Optogenetics requires a light source to be implanted in the brain, where it can reach the cells that need to be controlled. Now, engineers have developed the first light-sensitive molecule that enables neurons to be silenced noninvasively, using a light source outside the skull.
By switching off a single gene, scientists have converted human gastrointestinal cells into insulin-producing cells, demonstrating in principle that a drug could retrain cells inside a person's GI tract to produce insulin.
Signals from the immune system that help repel a common parasite inadvertently can cause a dormant viral infection to become active again, a new study shows. Further research is necessary to understand the clinical significance of the finding, but researchers said the study helps illustrate how complex interactions between infectious agents and the immune system have the potential to affect illness.
Neuroscientists at MIT have shown they can control muscle movement by applying optogenetics—a technique that allows scientists to control neurons’ electrical impulses with light—to the spinal cords of animals that are awake and alert.
A new study has revealed that the gene Metadherin— which is implicated in promoting the spread of breast cancer tumors— only stimulates tumor growth when the protein made by the gene interacts with a second protein known as SND1.
An international research team has solved the mystery of how birds avoid Lassa virus infection, leading to a better understanding of how Lassa virus infects mammals.
In a new study, scientists explain that running, when accompanied by visual stimuli, restored brain function to normal levels in mice that had been deprived of visual experience in early life.
Chronic hepatitis C virus infections are among the most common reasons for liver transplants. Because existing viruses also infect the new liver, the immune system is highly active there. Despite this, the new organ is not rejected. The long-term stimulation of the innate immune system by the virus actually increases the probability of tolerance.
The longer a person took low-dose aspirin, the lower their risk for developing pancreatic cancer, according to a recently published study. Men and women who took low-dose aspirin regularly had 48 percent reduction in their risk for developing pancreatic cancer. Protection ranged from 39 percent reduction in risk for those who took low-dose aspirin for six years or less, to 60 percent reduction for those who took it for more than 10 years.
Figuring out how to survive on a lean-season diet of hard-to-reach ants, slugs and other bugs may have spurred the development of bigger brains and higher-level cognitive functions in the ancestors of humans and other primates, suggests new research.
Adults who watch TV for three hours or more each day may double their risk of premature death compared to those who watch less, according to new research.
Quantifying brain activity through optical imaging has the potential to improve the way the biomedical community treats neurological disorders and brain injuries. To accurately visualize and treat patients who have suffered a stroke, epileptic attack or traumatic brain injury, neuroscientists require precise imaging and measurements of brain activity.
Bone marrow transplants save thousands of lives but patients are vulnerable to severe viral infections in the months afterward. Now, scientists are developing protection for that risky period — injections of cells specially designed to fend off up to five different viruses at once.
As many patients know, treating wounds has become far more sophisticated than sewing stitches and applying gauze, but dressings still have shortcomings. Now scientists are reporting the next step in the evolution of wound treatment with a material that leads to faster healing than existing commercial dressings and prevents potentially harmful bacteria from sticking.
The immune system includes natural killer cells (NK cells), which recognize and eliminate tumor or virus-infected cells. NK cells combat the body’s own stressed cells to prevent them from becoming a potential hazard. However, this bears its risks.
Scientists have found that eating almonds in your diet can reduce the risk of heart disease by keeping blood vessels healthy and significantly increasing the amount of antioxidants in the blood stream.
A gene known to control brain growth and development is heavily involved in promoting clear cell renal cell carcinoma, the most common form of kidney cancer, researchers are reporting.
3-D mammograms may be better at finding cancer than regular scans, a large study suggests, although whether that means saving more lives isn't known. The study involved almost half a million breast scans, with more than one-third of them using relatively new 3-D imaging along with conventional scans.
Responding to a major case of research misconduct, federal prosecutors have taken the rare step of filing charges against a scientist after he admitted falsifying data that led to millions in grants and hopes of a breakthrough in AIDS vaccine research.
Supercomputer simulations have shown that clusters of a protein linked to cancer warp cell membranes, according to scientists at The University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston (UTHealth) Medical School. This research on these protein clusters, or aggregates as scientists call them, could help guide design of new anticancer drugs.
Researchers believe they have learned how mutations in the gene that causes Huntington’s disease kill brain cells, a finding that could open new opportunities for treating the fatal disorder. Scientists first linked the gene to the inherited disease more than 20 years ago.
Biologists have long wondered if mammals share the elegant system used by insects, bacteria and other invertebrates to defend against viral infection. Two back-to-back studies in the journal Science last year said the answer is yes, but a study just published in Cell Reports by researchers at the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai found the opposite.
Researchers have shown that a favorable electrical property is present in a type of protein found in organs that repeatedly stretch and retract, such as the lungs, heart and arteries. These findings are the first that clearly track this phenomenon, called ferroelectricity, occurring at the molecular level in biological tissues.
Genes that increase the risk of developing schizophrenia may also increase the likelihood of using cannabis, according to a new study. Previous studies identified a link between cannabis use and schizophrenia, but it has remained unclear whether this association is due to cannabis directly increasing the risk of the disorder. The new results suggest that part of this association is due to common genes.
A team of researchers describe the role of a specific gene, called Snf2h, in the development of the cerebellum. Snf2h is required for the proper development of a healthy cerebellum, a master control centre in the brain for balance, fine motor control and complex physical movements.