‘Light reading’ for a snowy Saturday morning

Thanks to Andrea and Kathy…

Researchers take first look at the genetic dynamics of inbreeding depression


Hi Debby,

Saw this and remembered your experience:

Regarding interesting blogs… (other than yours! – btw, what 
podcasts to do you love?) –Andrea:

Here is the medical librarian’s blog… lots of info here.  You can 
scroll down (find it on the left) or do a search for The China Study 
here as well, (coincidental that she is also an advocate of the book, 
as I read it a year earlier):

This guy can be entertaining as you sip your coffee Monday mornings:

With today’s onslaught of gloom and doom, this is a nice site to visit:

Think I’ve mentioned this one to you before, but this is a great 
place to get podcasts or audio/visual lectures if you also have time 
to watch (sometimes necessary depending on topic):

Books I mentioned:



Native American Radio and the Human Genome Diversity Project
An Interview With Joseph Leon
by Annie Esposito


Here’s an article I just read (one can find them weekly) that highlights the complexities of genetics.  It is easier to target specific genes as being responsible for a disease, as disease is overt.  But what about what those same genes are preventing — or protecting a species from – that remain invisible to use?  -Andrea

New Discovery Raises Doubts About Use of Certain
Targeted Therapies in Bladder Cancer

UVA Researchers Advise Caution in Use of SRC Inhibitors to Treat Bladder Cancer

CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va., March 25, 2009 – Researchers at the University of Virginia Health System have found that one of the genes commonly thought to promote the growth and spread of some types of cancers is in fact beneficial in bladder cancer – a major discovery that could significantly alter the way bladder cancers are treated in the future. 

Bladder cancer is the fifth most common cancer in the United States, resulting in an estimated 14,000 deaths a year.  A majority of these deaths are due to the cancer spreading, or metastasizing, to other areas of the body such as the lung and liver.

The study, published in the April issue of Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, shows that in bladder cancer the SRC gene may help rather than hinder the natural ability of cells to suppress aggressive tumor growth.  

“We found that SRC modifies a recently discovered metastasis suppressor gene called RhoGDI2 making it more potent at slowing bladder cancer’s ability to metastasize,” says lead author Dan Theodorescu, MD, PhD, professor of urologic oncology and molecular physiology at the UVA School of Medicine. 

SRC is a type of oncogene — genes that are known to trigger cancer.  In most cancers SRC has been shown to promote tumor development and contribute to the spread of cancer.  Other genes, called metastasis suppressor genes, block this activity, and only when their levels are reduced is cancer able to spread.

In the study, researchers analyzed human bladder cancer and discovered that SRC levels diminish as bladder cancer progresses.  Furthermore, they found that reduced SRC levels and significant levels of the metastasis suppressor gene, RhoGD12, appear mutually exclusive in individual tumors – providing evidence that both genes are likely involved in the process leading to suppression of bladder cancer metastases.

“Our findings have important implications for the use of targeted therapeutic agents that inhibit SRC in bladder cancer and highlight the general importance of personalizing therapy in cancer,” says Theodorescu.  “Our data suggest using caution for their use in treating bladder cancer until more studies are carried out to define the implications of this form of therapy in bladder cancer.”

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