Posts Tagged: medicine

Scientists discover origin of cell mask that hides stomach cancer

Scientists discover origin of cell mask that hides stomach cancer

A layer of cells that look like normal stomach lining on top of sites of stomach cancer can make it difficult to spot after removal of a Helicobacter pylori infection. In a recent study, researchers from Hiroshima University have uncovered the origin of this layer of cells: it is produced by the cancer tissue itself. Helicobacter pylori (H. pylori) is a type of bacteria that lives in people’s stomachs. To survive the harsh environment these bacteria can neutralize stomach acid. H. pylori is the leading cause of stomach cancer, one of the most common types of cancer which can have a low survival rate. The bacteria cause inflammation by injecting… Read more

Family dynamics: molecules from the same family have different effects in cancer prognosis

Family dynamics: molecules from the same family have different effects in cancer prognosis

Scientists observe that one molecule increases liposarcoma tumor cell spread and aggression while another molecule from the same family decreases migration and cell proliferation. Researchers at Hiroshima University have found that different levels of two molecules of the same family—TIMP-1 and TIMP-4—can influence prognosis of liposarcoma. High levels of TIMP-1 lead to a poor prognosis while high TIMP-4 indicates a less severe form of liposarcoma. This study, published in Carcinogenesis 10th May, described the molecules’ mechanism of action through the YAP/TAZ pathway. Further research can lead to new treatments and better methods of diagnosis for liposarcoma. Different types of cancer have different prognoses (medical outcomes) and some are easier to… Read more

Success of university programs to promote rural healthcare in Japan

Success of university programs to promote rural healthcare in Japan

Researchers confirm university programs encourage physicians to work in rural areas An ambitious health economics study from a consortium of 5 Japanese universities has shown that different university programs to promote the equal geographic distribution of physicians increases the number of graduates practicing in rural areas in Japan. Graduates from these programs were on average 24% more likely to work in non-metropolitan areas than those not involved these programs. Access to healthcare in rural or low-population areas is a problem that affects countries worldwide, not limited only to developing nations. Many developed nations have an aging population, which in countries like Japan and Germany, is putting pressure on their healthcare… Read more

New target for chronic pain relief confirmed by scientists

New target for chronic pain relief confirmed by scientists

Scientists observe drug target that can reduce pain when activated   A research group at Hiroshima University observed a potential new target for chronic pain treatment. Further research using this receptor could lead to new, more effective drugs to use in pain-relieving treatment for chronic pain. Conditions that cause chronic pain can be difficult to manage. These include sciatica, cancer and rheumatoid arthritis. Chronic pain mechanisms are complicated, which is one of the reasons why pain management is so difficult, explains Professor Norimitsu Morioka of the Department of Pharmacology, Graduate School of Biomedical & Health Sciences, Hiroshima University. This difficulty decreases the quality of life of patients that, in many cases, can suffer from… Read more

Meet Kazuhiko Watanabe

Meet Kazuhiko Watanabe

  Kazuhiko Watanabe is a biomechanist and Director of the Sports and Health Science Laboratory at Hiroshima University. He may have retired in 2008, but this Emeritus Professor is still very much involved with community inside and outside of the university. Watanabe’s research focuses on posture control and improving people’s quality of life – from Olympic ski jumpers to elderly people.   Do you play any sports? I enjoy kendo and skiing. Kendo is more of a skill-based sport than, say, judo. So even at eighty or ninety years old, you could play kendo with someone in a younger generation. As for skiing, I was born near Niseko, a mountain… Read more

Space-like gravity weakens muscle development

Space-like gravity weakens muscle development

Microgravity conditions affect DNA methylation of muscle cells, slowing their differentiation   Astronauts go through many physiological changes during their time in spaceflight, including lower muscle mass and slower muscle development. Similar symptoms can occur in the muscles of people on Earth’s surface, too. In fact, it could affect everyone to some extent later in life. “Age-related skeletal muscle disorders, such as sarcopenia, are becoming a greater concern in society,” said Hiroshima University (HU) Professor and Space Bio-Laboratories Director Louis Yuge. “It is especially a big concern in Japan, where the number of aging people is increasing.” In a study published in Microgravity, a medical research group at HU led by Yuge shed light… Read more