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Guess what the killer of dreaded cancer could be.

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Scientists probing the reason why cancer is far less common in individuals with Huntington’s disease have revealed that the gene responsible for the fatal brain condition produces a molecule that is deadly to cancer cells.

In a recent paper published in the journal EMBO Reports, scientists from Northwestern University in Chicago, IL, note exactly how they tested the molecule in human and mouse cancer cells, as well as in mice with ovarian cancer.

“This molecule,” explains senior study author Marcus E. Peter, who’s a professor of cancer metabolism, “is a super assassin against all tumor cells. We’ve never seen anything this powerful.”

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He and his colleagues hope that the discovery will lead to a short-lived treatment that can target and destroy cancer cells without triggering the progressive brain damage that occurs alongside Huntington’s disease.

Huntington’s disease is a fatal and inherited disorder that destroys nerve cells in the brain, causing a progressive decline in mental and physical ability. Symptoms will typically emerge between age 30 and 50 and progress over a period that lasts 10–25 years.

There are currently 30,000 people in the United States living with Huntington’s disease, as well as another 200,000 who are at risk of inheriting it.

There is currently no cure for Huntington’s disease, which arises from a fault in the huntingtin gene. The gene is passed from parent to child. Children with a parent who has the disease have a 50 percent chance of carrying the gene.

The faulty huntingtin gene contains more than a normal number of repeats of a certain sequence of nucleotides in its DNA code. Nucleotides are the “alphabet”of DNA and RNA and there are five of them: A, G, C, T, and U.

In Huntington’s disease, the huntingtin gene contains too many repeated sequences of CAG. The more repeated sequences of CAG in the gene, the earlier the disease develops.

The repeated sequences give rise to molecules called small interfering RNAs that attack genes that are important for cell survival, and they trigger a type of cell death that brain cells are susceptible to.

However, it seems that cancer cells are much more vulnerable to this type of cell death, which opens up the possibility of using the process to eliminate cancer cells in a way that does not damage healthy cells.

The cell death mechanism that is activated by small interfering RNAs was first identified in previous research by Prof. Peter and first study author Dr. Andrea E Murmann, who is a research assistant professor in medicine.

Explaining the reason for the new study, Dr. Murmann says that the researchers wondered whether there might be situations in which the cell death mechanism is “overactive in certain people, and where it could cause loss of tissues.”

“These patients,” she adds, “would not only have a disease with an RNA component, but they also had to have less cancer.”

In a search for diseases with this combination of features — high tissue loss, lower incidence of cancer, and involving RNAs — Huntington’s stood out the most.

Closer examination of the faulty huntingtin gene revealed a similar pattern of repeated sequences of DNA code to that found in the cell death mechanism identified in the earlier study: both were high in C and G nucleotides.

“Toxicity,” Dr. Murmann notes, “goes together with C and G richness. Those similarities triggered our curiosity.”

The team tested the effects of the small interfering RNAs produced by the repeated sequences in human and mouse cancer cells grown from laboratory cell lines.

They tested them in brain, breast, colon, liver, lung, ovarian, and skin cancer cells. The “assassin molecules” killed all the cancer cells from both human and mouse cell lines.

They also tested the molecules’ effects on live mice with human ovarian cancer. The molecules were delivered in nanoparticles that released their cargo when they reached the tumors.

The results showed that the molecules slowed down tumor growth “with no signs of toxicity to the mice,” and also with no evidence that the tumors developed resistance to the treatment.

The team is now working on improving the method so that the nanoparticles can reach the tumors more effectively. The scientists also want to find a way to keep them stable during storage.

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Somalia empowers President to appoint foreigner as Central bank governor.

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Somali lawmakers voted on Monday to allow the president to appoint a foreigner as governor of the central bank of the volatile Horn of Africa nation.



Previously only a citizen could be appointed to the role as is the case across much of the continent. The vote was held in the lower house of the parliament.

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An overwhelming majority of lawmakers (158) voted for the change as proposed by the government of President Mohamed Abdullahi Farmaajo and Prime Minister Ali Hassan Khayre.

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Seventeen MPs kicked against the move even though the government justified the proposal by saying the country needed every available expertise to change its fortunes.

Even though there is no known foreign candidate for the role, a presidential assent – which is seen as procedural – will see government headhunt for a a new bank chief.

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Climate change forces El Paso to make treated sewage water turn into drinking water

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As the global climate changes and water becomes an increasingly scarce resource, a number of cities such as India, Australia has earlier express their concern to reduce water shortage.



The authorities has disclosed to her citizens stating that “What we are seeing is a systematic increase in temperature, so we’re seeing the snow-melt runoff earlier…and more rapid melt than average. And again, for a given level of snow-pack, less runoff actually reaching the river and reaching our reservoir.

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However, in a bid to mitigate the water shortages,  El Paso is set to become one of the first cities in the US to treat sewage water and turn it into drinking water.

Chief technical officer of El Paso Water, Mr Gilbert Trejo said that the facility to treat sewage water with multiple steps of filtration such as carbon and UV filtration to make sure no pathogens or microbes are present.

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Adding that It will help to solve a major supply problem in the city and what’s more, some locals even say it tastes better.

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