers that are highly unlikely to progress to clinically significant, lethal disease. Our limited ability to accurately identify men destined to suffer and die from the disease from the majority of indolent cases is a major concern and contributes to the dilemma regarding PCa screening and its genetic testing. - This paper is dedicated to the memory of our long time colleague and dear friend, Dr. Hilmi Ozcelik.
Dr. Daniel Drucker honoured with two awards recognizing his outstanding contributions to fundamental and clinical studies of GLP-1 and GLP-2
Tuesday, March 14, 2017: In previous years, Dr. Drucker has garnered worldwide recognition for his work, including having been awarded the Banting Medal for Scientific Achievement, appointed an Officer of the Order of Canada and elected as a fellow to the Royal Society. He is now the 2017 recipient of the Rolf Luft Award, and shares in the 2017 Harrington Prize for Innovation in Medicine with Drs. Habener and Holst.