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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.

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.

Detecting DNA in Space

July 9, 2013 11:07 am | News | Comments

In a step toward the goal of sending a DNA sequencer to Mars, where it can analyze soil and ice samples for traces of DNA and other genetic material, researchers have created a DNA-sequencing microchip that can survive space radiation. 

UK May OK Creating Babies with DNA from 3 People

June 27, 2013 8:01 pm | by MARIA CHENG - AP Medical Writer - Associated Press | News | Comments

Britain may allow a controversial technique to create babies using DNA from three people, a move that would help couples avoid passing on rare genetic diseases, the country's top medical officer says. The new techniques help women with faulty mitochondria, the energy source in a cell, from passing on to their babies defects that can result in such diseases as muscular dystrophy, epilepsy, heart problems and mental retardation.

700,000 Year Old Horse Gets Its Genome Sequenced

June 27, 2013 12:17 pm | News | Comments

Scientists at the Centre for GeoGenetics at the Natural History Museum of Denmark (University of Copenhagen) have sequenced the so far oldest genome from a prehistoric creature. They have done so by sequencing and analyzing short pieces of DNA molecules preserved in bone-remnants from a horse that had been kept frozen for the last 700.000 years in the permafrost of Yukon, Canada.

Lab Confirms Thirdhand Smoke Causes DNA Damage

June 21, 2013 10:35 am | News | Comments

A study led by researchers from Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory has found for the first time that thirdhand smoke—the noxious residue that clings to virtually all surfaces long after the secondhand smoke from a cigarette has cleared out—causes significant genetic damage in human cells.

Fungus Joins New Species List

June 19, 2013 10:24 am | News | Comments

A new species of fungus that causes life-threatening infections in humans and cats has been discovered. After six years of investigation, researchers have confirmed this as a completely new species, Aspergillus felis, which can cause virulent disease in humans and cats by infecting their respiratory tract.

Drawing Pad Monitors Learning-disabled Brains

June 18, 2013 10:58 am | News | Comments

For less than $100, University of Washington researchers have designed a computer-interfaced drawing pad that helps scientists see inside the brains of children with learning disabilities while they read and write. To create the system, researchers hollowed out a ballpoint pen and inserted two optical fibers that connect to a light-tight box in an adjacent control room where the pen’s movement is recorded.

Melanoma Tumors 'Eradicated' in Mice

June 17, 2013 11:10 am | News | Comments

Researchers eradicated most melanoma tumors by exposing them to a fast-acting virus, according to a report in the Journal of Virology. Melanoma is the deadliest type of skin cancer and can spread throughout the body and even into the brain.

Technique Clears Major Diabetes Transplant Hurdle

June 17, 2013 11:04 am | News | Comments

Researchers have identified a way to trigger reproduction in the laboratory of clusters of human cells that make insulin, potentially removing a significant obstacle to transplanting the cells as a treatment for patients with type 1 diabetes. 

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