Bacteria on a surface wander around and often organize into highly resilient communities known as biofilms. It turns out that they organize in a rich-get-richer pattern similar to many economies, according to a new study. This is the first study identify the strategy by which bacteria form the micro-colonies that become biofilms, which can cause lethal infections.
Researchers have identified a protein in the blood of mice and humans that may prove to be the first effective treatment for the form of age-related heart failure that affects millions of Americans. When the protein was injected into old mice, the hearts were reduced in size and thickness, resembling the healthy hearts of younger mice.
A new application of an existing medical imaging technology could help predict long-term damage in patients with traumatic brain injury, according to a recent study. The authors analyzed brain scans using applied rapid automated resting state magnetoencephalography (MEG) imaging, a technique used to map brain activity by recording magnetic fields produced by natural electrical currents in the brain.
Researchers have made a significant first step with newly engineered biomaterials for cell transplantation that could help lead to a possible cure for Type 1 diabetes, which affects about 3 million Americans. Engineers and clinicians have successfully engrafted insulin-producing cells into a diabetic mouse model, reversing diabetic symptoms in the animal in as little as 10 days.
Very little has been known about the epigenetic events that occur prior to the invasive growth of head and neck squamous cell carcinomas and their spread to other parts of the body, or metastasis. Researchers discovered what could be a crucial step toward understanding the process that activates the cancer cells.
A 65-year-old Frenchman is hospitalized after contracting France's first case of a deadly new respiratory virus related to SARS, and French health authorities say they are trying to find anyone who might have been in contact with him to prevent it from spreading.
Two wrongs don’t make a right, they say, but here’s how one tangle can straighten out another. In new research, scientists employed techniques ranging from semiconductor-style circuit patterning to rat cell culture to optimize the growth of nerve cells for applications such as reconstructive surgery.
Researchers have identified a protein that is critical to the ability of mammals to smell. Mice engineered to be lacking the Ggamma13 protein in their olfactory receptors were functionally anosmic– unable to smell. The findings may lend insight into the underlying causes of certain smell disorders in humans.
Approximately 90 percent of cancers start within tissues that form the inner linings of various organs. Decades of accumulated genetic mutations can, on occasion, induce cells specialized for growth in one-cell deep sheets to form disordered clumps that eventually become tumors.
Baxter International Inc. says that a blood product it was testing failed to slow mental decline or to preserve physical function in a major study of 390 patients with mild to moderate Alzheimer's disease. The company says that people who received 18 months of infusions with its drug, Gammagard, fared no better than others given infusions of a dummy solution.
The body's own immune system’s fight against breast cancer is controlled by genetic "fine tuners," known as microRNAs, according to a new study. Looking at 1,300 breast cancer samples, scientists found that the influence of these microRNAs, which help control how genes behave, varies between different subtypes of breast cancer.
A single antibody could be the key to treating multiple myeloma, or cancer of the blood, currently without cure or long-term treatment. Using a "biological library" of thousands of antibodies, researchers singled out antibody BI-505, shown to have a powerful effect on the tumor cells.
Biomedical engineers have grown three-dimensional human heart muscle that acts just like natural tissue. This advancement could be important in treating heart attack patients or in serving as a platform for testing new heart disease medicines.
Scientists have discovered that immune cells in the brain can produce a substance that prevents bacterial growth: Namely, itaconic acid. Until now, biologists had assumed that only certain fungi produced itaconic acid. A team has now shown that even so-called microglial cells in mammals are also capable of producing this acid.
A new study suggests a possible link between elevated blood sugar levels and risk for developing Alzheimer's disease. About 5 percent of men and women, ages 65 to 74, have Alzheimer's disease, and it is estimated that nearly half of those age 85 and older may have the disease.
For the first time, researchers from institutions around the country have conducted an identical series of toxicology tests evaluating lung-related health impacts associated with widely used engineered nanomaterials (ENMs). The study provides comparable health risk data from multiple labs, which should help regulators develop policies to protect workers and consumers who come into contact with ENMs.
The tick-borne Lone Star virus has been conclusively identified as part of a family of other tick-borne viruses called bunyaviruses, which often cause fever, respiratory problems and bleeding, according to new research. What made the work especially promising was the speed at which the virus was definitively identified.
New research out of the Lillehei Heart Institute at the University of Minnesota shows that by turning on just a single gene, Mesp1, different cell types including the heart, blood and muscle can be created from stem cells. Stem cell researchers have been trying to generate different cell types for regenerative medicine for years. The gene Mesp1 was particularly interesting to cardiac researchers.
Cancer chemotherapy can cause peripheral neuropathy—nerve damage often resulting in pain and muscle weakness in the arms and legs. Now, researchers have discovered that chemo also induces an insidious type of nerve damage inside bone marrow that can cause delays in recovery after bone marrow transplantation.
A handheld diagnostic device that MGH investigators first developed to diagnose cancer has been adapted to rapidly diagnose tuberculosis and other important infectious bacteria. New research describes portable devices that combine microfluidic technology with nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR) to not only diagnose these important infections, but also determine the presence of antibiotic-resistant bacterial strains.
Stem cells drawn from amniotic fluid show promise for tissue engineering, but it’s important to know what they can and cannot do. A new study has shown that these stem cells can communicate with mature heart cells and form electrical couplings with each other similar to those found in heart tissue.
Researchers have identified a gene that, when repressed in tumor cells, puts a halt to cell growth and a range of processes needed for tumors to enlarge and spread to distant sites, in hope that this so-called “master regulator” gene may be the key to developing a new treatment for tumors resistant to current drugs.
By tracking changes in patients’ blood, scientists have created a new way of looking at how tumors evolve in real-time and develop drug resistance. The research used traces of tumor DNA, known as circulating tumor DNA (ctDNA), found in cancer patients’ blood to follow the progress of the disease as it changed over time and developed resistance to chemotherapy treatments.
A team of researchers has identified virtually all of the major mutations that drive acute myeloid leukemia (AML), a fast-growing blood cancer in adults that often is difficult to treat. The findings pave the way for developing better treatments for AML based on the genetic profile of a patient’s cancer.
Scientists have identified an influential link in a chain of events that leads to autoimmune inflammation of the central nervous system in a mouse model of multiple sclerosis (MS). The researcher spells out the pivotal role of Peli1 in the activation of immune cells called microglia that promote inflammation in the central nervous system in response to tissue damage or invasion by microbes.