In a first-of-its-kind operation in the United States, a team of doctors helped create a bioengineered blood vessel and transplanted it into the arm of a patient with end-stage kidney disease. The procedure is a milestone in the field of tissue engineering.
As pediatric specialists become increasingly aware that surgical anesthesia may have lasting effects on the developing brains of young children, new research suggests the threat may also apply to adult brains. Researchers recently reported that testing in laboratory mice shows anesthesia’s neurotoxic effects depend on the age of brain neurons– not the age of the animal undergoing anesthesia.
In the gonads of animals, genome parasites, such as transposons, pose a serious threat to evolutionary fitness. To protect genomic integrity, animals evolved the so-called piRNA pathway to silence the deleterious transposons. Researchers have now identified almost 50 genes that play important roles in the piRNA pathway of the fruit fly Drosophila melanogaster.
The genetic malady known as Fragile X syndrome is the most common cause of inherited autism and intellectual disability. Brain scientists know the gene defect that causes the syndrome and understand the damage it does in misshaping the brain's synapses, but how this abnormal shaping of synapses translates into abnormal behavior is unclear. Now, researchers believe they know.
Intestinal bacteria may have a greater influence on us than was previously thought. In a recent study, researchers showed that patients with Type 2 diabetes have an altered gut microbiota. Their findings have led to a new model to identify patients at increased risk of developing diabetes.
An amazing glow-in-the-dark cockroach, a harp-shaped carnivorous sponge and the smallest vertebrate on Earth are just three of the newly discovered top 10 species selected by the International Institute for Species Exploration at Arizona State University.
The polymerase chain reaction (PCR) plays a leading role in today’s biology. PCR started with an endpoint approach that detected a particular nucleic-acid sequence. Then, real-time PCR provided relative quantification of the sequences. Most recently, digital PCR (dPCR) allowed scientists to absolutely quantify sequences of nucleic acids.
The worm’s tail wriggles, a micrometer-scale twitch. A scanner captures the new posture. Software recognizes the motion. Life goes on in the Lifespan Machine, a new system devised in the lab of Walter Fontana that, essentially, counts dead worms.
Scientists have turned their view of osteoarthritis (OA) inside out. Literally. Instead of seeing the painful degenerative disease as a problem primarily of the cartilage that cushions joints, they now have evidence that the bone underneath the cartilage is also a key player and exacerbates the damage.
Injectable nanoparticles developed at MIT may someday eliminate the need for patients with Type 1 diabetes to constantly monitor their blood-sugar levels and inject themselves with insulin. The nanoparticles were designed to sense glucose levels in the body and respond by secreting the appropriate amount of insulin, thereby replacing the function of pancreatic islet cells, which are destroyed in patients with Type 1 diabetes.
A drug developed by scientists at the Salk Institute for Biological Studies, known as J147, reverses memory deficits and slows Alzheimer's disease in aged mice following short-term treatment. The findings may pave the way to a new treatment for Alzheimer's disease in humans.
A team of researchers has invented a method for repairing damaged peripheral nerves. Through a biodegradable implant in combination with a newly-developed Guiding Regeneration Gel (GRG) that increases nerve growth and healing, the functionality of a torn or damaged nerve could ultimately be restored.
In any laboratory, safety of both the researchers and the samples are integral to a successful experiment. Fume hoods and biological safety cabinets offer protection from hazardous fumes with proper ventilation that will ensure the safety of all scientists in the laboratory and the samples they are working with.
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.
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.
Scientists have identified a gene previously implicated in Parkinson's disease that can delay the onset of aging and extend the healthy life span of fruit flies. The research, they say, could have important implications for aging and disease in humans.
Take a swab of saliva from your mouth and within minutes your DNA could be ready for analysis and genome sequencing with the help of a new device. Engineers and NanoFacture, a Bellevue, Wash., company, have created a device that can extract human DNA from fluid samples in a simpler, more efficient and environmentally friendly way than conventional methods.
If the long-term goal of humans is, indeed, space exploration and colonization, then there are many survivability questions that need to be answered. Leaving Earth means leaving the friendly confines of a planet on which we have evolved over the eons and to which our bodies have adapted. And it turns out gravity has a role in successful sexual reproduction, at least for plants.
It's not a "Star Trek" tricorder, but by hooking a variety of gadgets onto a smartphone you could almost get a complete physical- without the paper gown or even a visit to the doctor's office. Blood pressure? Just plug the arm cuff into the phone for a quick reading.
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.
Identifying cell types and sorting cells based on RNA expression levels without any transfection reagents or intrusive sample preparation can improve live cell sorting efficiency, physiological relevance, and post-sorting survival rate. SmartFlare RNA detection probes can detect levels of RNA inside living cells, providing the ability to sort and propagate live cell populations based on gene expression levels.
DNA evidence is invisible and remarkably easy to transfer, making it possible for a sample to be spilled or even planted on a piece of evidence. A researcher has developed a solution that permanently marks DNA samples to prevent contamination.
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.
Researchers have discovered a hormone that holds promise for a dramatically more effective treatment of type 2 diabetes, a metabolic illness afflicting an estimated 26 million Americans. The researchers believe that the hormone might also have a role in treating type 1, or juvenile, diabetes.
Scientists have discovered why a particular cancer drug is so effective at killing cells. Their findings could be used to aid the design of future cancer treatments. Using high-powered laser-based microscopes, researchers made videos of the process by which rituximab binds to a diseased cell and then attracts white blood cells known as natural killer (NK) cells to attack.