Category Archives: Science News

New research clarifies how cells take in cholesterol and offers insight on Ebola

New research clarifies how cells take in cholesterol and offers insight on EbolaCholesterol is essential for human health, but getting too much of it can contribute to potentially fatal diseases. New research on the structure of two cholesterol-transporting proteins helps explain how cells use only the amount they need. It also offers new insights into the biology of Ebola. More »

A compound that stops cells from making protein factories could lead to new antifungal drugs

A newly identified compound shows promise for fighting fungal infectionsRibosomes manufacture all the protein cells need, making them an appealing target for researchers seeking to develop new medicines. New research in yeast has identified a compound that prevents the assembly of ribosomes, raising hopes for drug development. More »

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Scientists uncover a clever ranking strategy bacteria use to fight off viruses

Scientists uncover a clever ranking strategy bacteria use to fight off virusesLike humans, bacteria come under attack from viruses—and their immune systems, like ours, are capable of remembering a virus so as to preempt any future invasion. New research explores how the bacterial immune system CRISPR stores and ranks these memories. More »

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Researchers find combined effects of two genes responsible for premature skull fusion in infants

Researchers identify mutations responsible for premature skull fusion in infantsA combination of rare and common genetic variants can cause the bones at the top of the head to unite prematurely, resulting in deformities and, in some cases, neurodevelopmental problems. This discovery will help to diagnose the condition and identify families at risk, while advancing the understanding of complex genetic traits. More »

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Four postdocs honored with 2016 Tri-Institutional Breakout Awards

The prize recognizes promising young scientists from Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center, Rockefeller University, and Weill Cornell Medicine. Four postdoctoral investigators have won the awards, which were established last year by three winners of the 2013 Breakthrough Prize in Life Sciences from those institutions’ faculty. More »

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Zika infection may affect adult brain cells, suggesting risk may not be limited to pregnant women

Zika infection may affect adult brain cells, suggesting risk may not be limited to pregnant womenA new study shows for the first time that the Zika virus can infect the adult brain in regions that are vital to learning and memory. The findings suggest that the virus could have more subtle effects than have been recognized, perhaps contributing to such conditions as long-term memory loss or depression. More »

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Structural images shed new light on a cancer-linked potassium channel

Structural images shed new light on a cancer-linked potassium channelUsing cryo-electron microscopy, researchers gained new insights about how the channel functions, based on what they saw in the section that spans the cell’s membrane. The channel has been found in a number of cell types, including in tumors, where it is thought to have a cancer-promoting effect. More »

New antibody drug continues to show promise for treatment of HIV

New antibody drug continues to show promise for treatment of HIVAntibody therapy may offer an alternative to standard HIV treatments, which require a strict regimen and can cause complications in the long-term. New results from a clinical trial show that the 3BNC117 antibody can significantly delay the virus from rebounding in patients taken off their current medications. More »

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Resistance to antidepressants linked to metabolism

Resistance to antidepressants linked to metabolismRecent findings by a Rockefeller University team might offer new clues about why some patients don’t respond to antidepressants. While investigating resistance to treatment in rats, the scientists uncovered changes in genes that control metabolism. More »

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Study suggests humans can detect even the smallest units of light

Researches have found new evidence of just how sensitive an instrument the human eye is. When adjusted to the dark, the eye can detect the occurrence of a single photon, according to a recent study. More »

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New approach exposes 3D structure of Alzheimer’s proteins within the brain

New approach exposes 3D structure of Alzheimer’s proteins within the brainUsing an approach that makes brain tissue transparent, researchers were able to view clumps of the toxic protein amyloid-β from multiple angles within mouse and human brains. More »

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An unexpected origin for calming immune cells in the gut

An unexpected origin for calming immune cells in the gutWithin the gut, the immune system must strike a perfect balance between protecting our bodies from infection and not overreacting to harmless foreign entities, including food. A new study explores the origins of a type of immune cell that appears to keep inflammatory responses in check. More »

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New mouse models give a boost to the development of cancer immunotherapies

New mouse models give a boost to the development of cancer immunotherapiesA new cancer treatment called CD40 antibody has yielded disappointing results when tested in clinical trials, failing to mobilize patients’ immune system against tumors the way it was expected to. But a recent study offers clues about how this experimental drug might be optimized to fulfill its potential. More »

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Do artificial sweeteners live up to the promise of sweetness without harm? An ongoing clinical study investigates

Do artificial sweeteners live up to the promise of sweetness without harm? An ongoing clinical study investigatesScientists suspect that aspartame and other artificial sweeteners can lead to lasting, metabolic disruptions when consumed frequently, by activating specific receptors in the intestine. A clinical study is now enrolling volunteer soda drinkers to test the hypothesis. More »

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Researchers uncover how “silent” genetic changes drive cancer

New insights into muscular dystrophy point to potential treatment avenuesSmall molecules called tRNA, whose job is to help translate genes into proteins, are not usually considered important for understanding the causes of disease. But a new study shows that fluctuations in some tRNAs may in fact influence the progression of breast cancer. More »

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New insights into muscular dystrophy point to potential treatment avenues

New insights into muscular dystrophy point to potential treatment avenuesCertain stem cells in our bodies have the potential to turn into either fat or muscle. Experiments in mice suggest prospective drugs that manipulate these cells’ fate could make it possible to relieve many of the symptoms of muscular dystrophy. More »

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Researchers find new signs of stress damage in the brain, plus hope for prevention

Researchers find new signs of stress damage in the brain, plus hope for preventionNew research shows that when mice experience chronic stress, neurons within part of their brain’s fear and anxiety center, the amygdala, retract. It also suggests how such changes could be prevented. More »

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New technique captures the activity of an entire brain in a snapshot

New technique captures the activity of an entire brain in a snapshot With a new imaging tool, scientists are able to measure the activity of all the neurons in a mouse brain with unmatched precision. The method is widely applicable for studying how the brain functions both under normal conditions and in disease. More »

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New method gives scientists a better look at how HIV infects and takes over its host cells

New method gives scientists a better look at how HIV infects and takes over its host cellsA research team wanted to know how HIV uses its tiny genome to manipulate our cells, gain entry, and replicate—all while escaping the immune system. They’ve spent a decade developing an experimental approach that finally is yielding answers. More »

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Scientists find evidence that cancer can arise from changes in the proteins that package DNA

Scientists find evidence that cancer can arise from changes in the proteins that package DNAMutations in histones, the proteins that shield and package DNA, have been linked to many types of cancer, but their role in promoting disease has not been clear. Now, for the first time, scientists have found that a change to the structure of a histone can trigger a tumor on its own. More »

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