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New insights to development of major diseases discovered by Aussie researchers

CANBERRA, Dec. 13 (Xinhua) -- Australian scientists are a step closer to discovering the cause of heart disease, Alzheimer's disease, cancer, diabetes and other diseases.

In a study, a team from Flinders University in South Australia (SA) revealed that they have discovered 148 new proteins in the human body that are affected by cells that have been damaged by stress.

Justin Chalker, a nanotechnology researcher who led the study, said that the new proteins are linked to heart disease, drug resistance in cancer and other cellular functions.

"This study is an important foundation for understanding the network of proteins that communicate during oxidative stress," he said in a media release.

"It gives new signposts for biomedical scientists around the world to understand how cells react and respond to reactive oxygen species (ROS)," he said.

Researchers from Flinders University are now working with counterparts in the United States to develop a chemical tool that can label affected cells to help identify the proteins that contribute to major diseases such as cancer and Alzheimer's.

"Our chemical tool is proving to be superior to the gold-standard probes often used in such studies and will help develop new therapeutic strategies by adding to the fundamental goal in biomedical science to understand how proteins are modified during oxidative stress," Lisa Alcock from Flinders University said.

According to the Australian Institute of Health and Welfare (AIHW), coronary heart disease was the leading cause of deaths in Australia in 2017 followed by dementia and Alzheimer's disease, with lung cancer fourth.



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