Galectin-3s and the Emergence of Glycoscience
While some big biomedical challenges (such as the Alzheimer’s-related buildup of amyloid plaques in the brain) have seeped into the public consciousness, many of the newly discovered causes of disease and aging remain unknown outside of elite scientific circles. Fortunately, biotech revolutions are happening even if they escape public notice. The science of galectin-3 proteins is a perfect example.
Galectin-3 proteins, produced by the LGALS3 gene, are involved in a wide variety of beneficial biological mechanisms such as wound repair. As our bodies age, however, galectin-3s are involved increasingly with a number of undesirable activities. The initial discoveries of galectin-3 pathologies involved cancers, but there’s actually a lot more to the story.
For a succinct overview of the galectin-3 role in cancer, you can read the abstract of this 2005 article published in Apoptosis titled, “On the role of galectin-3 in cancer apoptosis.” Essentially, however, I’ll further summarize by saying that the paper shows that galectin-3 proteins prevent drug-induced apoptosis in tumor cancers, which is bad enough—but they also kill the T cells that are supposed to detect and kill tumors. Specifically, the abstract states that, “tumor cells’ secreted galectin-3 induces T-cells’ apoptosis, thus playing a role in the immune escape mechanism during tumor progression through induction of apoptosis of cancer-infiltrating T-cells.”
In other words, tumors secrete galectin-3 proteins. These proteins bind to and kill the T cells that are supposed to gather information about cancers… as well as kill the tumors. The reason for this may be that galectin-3s are also associated with the formation of scar tissues. Because the formation of fibrotic tissue is critical in the case of injury, galectin-3s may be utilized to prevent immune system attacks on healing wounds. Cancers seem to have hacked the system (as they have with phosphatidylserines) to
"Patients with Psoriasis are at a higher risk of developing Nonalcoholic fatty liver disease."
Talk about killing two birds with one stone !
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Nokia’s innovative Android launcher app finally gets users’ most requested feature
Nokia came out of nowhere and surprised us all last summer when it released its first Android app. Following the sale of its phone business, Nokia was suddenly an Android developer… and the company’s first app was terrific and innovative. Z Launcher has been updated a few times since it first debuted, but one of Nokia’s biggest updates yet will be released today, finally bringing users’ most requested feature to Z Launcher. According to bgr
Android launcher apps comprise something of a niche category. Launchers take over your Android phone’s home screen and replace it with a different interface and, often times, new functionality.
Though launchers are mainly used only by more savvy Android fans, Z Launcher passed 1 million activations last month and cemented its position among a small list of emerging launchers. Of course, there’s still plenty of room for growth; popular launchers like Nova Launcher and Hola Launcher have each been installed more than 10 million times.
Z Launcher has several key features, but there are two that likely make up the app’s main draw. First, you can launch any app or pull up a contact simply by drawing letters with your finger that spell out a name. So for example, if I want to call Nokia, I’ll begin drawing “N,” “O,” “K” with my finger, and the Nokia contact will be displayed.
Additionally, the app learns your habits and displays your most commonly used apps for easy access, changing things around depending on the time of day and your location.