Scientists have identified patterns of epigenetic changes involved in autism spectrum disorder (ASD) by studying genetically identical twins who differ in autism traits. The study is the largest of its kind and may shed light on the biological mechanism by which environmental influences regulate the activity of certain genes and in turn contribute to the development of ASD and related behavior traits.
Pluripotent stem cells can turn, or differentiate, into any cell type in the body, such as nerve, muscle or bone, but inevitably some of these stem cells fail to differentiate and end up mixed in with their newly differentiated daughter cells.
In a serendipitous discovery, scientists have found a way to turn bone marrow stem cells directly into brain cells. Current techniques for turning patients’ marrow cells into cells of some other desired type are relatively cumbersome, risky and effectively confined to the lab dish.
An international team of neuroscientists has described for the first time in exhaustive detail the underlying neurobiology of an amnesiac who suffered from profound memory loss after damage to key portions of his brain. In a new paper, researchers recount the case of EP, a man who suffered radical memory loss and dysfunction following a bout of viral encephalitis.
Researchers have developed a therapy for pancreatic cancer that uses Listeria bacteria to selectively infect tumor cells and deliver radioisotopes into them. The experimental treatment dramatically decreased the number of metastases (cancers that have spread to other parts of the body) in a mouse model of highly aggressive pancreatic cancer without harming healthy tissue.
A massive study analyzing gene expression data from 22 tumor types has identified multiple metabolic expression changes associated with cancer. The analysis also identified hundreds of potential drug targets that could cut off a tumor’s fuel supply or interfere with its ability to synthesize essential building blocks.
Consuming grapes may help protect against organ damage associated with the progression of metabolic syndrome, according to new research. Natural components found in grapes, known as polyphenols, are thought to be responsible for these beneficial effects.
For the first time, human embryonic stem cells have been transformed into nerve cells that helped mice regain the ability to learn and remember. A new study shows that human stem cells can successfully implant themselves in the brain and then heal neurological deficits.
A contact lens on the bathroom floor, an escaped hamster in the backyard, a car key in a bed of gravel: How are we able to focus so sharply to find that proverbial needle in a haystack? Scientists ave discovered that when we embark on a targeted search, various visual and non-visual regions of the brain mobilize to track down a person, animal or thing.
U.K. authorities say a 25-year-old man is suspected to have died from measles as an epidemic continues to sweep across south Wales. The outbreak has led to more than 800 infections and renewed discussions over the failure of some parents to vaccinate their children against the potentially fatal virus.
The popularity of Big Data projects was highly evident at the April 6-10 American Association of Cancer Research (AACR) meeting, whose theme was “personalizing cancer care through discovery science.” Session after session featuring TCGA was Standing Room Only (SRO). Washington Convention Center attendants struggled to keep up.
Scientists have revealed how a bacterial enzyme has evolved an energy-efficient method to move long distances along DNA. The findings present further insight into the coupling of chemical and mechanical energy by a class of enzymes called helicases, a widely-distributed group of proteins, which in human cells are implicated in some cancers.
Wielding a joystick and wearing special glasses, pain researcher Alexandre DaSilva rotates and slices apart a large, colorful, 3-D brain floating in space before him. Despite the white lab coat, it appears DaSilva's playing the world's most advanced virtual video game.
There's no evidence a new bird flu strain is spreading easily among people in China even though there may be sporadic cases of the virus spreading to people who have close contacts with patients, the World Health Organization said Friday. Fifteen global and Chinese health experts are on a mission in Beijing and Shanghai to learn more about the H7N9 bird flu virus that has killed 17 people and sickened 70 others.
Scientists have long pondered the roots of aggression—and ways to temper it. Now, new research is beginning to illuminate the cellular-level circuitry responsible for modulating aggression in fruit flies, with the hope of someday translating the findings to humans.
Health officials are seeing more food poisonings caused by a bacteria commonly linked to raw milk and poultry. A study released Thursday said campylobacter cases grew by 14 percent over the last five years. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention report was based on foodborne infections in only 10 states- about 15 percent of the American population.
New research has thrown light on the way breakdowns in the DNA copying process inside cells can contribute to cancer and other diseases. A team of researchers discovered that the protein machines that copy DNA in a model organism pause frequently during this copying process, creating the potential for dangerous mutations to develop.
Neuroscientists have taken a major step in their efforts to help people with memory loss tied to brain disorders such as Alzheimer’s disease. Using sea snail nerve cells, the scientists reversed memory loss by determining when the cells were primed for learning.
Researchers are abuzz after using fruit flies to find new ways of taking advantage of caffeine’s lethal effects on cancer cells—results that could one day be used to advance cancer therapies for people. Previous research has established that caffeine interferes with processes in cancer cells that control DNA repair, a finding that has generated interest in using the stimulant as a chemotherapy treatment.
Researchers have discovered how the protein that blocks HIV-1 from multiplying in white blood cells is regulated. HIV-1 is the virus that causes AIDS, and the discovery could lead to novel approaches for addressing HIV-1 "in hiding"– namely eliminating reservoirs of HIV-1 that persist in patients undergoing antiretroviral therapy.
While studying rats’ ability to navigate familiar territory, scientists found that one particular brain structure uses remembered spatial information to imagine routes the rats then follow. Their discovery has implications for understanding why damage to that structure, called the hippocampus, disrupts specific types of memory and learning in people with Alzheimer’s disease and age-related cognitive decline.
Overworked and stressed out? Look on the bright side: Some stress is good for you. New research has uncovered exactly how acute stress– short-lived, not chronic– primes the brain for improved performance. In studies on rats, researchers found that significant, but brief stressful events caused stem cells in their brains to proliferate into new nerve cells.
Researchers have identified a molecule that prevents repair of some cancer cells, providing a potential new "genetic chemotherapy" approach to cancer treatment that could significantly reduce side effects and the development of treatment resistance compared with traditional chemotherapy.
The distressing nonstop crying in babies with colic is often blamed on tummy trouble, but a new study says the problem could be linked with migraine headaches in at least some infants. Children and teens treated for migraine headaches at three hospitals in Italy and France were much more likely than other kids to have had colic in infancy.
Specific DNA once dismissed as junk plays an important role in brain development and might be involved in several devastating neurological diseases, scientists have found. Their discovery in mice is likely to further fuel a recent scramble by researchers to identify roles for long-neglected bits of DNA within the genomes of mice and humans alike.