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New Clues to Why Older Women are More Vulnerable to Breast Cancer

These fluorescent images of human mammary epithelial cells exemplify the effects of aging. In the left image, multipotent progenitor cells from a 19-year-old young woman respond to a tumor-mimicking stiff surface by differentiating into red-colored tumor-suppressing myoepithelial cells. In the right image, progenitor cells from a 66-year-old woman fail to launch this putative cancer-fighting response when exposed to a stiff surface. (Credit: Pelissier/LaBarge)

Berkeley Lab scientists have gained more insights into why older women are more susceptible to breast cancer. They found that as women age, the cells responsible for maintaining healthy breast tissue stop responding to their immediate surroundings, including mechanical cues that should prompt them to suppress nearby tumors.

New Details on Microtubules and How the Anti-Cancer Drug Taxol Works

The most detailed look ever at the assembly and disassembly of microtubules, tiny fibers of tubulin protein that play a crucial role in cell division, provides new insight into the success of the anti-cancer drug Taxol.

Berkeley Lab researchers have produced images of microtubule assembly and disassembly at the unprecedented resolution of 5 angstroms, providing new insight into the success of the anti-cancer drug Taxol and pointing the way to possible improvements.

Vast Gene-Expression Map Yields Neurological and Environmental Stress Insights

A consortium led by Berkeley Lab scientists has conducted the largest survey yet of how information encoded in an animal genome is processed in different organs, stages of development, and environmental conditions. Their findings, based on fruit fly research, paint a new picture of how genes function in the nervous system and in response to environmental stress.

Berkeley Lab Startup Wants to Know How Damaged Your DNA Is

Berkeley Lab scientist Sylvain Costes has come up with a way to automate the job of screening for DNA damage, using a proprietary algorithm and a machine to scan specimens and objectively score the damaged DNA. Now he has launched Exogen Biotechnology to commercialize the technology and, he hopes, make tests for DNA damage as common as a cholesterol test.

How a Shape-shifting DNA-repair Machine Fights Cancer

Maybe you’ve seen the movies or played with toy Transformers, those shape-shifting machines that morph in response to whatever challenge they face. It turns out that DNA-repair machines in your cells use a similar approach to fight cancer and other diseases, according to new research led by Berkeley Lab scientists.

A Role of Sugar Uptake in Breast Cancer Revealed

Berkeley Lab researchers have shown that aerobic glycolysis – glucose metabolism in the presence of oxygen – is not the consequence of the cancerous activity of malignant cells, as has been widely believed, but is itself a cancerous event.

Tiny Bubbles Hold Big Promise for NMR/MRI

Tiny bubbles carrying hyperpolarized xenon gas hold big promise for greatly increasing the sensitivity of NMR/MRI technologies.

Cancerous Traffic Jams: Biomechanical Factor in Malignancies Identified

Berkeley Lab researchers have demonstrated that the malignant activity of a cellular protein system strongly linked to breast cancer can arise from what essentially are protein traffic jams.

Berkeley Lab Confirms Thirdhand Smoke Causes DNA Damage

A study led by researchers from Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory has found for the first time that thirdhand smoke—the noxious residue that clings to virtually all surfaces long after the secondhand smoke from a cigarette has cleared out—causes significant genetic damage in human cells.

Berkeley Lab Researchers Discover How and Where Breast Tumor Cells Become Dormant and What Causes Them to Become Metastatic

Berkeley Lab researchers have identified the microenvironment surrounding microvasculature as a niche where dormant breast cancer cells may reside, and the sprouting of microvasculature blood vessels as the event that transforms dormant cancer cells into metastatic tumors.