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Zebrafish Yield Insights into Treating Heart Disease

June 12, 2014 1:53 pm | News | Comments

Using a zebrafish model, investigators have identified a drug compound that appears to reverse arrhythmogenic cardiomyopathy (ACM), a hereditary disease and leading cause of sudden death in young people.             

Proliferation Cues ‘Natural Killer’ Cells for Job Change

June 12, 2014 1:23 pm | News | Comments

The immune system maintains a rich abundance of “natural killer” cells to confront microbial invaders, but as the body gains the upper hand in various infections, it sometimes starts to produce even more of the cells. For three decades, scientists haven’t understood what purpose that serves. In a new paper, researchers show one: proliferation helps change the NK cells’ function from stimulating the immune response to calming it down.

Gum Disease Bacteria Selectively Disarm Immune System

June 12, 2014 1:10 pm | News | Comments

The human body is comprised of roughly 10 times more bacterial cells than human cells. In healthy people, these bacteria are typically harmless and often helpful, keeping disease-causing microbes at bay. But, when disturbances knock these bacterial populations out of balance, illnesses can arise. Periodontitis, a severe form of gum disease, is one example.

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Toward 24-7 Glucose Monitoring to Help Manage Diabetes

June 11, 2014 2:27 pm | News | Comments

Nearly half a million people with diabetes end up in emergency rooms around the U.S. every year due to the seizures and other consequences of dropping or spiking blood-sugar levels associated with the disease. To help prevent serious complications, scientists have now developed a new glucose-sensing protein that could one day be part of an implantable, 24-7 monitoring device

Scientists Wipe Out Malaria-carrying Mosquitoes in Lab with Male-only Offspring

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

Scientists have tested a new genetic method that distorts the sex ratio of Anopheles gambiae mosquitoes, the main transmitters of the malaria parasite, so that the female mosquitoes that bite and pass the disease to humans are no longer produced.

Herpes Infected Humans Before They Were Human

June 11, 2014 2:10 pm | News | Comments

Researchers identified the evolutionary origins of human herpes simplex virus (HSV) -1 and -2, reporting that the former infected hominids before their evolutionary split from chimpanzees 6 million years ago while the latter jumped from ancient chimpanzees to ancestors of modern humans – Homo erectus – approximately 1.6 million years ago.

Researchers Discover New Form of Cancer

June 11, 2014 2:01 pm | Videos | Comments

By themselves, PAX3 and MAML3 don’t cause any problems. However, when they combine during an abnormal but recurring chromosomal mismatch, they can be dangerous. The result is a chimera—a gene that is half of each—and that causes biphenotypic sinonasal sarcoma. The tumor usually begins in the nose and may infiltrate the rest of the face, requiring disfiguring surgery to save the individual.

Study: Red Meat Possibly Linked to Breast Cancer

June 10, 2014 7:16 pm | by Maria Cheng - AP Medical Writer - Associated Press | News | Comments

Women who often indulge their cravings for hamburgers, steaks and other red meat may have a slightly higher risk of breast cancer, a new study suggests. Doctors have long warned that a diet loaded with red meat is linked to cancers including those of the colon and pancreas, but there has been less evidence for its role in breast cancer.

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Obesity Surgery May 'Cure' Diabetes for 15 Years

June 10, 2014 5:19 pm | by Lindsey Tanner - AP Medical Writer - Associated Press | News | Comments

Obesity surgery may keep diabetes in remission even after 15 years in some patients, a study suggests. Long-term results were missing for more than half the patients who began the study and remission rates dropped off considerably. But still, 35 out of 115 patients remained diabetes-free 15 years after surgery. Also, 20 years after surgery, about 25 patients remained free of diabetes complications including eye and kidney problems.

Does 'Free Will' Stem from Brain Noise?

June 10, 2014 2:23 pm | News | Comments

Our ability to make choices — and sometimes mistakes — might arise from random fluctuations in the brain's background electrical noise, according to a recent study from the Center for Mind and Brain at the University of California, Davis.

Stem Cells Helps Create Light-sensitive Retina in a Dish

June 10, 2014 1:38 pm | News | Comments

Using a type of human stem cell, researchers say they have created a 3-D complement of human retinal tissue in the laboratory, which includes functioning photoreceptor cells capable of responding to light, the first step in the process of converting it into visual images.

Split-personality Protein Linked to Diabetes

June 10, 2014 1:34 pm | News | Comments

Researchers are a step closer to establishing the link between a protein with a split personality and type 1 diabetes. New research shows how the protein GAD65 changes its shape when it turns itself on and off. This characteristic may also link it to type 1 diabetes.

Oxytocin Helps Old Muscle Work Like New

June 10, 2014 1:18 pm | News | Comments

Researchers have discovered that oxytocin– a hormone associated with maternal nurturing, social attachments, childbirth and sex– is indispensable for healthy muscle maintenance and repair, and that in mice it declines with age.       

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‘Tomato Pill’ Improves Blood Vessel Function

June 10, 2014 12:58 pm | News | Comments

A daily supplement of an extract found in tomatoes may improve the function of blood vessels in patients with cardiovascular disease, according to new research.                          

Protein Could Put Antibiotic-Resistant Bugs in Handcuffs

June 10, 2014 12:15 pm | News | Comments

A team from Duke and the University of Sydney in Australia has solved the structure of a key protein that drives DNA copying in the plasmids that make staphylococcus bacteria antibiotic-resistant. Knowing how this protein works may now help researchers devise new ways to stop the plasmids from spreading antibiotic resistance in staph by preventing the plasmids from copying themselves.

Inside the Adult ADHD Brain

June 10, 2014 11:43 am | News | Comments

About 10 million American adults are currently diagnosed with ADHD. In the first study to compare patterns of brain activity in adults who recovered from childhood ADHD and those who did not, MIT neuroscientists have discovered key differences in a brain communication network that is active when the brain is at wakeful rest and not focused on a particular task.

Healthy Seniors Tested in Bid to Block Alzheimer's

June 9, 2014 3:20 pm | by Lauran Neergaard - AP Medical Writer - Associated Press | News | Comments

In one of the most ambitious attempts yet to thwart Alzheimer's disease, a major study got underway Monday to see if an experimental drug can protect healthy seniors whose brains harbor silent signs that they're at risk. Scientists plan to eventually scan the brains of thousands of older volunteers in the U.S., Canada and Australia to find those with a sticky build-up believed to play a key role in development of Alzheimer's disease.

Targeting Tumors Using Silver Nanoparticles

June 9, 2014 2:10 pm | News | Comments

Scientists at UC Santa Barbara have designed a nanoparticle that has a couple of unique — and important — properties. Spherical in shape and silver in composition, it is encased in a shell coated with a peptide that enables it to target tumor cells. What’s more, the shell is etchable so those nanoparticles that don’t hit their target can be broken down and eliminated.

Researchers Pinpoint New Role for Enzyme in DNA Repair

June 9, 2014 1:23 pm | News | Comments

Twelve years ago, researchers found that a protein called Set2 plays a role in how yeast genes are expressed– specifically how DNA gets transcribed into messenger RNA. Now, it has been discovered that Set2 is also a major player in DNA repair, a complicated and crucial process that can lead to the development of cancer cells.

Longer Telomeres Linked to Brain Cancer Risk

June 9, 2014 1:12 pm | News | Comments

New genomic research revealed that two common gene variants that lead to longer telomeres, the caps on chromosome ends thought by many scientists to confer health by protecting cells from aging, also significantly increase the risk of developing the deadly brain cancers known as gliomas.

Vitamin D Protects Against Liver Cancer

June 9, 2014 1:06 pm | News | Comments

Vitamin D has been shown to play an important role in liver function. Now, a new study in Western Europeans shows that vitamin D lowers the risk of developing hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC), the main form of liver cancer.          

Newborns Exposed to Allergens May Have Lower Allergy, Asthma Risk

June 9, 2014 12:57 pm | News | Comments

Infants exposed to rodent and pet dander, roach allergens and a wide variety of household bacteria in the first year of life appear less likely to suffer from allergies, wheezing and asthma, according to a new study.          

Review Summarizes Research on Marijuana’s Negative Health Effects

June 6, 2014 1:52 pm | News | Comments

The current state of science on the adverse health effects of marijuana use links the drug to several significant adverse effects including addiction, a new review reports.                       

Brain Circuit Problem Likely Culprit Behind 'Voices' in Schizophrenia

June 6, 2014 1:41 pm | News | Comments

Scientists have identified problems in a connection between brain structures that may predispose individuals to hearing the “voices” that are a common symptom of schizophrenia. Researchers linked the problem to a gene deletion.       

Unmasking a Viral Invader

June 6, 2014 1:27 pm | News | Comments

Cytomegalovirus, or CMV, is perhaps one of the biggest pathogens you’ve never heard of—big, both proportionately and epidemiologically. If you’re healthy, it’s harmless, but if you have an impaired immune system, the virus can assert itself with a vengeance. Now, researchers have discovered a menu of tactical secrets CMV employs.

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