Category: News

Our ancestors evolved faster after dinosaur extinction

Posted on

Our ancestors evolved three times faster in the 10 million years after the extinction of the dinosaurs than in the previous 80 million years, according to UCL researchers. The team found the speed of evolution of placental mammals — a group that today includes nearly 5000 species including humans — was constant before the extinction […]

Tags: ,

Cerebrovascular disease linked to Alzheimer’s

Posted on

Study finds association between diseases in brain blood vessels and dementia. While strokes are known to increase risk for dementia, much less is known about diseases of large and small blood vessels in the brain, separate from stroke, and how they relate to dementia. Diseased blood vessels in the brain itself, which commonly is found […]

Tags: ,

Copper-induced misfolding of prion proteins

Posted on

Iowa State University researchers have described with single-molecule precision how copper ions cause prion proteins to misfold and seed the misfolding and clumping of nearby prion proteins. The researchers also found the copper-induced misfolding and clumping is associated with inflammation and damage to nerve cells in brain tissue from a mouse model. Prions are abnormal, […]

Tags: , ,

Gene-therapy trials must proceed with caution

Posted on

Jesse Gelsinger was 18 and healthy when he died in 1999 during a gene-therapy experiment. He had a condition called ornithine transcarbamylase deficiency (OTC), but it was under control through a combination of diet and medication. Like others with the disorder, Gelsinger lacked a functional enzyme involved in breaking down ammonia, a waste product of […]

Tags: , ,

Natural metabolite can suppress inflammation

Posted on

An international research team has revealed a substance produced in humans that can suppress the pro-inflammatory activity of macrophages — specific immune cells. The substance known as itaconate is released in large quantities by macrophages themselves and according to the scientists, acts as an antioxidant and anti-inflammatory agent. These properties make itaconate promising for the […]

Tags: , ,

The relentless dynamism of the adult brain

Posted on

Scientists from the Institut Pasteur and the CNRS were able to make real-time observations over a period of several months that reveal how new adult-born neurons are formed and evolve in the olfactory bulb of mice. They made the surprising discovery that there is constant structural plasticity in the connections established by these new neurons […]

Tags: , ,

New anti-cancer strategy mobilizes both innate and adaptive immune response

Posted on

Scientists have developed a new vaccine that involves injecting cells that have been modified so that they can stimulate both an innate immune response and the more specific adaptive response, which allows the body to keep memories and attack new tumor cells as they form. Though a variety of immunotherapy-based strategies are being used against […]

Tags: , ,

* New technique helps link complex mouse behaviors to genes that influence them

Posted on

Mice are one of the most commonly used laboratory organisms, widely used to study everything from autism to infectious diseases. Yet genomic studies in mice have lagged behind those in humans. “Genome-wide association studies — matching genes to diseases and other traits — have been a big deal in human genetics for the past decade,” […]

Tags: ,

Electronic nose smells pesticides, nerve gas

Posted on

The best-known electronic nose is the breathalyser. As drivers breathe into the device, a chemical sensor measures the amount of alcohol in their breath. This chemical reaction is then converted into an electronic signal, allowing the police officer to read off the result. Alcohol is easy to detect, because the chemical reaction is specific and […]

Tags: ,

HPV vaccine reduced cervical abnormalities in young women

Posted on

Young women who received the human papillomavirus (HPV) vaccine through a school-based program had fewer cervical cell anomalies when screened for cervical cancer, found a new study in CMAJ (Canadian Medical Association Journal). “Eight years after a school-based HPV vaccination program was initiated in Alberta, 3-dose HPV vaccination has demonstrated early benefits, particularly against high-grade […]

Tags: , ,

* The story of how a touch screen helped a paralyzed chimp walk again

Posted on

The case of Reo, a male chimpanzee that learned to walk again after being paralyzed due to illness, shows how much can be done to rehabilitate animals injured in captivity. So says lead author Yoko Sakuraba of Kyoto University, in an article in Primates, the official journal of the Japan Monkey Centre published by Springer. […]

Tags: , ,

* The snow leopard — world’s most mysterious big cat — may be more common than thought

Posted on

The snow leopard has long been one of the least studied — and therefore poorly understood — of the large cats. No longer. Scientists studying snow leopards now say the big cats may be more common than previously thought. New estimates focused on areas described as ‘Snow Leopard Conservation Units,’ covering only 44 percent of […]

Tags: , ,

Infant bodies were ‘prized’ by 19th century anatomists, study suggests

Posted on

A new study of the University of Cambridge anatomy collection suggests that the bodies of foetuses and babies were a “prized source of knowledge” by British scientists of the 18th and 19th centuries, and were dissected more commonly than previously thought and quite differently to adult cadavers. Historical research combined with the archaeological assessment of […]

Tags: ,

A sense of direction in the brain: Seeing the inner compass

Posted on

A team of neuroscientists led by Dr. Andrea Burgalossi of the Tübingen Werner Reichardt Centre for Integrative Neuroscience (CIN) at the University of Tübingen has taken an important step towards understanding the ‘inner compass’. Investigating so-called head direction cells (HD cells) in the rodent brain, they were able to find evidence of networks that had […]

Tags: ,

Exploring ways to ‘coexist with wildlife’

Posted on

Although protected areas such as national parks can play a crucial role in conserving wildlife, most species of large carnivores and large herbivores also depend on being able to occupy human-dominated landscapes. This sharing of space is often associated with conflicts between humans and wildlife, and between different groups of humans with divergent interests. In […]

Tags: , ,

* Imaging study in mice sheds light on how the brain draws a map to a destination

Posted on

Columbia scientists have uncovered a key feature of the brain’s GPS that helps a mouse find what it is seeking. The study enabled scientists to define the precise duties of cells in a particular region of the hippocampus, the brain’s learning and memory center. The research also advances a long-standing quest in the field of […]

Tags: , ,

* Electric assist bikes provide meaningful exercise, cardiovascular benefits for riders

Posted on

Electric assist bicycles (“pedelecs”) are equipped with a built-in electric motor that provides modest assistance while the rider is actively pedaling, making it easier to cover greater distances and hilly terrain. Pedelecs have steadily grown more popular with consumers over the past decade, especially in Europe and Asia. While an assist from an electric motor […]

Tags: ,

Imaging technique could help focus breast cancer treatment

Posted on

Cancer Research UK scientists have used imaging techniques as a new way to identify patients who could benefit from certain breast cancer treatments, according to a study published in Oncotarget. The team at King’s College London, in collaboration with scientists at the CRUK/MRC Oxford Institute for Radiation Oncology, used fluorescence lifetime imaging to confirm if […]

Tags: , ,

* Monkeys in Brazil ‘have used stone tools for hundreds of years at least’

Posted on

New archaeological evidence suggests that Brazilian capuchins have been using stone tools to crack open cashew nuts for at least 700 years. Researchers say, to date, they have found the earliest archaeological examples of monkey tool use outside of Africa. In their paper, published in Current Biology, they suggest it raises questions about the origins […]

Tags: , ,

On the path to controlled gene therapy

Posted on

The ability to switch disease-causing genes on and off remains a dream for many physicians, research scientists and patients. Research teams from across the world are busy turning this dream into a reality, including a team of researchers from Charité — Universitätsmedizin Berlin and the Max Planck Institute for Medical Research in Heidelberg. Led by […]

Tags: , ,

Pituitary tissue grown from human stem cells releases hormones in rats

Posted on

Researchers have successfully used human stem cells to generate functional pituitary tissue that secretes hormones important for the body’s stress response as well as for its growth and reproductive functions. When transplanted into rats with hypopituitarism–a disease linked to dwarfism and premature aging in humans–the lab-grown pituitary cells promoted normal hormone release. The study, which […]

Tags: , ,

Cats seem to grasp the laws of physics

Posted on

Cats understand the principle of cause and effect as well as some elements of physics. Combining these abilities with their keen sense of hearing, they can predict where possible prey hides. These are the findings of researchers from Kyoto University in Japan, led by Saho Takagi and published in Springer’s journal Animal Cognition. Previous work […]

Tags: , ,

Mothers will do anything to protect their children, but mongooses go a step further

Posted on

Mongooses risk their own survival to protect their unborn children through a remarkable ability to adapt their own bodies, says new research published in Frontiers in Ecology and Evolution. Pregnancy can takes a physical toll that, according to some theories, may increase the mother’s levels of toxic metabolites that cause oxidative damage. Increased oxidative damage […]

Tags: ,

* Genetic mutation causes ataxia in humans, dogs

Posted on

Cerebellar ataxia is a condition of the cerebellum that causes an inability to coordinate muscle movements. A study publishing June 16 in Cell Reports now describes a new genetic mutation as an additional cause of ataxia in humans and mice. The mutation, in the gene CAPN1, affects the function of the enzyme calpain-1 and causes […]

Tags: , ,

* Stem cells for Snoopy: pet medicines spark a biotech boom

Posted on

Many pets are treated like family members — and that is often reflected in the veterinary care that they receive. Little Jonah once radiated pain. The 12-year-old Maltese dog’s body was curled and stiff from the effort of walking with damaged knees. But after Kristi Lively, Jonah’s veterinary surgeon, enrolled him in a clinical trial […]

Tags: , ,

* Researchers first to grow living bone that replicates original anatomical structure

Posted on

A new technique developed by Gordana Vunjak-Novakovic, the Mikati Foundation Professor of Biomedical Engineering at Columbia Engineering and professor of medical sciences (in Medicine) at Columbia University, repairs large bone defects in the head and face by using lab-grown living bone, tailored to the patient and the defect being treated. This is the first time […]

Tags: ,

‘Ransomware’ cyberattack highlights vulnerability of universities

Posted on

Staff at Canadian university given little guidance on how to mitigate future problems. These kinds of attacks — holding data hostage — are becoming increasingly common. The first Patrick Feng knew about a cyberattack on his university was when one of his colleagues told him that her computer had been infected by hackers and rendered […]

Tags:

Artificial synapse rivals biological ones in energy consumption

Posted on

Creation of an artificial intelligence system that fully emulates the functions of a human brain has long been a dream of scientists. A brain has many superior functions as compared with super computers, even though it has light weight, small volume, and consumes extremely low energy. This is required to construct an artificial neural network, […]

Tags: ,

Low levels of BPA exposure may be considered safe, but new research suggests otherwise

Posted on

In the report, researchers from Yale show that the genome is permanently altered in the uterus of mice that had been exposed to BPA during their fetal development. These changes were found to mainly affect genes that are regulated by estrogen and are implicated in the formation of estrogen-related diseases such as infertility, endometriosis, endometrial […]

Tags: ,

Urban bird species risk dying prematurely due to stress

Posted on

Birds of the species Parus Major (great tit) living in an urban environment are at greater risk of dying young than great tits living outside cities. Research results from Lund University in Sweden show that urban great tits have shorter telomeres than others of their own species living in rural areas. According to the researchers, […]

Tags: ,

Sidebar