YOU ARE HERE: LAT HomeCollectionsEnzymes


June 23, 2003 | Linda Marsa, Special to The Times
Elizabeth Blackburn didn't think the peculiar genetic structures she discovered as a young scientist would consume her career. But the 54-year-old molecular biologist's research on telomeres -- the ends of a chromosome -- is yielding promising clues in the fight against cancer and increasing our knowledge of the aging process. Telomeres are known to prevent the ends of DNA from fraying, like the plastic ends on shoelaces.
March 3, 2003 | Linda Marsa, Times Staff Writer
We pay a price for our love affair with the sun. The cumulative damage from years of exposure is the chief culprit behind most skin cancers. Although sunscreens can block the sun's harmful rays, nothing can patch skin cells that have already been injured -- until now, researchers say. An experimental lotion derived from a yeast enzyme may work like a "morning-after" cream, repairing mutant cells before they turn cancerous. "Skin cancer has become a major epidemic," says Dr.
November 29, 2002 | From Reuters
As Americans feasted on plates of Thanksgiving turkey Thursday, U.S. scientists reported they have made progress in understanding how eating less leads to longer life. Studies in rodents, yeast and other organisms have found that drastically cutting calories extends life span, and researchers are striving to find out how that happens. The hope is that drugs may mimic that effect in humans, without making them eat less.
August 22, 2002 | From Times Wire Services
A bacteria-killing enzyme can detect and destroy anthrax, and it should work even if terrorists create antibiotic-resistant strains, researchers say. The enzyme was isolated from a virus that attacks bacterial cells. "Essentially, it cracks them open and releases all the cell contents, so the bacterial cell explodes," said Raymond Schuch of the Rockefeller University in New York, co-author of a study published today in the journal Nature.
How much difference can one set of parents make when their child is diagnosed with a fatal genetic illness? In the case of Ryan Dant, all the difference in the world. Ryan was an apparently healthy 4-year-old undergoing a preschool physical when his doctor noticed that his liver was enlarged. A trip to Children's Medical Center in Dallas revealed that the boy had Hurler/Scheie syndrome, a devastating disease in which his body was missing a crucial enzyme for processing sugar polymers.
August 31, 2000 | From Reuters
Shares of Geron Corp. jumped 19% on Wednesday after research on mice suggested a vaccine based on an enzyme studied by the company might work against a range of cancers. Menlo Park, Calif.-based Geron, which has specialized in the study of the enzyme telomerase, rose $5.44 to close at $34.31 in heavy trading on Nasdaq. "Telomerase is expressed in most human tumors, but it is not present in most normal tissue.
July 16, 2000 | CHRISTOPHER HALL
There is no delicate way to put this. Mac and I looked like two freshly breaded pork chops when we emerged from our enzyme bath at Osmosis, a day spa in western Sonoma County. The raw materials of the essentially dry bath--sawdust and rice bran, mixed with heat-producing enzymes--clung like a coating of bread crumbs to our bodies, which had turned bright pink from the heat. A few minutes in a fryer and a dollop of applesauce on the side, and we could have been someone's dinner.
If you have a clogged drain in your sink, you have two choices: Pour in some chemical and wait a while for it to clear, or use a rooter of some sort and clear the clog instantly. But if you have a clog in a blood vessel in your brain, you now have only one of those options: Add a clot-busting enzyme to your blood and wait a couple of hours for it to dissolve the clot. An estimated 260,000 Americans were treated with the enzymes last year.
April 13, 2000
Researchers at the Oklahoma Medical Research Foundation say they have identified a highly effective inhibitor of the enzyme that plays a key role in the onset of Alzheimer's disease. Memapsin 2, also known as beta-secretase, cleaves a protein called amyloid precursor protein, producing protein fragments that damage brain cells. The team reported in Wednesday's Journal of the American Chemical Society that the new inhibitor blocks this process in the test tube. It has not been tested in humans.
Los Angeles Times Articles