Tag Archives: Rodents/Lags

Transmission of genetic disorder Huntington’s disease in normal animals

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Mice transplanted with cells grown from a patient suffering from Huntington’s disease (HD) develop the clinical features and brain pathology of that patient, suggests a study published in the latest issue of Acta Neuropathologica by CHA University in Korea, in collaboration with researchers at UniversitĂ© Laval in QuĂ©bec City, Canada. “Our findings shed a completely […]

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Genetic code of red blood cells discovered

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Eight days. That’s how long it takes for skin cells to reprogram into red blood cells. Researchers at Lund University in Sweden, together with colleagues at Center of Regenerative Medicine in Barcelona, have successfully identified the four genetic keys that unlock the genetic code of skin cells and reprogram them to start producing red blood […]

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Mobilizing mitochondria may be key to regenerating damaged neurons

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Researchers at the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke have discovered that boosting the transport of mitochondria along neuronal axons enhances the ability of mouse nerve cells to repair themselves after injury. The study, “Facilitation of axon regeneration by enhancing mitochondrial transport and rescuing energy deficits,” which has been published in The Journal of […]

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* Scientists unpack how Toxoplasma infection is linked to neurodegenerative disease

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Toxoplasma gondii, a protozoan parasite about five microns long, infects a third of the world’s population. Ingested via undercooked meat or unwashed vegetables, the parasite infects 15-30 percent of the US population. In France and Brazil, up to 80 percent of the population has the infection. Particularly dangerous during pregnancy — infection in pregnant women […]

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Resistance mechanism of aggressive brain tumors revealed

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Brain tumors subject to therapy can become resistant to it through interactions with their tumor microenvironment rather than because of anything intrinsic about the tumor itself, a new study in mice suggests. The resistance mechanism outlined in the study involves a particular enzyme and can be overcome using other drugs that target this newly identified […]

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Making virus sensors cheap and simple: New method detects single viruses in urine

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Scientists at The University of Texas at Austin have developed a new method to rapidly detect a single virus in urine, as reported this week in the journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. While the technique presently works on just one virus, scientists say it could be adapted to detect a range of […]

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Citizen scientists can help protect endangered species

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Lay people can help scientists conserve the protected Florida fox squirrel and endangered species just by collecting data, a new University of Florida Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences study shows. So-called citizen scientists did a commendable job collecting information on the fox squirrel, according to the study. Until this study, the conservation and management […]

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* How brain connects memories across time

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Neuroscientists boost ability of aging brain to recapture links between related memories. Using a miniature microscope that opens a window into the brain, UCLA neuroscientists have identified in mice how the brain links different memories over time. While aging weakens these connections, the team devised a way for the middle-aged brain to reconnect separate memories. […]

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Putting the brakes on cell’s ‘engine’ could give flu, other vaccines a boost

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A relatively unknown molecule that regulates metabolism could be the key to boosting an individual’s immunity to the flu — and potentially other viruses — according to research reported today in the journal Immunity. The study, led by University of Vermont (UVM) College of Medicine doctoral student Devin Champagne and Mercedes Rincon, Ph.D., a professor […]

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Early-life stress causes digestive problems and anxiety in rats

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Traumatic events early in life can increase levels of norepinephrine — the primary hormone responsible for preparing the body to react to stressful situations — in the gut, increasing the risk of developing chronic indigestion and anxiety during adulthood, a new study in American Journal of Physiology — Gastrointestinal and Liver Physiology reports. Functional dyspepsia, […]

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Experimental drug against hepatitis C slows down Zika virus infection in mice

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Virologists from KU Leuven, Belgium, have shown that an experimental antiviral drug against hepatitis C slows down the development of Zika in mice. The research team was led by Professor Johan Neyts from the Laboratory of Virology and Chemotherapy. “The Zika virus is transmitted by the tiger mosquito. Roughly twenty percent of the people who […]

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Stress affects males, females differently

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How does stress — which, among other things, causes our bodies to divert resources from non-essential functions — affect the basic exchange of materials that underlies our everyday life? Weizmann Institute of Science researchers investigated this question by looking at a receptor in the brains of mice, and they came up with a surprising answer. […]

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* How prions kill neurons: New culture system shows early toxicity to dendritic spines

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Prion diseases are fatal and incurable neurodegenerative conditions of humans and animals. Yet, how prions kill nerve cells (or neurons) remains unclear. A study published on May 26, 2016 in PLOS Pathogens describes a system in which to study the early assault by prions on brain cells of the infected host. Some of the earliest […]

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Mimicking deep sleep brain activity improves memory

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It is not surprising that a good night’s sleep improves our ability to remember what we learned during the day. Now, researchers at the RIKEN Brain Science Institute in Japan have discovered a brain circuit that governs how certain memories are consolidated in the brain during sleep. Published in the May 26 issue of Science […]

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* Alternative odor receptors discovered in mice

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Smell in mammals turns out to be more complex than we thought. Rather than one receptor family exclusively dedicated to detecting odors, a study in mice reports that a group of neurons surrounding the olfactory bulb use an alternative mechanism for catching scents. These “necklace” neurons, as they’re called, use this newly discovered olfactory detection […]

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Mouse models of Zika in pregnancy show how fetuses become infected

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Two mouse models of Zika virus infection in pregnancy have been developed by a team of researchers at Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis. In them, the virus migrated from the pregnant mouse’s bloodstream into the placenta, where it multiplied, then spread into the fetal circulation and infected the brains of the developing […]

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Early life stress accelerates maturation of key brain region in male mice

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Intuition is all one needs to understand that stress in early childhood can create lifelong psychological troubles, but scientists have only begun to explain how those emerge in the brain. They have observed, for example, that stress incurred early in life attenuates neural growth. Now a study in male mice exposed to stress shows that […]

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Researchers one step closer to understanding regeneration in mammals

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A long-standing question in biology is why humans have poor regenerative ability compared to other vertebrates? While tissue injury normally causes us to produce scar tissue, why can’t we regenerate an entire digit or piece of skin? A group of University of Kentucky researchers is one step closer to answering these questions after studying a […]

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* Cells carry ‘memory’ of injury, which could reveal why chronic pain persists

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A new study from King’s College London offers clues as to why chronic pain can persist, even when the injury that caused it has gone. Although still in its infancy, this research could explain how small and seemingly innocuous injuries leave molecular ‘footprints’ which add up to more lasting damage, and ultimately chronic pain. All […]

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Mice with genetic defect for human stuttering offer new insight into speech disorder

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Mice that vocalize in a repetitive, halting pattern similar to human stuttering may provide insight into a condition that has perplexed scientists for centuries, according to a new study by researchers at Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis and the National Institutes of Health. The researchers created mice with a mutation in a […]

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Researchers show ‘dirty mice’ could clean up immune system research

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Scientists at the University of Minnesota have developed a new way to study mice that better mimics the immune system of adult humans and which could significantly improve ways to test potential therapeutics. Published online in the journal Nature, the researchers describe the limitations of laboratory mice for immunology research and reveal the benefits of […]

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* Stem cell therapy reverses age-related osteoporosis in mice

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Imagine telling a patient suffering from age-related (type-II) osteoporosis that a single injection of stem cells could restore their normal bone structure. This week, with a publication in STEM CELLS Translational Medicine, a group of researchers from the University of Toronto and The Ottawa Hospital suggest that this scenario may not be too far away. […]

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Vitamin stops the aging process of organs

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Nicotinamide riboside (NR) is pretty amazing. It has already been shown in several studies to be effective in boosting metabolism. And now a team of researchers at EPFL’s Laboratory of Integrated Systems Physiology (LISP), headed by Johan Auwerx, has unveiled even more of its secrets. An article written by Hongbo Zhang, a PhD student on […]

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* New hope for spinal cord injuries

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Stem cells have been used successfully, for the first time, to promote regeneration after injury to a specialized band of nerve fibres that are important for motor function. Researchers from Hokkaido University in Japan together with an international team of scientists implanted specialized embryonic stem cells into the severed spinal cords of rats. The stem […]

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Towards a new theory of sleep

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Why do animals sleep? Even though slumber consumes about a third of the day for many life forms, we know very little about why it’s needed. The need for sleep remains one of the great mysteries of biology. A leading theory posits that sleep may provide the brain with an opportunity to “rebalance” itself. In […]

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* New microscope controls brain activity of live animals

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For the first time, researchers have developed a microscope capable of observing — and manipulating — neural activity in the brains of live animals at the scale of a single cell with millisecond precision. By allowing scientists to directly control the firing of individual neurons within complex brain circuits, the device could ultimately revolutionize how […]

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Genetic elements that drive regeneration uncovered

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If you trace our evolutionary tree way back to its roots — long before the shedding of gills or the development of opposable thumbs — you will likely find a common ancestor with the amazing ability to regenerate lost body parts. Lucky descendants of this creature, including today’s salamanders or zebrafish, can still perform the […]

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New mouse model to aid testing of Zika vaccine, therapeutics

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A research team at Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis has established a mouse model for testing of vaccines and therapeutics to battle Zika virus. The mouse model mimics aspects of the infection in humans, with high levels of the virus seen in the mouse brain and spinal cord, consistent with evidence showing […]

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A real Peter Rabbit tale: Biologists find key to myxoma virus/rabbit coevolution

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A naturally-occurring mutation in a rabbit-specific virus — related to the smallpox virus — weakens the virus and may give insight to understanding pathogen evolution, according to a Kansas State University study. “Our findings may help scientists predict which viruses can pose threats to humans,” said Stefan Rothenburg, assistant professor in the Division of Biology […]

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Blood-brain barrier breakthrough reported by researchers

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Cornell researchers have discovered a way to penetrate the blood brain barrier (BBB) that may soon permit delivery of drugs directly into the brain to treat disorders such as Alzheimer’s disease and chemotherapy-resistant cancers. The BBB is a layer of endothelial cells that selectively allow entry of molecules needed for brain function, such as amino […]

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