Acute myeloblastic leukaemia is characterised by the extreme clonal proliferation of haematopoietic precursor cells with abnormal or arrested differentiation. Chemotherapy of acute leukaemia is channelled towards the reduction and eradication of leukaemic cells. However, relapse is generally assumed to occur in residual host cells, which are refractory to or elude therapy. The cancer stem cell hypothesis has gained considerable importance in recent years and could interpret this behaviour. This persuasive theory states that cells within a tumour are organised in a hierarchy similar to that of normal tissues and are maintained by a small subset of cells responsible for tumour dormancy. These cells, defined as ‘tumour initiating cells’ (TICs), possess several properties of normal tissue stem cells. Recently, the TICs associated with AML have been shown to comprise distinct, hierarchically arranged classes similar to those observed for haematopoietic stem cells. We know now that the growth and survival of blasts in AML are driven by the same growth factors that stimulate normal cells. Furthermore, direct evidence of the role of membrane stem cell factor and its receptor c-Kit in cell–cell interactions and cell survival in primary AML blasts have been provided, defining the importance of juxtacrine stimulation. Inhibition of c-Kit signalling induces combinations of cell death: autophagy (compensatory mechanism towards survival) and apoptosis. While recent work confirmed that c-Kit inhibitors reduce cancer cell proliferation, it also demonstrated that future inappropriate prescriptions could cause normal tissue deterioration. The purpose of this paper was to review some of the salient features of leukaemic blasts in support of the proposal that research into neoplasia be increased. Rather than presenting the details of various studies, I have attempted to indicate general areas in which work has been done or is in progress. It is hoped that this survey of the subject will demonstrate a variety of opportunities for additional research in human neoplasia.
Plant parasitic nematodes are the most destructive group of plant pathogens worldwide and their control is extremely challenging. Plant Essential oils (EOs) and their constituents have a great potential in nematode control since they can be developed for use as nematicides themselves or can ... more
For over a century, ulcer has been a major cause of morbidity and mortality. Its treatment has progressed from vagotomy to proton pump inhibitors. However, the drugs used produce many adverse effects and are less effective than they ought to be. Therefore, there is a growing interest in alt ... more
Endophytic fungi are ubiquitous organisms found in the plants, residing intercellular or intracellular, at least for a portion of their lives without causing apparent symptoms of infection. Almost all plants are known to harbor endophytes. The choice of the plant to be used for exploring en ... more
Physicists describe how they have synthesized a new material that belongs to the iron-selenide class of superconductors, called LixFe2Se2(NH3)y, in a paper about to be published in EPJ B. The work was carried out by Ernst-Wilhelm Scheidt from the University of Augsburg and colleagues. This ... more
The U.S. federal government is significantly underestimating the costs of carbon pollution because it is using a faulty analytical model, according to a new study published in the Journal of Environmental Studies and Sciences. A more appropriate accounting of costs would pave the way to cle ... more
Springer advisory board member Vladimir V. Dmitriev, along with fellow scientists Yuriy M. Bunkov and Igor A. Fomin, have been named winners of the 2008 Fritz London Memorial Prize for their discovery and understanding of the "Phase Coherent Spin Precession and Spin Superfluidity of 3He-B." ... more