Science & Research

Science & Research Roundup: Oct. 30, 2013

By
Science & Research Editor

Link between HIV and HPV risk confirmed in men

While the link between human papillomavirus infection and human immunodeficiency virus has been studied in females in the past, a new study by University researchers in the Department of Epidemiology has found this link in males as well.

Examining data on 2,519 circumcised and uncircumcised men, researchers found HPV infection was associated with increased risk of HIV infection in males. Men who had recently had an HPV infection, or had persistent HPV infection, were at higher risk of HIV. Circumcision status was not found to have an effect.

The findings suggest that HPV should be an integral component of future HIV prevention measures, highlighting the need for future research into the specific mechanism by which HPV augments HIV risk, according to the study’s abstract.

 

Liver metabolism molecule uncovered

University researchers recently gained insight into the role of mTORC2 — an important molecular complex found to help regulate liver metabolism.

Studying the molecule’s effect on mice, the researchers concluded that mTORC2 regulates metabolism by communicating between cells and changing how genes are expressed, according to a University press release.

The molecule mTORC2 is of particular interest to the research team because it is the target of a commonly-used cancer drug called rapacmycin, an “FDA-approved anti-cancer agent and immunosuppressant,” according to the release. Rapamycin suppresses the function of mTORC2, and based on the team’s research, affects liver metabolism.

The research, conducted by Professor of Pediatrics Philip Grupposo and Professors of Molecular Biology, Cellular Biology and Biochemistry Arthur Salomon and Nicola Neretti, presents a deeper understanding of the mechanism and consequences of rapamycin inhibiting mTORC2.

 

Living with Tourette’s

Adults with Tourette’s Syndrome — a neurological condition that causes sufferers to have chronic tics — are better off not restricting their general daily activities and social involvement due to their tics, researchers at the University and Alpert Medical School found in a recent study.

Regardless of tic severity, adults with TS who did not restrict their general or social activity due to tics had better quality of life, according to the study’s abstract, published Oct. 21 in PubMed. Participants who restricted their general and social activity levels due to their tics had lower quality of life.

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