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Alcohol Preference Gene Discovered in Rats

October 1, 2013 11:46 am | News | Comments

Selectively bred strains of laboratory rats that either prefer or avoid alcohol have been a mainstay of alcohol research for decades. Alcohol-preferring rats voluntarily consume much greater amounts of alcohol than do non-preferring rats. Now, scientists report that a specific gene plays an important role in the alcohol-consuming tendencies of both types of rats.

Breaking News: Testosterone Linked to Heart Health

September 24, 2013 1:13 pm | News | Comments

Men who have low testosterone levels may have a slightly elevated risk of developing or dying from heart disease, according to a recent study. Over time, low testosterone may contribute to an increase in body fat, loss of body hair and muscle bulk.

Tumors Caught Bursting Through a Blood Vessel

September 20, 2013 12:05 pm | Videos | Comments

Researchers at MIT have developed a microfluidic device that mimics the process of extravasation, showing the flow of cancer cells through a system of blood vessels. The extravasation process is a crucial step in cancer metastasis that, until now, has been unclear.


Bioscience Technology Update for September 20, 2013

September 20, 2013 11:46 am | Videos | Comments

In this edition of Bioscience Technology Update: Surgeons Successfully Implant Bioengineered Vein Genetically Modified Mosquitoes Lose Appetite for Humans Bacteria Ingested Through Yogurt Affects Brain Function Young Genes Can Become Essential for Life

Breaking News: Sugars Regulate Brain Development

September 19, 2013 2:14 pm | News | Comments

New research reveals how a tiny molecule called mir-79 regulates neural development in roundworms by controlling the correct balance of sugar-transmitters on signaling molecules. If mir-79 does not function, the nervous system is malformed.

Origins of Genomic 'Dark Matter' Discovered

September 19, 2013 12:17 pm | News | Comments

Scientists have achieved a major milestone in understanding how genomic "dark matter" originates. This "dark matter"- called non-coding RNA- comprises more than 95 percent of the human genome, but it does not contain the blueprint, or code, for making proteins.

Brain Likely Hard-wired for Chronic Pain

September 18, 2013 12:03 pm | News | Comments

The structure of the brain may predict whether a person will suffer chronic low back pain, according to researchers who used brain scans. The results support the growing idea that the brain plays a critical role in chronic pain, a concept that may lead to changes in the way doctors treat patients.

Specific Sugar Molecule Causes Cancer Cell Growth

September 16, 2013 10:57 am | News | Comments

The process of glycosylation, where sugar molecules are attached to proteins, has long been of interest to scientists, particularly because certain sugar molecules are present in very high numbers in cancer cells. It now turns out that these sugar molecules are not only present, but actually aid the growth of the malignant cells.


Molecular Structure Reveals How HIV Infects Cells

September 13, 2013 11:54 am | News | Comments

In a long-awaited finding, a team of Chinese and US scientists has determined the high-resolution atomic structure of a cell-surface receptor that most strains of HIV use to get into human immune cells. The researchers also showed where maraviroc, an HIV drug, attaches to cells and blocks HIV’s entry.

Embryonic Stem Cells Created in Adult Organism

September 12, 2013 11:49 am | Videos | Comments

A research team has become the first to make adult cells from a living organism retreat in their evolutionary development to recover the characteristics of embryonic stem cells. They have also discovered that these embryonic stem cells have a broader capacity for differentiation than those obtained via in vitro culture.

Breaking News: Wrongly Diagnosing Dementia

September 10, 2013 9:50 am | News | Comments

Screening older people for minor memory changes (often called mild cognitive impairment or pre-dementia) may be leading to unnecessary investigation and potentially harmful treatment for what is arguably an inevitable consequence of aging, warn experts.

On the Trail of Ancient Wines and Beers

September 5, 2013 1:40 pm | by Skip Derra | Articles | Comments

Patrick McGovern is an archaeologist devoted to studying ancient artifacts and trying to piece together their role in advancing civilization. But his specialty is focused on the origins and expansion of the fermentable beverages of early civilizations, which suits him perfectly as the director of the Biomolecular Archaeology Project at the University of Pennsylvania Museum of Archaeology and Anthropology, Philadelphia.

Stroke-causing Gene Mutation Identified

September 4, 2013 11:49 am | News | Comments

A genetic mutation that can lead to hemorrhagic stroke has been identified by scientists– along with a drug to potentially treat it. COL4a2 is a protein that is expressed by the gene of the same name, which forms a structure outside the cell called a basement membrane. Scientists have now identified for the first time that accumulation of the mutant protein inside the cell can influence the development of haemorrhagic stroke.


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.

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.

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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