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.
Combining two biological approaches, a research team from University of Michigan broke down the molecular signaling that leads to metastasis in prostate and breast cancer tumors. In the laboratory of Dr. Russell Taichman, one half of the lab looks at how very small embryonic-like cells (v-cells) help with tissue regeneration and wound healing, while the other half looks at how tumors metastasize to bone marrow.
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.
Researchers have identified a gene variant that helps predict how much weight an individual will lose after gastric bypass surgery, a finding with the potential both to guide treatment planning and to facilitate the development of new therapeutic approaches to treating obesity and related conditions like diabetes.
While the search continues for the Fountain of Youth, researchers may have found the body’s “fountain of aging”: the brain region known as the hypothalamus. For the first time, scientists report that the hypothalamus of mice controls aging throughout the body.
Many diseases– obesity, Type 2 diabetes, muscular dystrophy– are associated with fat accumulation in muscle. In essence, fat replacement causes the muscles to weaken and degenerate. Scientists have discovered the biological mechanism involved in this process, which could point the way to potential therapies.
Even bacteria have a kind of “immune system” they use to defend themselves against unwanted intruders– in their case, viruses. Scientists are now able to show that this defense system is much more diverse than previously thought and that it comes in multiple versions.
Scientists used lab-grown human lung cells to study the cells’ response to infection by a novel human coronavirus (called nCoV) and compiled information about which genes are significantly disrupted in early and late stages of infection.
Because physiological evidence confirming schizophrenia can only be gathered from the brain during an autopsy, mental health professionals have had to rely on a battery of psychological evaluations to diagnose their patients. Now, researchers have discovered a method for physical diagnosis— by collecting tissue from the nose through a simple biopsy.
Researchers have discovered that disrupting a gene that acts as a regulatory switch to turn on other genes can keep blood vessels from forming and developing properly. Further study of this gene– a “transcription factor” called CASZ1– may uncover a regulatory network that influences the development of cardiovascular disease.
Body dysmorphic disorder is a disabling but often misunderstood psychiatric condition in which people perceive themselves to be disfigured and ugly, even though they look normal to others. New research shows that these individuals have abnormalities in the underlying connections in their brains.
Looking for a new way to get that jolt of caffeine energy? Food companies are betting snacks like potato chips, jelly beans and gum with a caffeinated kick could be just the answer. The Food and Drug Administration is closely watching the marketing of these foods and wants to know more about their safety.
For the first time, researchers have managed to obtain detailed images of the way in which the transport protein GLUT transports sugars into cells. Since tumours are highly dependent on the transportation of nutrients in order to be able to grow rapidly, the researchers are hoping that the study will form the basis for new strategies to fight cancer cells.
Being pregnant while young is known to protect a women against breast cancer. But why? New research finds that Wnt/Notch signalling ratio is decreased in the breast tissue of mice which have given birth, compared to virgin mice of the same age.
Hopes for a cure for many brain diseases may rest on the humble mouse, now that scientists can map the rodents' brains more thoroughly than ever before. Researchers have created the most detailed atlas of the mouse brain, a development that is helping in the fight against brain disease.