Weekend Wonderings

Written April 19th, 2014 by Ken

th_chimpWelcome to this week’s edition of Weekend Wonderings. I hope that you have a nice, enjoyable Easter weekend and get ample “family” time. So, if you’re reading this on Sunday, I appreciate it, but get back to your family. You can catch this later Sunday or Monday.. Oh, and if you’re visiting, safe travels to you. Regardless, grab whatever beverage that you need and let’s proceed.

The James/Wexner

Study Identifies a Likely Key Driver of Colorectal Cancer Development and Progression

  • New targets are needed for agents that will more effectively treat colorectal cancer.
  • This study identifies a molecule that is probably a key driver of colorectal cancer.
  • The findings strongly suggest that this molecule could be an important therapeutic target and a valuable biomarker of colorectal cancer tumor progression.

A new study identifies a molecule that is a probable driving force in colorectal cancer and suggests that the molecule could be an important target for colorectal cancer treatment and a valuable biomarker of tumor progression.

“We found that miR-135b is up-regulated in both sporadic and inflammatory bowel disease-associated colorectal cancer, and that its up-regulation is associated with tumor stage and poor clinical outcome,” says principal investigator Carlo M. Croce, MD, chair of molecular virology, immunology and medical genetics, and director of Human Cancer Genetics at Ohio State and the OSUCCC – James.

Some more progress in James-led research. We’ve got to keep ahead of this stuff..

New Emergency Department at The James

The new James/Wexner will have an Emergency Department geared towards  the special conditions experienced by cancer patients.

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Silver Bullet Points Salutes You

Written April 16th, 2014 by MaliBuckeye

Those of you who play along with us during Fall liveblogs know my propensity for helping make stadium sound effects on third down as a way to manage my ADD help the team. As such, today’s news hit me with a bit of both nostalgia and sadness… The band that gave us the bell may be no more. We’ve only got one choice for today’s soundtrack, then… Happy Wednesday!

For Those About To Rock…. Fire!

Buckeye 411

Weekend Wonderings

Written April 13th, 2014 by Ken
boyd4

Boyd Crowder still decidin’ whether to itemize or take the standard deduction.

Welcome to this week’s edition of Weekend Wonderings. Basketball season is finally over. Congratulations to the UConn Huskies for winning the men’s and the women’s NCAA Championships. Let the good times roll in Storrs, CT.  The OSU football team’s Spring game was yesterday, but I’m sure that I’ll have some thoughts in next week’s edition.

The James/Wexner

Well-Known Cancer Gene NRAS Produces Five Variants, Study Finds

  • NRAS is one of the most studied of cancer-related genes.
  • This study found that the gene produces five variants, not just one form as previously thought.
  • The finding might help improve drugs for cancers that involve NRAS.

A new study shows that a gene discovered 30 years ago and now known to play a fundamental role in cancer development produces five different gene variants (called isoforms), rather than just the one original form, as thought.

The study of the NRAS gene by researchers at the (OSUCCC – James) identified four previously unknown variants that the NRAS gene produces. The finding might help improve drugs for cancers in which aberrant activation of NRAS plays a crucial role. It also suggests that NRAS might affect additional target molecules in cells, the researchers say.

The isoforms show striking differences in size, abundance and effects. For example, the historically known protein (isoform 1) is 189 amino-acids long, while one of the newly discovered variants, isoform 5, is only 20 amino-acids long. Isoform 5 was the most aggressive variant in proliferation and transformation assays.

The last sentence and a half are not surprising. A smaller, “stripped-down” gene is much more likely to reproduce more quickly than its “bigger” brethren. As such, the isoform 5 variant may be the most dangerous of the five that were identified. As long as I’m on genes..

Here’s an article by Rameek Roychowdhury MD, PhD that explains genomics and its use at The James. It is a good, short overview, and a very good read.

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Silver Bullet Points Knows Who’s Boss

Written April 9th, 2014 by MaliBuckeye

Bruce came to visit Ohio last night… and at least one person had a great time at the eventUPDATE: Video Evidence. So, today’s soundtrack is one of my favorite songs from The Boss… even if it’s somewhat new, it’s still a classic.

 

Ohio State Quarter Back

Buckeye 411

  • Representing In North Texas- Aaron Craft was involved in this weekend’s festivities, although not in the way that any of us would hope. Not only did he get his one shining moment, but he was honored as the National Defensive Player of the Year as a part of the Final Four events.  He was also a part of work that the honorees did with Special Olympics basketball players, who undoubtedly left the opportunity more scrappy and tenacious for their efforts.
  • Taking One For The Team- Great article in Tuesday’s Dispatch about Joel Hale, a starter at nose guard last season and his decision to request a move to the offensive side of the ball for his senior season.
  • Good Gig If You Can Get It- Ohio State will be paying Virginia Tech, Cincinnati, and Kent State to bring their talents to the ‘Shoe for 2014.  This isn’t really all that unusual, but the $2 million total is pretty significant. It should be noted, though, that the Hokies will more than likely return the favor next season when the Buckeyes travel to Blacksburg.  The Buckeyes will see $850k return to their coffers when they face Navy to open the season, given that it’s a “neutral site” game in Baltimore.
  • Congrats, We Think- Dan Sanzenbacher has been re-signed as a professional athlete!  But it’s with the Bengals… so it’s hard to know whether or not to send flowers of celebration or condolences.
  • Gear- While there are a lot of reasons to be concerned about the welfare and circumstances of “student athletes”, “lack of awesome apparel” should not be one of them, as the latest offering from Sammy Silverman shows: Read More

Weekend Wonderings

Written April 6th, 2014 by Ken
Bruno

G Bruno

Welcome to this week’s edition of Weekend Wonderings. Basketball season is over, if you’re an Ohio State fan. And probably if you’ve gotten into any NCAA pools, as well. The Spring sports are well under way, and we have some time before OSU’s Spring Game. Grab whatever beverage that you need and let’s proceed.

The James/Wexner

An Overview of the BR-002 Trial in Breast Cancer:

Julia White, MD, professor, director, Breast Radiation Oncology, vice chair, Clinical Research, The Ohio State University Comprehensive Cancer Center, discusses the BR-002 trial, which will evaluate the rate of complete tumor ablation of breast cancers that are less than or equal to 2 centimeters.

Ablation refers to local methods that destroy the tumor without removing it. Ablation treatment of tumors does work. They do a tremendous job of it at The James.

Keeping up:

If you want to keep current with cancer research and treatment at The James, you can sign up to their blog.

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tBBC B1G Coaches Poll

Written April 2nd, 2014 by Ken

b1glogo

For the Ohio State Buckeyes and their fans, the meaningful basketball season ended two weeks ago in the NCAA first round loss to Dayton, However, not for us intrepid writers at tBBC.  Despite our favorite team being knocked out of the tournament and our brackets in shambles, we’re still thinking basketball.

We put together a quick survey amongst ourselves of our favorite coaches in the Big Ten. By “favorite”, I mean regardless of school affiliation, who would you like to play for? The coaches were ranked on a scale of 12 to 1,  with a ’12′ signifying “I’d actually pay to play for this person” and a ’1′ as “You’re kidding, right?”  As the responses poured in, I decided to throw a standard deviation calculation at them as an attempt to get some feel for the consistency in how a coach was viewed by our staff. The smaller the “StD”, the more the response were clustered around the average, hence the more consistently the tBBC staffers thought of a coach. More or less..

And here is tBBC B1G Coaches Poll:

Matta has developed one of the best defenses in college basketball.

There is no coincidence that Thad Matta is a favorite among tBBC Staff.

Coach Avg StD
Thad Matta 11.7 0.45
Tim Miles 9.0 1.41
Tom Izzo 8.7 4.28
Fran McCaffrey 7.8 0.89
John Groce 7.3 2.45
Pat Chambers 6.3 1.79
Matt Painter 6.0 2.05
Chris Collins 5.7 3.27
John Beilein 5.3 2.74
Rich Pitino 4.5 2.17
Bo Ryan 4.2 3.56
Tom Crean 1.5 0.89

 

  • The results played out pretty much as I expected they would, at least at the extremes. Thad Matta being at the top is not a surprise, he’s generally well thought of here. Tom Crean being at the bottom is no surprise either.
  • The poll seemed to sort itself into a fairly well defined top “half” of Matta-Groce, and the bottom “half” of Chambers-Crean.
  • Unsurprisingly, with the smallest StD, Matta was consistently placed where he was, at the top. Likewise, with the 2nd ‘tightest’ Std, Crean is solidly embedded in his spot by the staff.
  • Interestingly, two of the more consistently successful coaches, Izzo and Ryan, had the biggest Std spreads. There seemed to be a wide variance of opinion that despite their successes, if we actually wanted to play for them.
  • B1G newcomer Tim Miles rated very well, so obviously we think he has some coaching “chops” and wouldn’t object to him as our coach.

There you have it. So, where would you rank the B1G coaches?

 

Silver Bullet Points. Shaken, Not Stirred.

Written April 2nd, 2014 by MaliBuckeye

Happy Wednesday, and happiest birthday to the young Buckeye in my avatar photo.  Given all of the excitement here on the left coast over the past weekend, my choice for today’s soundtrack was pretty much decided for me. Thoughts and prayers go out to our friends in Chile and South/Central Americas as well…

Ken has his beverage, I have mine

Buckeye 411

  • He Guapo’d Me With Science! In news that’s sure to make Charles and Eric gleeful, former Buckeye Carlos Hyde will be involved in an upcoming edition of Sports Science. He also got some tips from a legend today as a part of his trip to Los Angeles… there are exciting things ahead, for sure!
  • Injury Bug Strikes- Already missing Vonn Bell and Jalin Marshall, the Scarlet and Gray announced today that starting tight end Jeff Heuerman will miss the rest of the spring following surgery to address an ankle sprain. According to Meyer’s press conference on Tuesday, though, Nick Vannett and Marcus Baugh are more than picking up the slack in practice.
  • Good Day For The D… Coaches continue to rave about the defensive line and their efforts during Spring ball; and Coach Meyer pointed to Josh Perry as someone who’s also rising to the occasion at the linebacker position.
  • …Means A Bad Day For The O- Taylor Decker and Cardale Jones were both identified as players who struggled Tuesday, although Curtis Samuel was mentioned as someone who’s really catching on quickly in practice. We’re also hearing solid things from Mike Thomas, who’s work in the off season may be starting to pay huge dividends.
  • On Collars- Coach Meyer again addressed his passion for having a “blue collar” team, and said that the defensive side of the ball was what needed the most attention in this area; that the “culture had slipped”. Later, though, he talked about his belief that college student athletes, while working hard, are not employees… but also said that they deserved a greater stipend than what they currently received.
  • Something To Keep In Mind- Using the NCAA’s Strength Of Schedule Metric, Ohio State’s upcoming season is ranked #35 in the country. The mighty Crimson Tide come in at 95… out of 128 or so.  Roll Freakin’ Tide.
  • Hoop Hope From Hokie? Thad Matta has already added one “big man” via transfer this season, might seven footer Trevor Thompson be next? Would certainly change the face of the team…
  • Spring Game- Will be televised on BTN, and livechatted here at tBBC.
  • Student Day- If you’ve still got your BuckID, head down to the WHAC on Saturday for the third annual event. If you needed motivation, Sammy Silverman provides it: Read More

Weekend Wonderings

Written March 30th, 2014 by Ken
Bruno

G Bruno

Welcome to this week’s edition of Weekend Wonderings. The basketball season is over for both the men’s and women’s teams, Spring football practice has begun and we are only a couple weeks away from the Spring Game. Grab whatever beverage that you need and let’s proceed.

The James/Wexner

We have a couple of items this week.

  • Here is an example of research work at the James being commercialized, via a licensing agreement, as an avenue to get their research results available for general medical treatment, as well as provide some economic benefit to Ohio State.

The Ohio State University, through the Ohio State Innovation Foundation, has signed an exclusive world-wide licensing agreement with MedVax Technologies, Inc., for the licensing of groundbreaking cancer peptide vaccine technologies.

The anticancer vaccine technologies are designed for the treatment and prevention of cancers associated with the HER2 protein. These include breast, ovarian, lung, colon and pancreatic cancers, and gastrointestinal stromal tumors. The commitment by MedVax will allow innovative clinical trials for various cancers to be conducted in the near future.

  •  Sometimes knowing what doesn’t work is very valuable, too.  The results of this study show the importance of follow-up studies done by a research university such as Ohio State. Rather than accept that an anti-cancer agent “works” and be done with it, this study points up the distinct possibility that in some patients, it may actually cause cancer growth.

Anticancer agents that target a cell-cycle regulatory protein to inhibit tumor growth might actually promote the development and progression of certain B-cell lymphomas, according to a new study led by researchers at The Ohio State University Comprehensive Cancer Center.

The study indicates that inhibiting CDK4, a regulator of the cell cycle, promotes genetic instability and the development or progression of B-cell lymphomas that are driven by the MYC oncogene.

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