NUS scientists crack mystery of flu transmission

A multidisciplinary research team showed that flu viruses can hijack a unique class of proteins which are part of the body’s (host) respiratory cellular machinery. Using the protein called CD151, the viruses clone and multiply before invading and colonising new victims. Along the way, they promote their own survival and multiply further in the bodies of infected individuals. This finding paves the way for new and more effective flu medicines.

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Scientists grow liver cancer cells in lab

An interdisciplinary team of researchers from tNUS’s Departments of Physiology and Biomedical Engineering, the Cancer Science Institute of Singapore, the Institute of Bioengineering and Nanotechnology, A*STAR and the National Cancer Centre Singapore has devised a new method to grow patient-derived xenografts (PDX) liver cancer cells, setting the stage for more effective drug development for liver cancer (hepatocellular carcinoma) patients.

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Partnership formed to train community health volunteers for the elderly

Community health volunteers will be trained through online courses as well as classroom sessions taught by experts in a new programme that is being developed by a consortium of agencies and headed by the NUS Mind-Science Centre (NMSC).

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Identified: A Host Protein Involved in Enterovirus 71 Infection of the brain in Hand, Foot and Mouth Disease

Infection with enterovirus 71 (EV71) causes hand, foot and mouth disease, a highly contagious disease that usually affects children younger than five years of age. An NUS research team has identified a host protein, prohibitin (PHB), that is used by EV71 to attack and infect brain cells.

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Engineered bacteria and broccoli extract kills colorectal cancer cells

Colorectal cancer is one of the most common cancers in the world, especially the developed world. Although the five-year survival rates for earlier stages
of this cancer are relatively good, at later stages survival goes down and the risk of cancer recurrence goes up considerably. To help address this problem, a team of researchers have found a way to turn a humble cocktail of bacteria and vegetables into a targeted system that seeks out and kills colorectal cancer cells.

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Mother’s antibodies may worsen dengue infection in children

A dengue vaccine that stimulates a strong T cell response in babies has been found to provide better and broader protection than vaccines which induce the production of mainly antibodies. An NUS research team that made this finding also found that a mother’s antibodies which help to protect her babies against dengue virus infection can also be detrimental in some situations, as these maternal antibodies can enhance the severity of dengue infection in babies or interfere with their immunisation.

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It’s in the blood

Giving a literal expression to the idiom, researchers from National University of Singapore (NUS) have uncovered the secret behind how blood cells release a vital biological substance involved in essential processes like immune and blood vessel functions. This knowledge of the pathway by which blood cells release sphingosine-1-phosphate (S1P) carries broad implications for the treatment of various immune and vascular diseases.

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