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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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Roomy Cages Built From DNA

March 14, 2014 1:38 pm | Comments

Scientists at the Harvard's Wyss Institute have built a set of self-assembling DNA cages one-tenth as wide as a bacterium. The structures are some of the largest and most complex structures ever constructed solely from DNA. The scientists visualized them using a DNA-based super-resolution microscopy method — and obtained the first sharp 3D optical images of intact synthetic DNA nanostructures in solution.

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What Happened When? How the Brain Stores Memories by Time

March 13, 2014 2:04 pm | Comments

Before I left the house this morning, I let the cat out and started the dishwasher. Or was that yesterday? Very often, our memories must distinguish not just what happened and where, but when an event occurred—and what came before and after. New research shows that a part of the brain called the hippocampus stores memories by their "temporal context"—what happened before, and what came after.

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Scientists ‘Herd’ Cells in New Approach to Tissue Engineering

March 12, 2014 1:24 pm | Comments

Sometimes it only takes a quick jolt of electricity to get a swarm of cells moving in the right direction. Researchers found that an electrical current can be used to orchestrate the flow of a group of cells, an achievement that could establish the basis for more controlled forms of tissue engineering and for potential applications such as “smart bandages” that use electrical stimulation to help heal wounds.

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Cancer Cells Don’t Engage in ‘Drunken’ Walks as They Spread Through the Body in 3D

March 11, 2014 1:41 pm | Comments

Because of results seen in flat lab dishes, biologists have believed that cancers cells move through the body in a slow, aimless fashion, resembling an intoxicated person who cannot walk in a straight line. This pattern, called a random walk, may hold true for cells traveling across two-dimensional lab containers, but researchers have discovered that for cells moving through 3-D spaces within the body, the “drunken” model doesn’t hold true.

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A Tale of Two Data Sets: New DNA Analysis Strategy Helps Researchers Cut through the Dirt

March 11, 2014 1:00 pm | Comments

For soil microbiology, it is the best of times. While no one has undertaken an accurate census, a spoonful of soil holds hundreds of billions of microbial cells, encompassing thousands of species. Researchers have now published the largest soil DNA sequencing effort to date.

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Blood Test Identifies Those at Risk for Cognitive Decline, Alzheimer’s Within Three Years

March 10, 2014 9:44 am | Comments

Researchers have discovered and validated a blood test that can predict with greater than 90 percent accuracy if a healthy person will develop mild cognitive impairment or Alzheimer’s disease within three years. It is the first known published report of blood-based biomarkers for preclinical Alzheimer’s disease.

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New Shrinking Gel Steers Tooth Tissue Formation

March 6, 2014 3:01 pm | Comments

A bit of pressure from a new shrinking, sponge-like gel is all it takes to turn transplanted unspecialized cells into cells that lay down minerals and begin to form teeth. The bioinspired gel material could one day help repair or replace damaged organs, such as teeth and bone, and possibly other organs as well.

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The Benefits of Personalized Medicine: What Is It?

March 6, 2014 2:54 pm | Comments

Personalized medicine is a term you hear a lot in life science and drug industry discussions. Follow along as Rob Fee, Editor-in-Chief of Bioscience Technology, introduces a six-part video series from Bioscience Technology and Drug Discovery & Development that will explain what personalized medicine is, how it works, and the potential of this concept.

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