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You Give Me Fever


It seems that tumors hate the heat, says New Scientist's Ferris Jabr. In a new study published in PNAS, researchers at the University of Amsterdam show that high temperatures undercut a tumor's ability to fight off cancer drugs by denaturing the BRCA2 protein that repairs breaks cancer cells' DNA, Jabr says. This suggests to researchers that the right combination of heat and drugs may improve the effectiveness of cancer therapy. "Cells have DNA repair pathways because they constantly accumulate DNA damage, so fixing it is good for normal cells, but DNA repair allows cancer cells to resist therapy that does DNA damage," study co-author Roland Kanaar tells Jabr. "The researchers suggest that hyperthermia would make an excellent ally for anti-cancer drugs that impair DNA-repair enzymes, such as PARP-1 inhibitors," Jabr adds.

The Scan

Mosquitos Genetically Modified to Prevent Malaria Spread

A gene drive approach could be used to render mosquitos unable to spread malaria, researchers report in Science Advances.

Gut Microbiomes Allow Bears to Grow to Similar Sizes Despite Differing Diets

Researchers in Scientific Reports find that the makeup of brown bears' gut microbiomes allows them to reach similar sizes even when feasting on different foods.

Finding Safe Harbor in the Human Genome

In Genome Biology, researchers present a new approach to identify genomic safe harbors where transgenes can be expressed without affecting host cell function.

New Data Point to Nuanced Relationship Between Major Depression, Bipolar Disorder

Lund University researchers in JAMA Psychiatry uncover overlapping genetic liabilities for major depression and bipolar disorder.