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A Cinderella Story: Stem Cells in Personalized Medicine

April 17, 2014 1:17 pm | Comments

In part four of our video series, Andrew Wiecek is back to discuss the role that induced pluripotent stem (iPS) cells play in personalized medicine. How do they help? Well, iPS cells are kind of like Cinderella's glass slipper.      

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Protein Essential for Fertilization Discovered

April 17, 2014 1:06 pm | Comments

Researchers have discovered interacting proteins on the surface of the sperm and the egg essential to begin mammalian life. These proteins offer new paths towards improved fertility treatments and the development of new contraceptives.     

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Brain Activity May Mark the Beginning of Memories

April 14, 2014 2:30 pm | Comments

By tracking brain activity when an animal stops to look around its environment, neuroscientists at Johns Hopkins University believe they can mark the birth of a memory. Using lab rats on a circular track, a team of brain scientists, noticed that the rats frequently paused to inspect their environment with head movements as they ran.

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How the Brain Pays Attention

April 11, 2014 1:46 pm | Comments

Picking out a face in the crowd is a complicated task: Your brain has to retrieve the memory of the face you’re seeking, then hold it in place while scanning the crowd, paying special attention to finding a match. A new study reveals how the brain achieves this type of focused attention on faces or other objects.

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Potential Link Between Brain Development and Breast Cancer Gene

April 9, 2014 2:09 pm | Comments

Scientists at the Salk Institute have uncovered details into a surprising—and crucial—link between brain development and a gene whose mutation is tied to breast and ovarian cancer. Aside from better understanding neurological damage associated in a small percentage of people susceptible to breast cancers, the new work also helps to better understand the evolution of the brain.

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Scientists ID Key Cells in Touch Sensation

April 7, 2014 1:49 pm | Comments

In a new study, researchers solved an age-old mystery of touch: how cells just beneath the skin surface enable us to feel fine details and textures.                              

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Examination of a Cave-Dwelling Fish Finds a Possible Genetic Link to Human Disorders

April 4, 2014 2:35 pm | Comments

Researchers have identified a genetic association with facial asymmetry in an ancient cavefish, a natural trait that may solve mysteries surrounding facial asymmetries in humans—conditions such as cleft palate or hemifacial microsomia. 

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Nanoparticles Cause Cancer to Self-destruct

April 3, 2014 1:59 pm | Comments

Using magnetically controlled nanoparticles to force tumor cells to ‘self-destruct’ sounds like science fiction, but could be a future part of cancer treatment, according to research from Lund University in Sweden. The new technique is much more targeted than trying to kill cancer cells with techniques such as chemotherapy.

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How Personalized Medicine Works: Bioinformaticians to the Rescue

April 3, 2014 12:14 pm | Comments

In our third video, Rob Fee is back to discuss how informatics can help to overcome one of the biggest challenges in personalized medicine: organizing and examining the mountains of data that are generated during the gene sequencing process. Rob's advice? Find a bioinformatician...fast!

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Researcher Invents ‘Mini Heart’ to Help Return Venous Blood

March 27, 2014 2:16 pm | Comments

George Washington University researcher Narine Sarvazyan, PhD, has invented a new organ to help return blood flow from veins lacking functional valves. A rhythmically contracting cuff made of cardiac muscle cells surrounds the vein acting as a 'mini heart' to aid blood flow through venous segments. The cuff can be made of a patient’s own adult stem cells, eliminating the chance of implant rejection.

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Autism Linked to Flawed Prenatal Brain Growth

March 27, 2014 11:46 am | by Lindsey Tanner - AP Medical Writer | Comments

A small study that examined brains from children who died found abnormal patterns of cell growth in autistic children. The research bolsters evidence that something before birth might cause autism, at least in some cases.         

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Catheter Innovation Destroys Dangerous Biofilms

March 25, 2014 1:26 pm | Comments

For the millions of people forced to rely on a plastic tube to eliminate their urine, developing an infection is nearly a 100 percent guarantee after just four weeks. But with the help of a little bubble-blowing, biomedical engineers hope to bring relief to urethras everywhere.

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New Technique Sheds Light on Human Neural Networks

March 25, 2014 11:24 am | Comments

A new technique, developed by researchers in the Quantitative Light Imaging Laboratory at the Beckman Institute, provides a method to noninvasively measure human neural networks in order to characterize how they form. Using spatial light interference microscopy techniques, the researchers were able to show how human embryonic stem cell derived neurons within a network grow, organize, and dynamically transport materials to one another.

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How Personalized Medicine Works: Bananas and Biomarkers

March 20, 2014 1:25 pm | Comments

In part two of a six-part video series on personalized medicine, Andrew Wiecek discusses how personalized medicine works by highlighting the importance of biomarkers (and bananas) and showing that they play a key role in identifying genetic variations associated with disease.

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Scientists Slow Development of Alzheimer's Trademark Cell-killing Plaques

March 18, 2014 2:44 pm | Comments

University of Michigan researchers have learned how to fix a cellular structure called the Golgi that mysteriously becomes fragmented in all Alzheimer's patients and appears to be a major cause of the disease. They say that understanding this mechanism helps decode amyloid plaque formation in the brains of Alzheimer's patients.

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