Human bone breaks down and regenerates naturally all the time, in a perfectly balanced dance that maintains skeletal integrity. As people age, bone tends to deteriorate faster, causing osteoporosis and other disorders. Smoking artificially accelerates bone degeneration as well. For the first time, researchers have described the mechanics of how certain toxic compounds in smoke break down bone.
Aspirin is known to lower risk for some cancers, and a new study points to a possible explanation, with the discovery that aspirin slows the accumulation of DNA mutations in abnormal cells in at least one pre-cancerous condition. In the study, researchers analyzed biopsy samples from 13 patients with a pre-cancerous condition called Barrett’s esophagus who were tracked for six to 19 years.
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.
In new research researchers describe a technology that can detect new, previously unknown viruses. The technique uses blood serum as a biological source to categorize and discover viruses. Taking advantage of the complete deciphering of the human genome, researchers used a next-generation sequencing (NGS) approach called transcriptome subtraction to identify viral genetic material in the blood.
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.
A mechanism that cells use to group together and move around the body– called "chase and run"- has been described for the first time by scientists. The new study focuses on the process that occurs when cancer cells interact with healthy cells in order to migrate around the body during metastasis.
Mannitol, a sugar alcohol produced by fungi, bacteria, and algae and a common component of sugar-free gum and candy,is also used in the medical field. Now, researchers have found that mannitol also prevents clumps of the protein α-synuclein from forming in the brain— a process that is characteristic of Parkinson's disease.
People living with HIV will be treated with genetically engineered stem cells next month by the team of Nobel Prize-winning immunologist David Baltimore, PhD, Robert Andrews Millikan Professor of Biology, California Institute of Technology. The goal: to create, in patients, new immune systems resistant to HIV.
The first experimental drug to boost brain synapses lost in Alzheimer’s disease has been developed by researchers. The drug, called NitroMemantine, combines two FDA-approved medicines to stop the destructive cascade of changes in the brain that destroys the connections between neurons, leading to memory loss and cognitive decline.
A pair of researchers who in the past created compounds to block the SARS virus are now tackling the new Middle East respiratory syndrome coronavirus, or MERS-CoV. The team's successful work on SARS paved the way for them to swiftly work on MERS CoV, reducing parts of the process that would normally take years to a matter of month.
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.
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.
Researchers working to design new materials that are durable, lightweight and environmentally sustainable are increasingly looking to natural composites for inspiration. While they have come up with hierarchical structures in the design of new materials, going from a computer model to the production of physical artifacts has been a challenge. Now, researchers have developed an approach that allows them to turn their designs into reality.
A medical test previously developed to measure a toxin found in tobacco smokers has been adapted to measure the same toxin in people suffering from spinal cord injuries and multiple sclerosis, offering a potential tool to reduce symptoms.
By the time 10-year-old Sarah Murnaghan finally got a lung transplant last week, she'd been waiting for months, and her parents had sued to give her a better shot at surgery. Her cystic fibrosis was threatening her life, and her case spurred a debate on how to allocate donor organs. Lungs and other organs for transplant are scarce.
By transferring four genes into mouse fibroblast cells, researchers have produced cells that resemble hematopoietic stem cells, which produce millions of new blood cells in the human body every day. These findings provide a platform for future development of patient-specific stem/progenitor cells, and more differentiated blood products, for cell-replacement therapy.
Researchers report that in fruit flies, at least, that the process of how our tongues and brains can tell when the saltiness of our food has crossed the line from yummy to yucky is controlled by competing input from two different types of taste-sensing cells.
A protein used by embryo cells during early development, and recently found in many different types of cancer, apparently serves as a switch regulating the spread of cancer, known as metastasis, new research reports. Metastasis is responsible for 90 percent of cancer-related deaths.
Arthritis is a debilitating disorder affecting one in 10 Canadians, with pain caused by inflammation and damage to joints. Yet the condition is poorly managed in most patients, since adequate treatments are lacking. A new study adds to a growing body of evidence that the nervous system and nerve-growth factor (NGF) play a major role in arthritis.
A new study offers further proof that the divergence of humans from chimpanzees some 4 million to 6 million years ago was profoundly influenced by mutations to DNA sequences that play roles in turning genes on and off. The study provides evidence for a 40-year-old hypothesis that regulation of genes must play an important role in evolution.
A ruling by the Supreme Court that human genes can't be patented is expected to increase access and drop the cost for tests for gene mutations that greatly raise the risk of developing breast or ovarian cancer. In a bit of a mixed message, the court unanimously decided that certain types of gene tests may still be protected by patents, yet it struck down patents that a company has long held for BRCA genes.
The Supreme Court ruled today that companies cannot patent parts of naturally-occurring human genes, a decision with the potential to profoundly affect the emerging and lucrative medical and biotechnology industries. The high court's unanimous judgment reverses three decades of patent awards by government officials.
In humans, an amputated fingertip can sprout back in as little as two months, a phenomenon that has remained poorly understood until now. Researchers have shed light on this rare regenerative power in mammals, using genetically engineered mice to document for the first time the biochemical chain of events that unfolds in the wake of a fingertip amputation.
Spit. Drool. Dribble. Saliva is not normally a topic of polite conversation, but it may be the key to explaining the age and sex bias exhibited by influenza and other diseases, according to a new study. The research provides new insights into why older people were better able to fight off the new strains of “bird” flu and “swine” flu than younger people.
In a new clinical trial, researchers have discovered that specific patterns of brain activity may indicate whether a depressed patient will or will not respond to treatment with medication or psychotherapy. The choice of medication versus psychotherapy is often based on the preference of the patient or clinician, rather than objective factors.