Tag Archives: Rodents/Lags

No blue light, please, I’m tired: Light color determines sleepiness versus arousal in mice

Light affects sleep. A study in mice published in Open Access journal PLOS Biology shows that the actual color of light matters; blue light keeps mice awake longer while green light puts them to sleep easily. An accompanying Primer provides accessible context information and discusses open questions and potential implications for “designing the lighting of […]

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* Pre-Hispanic Mexican civilization may have bred and managed rabbits and hares

Humans living in the pre-Hispanic Mexican city of Teotihuacan may have bred rabbits and hares for food, fur and bone tools, according to a study published August 17, 2016 in the open-access journal PLOS ONE by Andrew Somerville from the University of California San Diego, US, and colleagues. Human-animal relationships often involve herbivore husbandry and […]

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* How norovirus gets inside cells: New clues

Norovirus is the most common viral cause of diarrhea worldwide, but scientists still know little about how it infects people and causes disease because the virus grows poorly in the lab. The discovery, in mice, provides new ways to study a virus notoriously hard to work with and may lead to treatments or a vaccine. […]

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Novel compounds arrested epilepsy development in mice

A team led by Nicolas Bazan, MD, PhD, Boyd Professor and Director of LSU Health New Orleans’ Neuroscience Center of Excellence, has developed neuroprotective compounds that may prevent the development of epilepsy. The findings will be published online in Scientific Reports, a Nature journal, on July 22, 2016. In this study in an experimental model […]

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* First public collection of bacteria from the intestine of mice

Mouse models are extensively used in pharmaceutical and medical research, and it is known that the communities of microbes in their intestine can have a significant impact on the research output. However, there is still insufficient information available about many bacteria inhabiting the intestine of mice. For the first time, a collection of cultured bacterial […]

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* Brain’s chemical signals seen in real time

Neuroscientists have invented a way to watch the ebb and flow of the brain’s chemical messengers in real time. They were able to see the surge of neurotransmitters as mice were conditioned — similarly to Pavlov’s famous dogs — to salivate in response to a sound. The study, presented at the American Chemical Society’s meeting […]

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Antibiotics weaken Alzheimer’s disease progression through changes in the gut microbiome

Long-term treatment with broad spectrum antibiotics decreased levels of amyloid plaques, a hallmark of Alzheimer’s disease, and activated inflammatory microglial cells in the brains of mice in a new study by neuroscientists from the University of Chicago. The study, published July 21, 2016, in Scientific Reports, also showed significant changes in the gut microbiome after […]

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* Common colon cancer tumor type blocked in mice

A new scientific study has identified why colorectal cancer cells depend on a specific nutrient, and a way to starve them of it. Over one million men and women are living with colorectal cancer in the United States. The National Cancer Institute estimates 4.5% of all men and women will be diagnosed with the cancer […]

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Seeing structure that allows brain cells to communicate

For more than a century, neuroscientists have known that nerve cells talk to one another across the small gaps between them, a process known as synaptic transmission (synapses are the connections between neurons). Information is carried from one cell to the other by neurotransmitters such as glutamate, dopamine, and serotonin, which activate receptors on the […]

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Why brain neurons in Parkinson’s disease stop benefiting from levodopa

Though the drug levodopa can dramatically improve Parkinson’s disease symptoms, within five years one-half of the patients using L-DOPA develop an irreversible condition — involuntary repetitive, rapid and jerky movements. This abnormal motor behavior appears only while taking L-DOPA, and it stops if the drug is stopped. However, if L-DOPA is taken again, even many […]

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Why is cocaine so addictive? Study using animal model provides clues

Scientists at Wake Forest Baptist Medical Center are one step closer to understanding what causes cocaine to be so addictive. The research findings are published in the current issue of the Journal of Neuroscience. Cocaine addiction is a debilitating neurological disorder that affects more than 700,000 people in the United States alone, according to the […]

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Overeating in obese mice linked to altered brain responses to food cues

Obese mice are much more likely than lean mice to overeat in the presence of environmental cues, a behavior that could be related to changes in the brain, finds a new study by a Michigan State University neuroscientist. The study is to be presented this week at the Society for the Study of Ingestive Behavior, […]

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* Bright light accelerates ageing in mice

Eliane Lucassen works the night shift at Leiden University Medical Center in the Netherlands, beginning her day at 6 p.m. Yet her own research has shown that this schedule might cause her health problems. “It’s funny,” the medical resident says. “Here I am, spreading around that it’s actually unhealthy. But it needs to be done.” […]

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Ridiculously cute mouse lemurs hold key to Madagascar’s past

“For a long time, scientists weren’t sure how or why Madagascar’s biogeography changed in very recent geological time, specifically at the key period around when humans arrived on the island a few thousand years ago. It has been proposed they heavily impacted the Central Highland forests,” says Steve Goodman, MacArthur Field Biologist at The Field […]

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Protein found to bolster growth of damaged muscle tissue

Johns Hopkins University biologists have found that a protein that plays a key role in the lives of stem cells can bolster the growth of damaged muscle tissue, a step that could potentially contribute to treatments for muscle degeneration caused by old age and diseases such as muscular dystrophy. The results, published online by the […]

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Copper-induced misfolding of prion proteins

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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, […]

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Gene-therapy trials must proceed with caution

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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 […]

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Natural metabolite can suppress inflammation

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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 […]

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The relentless dynamism of the adult brain

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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 […]

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

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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 […]

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

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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,” […]

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

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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 […]

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

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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 […]

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Pituitary tissue grown from human stem cells releases hormones in rats

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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 […]

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

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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 […]

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New view of brain development: Striking differences between adult and newborn mouse brain

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Findings reveal mismatch between neuronal activity and blood flow in the brains of newborn mice, shedding new light on how the growing brain feeds itself. Columbia scientists have found that spikes in the activity of neurons in young mice do not spur corresponding boosts in blood flow — a discovery that stands in stark contrast […]

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Itchy inflammation of mosquito bites helps viruses replicate

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Mosquito bite sites are not just itchy, irritating nuisances — they also make viral infections spread by the insects far worse, new research has found. The study, led by the University of Leeds, found that inflammation where the insect has bitten not only helps a virus such as Zika or dengue establish an infection in […]

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Compound shown to reduce brain damage caused by anaesthesia in early study

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An experimental drug prevented learning deficits in young mice exposed repeatedly to anaesthesia, according to a study led by researchers from NYU Langone Medical Center and published June 22 in Science Translational Medicine. The study results may have implications for children who must have several surgeries, and so are exposed repeatedly to general anaesthesia. Past […]

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Precise control of brain circuit alters mood

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Pacemaker circuit keeps emotional centers working together. By combining super-fine electrodes and tiny amounts of a very specific drug, Duke University researchers have singled out a circuit in mouse brains and taken control of it to dial an animal’s mood up and down. Stress-susceptible animals that behaved as if they were depressed or anxious were […]

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Aging monkeys become more selective regarding their social circle

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As people get older, they become choosier about how they spend their time and with whom they spend it. Now, researchers reporting in the Cell Press journal Current Biology on June 23 find, based on a series of experimental and behavioral studies, that similar changes take place in Barbary macaques. The findings offer an evolutionary […]

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