Archive for January, 2013

Comcast picks Lancope for network visibility, security

A recent news brief in CED, an electronic magazine focused on broadband communications, Comcast has selected Lancope to “give it deeper insight into data center issues and block network attacks.”

Using Lancope’s StealthWatch, Comcast will perform traffic analysis on its backbone, enable distributed denial-of-service detection at its service delivery layer, and troubleshoot at its data center and enterprise layers.  According to Comcast, StealthWatch scaled better than competitive tools by a 10-to-1 ratio and allows data center issue resolution time to be reduced from days or weeks to a few hours.

GRA Eminent Scholar John Copeland at Georgia Tech founded Lancope in 2000.  The company’s StealthWatch system is now the most widely used solution for “network behavior analysis” and has received wide acclaim in the computer security industry, having captured multiple awards since its first release in 2001.  Read more here>

January 29, 2013 at 5:28 pm Leave a comment

New startup to focus on cancer treatment and prevention

QUE Oncology, a newly-launched GRA VentureLab company, will license intellectual property originating from research discoveries at the Emory Institute for Drug Development and the University of Queensland in Australia.  The new company was created through a partnership of Emory University and UniQuest, a leading Australian research commercialization company.

“Bringing together the expertise and discoveries of these leading innovation hubs creates an attractive prospect for global biotech investors and also for pharmaceutical companies, which are looking to outsource R&D for potential new drugs at an earlier stage more so than ever before,” said David Henderson, UniQuest’s managing director.

Research projects that have been identified to start the QUE Oncology pipeline relate to prostate cancer, breast cancer, multiple myeloma and melanoma, as well as pain and menopausal systems.   Read more here>

January 29, 2013 at 2:47 pm Leave a comment

Old memories may hinder learning in adults

GRA Eminent Scholar Joe Tsien of Georgia Regents University and his collaborators have reported that the declining ability in adults to filter and eliminate old information may make it harder to learn and acquire new information.

“When you are young, your brain is able to strengthen certain connections and weaken certain connections to make new memories,” said Tsien, who is co-director of the GRU Brain & Behavior Discovery Institute.  This weakening appears to be hampered as people age.  “If you only make synapses [which carry information between neurons] stronger and never get rid of the noise or less useful information, then it’s a problem.”

In the study, the research team used genetically modified mice that mimic the adult ratio of two NMDA receptor subunits that regulate learning and memory.  Read more here>

January 29, 2013 at 11:28 am Leave a comment

Parasites for good or evil

GRA Distinguished Investigators Don Harn and Boris Striepen, both with the University of Georgia,  have reported two quite different findings about parasites.

Harn, as part of a multi-university, multinational research team, has demonstrated that many parasitic worms, once inside a host, secrete a sugar-based anti-inflammatory molecule that might help treat metabolic disorders associated with obesity.

The molecule, a glycan, reduces inflammation to help the parasites evade the body’s immune system.  The researchers hypothesized that the sugar molecule might have some effect on complications related to obesity since it is an inflammatory disease.  They confirmed their hypothesis in mouse studies, which showed that when the experimental group and control group were fed a high fat diet, both gained weight, but the group treated with the glycan did not suffer the same negative health effects as the control.

“This doesn’t mean that people should seek out parasitic infections as treatment,” Harn said, “but it is an indication that the compounds secreted by worms could serve as the basis for future therapies.”

Striepen’s work was in a very different direction.  Over 800 million years, single-celled algae have evolved into the parasites that case malaria and toxoplasmosis, serious diseases that infect millions of people every year, particularly in the developing world.

Striepen and colleague Maria Francia reported that a fiber inside the parasitic cells, which evolved from the flagellum that ancient algae used to swim, allows the cells to replicate and spread inside their hosts.  By altering the genes for components of the fiber in the laboratory, the researchers discovered that they could prevent parasite replication, making the parasite essentially harmless.

“The algae-based connective fiber may serve as a promising target for anti-parasitic drug development,” Striepen said.  Since parasites can become resistant to current drug therapies, the need for new approaches is always pressing.

Read more here> and here

January 9, 2013 at 4:49 pm Leave a comment