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Reactivated Gene Sets Immune System Back 500M Years

August 19, 2014 11:37 am | News | Comments

A single factor can reset the immune system of mice to a state likely similar to what it was 500 million years ago. Scientists reactivated expression of an ancient gene in mice, which is not normally expressed in the mammalian immune system, and found that the animals developed a fish-like thymus.

Critical Wound-healing Proteins Identified

August 19, 2014 11:13 am | News | Comments

Mice missing two important proteins of the vascular system develop normally and appear healthy in adulthood, as long as they don’t become injured. If they do, their wounds don’t heal properly, a new study shows.           

Ebola Has Killed More Than 1,200, WHO Says

August 19, 2014 6:19 am | by The Associated Press | News | Comments

The U.N. health agency says the Ebola outbreak in West Africa has now killed more than 1,200 people. The World Health Organization says the death toll has risen to 1,229 from among the 2,240 reported cases in Guinea, Liberia, Nigeria and Sierra Leone. 

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Do Gut Bacteria Rule Our Minds?

August 18, 2014 12:46 pm | News | Comments

It sounds like science fiction, but it seems that bacteria within us– which outnumber our own cells about 100-fold– may very well be affecting both our cravings and moods to get us to eat what they want, and often are driving us toward obesity.  

Can Twitter Help Better Identify Foodborne Illness Cases?

August 18, 2014 12:33 pm | News | Comments

An estimated 55 million to 105 million people in the United States suffer from foodborne illnesses each year, according to the CDC, resulting in costs of $2 to $4 billion annually. What if Twitter could be used to track those cases and more quickly identify the source of the problem?

Antibiotics in Early Life May Alter Long-term Immunity

August 18, 2014 11:34 am | News | Comments

New research found that receiving antibiotic treatments early in life can increase susceptibility to specific diseases later on. The study helps scientists understand how different antibiotics affect good bacteria.        

Suspect Gene Corrupts Neural Connections

August 18, 2014 10:58 am | News | Comments

A genetic variation linked to schizophrenia, bipolar disorder and severe depression wreaks havoc on connections among neurons in the developing brain, a team of researchers reports.                    

Another Ebola Problem: Finding Its Natural Source

August 17, 2014 9:17 am | by Mike Stobbe and Marilynn Marchione - AP Medical Writers - Associated Press | News | Comments

A scary problem lurks beyond the frenzied efforts to keep people from spreading Ebola: No one knows exactly where the virus comes from or how to stop it from seeding new outbreaks.                    

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Bioscience Technology This Week #8: Safe Nuts for Allergy Sufferers

August 15, 2014 12:43 pm | Videos | Comments

On this episode of Bioscience Technology This Week, Christina Jakubowski reports on the possibility of making nuts safer to eat for those with allergies. Our second story tackles important questions about which genes may drive antibiotic resistance. 

Lasers Can Control Mouse Brain Switchboard

August 15, 2014 12:31 pm | Videos | Comments

Ever wonder why it’s hard to focus after a bad night’s sleep? Using mice and flashes of light, scientists show that just a few nerve cells in the brain may control the switch between internal thoughts and external distractions.         

CDC Scientist Kept Quiet About Flu Blunder

August 15, 2014 12:21 pm | by Mike Stobbe - AP Medical Writer - Associated Press | News | Comments

An investigation into a potentially dangerous blunder at a government lab found that a scientist kept silent about the accident and revealed it only after other employees noticed something fishy.               

Previous Pulmonary Disease May Up Lung Cancer Risk

August 15, 2014 12:14 pm | News | Comments

Links between a number of common respiratory diseases and an increased risk of developing lung cancer have been found in a large pooled analysis of seven studies involving more than 25,000 individuals.               

Early Antibiotic Exposure Gives Mice Lifelong Metabolic Issues

August 15, 2014 11:59 am | News | Comments

A new study suggests that antibiotic exposure during a critical window of early development disrupts the bacterial landscape of the gut, home to trillions of diverse microbes, and permanently reprograms the body’s metabolism, setting up a predisposition to obesity.

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New Gene Editing Method Shows Promising Results for Correcting Muscular Dystrophy

August 15, 2014 11:30 am | News | Comments

UT Southwestern Medical Center researchers successfully used a new gene editing method to correct a mutation that leads to Duchenne muscular dystrophy (DMD) in a mouse model of the condition. Researchers used a technique called CRISPR/Cas9-mediated genome editing, which can precisely remove a mutation in DNA, allowing the body’s DNA repair mechanisms to replace it with a normal copy of the gene.

Ebola Puts Focus on Drugs Made in Tobacco Plants

August 15, 2014 2:22 am | by Malcolm Ritter - AP Science Writer - Associated Press | News | Comments

It's an eye-catching angle in the story of an experimental treatment for Ebola: The drug comes from tobacco plants that were turned into living pharmaceutical factories. Using plants this way — sometimes called "pharming" — can produce complex and valuable proteins for medicines.

New Technology Offers Insight into Cholesterol

August 14, 2014 2:16 pm | News | Comments

With new advanced techniques developed by the Copenhagen Center for Glycomics at the University of Copenhagen it is possible to study cells in greater detail than ever before. The findings may, in the long term, improve the treatment of high cholesterol.

Autism, SPD Hit Different Brain Areas

August 14, 2014 11:10 am | by Cynthia Fox | Articles | Comments

Children with sensory processing disorder (SPD) have decreased white matter brain connections in sensory regions very different from those with autism, say researchers. Their study is the first to compare, and find critical differences in, brain connectivity in autism versus SPD versus controls.

Material Could Enhance Fast, Accurate DNA Sequencing

August 14, 2014 10:24 am | News | Comments

Gene-based personalized medicine has many possibilities for diagnosis and targeted therapy, but one big bottleneck: the expensive and time-consuming DNA-sequencing process. Now, researchers have found that nanopores in the material molybdenum disulfide (MoS2) could sequence DNA more accurately, quickly and inexpensively than anything yet available.

NewLink Genetics: Ready to Test Ebola Vaccine

August 14, 2014 10:22 am | by The Associated Press | News | Comments

An Iowa drug developer says it has enough doses of a possible vaccine for the deadly Ebola virus to launch an initial round of human testing. NewLink Genetics Chief Financial Officer Gordon Link says the timing of the trials is uncertain, but the company is receiving help from a number of sources to speed up the process.

Injected Bacteria Shrink Tumors in Rats, Dogs, Humans

August 14, 2014 10:17 am | News | Comments

A modified version of the Clostridium novyi (C. novyi-NT) bacterium can produce a strong and precisely targeted anti-tumor response in rats, dogs and now humans, according to a new report.                 

Study Questions Need for Cutting Salt

August 13, 2014 5:18 pm | by Marilynn Marchione - AP Chief Medical Writer - Associated Press | News | Comments

A large international study questions the conventional wisdom that most people should cut back on salt, suggesting that the amount most folks consume is OK for heart health - and too little may be as bad as too much.         

Genetically Engineered Fruit Flies Could Save Crops

August 13, 2014 1:53 pm | News | Comments

Releasing genetically engineered fruit flies into the wild could prove to be a cheap, effective and environmentally friendly way of pest control according to scientists at the University of East Anglia and Oxitec Ltd. This collaborative research study, with UEA shows that this approach is effective and once appropriate regulatory approvals are received the technology will offer growers a safe and effective route to protect their crops.

Huntingtin Gene Crucial to Memory Development

August 13, 2014 11:50 am | News | Comments

It has been more than 20 years since scientists discovered that mutations in the gene huntingtin cause the devastating progressive neurological condition Huntington’s disease. Surprisingly little, however, has been known about the gene’s role in normal brain activity. Now, new research shows it plays a critical role in long-term memory.

‘Shape-Shifting’ Material Could Help Reconstruct Faces

August 13, 2014 11:16 am | News | Comments

Researchers are reporting that they have developed a “self-fitting” material that expands with warm salt water to precisely fill bone defects that occur as a result of injury, birth defect or surgery to remove a tumor.          

Prostate Cancer Diagnosis Improves with MRI Technology

August 13, 2014 11:03 am | Videos | Comments

Oncologists are melding magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) technology with a traditional ultrasound prostate exam to create a three-dimensional map of the prostate that allows physicians to view growths that were previously undetectable.      

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