A scientific study found that even moderately heavy drinking impairs cognition in...
Many dyslexics weren’t born with less grey matter, according to a surprising recent study....
New work from Rice University researchers shows promise for zeroing in on cancer’s core decision...
Cardiac arrhythmia is one of the most common diseases encountered in clinical cardiology. High-speed electrophysiological imaging using fluorescent probes has yielded tremendous insights into the basic mechanisms of arrhythmias and the effects of anti-arrhythmic drugs. However, optical mapping, as it is known to the cardiac research community, has remained relegated to the isolated (i.e. explanted) heart.
Researchers have another answer to the question of how females can generate so much blood—enough for two blood systems—during pregnancy. The answer is stem cells, as is so often the case lately when a question has something to do with underlying biological mechanisms.
Binge drinking impairs the healing of broken bones. It can do this weeks after a binge. And it can leave in its wake permanently inferior bone, according to recent studies. One reason: alcohol slows down mesenchymal (bone, fat, and cartilage) stem cells (MSCs), in the bloodstream, trying to home to fracture sites. And when MSCs finally reach fracture sites, alcohol keeps them from properly replacing lost cells.
Labs globally are electrified by the notion that just “stressing out” ordinary adult cells may turn them into pluripotent stem cells like the “induced pluripotent stem cells” (iPSCs) of Nobel Prize winner Shinya Yamanaka. But is this about co-opting an evolutionarily conserved, natural way of making young cells out of old? Or is it an unnatural way of hastening old cells’ death?
When the neural stem cells in our brains get older, they create far fewer neurons. This plays a role in neurodegenerative diseases from Alzheimer’s to Parkinson’s. It also plays a role in our increasingly deficient ability to simply find those car keys. New research is changing that paradigm.
Nuts are in the news: a recent study has offered evidence for a big reason our bodies are so nuts for nuts. They are apparently almost all our big brains needed to survive— thus almost all we ate— from 1.4 to 2.4 million years ago.
A large global team of reproduction experts has found a way to even the score for older women seeking pregnancy using a process called preimplantation genetic diagnosis (PGD).
A major mystery in heart disease—why most people who develop serious heart disease have normal blood pressure and cholesterol—may have been solved in a “tremendously significant” study. Some are already calling the study “important” and “frame-shifting.” The study—Multi-Ethnic Study of Atherosclerosis—found that coronary artery calcium scans can often more accurately predict heart disease than cholesterol and blood pressure readings.
Immunotherapy—the art and science of training peoples’ immune systems to fight their own cancers—was named Breakthrough of the Year by Science. Prominently mentioned was an approach seeing clinical success: genetically tweaking patients’ own T cells to make them more potent, proliferative, and targeted.
The partial model for Obamacare—Massachusetts’ near-universal health care program, adopted in 2006—resulted in measurably improved health. According to a study conducted by researchers from Harvard University and the University of Michigan—with help from the Centers for Disease Control (CDC)—the health of Massachusetts residents rose more in the first five years of the program than did the health of residents in other New England states.
The controversial idea that vertebrate evolution can happen rapidly, in the merest handful of generations, has been given a boost. Harvard University evolutionary geneticist Nicolas Rohner and colleagues recently reported finding the mechanism by which some cavefish are born eyeless after the species moves from surface waters to dark caves.
The insidious beauty of cancer is that it disguises itself as normal cells fooling the immune system until it can grow into proportions that are unmanageable or untreatable. Researchers have thought if they could help the immune system identify and fight cancer cells they could improve the patient’s prognosis.
23andMe, the consumer genetics company halted by the FDA for ignoring repeated questions, is being conciliatory. The company offered raw gene data, and interpretative reports, to the general public on more than 240 diseases and traits until Dec. 5, when it announced it would cease taking new customers as a result of FDA action. However: “the company is now writing conciliatory letters to regulators,” says an insider.
Two very different recent papers come to a similar conclusion: cyclical, physiologic hormone replacement therapy (HRT) aids memory in postmenopausal women. One paper found native progesterone, as it is in its natural state cycling the body, helps memory early post-menopause. The other paper found cyclic, physiologic, administered estrogen helps memory after induced menopause.
Stem cells that quell inflammation shortly after traumatic brain injury (TBI) may also offer lasting cognitive gains, says the University of Texas Health Science Center. In a recent article, the team of Children’s Program in Regenerative Medicine Director Charles Cox reported they injected, into the blood of two groups of rats with traumatic brain injury (TBI), human multi-potent adult progenitor cells (MAPCs).