07 August 2013
Vol 5, Issue 197
  • Contents

    • Focus

      • Cup of Joe: A Brain Development “No”?

        Treating pregnant mice with adenosine receptor antagonists including caffeine results in delayed migration of cortical GABA neurons and altered brain development in mouse offspring (Silva et al.).

    • Research Articles

      • Genome-Wide Mutational Signatures of Aristolochic Acid and Its Application as a Screening Tool

        Genome-wide mutational signatures of the group 1 carcinogen aristolochic acid are observed in urothelial cancers and liver cancers from Asia.

      • Mutational Signature of Aristolochic Acid Exposure as Revealed by Whole-Exome Sequencing

        The mutational signature of aristolochic acid exemplifies how genome-wide sequencing can be used to identify environmental exposures leading to cancer.

      • Identification of a Titin-Derived HLA-A1–Presented Peptide as a Cross-Reactive Target for Engineered MAGE A3–Directed T Cells

        T cells engineered to express affinity-enhanced TCRs directed to a MAGE A3 peptide cross-react with a similar, but unrelated, self-peptide.

      • Adenosine Receptor Antagonists Including Caffeine Alter Fetal Brain Development in Mice

        Exposure to adenosine receptor antagonists in utero affects fetal brain development in mice.

    • Editors' Choice

      • More and Better Bone Formation for the Elderly

        Repair of critical-size bone defects in aged animals is improved when bone grafts are incubated with stem-cell factor Wnt3a before implantation.

      • One Drop, Many Possibilities

        Droplet-based microfluidics can be used for high-throughput single-cell sorting and gene expression analysis.

      • REG1B: A Marker of Childhood Stunting

        Stool regenerating gene 1b (REG1B) may serve as a noninvasive biomarker of future childhood stunting.

      • Drugging the Undruggable

        Potentially therapeutic small-molecule inhibitors of Aurora-A induce proteasomal degradation of N-Myc in childhood neuroblastoma.

      • Pumping Iron Alters DNA Methylation

        After a 6-month exercise regimen, sedentary men show DNA methylation changes in adipose tissue.

    • Podcast

      • Science Translational Medicine Podcast: 7 August 2013

        In this podcast, Bin Tean Teh explains the carcinogenic effects of aristolochic acid, an herbal compound used in traditional Chinese medicine.

About The Cover

Cover image expansion

ONLINE COVER A Not-So-Harmless Plant. Shown is a flower of Aristolochia baetica, one of the many species that make up the genus Aristolochia. Members of this genus are found in most parts of the world and have been used as herbal remedies in Asia for centuries. In recent years, aristolochic acid, a chemical compound found in these plants, was shown to cause kidney damage and urinary tract cancers. It has since been banned in several countries, but many people are still exposed to it through herbal mixtures or as an accidental contaminant. Now, Poon et al. and Hoang et al. have discovered that exposure to aristolochic acid leaves a tell-tale pattern of mutations in patients' DNA and may be responsible for more cancers than previously suspected. See also the accompanying Focus by Lee and Ladanyi and a related Podcast by Bin Tean Teh. [CREDIT: CARSTEN NIEHAUS/WIKIMEDIA COMMONS]