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Teenage Concussions Linked to Higher Rates of Suicide Attempts

April 16, 2014 2:04 pm | News | Comments

Teenagers who have suffered a traumatic brain injury such as a concussion are at “significantly greater odds” of attempting suicide, being bullied and engaging in a variety of high risk behaviors, a new study has found.          

Diabetes Cases Nearly Doubled Over Past Two Decades

April 16, 2014 1:52 pm | News | Comments

Cases of diabetes and pre-diabetes in the United States have nearly doubled since 1988, suggests...

Diverse Gene Pool Critical for Tigers' Survival

April 16, 2014 1:43 pm | News | Comments

New research by Stanford scholars shows that increasing genetic diversity among the 3,000 or so...

Scientists Discover Brain’s Anti-distraction System

April 16, 2014 1:38 pm | News | Comments

Psychologists have presented the first study to reveal that our brains rely on an active...

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DNA Looping Damage Tied to HPV Cancer

April 16, 2014 1:26 pm | News | Comments

It’s long been known that certain strains of human papillomavirus (HPV) cause cancer. Now, researchers have determined a new way that HPV might spark cancer development– by disrupting the human DNA sequence with repeating loops when the virus is inserted into host-cell DNA as it replicates.

New Technique Will Accelerate Genetic Characterization of Photosynthesis

April 16, 2014 1:26 pm | News | Comments

Photosynthesis provides fixed carbon and energy for nearly all life on Earth, yet many aspects of this fascinating process remain mysterious. For example, little is known about how it is regulated in response to changes in light intensity. More fundamentally, we do not know the full list of the parts of the molecular machines that perform photosynthesis in any organism.

The Key to Easy Asthma Diagnosis is in the Blood

April 16, 2014 1:07 pm | News | Comments

Using just a single drop of blood, a team of UW-Madison researchers has developed a faster, cheaper and more accurate tool for diagnosing even mild cases of asthma. This handheld technology—which takes advantage of a previously unknown correlation between asthmatic patients and the most abundant type of white blood cells in the body—means doctors could diagnose asthma even if their patients are not experiencing symptoms during their visit.

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Breaking News: Marijuana Use Linked to Brain Abnormalities

April 16, 2014 8:30 am | News | Comments

Young adults who used marijuana only recreationally showed significant abnormalities in two brain regions that are important in emotion and motivation. This is the first study to show casual use of marijuana is related to major brain changes.  

Limiting a Certain Protein in the Brain Reverses Alzheimer's Symptoms in Mice

April 15, 2014 12:18 pm | News | Comments

Limiting a certain protein in the brain reverses Alzheimer’s symptoms in mice, report neuroscientists at MIT’s Picower Institute for Learning and Memory. Researchers found that the overproduction of the protein known as p25 may be the culprit behind the sticky protein-fragment clusters that build up in the brains of Alzheimer's patients.

Young Dads at High Risk of Depression, Too

April 15, 2014 12:07 pm | News | Comments

Depression can hit young fathers hard- with symptoms increasing dramatically during some of the most important years of their children’s lives, a new study has found.                        

First Volunteers to Receive Blood Cultured from Stem Cells in 2016

April 15, 2014 12:01 pm | News | Comments

The first human volunteer will receive red blood cells cultured in the laboratory within the next three years, as part of a long-term research program funded by the Wellcome Trust.                    

Gene Panel Effectively Screens Dozens of Genes for Cancer-associated Mutations

April 15, 2014 11:45 am | News | Comments

As many as 10 percent of women with a personal or family history of breast or ovarian cancer have at least one genetic mutation that, if known, would prompt their doctors to recommend changes in their care, according to a new study by researchers at the Stanford University School of Medicine.

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Drawing a Ring Around Antiviral Immunity

April 15, 2014 11:37 am | News | Comments

If you follow cancer biology, then you’ve probably heard of ubiquitin before. In a recent paper researchers provided a structural rationale for how ubiquitin helps RIG-I do its job— and how that might help keep the immune system from getting out of hand.

Central Ohio Mumps Outbreak Tops 200 Cases

April 14, 2014 8:18 pm | by The Associated Press | News | Comments

A mumps outbreak in central Ohio has grown to more than 200 confirmed cases, public health officials said. A total of 212 cases of the contagious viral illness, with 132 of those linked to Ohio State University, have been reported.    

MicroRNA Could be Key Target for Bowel Cancer Treatment

April 14, 2014 2:42 pm | News | Comments

A tiny genetic molecule known as a microRNA plays a central role in bowel cancer and could be key to developing new treatments for the disease, a new study concludes. Scientists found that the molecule, called microRNA 135b, is a vital ‘worker’ employed by several important cancer genes to drive the growth of bowel cancers.

Does Germ Plasm Accelerate Evolution?

April 14, 2014 2:38 pm | News | Comments

Scientists at The University of Nottingham have published research that challenges a long held belief about the way certain species of vertebrates evolved. It suggests that genes evolve more rapidly in species containing germ plasm. The results came about as they put to the test a novel theory that early developmental events dramatically alter the vertebrate body plan and the way evolution proceeds.

How a Silly Putty Ingredient Could Advance Stem Cell Therapies

April 14, 2014 2:23 pm | News | Comments

The sponginess of the environment where human embryonic stem cells are growing affects the type of specialized cells they eventually become, a University of Michigan study shows. The researchers coaxed human embryonic stem cells to turn into working spinal cord cells more efficiently by growing the cells on a soft, ultrafine carpet made of a key ingredient in Silly Putty.

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Virus-fighting Genes Linked to Mutations in Cancer

April 14, 2014 2:15 pm | News | Comments

Researchers have found a major piece of genetic evidence that confirms the role of a group of virus-fighting genes in cancer development. The APOBEC family of genes control enzymes that are believed to have evolved in humans to fight off viral infections. Scientists have speculated that these enzymes are responsible for a very distinct signature of mutations that is present in approximately half of all cancer types.

Finding the Switch: Researchers Create Roadmap for Gene Expression

April 14, 2014 2:07 pm | News | Comments

In a new study, researchers from North Carolina State University, UNC-Chapel Hill and other institutions have taken the first steps toward creating a roadmap that may help scientists narrow down the genetic cause of numerous diseases. Their work also sheds new light on how heredity and environment can affect gene expression.

Protein Researchers Closing in on the Mystery of Schizophrenia

April 11, 2014 2:20 pm | News | Comments

Schizophrenia is a severe disease for which there is still no effective medical treatment. In an attempt to understand exactly what happens in the brain of schizophrenic people, researchers from the University of Southern Denmark have analyzed proteins in the brains of rats that have been given hallucinogenic drugs.

Tumor-suppressor Connects with Histone Protein to Hinder Gene Expression

April 11, 2014 1:06 pm | News | Comments

A tumor-suppressing protein acts as a dimmer switch to dial down gene expression.  It does this by reading a chemical message attached to another protein that’s tightly intertwined with DNA, a team led by scientists at The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center reports. The findings provide evidence in support of the “histone code" hypothesis.

Researchers Discover Possible New Target To Attack Flu Virus

April 11, 2014 12:52 pm | News | Comments

Scientists at The University of Texas at Austin have discovered that a protein produced by the influenza A virus helps it outwit one of our body's natural defense mechanisms. That makes the protein a potentially good target for antiviral drugs directed against the influenza A virus.

Researchers Looking to Create New Bone Tissue Generation Technique

April 10, 2014 2:50 pm | News | Comments

UT Arlington and Texas Health Arlington Memorial Hospital are investigating whether bone grown from the body’s own stem cells can replace traditional types of bone grafting. The process, which has been successful in previous lab experiments, uses biodegradable polymer scaffolding material and bone morphogenetic protein, or BMP, which was inserted into the abdomen of mice to attract stem cells that in turn produced bone.

Genetic Defect May Confer Resistance to Certain Viral Infections

April 10, 2014 2:27 pm | News | Comments

A study reports that a rare genetic disease, while depleting patients of infection-fighting antibodies, may actually protect them from certain severe or recurrent viral infections. Researchers found that HIV and influenza viruses replicate in the cells of people with congenital disorder of glycosylation type IIb (CDG-IIb) at a much lower rate than in healthy donor cells, creating fewer and less infectious viruses.

Bone Marrow Stem Cells Show Promise in Stroke Treatment

April 10, 2014 2:19 pm | News | Comments

Stem cells culled from bone marrow may prove beneficial in stroke recovery. In an analysis of published research, neurologist Dr. Steven Cramer and biomedical engineer Weian Zhao identified 46 studies that examined the use of mesenchymal stromal cells—a type of multipotent adult stem cells mostly processed from bone marrow—in animal models of stroke. They found MSCs to be significantly better than control therapy in 44 of the studies.

More Insights from Tissue Samples

April 10, 2014 2:11 pm | News | Comments

A new way of preparing patient tissue for analyses might soon become the new standard. Researchers discovered that the so-called HOPE method allows tissue samples to be treated such that they do not only meet the requirements of clinical histology, but can still be characterized later on by modern methods of proteomics.

New Model Combines Multiple Genomic Data

April 10, 2014 2:00 pm | News | Comments

The difference between merely throwing around buzzwords like “personalized medicine” and “big data” and delivering on their medical promise is in the details of developing methods for analyzing and interpreting genomic data. A pair of new papers show how integrating different kinds of genomic data could improve studies of the association between genes and disease.

Identified Epigenetic Factors Associated with an Increased Risk of Developing Cancer

April 10, 2014 1:51 pm | News | Comments

In the last decade, hundreds of studies have been conducted looking for polymorphisms associated with a greater propensity to suffer some of the most frequent human tumors. These tests, called GWAS, have found a common problem: many times the tiny genetic change observed appears to have no activity or function to explain because it is associated with more cancer.

Potential Link Between Brain Development and Breast Cancer Gene

April 9, 2014 2:09 pm | Videos | Comments

Scientists at the Salk Institute have uncovered details into a surprising—and crucial—link between brain development and a gene whose mutation is tied to breast and ovarian cancer. Aside from better understanding neurological damage associated in a small percentage of people susceptible to breast cancers, the new work also helps to better understand the evolution of the brain.

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