The National Institutes of Health recently unveiled a collaborative program that will match researchers with a selection of pharmaceutical industry compounds to help scientists explore new treatments for patients. NIH’s new National Center for Advancing Translational Sciences (NCATS) has partnered initially with Pfizer, AstraZeneca, and Eli Lilly and Company which have agreed to make dozens of their compounds available for this initiative’s pilot phase.
Tyrosine kinases are signaling molecules that are frequently mutated as cells become tumorigenic. One of their responsibilities is regulating a cell’s growth based on the extracellular signals they receive. The presence of extracellular growth factors tells them to induce the cell to grow more rapidly, while a lack of oxygen or nutrients tells them to grow more slowly. When these kinases are mutated they make the cell grow uncontrollably, divorcing growth from the conditions outside the cell. In some cases, this mutation is what makes a cell cancerous.
Today is World Tuberculosis Day; it’s celebrated annually on March 24th. The event is used to raise awareness about the ongoing fight against the disease. This year’s theme is on innovation and focuses on individuals around the world who have found new ways to stop TB and can serve as an inspiration to others.
Tuberculosis or TB, which is short for Tubercles Bacillus, is a common and often deadly infectious disease caused by mycobacteria in humans. TB usually attacks the lungs but it can also affect other parts of the body. More than 2 billion people are infected with TB bacilli; 1 in 10 will become sick with active TB in their lifetime . Left untreated, more than 50% of those infected will die from the disease.