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Flipping a Switch Can 'Remodel' Cell Types

December 4, 2013 12:09 pm | News | Comments

With few exceptions, cells don’t change type once they have become specialized. However, new findings have identified a method for changing one cell type into another in a process called forced transdifferentiation.          

Probing the Link Between Parkinson’s, Pesticides

December 4, 2013 11:37 am | News | Comments

In a seemingly simple experiment, a scientist exposes rats to a certain pesticide over several days, and the rodents start showing symptoms remarkably similar to those seen in Parkinson’s patients.               

Secret-keeping Causes Mental Impairments

December 4, 2013 11:32 am | News | Comments

Stress from having to keep a secret– one’s sexual orientation, for example, or simply a forbidden word– can cause lapses in physical stamina, intellectual acuity, executive function and even email etiquette.             

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Brain Activity Discovery May Lead to Better PTSD Treatments

December 3, 2013 3:20 pm | by Harvard Medical School | News | Comments

In a new study, researchers report that increased activity in the medial prefrontal cortex of the brain is linked to decreased activity in the amygdala, the portion of the brain where memories of frightening events are created.       

Restoring 'Exhausted' HIV-fighting Immune Cells

December 3, 2013 12:35 pm | News | Comments

Researchers have identified a protein that causes loss of function in immune cells combatting HIV. The scientists report that the protein, Sprouty-2, is a promising target for future HIV drug development.                 

Study IDs New Gene Variant for Sporadic ALS

December 3, 2013 12:28 pm | News | Comments

Researchers have identified a new genetic variant, located on chromosome 17, associated with sporadic amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS)– the most common form of motor neuron disease.                   

High Cholesterol Fuels the Growth, Spread of Breast Cancer

December 3, 2013 12:10 pm | Videos | Comments

A byproduct of cholesterol functions like the hormone estrogen to fuel the growth and spread of the most common types of breast cancers, researchers report.                            

Cannabinoids Can Limit Neurological Stroke Damage

December 3, 2013 11:58 am | News | Comments

Chemical compounds found in cannabis, some of which also occur naturally in the body, may help to reduce brain damage following a stroke, new research has revealed.                         

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Human Stem Cells Converted to Functional Lung Cells

December 3, 2013 11:43 am | News | Comments

For the first time, scientists have succeeded in transforming human stem cells into functional lung and airway cells. The advance has significant potential for modeling lung disease, screening drugs, studying human lung development and generating lung tissue for transplantation.

Breaking News: Promise for Possible HIV Cure

December 3, 2013 9:18 am | News | Comments

Researchers have used radioimmunotherapy to destroy remaining HIV-infected cells in the blood samples of patients treated with antiretroviral therapy, offering the promise of a strategy for curing HIV infection.           

Moving Toward Progress in Paralysis

December 2, 2013 4:16 pm | by Harvard Medical School | News | Comments

Hearing the term “paralysis” often conjures the image of someone with a spinal cord injury. While an estimated 1.2 million Americans do suffer from paralysis due to a spinal cord injury, the impact of paralysis is even more widespread, with nearly 5.6 million affected overall, according to the Reeve Foundation.

Obama Reveals $100M HIV Research Initiative

December 2, 2013 2:28 pm | by LAURAN NEERGAARD -- AP Medical Writer | News | Comments

President Barack Obama announced a new initiative at the National Institutes of Health in pursuit of a cure for HIV, saying his administration is redirecting $100 million into the project to find a new generation of therapies.       

Scientists Determine Most Detailed Picture of Key Hepatitis C Protein

December 2, 2013 12:41 pm | Videos | Comments

Scientists have determined the most detailed picture yet of a crucial part of the hepatitis C virus, which the virus uses to infect liver cells. The new data reveal unexpected structural features of this protein and should greatly speed efforts to make an effective hepatitis C vaccine.

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Protein May Trigger Alzheimer’s-causing Chain Reactions

December 2, 2013 12:32 pm | News | Comments

Researchers have shown that tiny quantities of the protein tau can be enough to kick-start an aggregation process which may explain the onset of Alzheimer’s in the brain.                        

Energy Drinks Alter Heart Function

December 2, 2013 11:49 am | News | Comments

Healthy adults who consumed energy drinks high in caffeine and taurine had significantly increased heart contraction rates one hour later, according to a new study.                         

Low Vitamin D May Cause Brain Damage

December 2, 2013 11:36 am | News | Comments

A new study suggests that a diet low in vitamin D causes damage to the brain. The new evidence shows that vitamin D serves important roles in organs and tissue, including the brain.                    

Brain Reward Gene Linked to Obesity

November 27, 2013 12:04 pm | News | Comments

Research has suggested that a particular gene in the brain’s reward system contributes to overeating and obesity in adults.                                     

Study IDs Treatment Target for Parasite-induced Disease

November 27, 2013 11:58 am | News | Comments

Currently, there are no reliable treatments for cryptosporidiosis, the disease caused by Cryptosporidium parvum, but that may be about to change with the identification of a target molecule by a group of researchers.               

New HIV Strain Leads to Faster AIDS Development

November 27, 2013 11:50 am | News | Comments

A recently discovered HIV strain leads to significantly faster development of AIDS than currently prevalent forms, according to new research.                               

What are Gut Microbes Teaching B-Cells?

November 27, 2013 11:40 am | News | Comments

It’s long been thought that in people and in mice the reshuffling of B-cells— called V(D)J recombination, after the B-cells’ antibody-coding V, D and J gene segments— occurs in two places: the bone marrow and the spleen. New research suggests that there may be one more place B-cells go to undergo recombination: the gut.

Better Predictor for Breast Cancer Risk Developed

November 27, 2013 11:24 am | News | Comments

Epidemiologists have designed a better method to quantify a woman’s risk of developing breast cancer, according to researchers.                                   

US to Keep Ban on Paying Bone Marrow Donors

November 27, 2013 3:20 am | by LAURAN NEERGAARD - AP Medical Writer - Associated Press | News | Comments

The 1984 National Organ Transplantation Act that set the payment ban didn't just refer to solid organs — it included bone marrow transplants, too. Now, the government now has proposed a regulation to keep the ban intact by rewriting some legal definitions to clarify that it covers marrow-producing stem cells.

Breaking the Brain Clock Predisposes Nerve Cells to Neurodegeneration

November 26, 2013 12:59 pm | News | Comments

New research reveals that the nerve cells of mice with broken broken clocks show signs of deterioration before the externally visible signs of aging are apparent, raising the possibility of novel approaches to staving off or delaying neurodegeneration– hallmarks of Parkinson’s and Alzheimer’s diseases.

Study Reveals How Baby Neurons Stay Alive

November 26, 2013 12:14 pm | News | Comments

Why most new neurons die while a few survive has been a mystery. But now, a new neuroscience study shows how specific brain cells communicate with each other during adult neurogenesis– the creation of new neurons.            

E-cigarettes a New Route to Youth Smoking Addiction

November 26, 2013 11:45 am | News | Comments

E-cigarettes have been widely promoted as a way for people to quit smoking conventional cigarettes. Now, in the first study of its kind, researchers are reporting that youth using e-cigarettes were more likely to be trying to quit, but also were less likely to have stopped smoking and were smoking more, not less.

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