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Study Examines Therapeutic Bacteria’s Ability to Prevent Obesity

July 23, 2014 10:26 am | News | Comments

A probiotic that prevents obesity could be on the horizon. Bacteria that produce a therapeutic compound in the gut inhibit weight gain, insulin resistance and other adverse effects of a high-fat diet in mice, Vanderbilt University investigators have discovered.

Unbreak My Heart

July 23, 2014 10:15 am | Videos | Comments

Researchers of the Max Planck Institute of Molecular Cell Biology and Genetics in Dresden report how they managed to capture detailed three-dimensional images of cardiac dynamics in zebrafish. The novel approach: They combine high-speed Selective Plane Illumination Microscopy (SPIM) and clever image processing to reconstruct multi-view movie stacks of the beating heart.

Mapping Finds New Schizophrenia-linked Genes

July 23, 2014 8:30 am | by Seth Borenstein - AP Science Writer - Associated Press | News | Comments

Scientists have linked more than 100 spots in our DNA to the risk of developing schizophrenia, casting light on the mystery of what makes the disease tick. Such work could eventually point to new treatments, although they are many years away.   

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Parts of Chinese City Sealed for Bubonic Plague

July 22, 2014 11:20 pm | by The Associated Press | News | Comments

Parts of a northern Chinese city have been quarantined after state media said a man there died of bubonic plague. The Chinese news agency Xinhua said Tuesday that 151 people were under observation in the city of Yumen in Gansu province after authorities determined they had come in contact with a man who had died of the plague July 16.

Potential New Flu Drugs Target Immune Response, Not Virus

July 22, 2014 2:59 pm | News | Comments

The seriousness of disease often results from the strength of immune response, rather than with the virus, itself. Turning down that response, rather than attacking the virus, might be a better way to reduce that severity. Researchers have taken the first step in doing that for the H7N9 influenza, and their work has led to identification of six potential therapeutics for this highly virulent strain.

Viral Therapy Could Boost Limb-saving Cancer Treatment

July 22, 2014 2:52 pm | News | Comments

Viruses designed to target and kill cancer cells could boost the effectiveness of chemotherapy to the arms and legs and help avoid amputation. Scientists tested the effectiveness of a genetically engineered version of the virus used to vaccinate against smallpox. They found use of the virus alongside isolated limb perfusion chemotherapy was more effective in rats than either treatment on its own.

Brain Waves Show Learning to Read Doesn’t End in Fourth Grade

July 22, 2014 2:43 pm | News | Comments

Teachers-in-training have long been taught that the fourth grade is when students stop learning to read and start reading to learn. But a new study tested the theory by analyzing brain waves and found that fourth-graders do not experience a change in automatic word processing. Instead, some types of word processing become automatic before fourth grade, while others don’t switch until after fifth.

Bacteria Swim with Bodies and Flagella

July 22, 2014 2:34 pm | News | Comments

Many bacteria swim using flagella, corkscrew-like appendages that push or pull bacterial cells like propellers. It had been assumed that the flagella do all the work during swimming, while the rest of the cell body is just along for the ride. But new research shows that in at least one species, the cell body is actively carving out a helical trajectory through the water that produces thrust and contributes to the organism's ability to swim.

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Researchers Successfully Eliminate the HIV Virus from Cultured Human Cells

July 22, 2014 1:49 pm | Videos | Comments

The HIV-1 virus has proved to be tenacious, inserting its genome permanently into its victims' DNA, forcing patients to take a lifelong drug regimen to control the virus and prevent a fresh attack. Now, a team of Temple University School of Medicine researchers has designed a way to snip out the integrated HIV-1 genes for good.

Eating Probiotics Regularly May Improve Your Blood Pressure

July 22, 2014 1:36 pm | News | Comments

Eating probiotics regularly may modestly improve your blood pressure, according to new research. Probiotics are live microorganisms (naturally occurring bacteria in the gut) thought to have beneficial effects; common sources are yogurt or dietary supplements.

Breaking News: Lack of Vitamin D Ups Schizophrenia Risk

July 22, 2014 1:17 pm | News | Comments

Vitamin D-deficient individuals are twice as likely to be diagnosed with schizophrenia as people who have sufficient levels of the vitamin, according to a new study.                        

Long-Awaited, Global Trial of Fetal Cells for Parkinson’s

July 21, 2014 2:45 pm | by Cynthia Fox | Articles | Comments

In two months, the first of many new Parkinson’s disease (PD) patients will receive a fetal cell transplant. The transplant will mark the end of a voluntary moratorium by many Western nations after complications arose a decade ago. This, combined with news that embryonic stem (ES) cell PD therapies may also near prime-time, made Parkinson’s a big topic at the recent International Society for Stem Cell Research (ISSCR) meeting.

Metabolic Enzyme Stops Progression of Kidney Cancer

July 21, 2014 1:52 pm | News | Comments

In an analysis of metabolites used by the body to make fuel in normal and cancerous cells in human kidney tissue, a research team identified an enzyme that is key to applying the brakes on tumor growth.              

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Missing Sleep May Hurt Your Memory

July 21, 2014 1:32 pm | News | Comments

Lack of sleep, already considered a public health epidemic, can also lead to errors in memory, finds a new study by researchers at Michigan State University and the University of California, Irvine. The study found participants deprived of a night’s sleep were more likely to flub the details of a simulated burglary they were shown in a series of images.

Common Gene Variants Account for Most Genetic Risk for Autism

July 21, 2014 11:26 am | News | Comments

Most of the genetic risk for autism comes from versions of genes that are common in the population rather than from rare variants or spontaneous glitches, researchers have found. Heritability also outweighed other risk factors in this largest study of its kind to date.

New Findings Show Early Seeding of HIV Viral Reservoir

July 21, 2014 11:13 am | News | Comments

A research team has demonstrated that the viral reservoir of HIV-1 infection is established strikingly early after intrarectal simian immunodeficiency virus (SIV) infection of rhesus monkeys and before detectable viremia.         

Scientists Find New Clues to Brain’s Wiring

July 18, 2014 2:14 pm | News | Comments

New research provides an intriguing glimpse into the processes that establish connections between nerve cells in the brain. These synapses allow nerve cells to transmit and process information involved in thinking and moving the body.     

Managing Ecosystems via Genomics

July 18, 2014 2:11 pm | News | Comments

A cross-disciplinary team is calling for public discussion about a potential new way to solve longstanding global ecological problems by using an emerging technology called “gene drives.” The advance could potentially lead to powerful new ways of combating malaria and other insect-borne diseases.

New Gene Discovered that Stops the Spread of Deadly Cancer

July 18, 2014 2:01 pm | Videos | Comments

Scientists at the Salk Institute have identified a gene responsible for stopping the movement of cancer from the lungs to other parts of the body, indicating a new way to fight one of the world's deadliest cancers. By identifying the cause of this metastasis—which often happens quickly in lung cancer and results in a bleak survival rate—Salk scientists are able to explain why some tumors are more prone to spreading than others.

'Support Cells' in Brain Play Important Role in Down Syndrome

July 18, 2014 1:36 pm | News | Comments

Researchers have identified a group of cells in the brain that they say plays an important role in the abnormal neuron development in Down syndrome. After developing a new model for studying the syndrome using patient-derived stem cells, the scientists also found that applying an inexpensive antibiotic to the cells appears to correct many abnormalities in the interaction between the cells and developing neurons.

Gene Variation May Modify Cardiovascular Benefit of Aspirin

July 18, 2014 1:01 pm | News | Comments

A daily low-dose aspirin is widely prescribed for the prevention of cardiovascular disease. Now, a new study suggests that common genetic variation may modify the cardiovascular benefit of aspirin.                

Researchers Uncover New Cancer Cell Vulnerability

July 18, 2014 12:52 pm | News | Comments

Researchers have uncovered a genetic vulnerability of cancer cells that express telomerase— an enzyme that drives their unchecked growth— and showed that telomerase-expressing cells depend upon a gene named p21 for their survival.      

Gene linked to Fatal Inflammatory Disease in Children Identified

July 17, 2014 11:46 am | News | Comments

Investigators have identified a gene that underlies a very rare but devastating autoinflammatory condition in children. Several existing drugs have shown therapeutic potential in laboratory studies, and one is currently being studied in children with the disease, which the researchers named STING-associated vasculopathy with onset in infancy (SAVI).

One Injection Stops Diabetes in Its Tracks

July 17, 2014 11:03 am | Videos | Comments

In mice with diet-induced diabetes, the equivalent of type 2 diabetes in humans, a single injection of the protein FGF1 is enough to restore blood sugar levels to a healthy range for more than two days, according to a new study.       

How Cannabis Causes Paranoia

July 17, 2014 10:45 am | News | Comments

The largest study of the effects of the main ingredient of cannabis has shown definitively that it can cause short-term paranoia. The research also, for the first time, identifies psychological factors that can lead to feelings of paranoia in people who take cannabis.

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