Tag Archives: Dermatology

Sit. Stay. Scratch

Thanks to inbreeding, dogs are more like us than ever before. Take the golden retriever. In the past few years, the breed has begun to suffer from one of a cluster of rare diseases that also afflicts humans, maladies that cause the skin to form scaly patches and that can sometimes be fatal. A new […]

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How every hair in skin feels touch and how it all gets to the brain

Neuroscientists at the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine have discovered how the sense of touch is wired in the skin and nervous system. The new findings, published Dec. 22 in Cell, open new doors for understanding how the brain collects and processes information from hairy skin. “You can deflect a single hair on your […]

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Why are there so many colors of poisonous frogs?

Hopping around in the Peruvian jungle, near the border with Brazil, is a menagerie of tiny poison dart frogs. Their wealth of colors and patterns—some have golden heads atop white-swirled bodies, others wear full-torso tattoos of black and neon-yellow stripes—act as the world’s worst advertisement to predators: Don’t eat me, I’m toxic. But why have […]

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Bioengineering to generate healthy skin

Scientists at Universidad Carlos III de Madrid (UC3M — Carlos III University) are participating in research to study how to make use of the potential for auto regeneration of stem skills from skin, in order to create, in the laboratory, a patient’s entire cutaneous surface by means of a combination of biological engineering and tissue […]

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Researchers complete whole-exome sequencing of skin cancer

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A team led by researchers at the National Institutes of Health is the first to systematically survey the landscape of the melanoma genome, the DNA code of the deadliest form of skin cancer. The researchers have made surprising new discoveries using whole-exome sequencing, an approach that decodes the 1-2 percent of the genome that contains […]

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‘Naked’ penguins baffle experts

Researchers from the Wildlife Conservation Society, the University of Washington, and other groups are grappling with a wildlife mystery: Why are some penguin chicks losing their feathers? The appearance of “naked” penguins—afflicted with what is known as feather-loss disorder—in penguin colonies on both sides of the South Atlantic in recent years has scientists puzzled as […]

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Regrowing hair: Researchers may have accidentally discovered a solution

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It has been long known that stress plays a part not just in the graying of hair but in hair loss as well. Over the years, numerous hair-restoration remedies have emerged, ranging from hucksters’ “miracle solvents” to legitimate medications such as minoxidil. But even the best of these have shown limited effectiveness. Now, a team […]

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Scientists discover clue to ending chronic itching side effect of certain drugs

Scratching deep beneath the surface, a team of researchers from the University of California, San Diego School of Medicine and three South Korean institutions have identified two distinct neuronal signaling pathways activated by a topical cream used to treat a variety of skin diseases. One pathway produces the therapeutic benefit; the other induces severe itching […]

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Adult skin cells converted directly to beating heart cells

Scripps Research Institute scientists have converted adult skin cells directly into beating heart cells efficiently without having to first go through the laborious process of generating embryonic-like stem cells. The powerful general technology platform could lead to new treatments for a range of diseases and injuries involving cell loss or damage, such as heart disease, […]

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Study on skin formation suggests strategies to fight skin cancer

In a study published in the journal Developmental Cell, Sarah Millar PhD, professor of Dermatology and Cell & Developmental Biology at the University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine, and colleagues demonstrate that a pair of enzymes called HDACs are critical to the proper formation of mammalian skin. The findings, Millar says, not only provide information […]

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Skin cancer linked to loss of protein that hooks skin cells together

In a study to be published online Oct. 21 in PLoS Genetics, researchers at the Stanford University School of Medicine have implicated the lack of a protein important in hooking our skin cells together in the most common variety of skin cancer. Depletion of this protein, called Perp, could be an early indicator of skin […]

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Why the leopard got its spots

Why do leopards have rosette shaped markings but tigers have stripes? Rudyard Kipling suggested that it was because the leopard moved to an environment “full of trees and bushes and stripy, speckly, patchy-blatchy shadows” but is there any truth in this just-so story? Researchers at the University of Bristol investigated the flank markings of 35 […]

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Nickel allergy tracked to a single receptor

A specific immune-system mechanism underlies the skin rashes caused by contact with nickel, one of the world’s most common allergens. German researchers have found that in humans, the metal directly activates a member of the family of receptors that act as gatekeepers of innate immunity, the body’s first line of defence against pathogens. Activating this […]

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Tiny pieces of silent RNA behind healing chronic wounds

In a new animal study, the Ohio State University researchers discovered that this RNA segment in wounds with limited blood flow lowers the production of a protein that is needed to encourage skin cells to grow and close over the sore. In a parallel experiment using human skin cells, the researchers silenced the RNA segment […]

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Basic mechanism of skin cancer development illuminated

Manuela Baccarini, Professor for Cell Signalling at the Centre of Molecular Biology of the University of Vienna (Max F. Perutz Laboratories) and colleagues reveal the function of a protein in the Ras signalling pathway. Their findings provide the basis for research on novel therapeutic strategies in Ras-induced skin cancers, e.g. melanoma. The results of her […]

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Your body is a wonderland … of bacteria

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Where can you find your skin’s most diverse community of bacteria? Not in a sweaty armpit or linty belly button. According to a new survey of the bacterial ecosystem that covers us, the diversity hot spot of the body’s exterior is the forearm. And the surprises don’t end there. Microbes that live in and on […]

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Bone marrow-derived stem cells may offer novel therapeutic option for skin disorder

Stem cells derived from bone marrow may serve as a novel therapeutic option to treat a disease called epidermolysis bullosa (EB), a disorder characterized by extraordinarily fragile skin, according to a study prepublished online in Blood. Epidermolysis bullosa is a disorder characterized by extraordinarily fragile skin and blistering on touch, akin to third degree burns. […]

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Why Shar Pei dogs have so many wrinkles

A group of researchers at Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona (UAB) have discovered the origin of the mucinosis present in Shar Pei dogs, a hereditary disorder responsible for the characteristic wrinkles found in this breed. The research report appears in the journals Veterinary Dermatology and Journal of Heredity. The report details the genetic alteration in this […]

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So that’s why chickens have combs

If you studied hard in school, you might recall a biology lesson about what makes mammals special: They nurse their young with milk, harbor unique middle ear bones, and sport hair on at least some parts of their body. But a new report published today in Current Biology reveals that genes that encode key hair-building […]

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Stress may induce neurogenic inflammatory skin disease

Current research suggests that stress may activate immune cells in your skin, resulting in inflammatory skin disease. The related report by Joachim et al., “Stress-induced Neurogenic Inflammation in Murine Skin Skews Dendritic Cells towards Maturation and Migration: Key role of ICAM-1/LFA-1 interactions,” appears in the November issue of The American Journal of Pathology. Skin provides […]

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Key allergy gene discovered

Together with colleagues from the Department of Dermatology and Allergy and the Center for Allergy and Environment (ZAUM) of the Technische Universität München, scientists at the Helmholtz Zentrum München have pinpointed a major gene for allergic diseases. The gene was localized using cutting edge technologies for examining the whole human genome at the Helmholtz Zentrum […]

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Sharp rise in skin infections in U.S., MRSA suspected

A national analysis of physician office and emergency department records shows that the types of skin infections caused by community-acquired MRSA doubled in the eight-year study period, with the highest rates seen among children and in urban emergency rooms. The study, conducted at the University of California, San Francisco, examined annual data from the National […]

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When skin damage causes death

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Our skin routinely shields us from microbes, allergens, and other environmental assaults, a yeoman’s service we often take for granted—until that barrier is breached. In response to injury, be it a simple cut or a deep wound, keratinocytes, the cells that form the epidermal layer, proliferate and dispatch chemical messengers to enlist the healing services […]

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Probiotic bacteria protect endangered frogs from lethal skin disease

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Laboratory tests and field studies conducted by James Madison University (JMU) researchers continue to show promise that probiotic bacteria can be used to help amphibian populations, including the endangered yellow-legged frog, fend off lethal skin diseases. A year ago, JMU research showed that Pedobacter cryoconitis, a natural bacterial species on the skin of red-backed salamanders, […]

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More sun exposure may be good for some people

A new study by scientists at the U.S. Department of Energy’s Brookhaven National Laboratory and colleagues in Norway suggests that the benefits of moderately increased exposure to sunlight – namely the production of vitamin D, which protects against the lethal effects of many forms of cancer and other diseases – may outweigh the risk of […]

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Natural signal holds promise for psoriasis, age-related skin damage

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The body may hold a secret to normalizing skin cell growth that is over zealous in psoriasis and non-melanoma skin cancers and too slow in aging and sun-damaged skin, researchers say. Phosphatidylglycerol, a natural body lipid or fat, appears to signal cells to normalize growth and maturation or differentiation. “When we apply it to skin […]

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Constituents of hashish and marijuana may help to fight unflammation and allergies

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Endocannabinoids seem to play an important role in regulating inflammation processes. Scientists from the University of Bonn have discovered this in experiments on mice. Their results will be published in the journal ‘Science’ on 8 June. The study may also have implications for therapy. In animal experiments, a solution with an important component made from […]

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The good sun

A daily dose of sunlight may help the immune system guard against invading pathogens and sun-induced skin damage, according to a new study. The findings reveal how immune cells specialize to protect the skin and suggest that staying out of the sun could cause harm if carried too far. Immune cells called T cells battle […]

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Genetically altered cells may help artificial skin fight infection

Cincinnati burn researchers have created genetically modified skin cells that, when added to cultured skin substitutes, may help fight off potentially lethal infections in patients with severe burns. Dorothy Supp, PhD, and her team found that skin cells that were genetically altered to produce higher levels of a protein known as human beta defensin 4 […]

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Perfect hair is organized in the genes

Every day is a good hair day for mice. They enter the world pink and naked, but within a week they’re covered head to toe in a silky-smooth pelt with every hair perfectly oriented. Now scientists think they’ve figured out just how this happens–a finding that could explain the orderliness of other animal features such […]

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