Editor’s Selections: The biology of pancreatic cancer, obesity and the immune system, and a metazoan that does not need O2

Editor's Selections 3 Comments
By Vincent Racaniello

Vincent RacanielloVincent Racaniello selects several notable posts each week from molecular and cellular biology and virology. He blogs at virology blog.

  • The 5-year survival rate for pancreatic cancer is <5%, in part because there are no useful biomarkers for early detection. One candidate is a protein called palladin, which is produced in large amounts in groups of cells in the stroma surrounding pancreatic tumors. Depending on the results of human trials, measuring palladin levels in patient samples could be an improved way to screen for the disease, allowing earlier detection than permitted by current tests.
  • Mice lacking the innate sensor toll-like receptor 5 become obese due to a shift in the intestinal bacterial species. The innate immune system therefore not only protects us against infection, but controls the types of bacteria that inhabit our alimentary tract.
  • Living without air, or anaerobiosis, has been thought to be exclusively a property of prokaryotic or eukaryotic microbes, but not multicellular organisms. But in an anaerobic ‘brine lake’ at the bottom of the Mediterranean live Loricifera, metazoans less than a millimeter in length.

I’ll be back next Friday with more selections.

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3 Responses to “Editor’s Selections: The biology of pancreatic cancer, obesity and the immune system, and a metazoan that does not need O2”

  1. Tawana Zoutte Says:
    January 5th, 2012 at 2:20 am

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