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Breaking News: Mice Lifespan Extended 20 Percent

August 29, 2013 12:11 pm | News | Comments

By lowering the expression of a single gene, researchers have extended the average lifespan of a group of mice by about 20 percent— the equivalent of raising the average human lifespan by 16 years, from 79 to 95. The research team targeted a gene called mTOR, which is involved in metabolism and energy balance, and may be connected with the increased lifespan associated with caloric restriction.

Scientists Succeed in Growing Human Brain Tissue in Test Tubes

August 29, 2013 11:20 am | News | Comments

Complex human brain tissue has been successfully developed in a three-dimensional culture system established in an Austrian laboratory. The method allows pluripotent stem cells to develop into cerebral organoids – or "mini brains" – that consist of several discrete brain regions. 

Researchers Discover a Potential Cause of Autism

August 29, 2013 10:27 am | Videos | Comments

Problems with a key group of enzymes called topoisomerases can have profound effects on the genetic machinery behind brain development and potentially lead to autism spectrum disorder (ASD). Scientists at the University of North Carolina School of Medicine have described a finding that represents a significant advance in the hunt for environmental factors behind autism and lends new insights into the disorder’s genetic causes.

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Researcher Controls Colleague’s Motions in First Human Brain-to-brain Interface

August 27, 2013 3:36 pm | Videos | Comments

Researchers have performed what they believe is the first noninvasive human-to-human brain interface, with one researcher able to send a brain signal via the Internet to control the hand motions of a fellow researcher, using electrical brain recordings and a form of magnetic stimulation.

Breaking News: 'Safe' Sugar Can be Toxic

August 13, 2013 11:21 am | News | Comments

When mice ate a diet of 25 percent extra sugar– the mouse equivalent of a healthy human diet plus three cans of soda daily– females died at twice the normal rate and males were a quarter less likely to hold territory and reproduce, according to a newly developed toxicity test.

Everyone on Earth is Related

August 8, 2013 11:43 am | News | Comments

New research has confirmed that everyone on Earth is related to everyone else on the planet, using DNA-based evidence to confirm a mathematical theory. So, the Trojan Family is not just a metaphor. Turns out, we’re also linked by genetics more closely than previously thought. 

Breaking News: Why Don’t We All Get Alzheimer’s?

August 7, 2013 12:47 pm | News | Comments

Though one might think the brains of people who develop Alzheimer’s disease possess building blocks of the disease absent in healthy brains, for most sufferers, this is not true. Every human brain contains the ingredients necessary to spark AD, but the vast majority of people do not and will not develop the neurological condition.

Stem Cell Hamburger Makes Debut

August 5, 2013 10:58 am | by MARIA CHENG - AP MEDICAL WRITER | News | Comments

Two volunteers who participated in the first public frying of hamburger grown in a lab say that it had the texture of meat but was short of flavor because of the lack of fat. A research team in the Netherlands developed the burger, which was grown in a laboratory from stem cells of cattle.

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Prion Tail Poisons Brain Cells

August 1, 2013 12:11 pm | Videos | Comments

For decades, there has been no answer to the question of why the altered prion protein- the infectious pathogen that causes Mad Cow Disease and Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease- is poisonous to brain cells. Now, neuropathologists have shown that it is the flexible tail of the prion protein that triggers cell death.

Breaking News: Cancer Cure Hiding in Intestines

July 31, 2013 1:13 pm | News | Comments

Research shows that if a patient's gastrointestinal tract remains healthy and functioning during chemotherapy treatment, the patient's chances of survival increase exponentially. Recently, scientists discovered a biological mechanism that preserves the gastrointestinal tracts in mice who were delivered lethal doses of chemotherapy.

Meth Use Ups Fungal Infection Risk

July 31, 2013 10:31 am | News | Comments

Methamphetamine use can make a person more susceptible to the lung infection cryptococcosis, according to a new study. Researchers found that injected methamphetamine (meth) significantly enhanced colonization of the lungs by Cryptococcus neoformans and accelerated progression of the disease and the time to death in mouse models.

Happiness Impacts Gene Expression

July 30, 2013 10:45 am | News | Comments

A good state of mind— that is, your happiness— affects your genes, scientists say. In the first study of its kind, researchers examined how positive psychology impacts human gene expression. What they found is that different types of happiness have surprisingly different effects on the human genome.

Defusing Cancer’s ‘Ticking Time Bombs’

July 30, 2013 9:41 am | by Skip Derra | Articles | Comments

A long-standing mystery in cancer is how cancerous cells move from being dormant to being metastatic. Now, a team of researchers from Lawrence Berkeley Laboratory (LBL) and the Weill Cornell Medical College believe they have identified the microenvironment that contributes to the change of state of the cells.

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Migraine Associated with Brain Arteries' Structure

July 29, 2013 10:29 am | News | Comments

The network of arteries supplying blood flow to the brain is more likely to be incomplete in people who suffer migraine, a new study reports. Variations in arterial anatomy lead to asymmetries in cerebral blood flow that might contribute to the process triggering migraines.

False Memories Planted in Mice

July 26, 2013 10:09 am | News | Comments

In a step toward understanding how faulty memories arise, neuroscientists have shown that they can plant false memories in the brains of mice. They also found that many of the neurological traces of these memories are identical in nature to those of authentic memories.

Breaking News: Height Linked to Cancer Risk

July 25, 2013 1:14 pm | News | Comments

The taller a postmenopausal woman is, the greater her risk for developing cancer, according to a new study. Height was linked to cancers of the breast, colon, endometrium, kidney, ovary, rectum, and thyroid, as well as to multiple myeloma and melanoma.

Gold Nanoparticles Control Blood Clotting

July 25, 2013 11:13 am | News | Comments

Using gold nanoparticles, researchers have devised a new way to turn blood clotting on and off. The particles, which are controlled by infrared laser light, could help doctors control blood clotting in patients undergoing surgery, or promote wound healing.

Biosensor Helps Athletes Avoid 'Hitting the Wall'

July 24, 2013 10:16 am | News | Comments

A new biosensor, applied to the human skin like a temporary tattoo, can alert marathoners, competitive bikers and other “extreme” athletes that they’re about to “bonk,” or “hit the wall,” scientists are reporting. The sensor could also help soldiers and others who engage in intense exercise, and their trainers, monitor stamina and fitness. 

Breaking News: Stroke Protection Breakthrough

July 23, 2013 11:19 am | News | Comments

One of regenerative medicine's greatest goals is to develop new treatments for stroke. Stem cell research for the disease has typically focused on developing therapeutic neurons to repair damaged brain tissue. Now, a new study found that astrocytes can protect brain tissue and reduce disability due to stroke and other ischemic brain disorders.

Witnessing Symmetric Cell Division

July 18, 2013 3:58 pm | News | Comments

For more than a century, scientists have been peering through microscopes, carefully watching cells divide. Until now, however, none has actually seen how human cells manage to divide into two equally-sized daughter cells during mitosis. 

Gold Particles Enhance Cardiac Patches

July 18, 2013 9:48 am | News | Comments

In the search for innovative methods to restore heart function, scientists have been exploring cardiac "patches" that could be transplanted into the body to replace damaged heart tissue. Now, researchers are literally setting a gold standard in cardiac tissue engineering by integrating cardiac cells with nanofibers made of gold particles.

Breaking News: Tissues Help Target Malaria

July 17, 2013 1:29 pm | News | Comments

Although malaria has been eradicated in many countries, including the United States, it still infects more than 200 million people worldwide. Researchers have developed a way to grow liver tissue that can support the liver stage of the life cycle of the two most common species of malaria. This system could be used to test drugs and vaccines against both species.

Psychedelic Drug Erases Fear in Mice

July 16, 2013 9:57 am | News | Comments

Low doses of a psychedelic drug erased the conditioned fear response in mice, suggesting that the agent may be a treatment for post-traumatic stress disorder and related conditions, a new study found. The unexpected finding was made by a reasearch team studying the effects of the compound psilocybin on the birth of new neurons in the brain and on learning and short-term memory formation.

DNA Computations Performed in Living Cells

July 11, 2013 12:03 pm | News | Comments

Chemists have performed a DNA-based logic-gate operation within a human cell. The research may pave the way to more complicated computations in live cells, as well as new methods of disease detection and treatment. Until now, DNA computation events have typically taken place in a test tube, rather than in living cells.

MicroRNAs Implicated in Breast, Blood Cancers

July 10, 2013 10:31 am | News | Comments

A mere 25 years ago, noncoding RNAs were considered nothing more than “background noise” in the overall genomic landscape. Now, two new studies reveal that one of these tiny noncoding molecules—microRNA-22—plays an outsized role in two types of cancer.

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