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Bob Nellis (@bobnellis)

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Bob Nellis (@bobnellis) published a blog post Tue, Mar 25 1:44pm · View  

Discovery’s Edge Online Issue

DE_Ipad_CoverROCHESTER, Minn. — The latest online issue of Discovery's Edge, Mayo Clinic's research magazine, highlights three programs at Mayo Clinic that have changed medicine and the physician/researchers responsible. You may cite and link to this publication as often as you wish. Republication is allowed with proper attribution. Please include the following subscription information as your editorial policies permit: Visit Discovery's Edge for subscription information.

Discover our iPad Issue, download the app:

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Bob Nellis (@bobnellis) published a blog post Wed, Feb 26 1:10pm · View  

Mayo Clinic Discovers African-Americans Respond Better to Rubella Vaccine

Findings May Help Make Immunizations More Effective 

ROCHESTER, Minn. — Feb. 27, 2014 — Somali Americans develop twice the antibody response to rubella from the current vaccine compared to Caucasians in a new Mayo Clinic study on individualized aspects of immune response. A non-Somali, African-American cohort ranked next in immune response, still significantly higher than Caucasians, and Hispanic Americans in the study were least responsive to the vaccine. The findings appear in the journal Vaccine.

 “This is fascinating,” says Gregory Poland, M.D., Mayo Clinic vaccinologist and senior author of the study. “We don’t know why these groups reacted so differently to the vaccine — that’s a subject for further studies — but this new information will help us as we design the vaccines of the future. It will ultimately change how we practice medicine.”

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Bob Nellis (@bobnellis) published a blog post Wed, Feb 19 4:31pm · View  

Zebrafish Discovery May Shed Light on Human Kidney Function

ROCHESTER, Minn. — Feb. 19, 2014 — Researchers say the discovery of how sodium ions pass through the gill of a zebrafish may be a clue to understanding a key function in the human kidney. The findings from a collaboration between Mayo Clinic and the Tokyo Institute of Technology appear in the online issue of the American Journal of Physiology-Regulatory, Integrative and Comparative Physiology. 

Journalists: B-roll and sound bites with Dr. Romero are in the downloads. B-roll of zebra fish is also in the downloads.

The researchers discovered a protein responsible for gas exchanges in the fish gill structure. Specifically they studied and characterized the Na+/H+ (sodium/hydrogen) exchanger named NHE3, responsible for controlling sodium and hydrogen ions [...]

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Bob Nellis (@bobnellis) published a blog post Wed, Feb 12 5:30pm · View  

It’s National Tube Feeding Awareness Week

Tube feeding is a seldom talked about way of allowing patients to overcome a serious injury or condition and continue to lead a relatively normal and productive life. Yet it’s largely invisible unless the individual wants to make it known.

An inability to swallow due to stroke, cancer, cystic fibrosis, ALS or other condition makes tube feeding a necessity for thousands. Often it’s a temporary measure while someone is undergoing radiation or recovering from surgery. For others it’s a life-long practice and many people go to work, take vacations and manage their feeding as they go.

Click here to see a demonstration of how feeding tubes work.

Journalists:  Dr. Manpreet Mundi oversees the home enteral nutrition program at Mayo Clinic.  Sound bites with Dr. Mundi and broll are available in the downloads

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Bob Nellis (@bobnellis) published a blog post Mon, Feb 10 2:26pm · View  

Mayo Clinic Identifies a Key Cellular Pathway in Prostate Cancer

ROCHESTER, Minn. — Mayo Clinic researchers have shed light on a new mechanism by which prostate cancer develops in men. Central to development of nearly all prostate cancer cases are malfunctions in the androgen receptor — the cellular component that binds to male hormones. The research team has shown that SPOP, a protein that is most frequently mutated in human prostate cancers, is a key regulator of androgen receptor activity that prevents uncontrolled growth of cells in the prostate and thus helps prevent cancer. The findings appear in the journal Cell Reports.

Prostate cancer word cloud“By uncovering this new and important pathway of androgen receptor destruction, we may one day be able to develop more effective treatments for a substantial proportion of prostate cancer patients who have developed resistance to standard antiandrogen therapy,” says Haojie Huang, Ph.D., Mayo Clinic biochemist and senior author of the paper.

SPOP mutations have been detected in approximately 15 percent of prostate cancer cases. In addition, it has been shown that in about 35 percent of prostate cancers, the SPOP protein is expressed at abnormally low levels. Despite its prevalence in prostate cancer, it was not known whether or how SPOP defects contributed to tumor development. What the research team discovered is that SPOP is an enzyme that selectively destroys androgen receptor protein. Failure to do so due to alterations in SPOP results in overabundance of androgen receptor, a master regulator of prostate cancer cell growth.


The Mayo Clinic research team made four major discoveries:

  • The antiandrogen receptor is a bona fide degradation substrate of SPOP.
  • Androgen receptor splicing variants are resistant to SPOP-mediated degradation.
  • Prostate cancer-associated SPOP mutants cannot bind to and promote androgen receptor degradation.
  • Androgens antagonize, but antiandrogens promote SPOP-mediated degradation of androgen receptor.

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Bob Nellis (@bobnellis) published a blog post Mon, Jan 20 3:34pm · View  

Mayo Clinic Research Finds Risk of Glaucoma Blindness Drops by Half

ROCHESTER, Minn. — Jan. 21 — A comparative long-range study by Mayo Clinic ophthalmology researchers shows that the probability of blindness from glaucoma 20 years after diagnosis has dropped by half in the last generation. The findings appear online in the “in press” section of the journal Ophthalmology.

Journalists: Sound bites with Dr. Sit are available in the downloads.

The researchers examined the medical records of all residents of Olmsted County, Minnesota, age 40 or above, diagnosed with glaucoma between 1981 and 2000. They compared this with similar data from a previous study of patients diagnosed between 1965 and 1980, using the same resource, the repositories of the Rochester Epidemiology Project.

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Bob Nellis (@bobnellis) published a blog post Wed, Jan 8 10:54am · View  

Discovery’s Edge Online Issue

Research Features from Mayo Clinic

Rochester, Minn. — January  8, 2014 — Here are highlights from the latest online issue of Discovery's Edge, Mayo Clinic's research magazine. You may cite and link to this publication as often as you wish. Republication is allowed with proper attribution. Please include the following subscription information as your editorial policies permit: Visit Discovery's Edge for subscription information. Cover of Discovery's Edge Magazine showing cells and titled "Making Sense of Cells."

Reducing the Panic of Fecal Incontinence
Fecal incontinence is an embarrassing and common problem, especially for women. A Mayo Clinic researcher's institution-wide collaboration into its causes has led to new ways to better identify this seldom-discussed problem.

Genomics: The Dawn of a New Medical Era
Using a person's genes to prescribe the right medications once seemed like science fiction. Building on decades of research, Mayo Clinic researchers are now exploring how deeper genetic knowledge can be used for early detection of and better treatment for such pressing medical problems as heart disease, Alzheimers disease and cancer.

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Bob Nellis (@bobnellis) published a blog post Tue, Nov 12 2013 · View  

Mayo Clinic: Add Bone Deterioration to Diabetes Complications

ROCHESTER, Minn. — The list of complications from type 2 diabetes is long: vascular and heart disease, eye problems, nerve damage, kidney disease, hearing problems and Alzheimer's disease. Physicians have long thought of osteoporosis as another outcome. Based on a Mayo Clinic study published in the Journal of Bone and Mineral Research, that's confirmed: You can definitely add skeletal problems to that list.

MULTIMEDIA ALERT: : Video of Dr. Khosla is available for download on the Mayo Clinic News Network.

"This is the first demonstration — using direct measurement of bone strength in the body — of compromised bone material in patients with type 2 diabetes," says Sundeep Khosla, M.D. , Mayo Clinic endocrinologist and senior author of the study. "Clearly, the skeleton needs to be recognized as another important target of diabetes complications."

Previous studies in the field showed that patients with diabetes experienced fractures at levels of bone density above that of the regular population, hinting that something was different about the "quality" of their bone. The Mayo researchers validated that assumption in a clinical study of 60 postmenopausal women, 30 of whom had type 2 diabetes. Using a new tool (OsteoProbe®), the researchers performed micro indentation testing of the tibia (actually causing a microscopic crack) to measure bone material strength. Compared to the control group of women, aged 50 to 80, the group with type 2 diabetes had significantly lower bone material strength. There was no difference between the microarchitecture of the bone or bone density between the two groups. The study showed that diabetic women with lower bone material strength had also experienced higher levels of hyperglycemia over the previous 10 years, suggesting potential detrimental effects of poor glucose control on bone quality.

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Bob Nellis (@bobnellis) published a blog post Thu, Oct 24 2013 · View  

Clifford Jack Jr., M.D., Elected to Institute of Medicine

ROCHESTER, Minn. — Clifford Jack Jr., M.D., radiologist and noted Alzheimer's disease researcher at Mayo Clinic, has been elected to the Institute of Medicine, part of the national academies. Election is considered one of the top honors in medicine.

"This is a great recognition for Dr. Cliff Jack and an honor that is well deserved," says John Noseworthy, M.D., president and CEO of Mayo Clinic. "Dr. Jack is internationally known for his discoveries in radiology and imaging and for his impact on Alzheimer's disease analysis. Much of what we know about how Alzheimer's develops is because Cliff Jack found a way to visualize it."

Dr. Jack is a pioneer in developing medical imaging methods that identify biomarkers for Alzheimer's disease. He has introduced [...]

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Bob Nellis (@bobnellis) published a blog post Mon, Oct 21 2013 · View  

Parental Perceptions are Preventing HPV Vaccination Success

ROCHESTER, Minn. — oct. 21, 2013 —A Mayo Clinic physician and two other pediatric experts say that parental perceptions pose a major barrier to acceptance of human papillomavirus (HPV) vaccination — and that many of those perceptions are wrong. Their comments are published in Expert Review of Clinical Immunology, in an editorial on why HPV vaccination rates remain poor.

MULTIMEDIA ALERT: Video and audio of Dr. Jacobson are available for download on the Mayo Clinic News Network.

"The greatest misperception of parents is that the HPV vaccine isn't needed," says Mayo Clinic's Robert Jacobson, M.D., pediatrician in the Mayo Clinic Children's Center and lead author of the editorial. "Not only is that wrong, it's a dangerous idea to be spreading around. Recent figures show that at least 12,000 unvaccinated women develop cervical cancer from HPV every year." Other incorrect perceptions: The HPV vaccines are not safe, and they are given to children when they are too young.

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