A new Web resource developed at the San Diego Supercomputer Center (SDSC) at the University of California, San Diego is helping thousands of researchers worldwide unravel the enigmas of phylogenetics, the study of evolutionary relationships among virtually every species on the planet.
Researchers at the University of California, San Diego – led by Gary S. Firestein, MD, professor in the Division of Rheumatology, Allergy and Immunology at UC San Diego School of Medicine – investigated a mechanism usually implicated in cancer and in fetal development, called DNA methylation, in the progression of rheumatoid arthritis (RA). They found that epigenetic changes due to methylation play a key role in altering genes that could potentially contribute to inflammation and joint damage.
Popularly dubbed “the book of life,” the human genome is extraordinarily difficult to read. In a paper published in the July 1, 2012 issue of the journal Nature, researchers at the Ludwig Institute for Cancer Research and the University of California, San Diego School of Medicine open the book further, mapping for the first time a significant portion of the functional sequences of the mouse genome, the most widely used mammalian model organism in biomedical research.
Research suggests that patients with leukemia sometimes relapse because standard chemotherapy fails to kill the self-renewing leukemia initiating cells, often referred to as cancer stem cells. In such cancers, the cells lie dormant for a time, only to later begin cloning, resulting in a return and metastasis of the disease. One such type of cancer is called pediatric T cell acute lymphoblastic leukemia, or T-ALL, often found in children, who have few treatment options beyond chemotherapy.