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Misguided DNA-Repair Proteins Caught in the Act

May 23, 2014 12:06 pm | News | Comments

Accumulation of DNA damage can cause aggressive forms of cancer and accelerated aging, so the body’s DNA repair mechanisms are normally key to good health. However, in some diseases the DNA repair machinery can become harmful. Now, scientists have discovered some of the key proteins involved in one type of DNA repair gone awry.

Study Shows How Common Obesity Gene Contributes to Weight Gain

May 23, 2014 12:01 pm | News | Comments

Researchers have discovered how a gene commonly linked to obesity—FTO—contributes to weight gain. The study shows that variations in FTO indirectly affect the function of the primary cilium, a little-understood hair-like appendage on brain and other cells.

Immune System's 'Rules of Engagement' Discovered

May 23, 2014 11:48 am | News | Comments

A new study revealed how T cells, the immune system's foot soldiers, respond to an enormous number of potential health threats and found surprising similarities in the way immune system defenders bind to disease-causing invaders.      

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Researchers Identify Key Mechanism in Metabolic Pathway that Fuels Cancers

May 23, 2014 11:41 am | News | Comments

In a discovery at the Children’s Medical Center Research Institute at UT Southwestern (CRI), a research team has taken a significant step in cracking the code of an atypical metabolic pathway that allows certain cancerous tumors to thrive, providing a possible roadmap for defeating such cancers.

Signals Recruit Cells, Enable Breast Cancer Metastasis

May 23, 2014 11:37 am | News | Comments

Working with mice, researchers report they have identified chemical signals that certain breast cancers use to recruit two types of normal cells needed for the cancers’ spread.                     

Alzheimer’s, Other Conditions Linked to Prion-like Proteins

May 23, 2014 11:22 am | News | Comments

A new theory about disorders that attack the brain and spinal column has received a significant boost from scientists. The theory attributes these disorders to proteins that act like prions, which are copies of a normal protein that have been corrupted in ways that cause diseases.

New Target Found for Chronic Pain Treatment

May 22, 2014 1:57 pm | News | Comments

Researchers have found a new target for treating chronic pain: an enzyme called PIP5K1C. The research shows that PIP5K1C controls the activity of cellular receptors that signal pain.                   

Genes Link Circadian Clock to Eating Schedule

May 22, 2014 1:51 pm | Videos | Comments

Scientists have discovered a pair of genes that normally keeps eating schedules in sync with daily sleep rhythms, and, when mutated, may play a role in so-called night eating syndrome.                   

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Unlikely Stress Responder May Protect Against Alzheimer’s

May 22, 2014 1:44 pm | News | Comments

In surprise findings, scientists have discovered that a protein with a propensity to form harmful aggregates in the body when produced in the liver protects against Alzheimer’s disease aggregates when it is produced in the brain.      

Printing Replacements

May 22, 2014 1:44 pm | by Robert Fee, Editor-in-Chief, Bioscience Technology | Articles | Comments

3-D printing promises to revolutionize engineering, and many speculate that it could have a huge impact on medicine, too. Many speculate that useful organs grown in the lab three-dimensionally on scaffolds is now closer to fact than fiction.

Breaking News: Blocked Pain Receptor Extends Mice Lifespan

May 22, 2014 12:00 pm | News | Comments

Blocking a pain receptor in mice not only extends their lifespan, it also gives them a more youthful metabolism, including an improved insulin response that allows them to deal better with high blood sugar.             

Biologists Identify New Neural Pathway in Eyes that Aids in Vision

May 22, 2014 11:48 am | News | Comments

A type of retina cell plays a more critical role in vision than previously known, a team led by Johns Hopkins University researchers has discovered. Working with mice, the scientists found that the ipRGCs – an atypical type of photoreceptor in the retina – help detect contrast between light and dark, a crucial element in the formation of visual images.

Researchers Combine Weak Chemical Forces to Strengthen a Novel Imaging Technology

May 22, 2014 10:45 am | News | Comments

When Associate Professor of Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering Hyunjoon Kong, graduate student Cartney Smith, and colleagues set out to improve MR imaging (MRI), they turned current contrast agent technology on its head—or rather, they turned it inside out.  The new compound they designed in collaboration with Roger Adams Professor of Chemistry Steven C. Zimmerman is not only more effective, but also self-assembling.

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Genes Successfully Predict Alcoholism Risk

May 21, 2014 1:14 pm | News | Comments

A group of 11 genes can successfully predict whether an individual is at increased risk of alcoholism, a research team recently reported. Knowing one has a genetic predisposition to alcohol abuse could encourage behavioral and lifestyle changes.  

Bird Flu Experiments Pose Risk of Accidental Release

May 21, 2014 1:01 pm | News | Comments

Experiments creating dangerous flu strains that are transmissible between mammals pose too great a risk to human life from potential release, according to an editorial by Harvard University researchers.              

Scientists ID Potential Way to Halt Pancreatic Cancer Spread

May 21, 2014 12:49 pm | Videos | Comments

Scientists have shown how switching off a key protein in pancreatic cells slows the spread of the disease to other tissues, a key step which can mean patients have just weeks to live.                    

Cognitive Test Differentiates Between Alzheimer's, Normal Aging

May 21, 2014 12:31 pm | News | Comments

Researchers have developed a new cognitive test that can better determine whether memory impairments are due to very mild Alzheimer’s disease or the normal aging process.                       

Vitamin E in Canola and Other Oils Hurts Lungs

May 21, 2014 11:58 am | News | Comments

A large new Northwestern Medicine study upends our understanding of vitamin E and ties the increasing consumption of supposedly healthy vitamin E-rich oils—canola, soybean and corn—to the rising incidence of lung inflammation and, possibly, asthma.

Red Wine Shows Promise as Cavity Fighter

May 21, 2014 11:29 am | News | Comments

For anyone searching for another reason to enjoy a glass of red wine with dinner, here’s a good one: A new study has found that red wine, as well as grape seed extract, could potentially help prevent cavities. They say that their report could lead to the development of natural products that ward off dental diseases with fewer side effects.

Testing a Paleo Diet Hypothesis in the Test Tube

May 20, 2014 1:36 pm | News | Comments

By comparing how gut microbes from human vegetarians and grass-grazing baboons digest different diets, researchers have shown that ancestral human diets, so called “paleo" diets, did not necessarily result in better appetite suppression. The study reveals surprising relationships between diet and the release of hormones that suppress eating.

Breaking News: High Cholesterol Linked to Lower Fertility

May 20, 2014 1:00 pm | News | Comments

High cholesterol levels may impair fertility in couples trying to achieve a pregnancy, according to a new study. Couples in which each partner had a high cholesterol level took the longest time to reach pregnancy, the study showed.    

Engineer Invents Safe Way to Transfer Energy to Medical Chips in the Body

May 20, 2014 12:23 pm | Videos | Comments

A Stanford electrical engineer has invented a way to wirelessly transfer power deep inside the body and then use this power to run tiny electronic medical gadgets such as pacemakers, nerve stimulators or new sensors and devices yet to be developed.

Taste Test: Could Sense of Taste Affect Length of Life?

May 20, 2014 11:42 am | News | Comments

Perhaps one of the keys to good health isn’t just what you eat but how you taste it. Taste buds may in fact have a powerful role in a long and healthy life – at least for fruit flies. Researchers found that suppressing the animal’s ability to taste its food –regardless of how much it actually eats – can significantly increase or decrease its length of life and potentially promote healthy aging.

Racing the Clock to Help Young Patients with Old Hearts

May 20, 2014 11:27 am | News | Comments

Children with progeria, a rare disorder that causes premature aging, die in their teens of ailments that are common in octogenarians: heart failure and stroke. Kan Cao, a University of Maryland assistant professor of cell biology and molecular genetics, urgently wants to help find a cure. Cao and her colleagues have taken a big step in that direction, showing that a toxic protein destroys muscle cells inside the patients’ arteries.

Solution to Helping Teens with Chronic Disease May be at Fingertips

May 20, 2014 11:13 am | News | Comments

Adolescents with chronic diseases (ACD), such as cystic fibrosis, gastrointestinal disorders (including Crohn’s disease) and Type 1 diabetes, often find the transition of managing their health care needs into adulthood to be challenging. Preparations for this transition are often clinic-based, costly and do not fully or effectively engage with this patient population.

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