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Sneaky Bacteria Change Key Protein’s Shape to Escape Detection

May 28, 2014 2:04 pm | News | Comments

Every once in a while in the U.S., bacterial meningitis seems to crop up out of nowhere, claiming a young life. Part of the disease’s danger is the ability of the bacteria to evade the body’s immune system, but scientists are now figuring out how the pathogen hides in plain sight.

Coating Stents with Vitamin C Could Reduce Clotting Risks

May 28, 2014 1:51 pm | News | Comments

Every year, more than 1 million people in the U.S. who have suffered heart attacks or chest pain from blocked arteries have little mesh tubes called stents inserted into their blood vessels to prop them open. The procedure has saved many lives, but it still has potentially deadly downsides. Now scientists are reporting that coating stents with vitamin C could lower the implants’ risks even further.

STI May Increase Prostate Cancer Risk

May 28, 2014 1:24 pm | News | Comments

Could a common sexually transmitted infection boost a man’s risk for prostate cancer? A new study is exploring the connection between prostate cancer and the parasite that causes trichomoniasis, the most common non-viral sexually transmitted infection in men and women.

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Variety in Diet Can Hamper Microbial Diversity in the Gut

May 28, 2014 1:20 pm | News | Comments

Scientists from The University of Texas at Austin and five other institutions have discovered that the more diverse the diet of a fish, the less diverse are the microbes living in its gut. If the effect is confirmed in humans, it could mean that the combinations of foods people eat can influence the diversity of their gut microbes.

Sudden Cardiac Death Risk Tied to Protein Overproduction

May 28, 2014 12:57 pm | News | Comments

A genetic variant linked to sudden cardiac death leads to protein overproduction in heart cells, scientists report. The discovery adds to scientific understanding of the causes of sudden cardiac death and of possible ways to prevent it.    

Did Standing Up Change Our Brains?

May 27, 2014 2:50 pm | News | Comments

As humans, how, and why, do we think and act so differently from other species? A new study suggests that the big difference between humans and other species may lie in how we use our brains for routine tasks.            

Steroids Prescribed in ICU Linked to Delirium

May 27, 2014 2:15 pm | News | Comments

New research suggests that critically ill patients receiving steroids in a hospital’s intensive care unit (ICU) are significantly more likely to develop delirium. Results of the study suggest minimizing the use of steroids could reduce delirium in the ICU.

Food-Disinfecting Method May Fight Drug-Resistant Bacteria

May 27, 2014 2:11 pm | News | Comments

Technology currently used to disinfect food may help solve one of the most challenging problems in medicine today: the proliferation of bacteria resistant to antibiotics and other antimicrobial drugs.               

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New Venture Aims to Understand, Heal Disrupted Brain Circuitry

May 27, 2014 1:57 pm | Videos | Comments

Scientists and physicians at UC San Francisco are leading a $26 million, multi-institutional research program in which they will employ advanced technology to characterize human brain networks and better understand and treat a range of common, debilitating psychiatric disorders.

Mixed Signals

May 27, 2014 1:42 pm | by Skip Derra | Articles | Comments

The intimate interaction between a plant and its environment has sent some puzzling cues to scientists trying to determine how, at the molecular level, a plant becomes infected by bacteria. At this level, researchers have found that plants sometimes beckon the bacteria in a seemingly counterintuitive action to its health.

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.

Fossil-fuel-free Process Makes Biodiesel Sustainable

May 22, 2014 2:02 pm | News | Comments

A newly developed fuel-cell concept will allow biodiesel plants to eliminate the creation of hazardous wastes while removing their dependence on fossil fuel from their production process.                  

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.                   

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.

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.  

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