Category Archives: Science News

New research suggests an existing drug, riluzole, may prevent foggy ‘old age’ brain

New research suggests an existing drug, riluzole, may prevent foggy ‘old age’ brainAfter experiments showed treatment prevented normal decline in aging rats’ spatial memory, researchers found changes known to improve connections, and as a result, communication, between certain neurons within the brain’s hippocampus. More »

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‘Radiogenetics’ seeks to remotely control cells and genes

 ‘Radiogenetics’ seeks to remotely control cells and genesA team is developing a system that would make it possible to remotely control biological targets in living animals — rapidly, without wires, implants or drugs. During a test, they used radio waves or a magnetic field to turn on insulin production in mice. More »

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Discovery links shift in metabolism to stem cell renewal

Discovery links shift in metabolism to stem cell renewalNew research links stem cell metabolism with those cells’ decision to pick a fate or renew themselves. In experiments, exposure to a key metabolite called alpha-ketoglutarate enhanced the renewal of mouse embryonic stem cells. More »

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Atomic-level view provides new insight into translation of touch into nerve signals

Atomic-Level View Provides New Insight into Translation of Touch into Nerve SignalsAn ion channel responsible for dampening potentially painful sensations uses a never-before-seen mechanism to shut itself off: A lipid from the nearby cellular membrane protrudes into the channel, blocking it. More »

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Research suggests how mosquitoes evolved an attraction to human scent

Research suggests how mosquitoes evolved an attraction to human scentTo understand the evolutionary basis of the mosquito’s attraction to humans, scientists examined the genes that drive preferences of two different subspecies. Their findings suggest that Aedes aegypti aegypti acquired a love for human body odor, a key step in specializing on people. More »

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3D deep-imaging advance likely to drive new biological insights

3D deep-imaging advance likely to drive new biological insights’In a significant technical advance, a team of neuroscientists at The Rockefeller University has devised a fast, inexpensive imaging method for probing the molecular intricacies of large biological samples in three dimensions, an achievement that could have far reaching implications in a wide array of basic biological investigations. More »

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Research resolves contradiction over protein’s role at telomeres

Research resolves contradiction over protein’s role at telomeres To determine the role of a protein found in the protective caps on human chromosomes, researchers engineered the telomeres to lack this protein. Previous studies suggested the altered telomeres would attach to one another, but they did not. More »

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New technique efficiently turns antibodies into highly tuned ‘nanobodies’

New technique efficiently turns antibodies into highly tuned ‘nanobodies’Antibodies’ tiny cousins have many potential uses, but scientists haven’t been able to take advantage of them. However, a new technique may make nanobodies dramatically more accessible for all kinds of research. More »

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One signal means different things to stem cells versus their progeny

One signal means different things to stem cells versus their progenyWhen researchers shut down hair follicle stem cells’ ability to respond to a protein, the cells began dividing prematurely. Meanwhile, when the same was done to their progeny cells, the fate of these cells shifted. More »

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Single gene links susceptibility to rare infections with predisposition to autoimmune disease

Single gene links susceptibility to rare infections with predisposition to autoimmune diseaseWhen scientists scanned the brains of patients who lack a particular immune protein, they saw calcium deposits linked with certain diseases that occur as a result of harmful and unnecessary inflammation. More »

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Atomic map reveals clues to how cholesterol is made

Atomic map reveals clues to how cholesterol is madeAn enzyme embedded in the cell membrane performs a crucial step in the complex process by which cells produce cholesterol. Researchers have examined the enzyme’s structure to better understand how it works. More »

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Newly discovered brain cells explain a prosocial effect of oxytocin

Newly discovered brain cells explain a prosocial effect of oxytocinWhen activated by the ‘love hormone’ oxytocin, a class of star-shaped neurons in the brain’s cortex encourages female mice to take an interest in males, but only when the females are in heat. More »

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‘Programmable’ antibiotic harnesses an enzyme to attack drug-resistant microbes

“Programmable” antibiotic harnesses an enzyme to attack drug-resistant microbesBy co-opting a system bacteria normally use to defend themselves, researchers targeted and killed off colonies of the antibiotic resistant Staph cells on mouse skin. The treatment left behind the drug-susceptible microbes. More »

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New technique reveals a role for histones in cell division

New technique reveals a role for histones in cell divisionResearchers have found that key aspects of cell division, such as the formation of the support structure for the envelope that surrounds the nucleus, depend on the presence of DNA-organizing proteins known as histones. More »

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Imaging studies open a window on how effective antibodies are formed

Imaging studies open a window on how effective antibodies are formedBy imaging the immune response, researchers have observed how two types of immune cells interact with one another during a critical period following infection in order to prepare the best antibodies and establish long-lasting protection. More »

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Research hints at why stress is more devastating for some

Research hints at why stress is more devastating for someSome bounce back from stress, while others struggle with it, even developing anxiety and depression as a result. In experiments with mice, researchers have revealed the molecular origins of this so-called stress gap.
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Discovery reveals how bacteria distinguish harmful versus helpful viruses

Discovery reveals how bacteria distinguish harmful versus helpful virusesViruses can kill bacteria, or viruses can help the microbes by lending them potentially useful genes. New research shows Staph bacteria have an immune system capable of distinguishing dangerous invaders from potentially beneficial ones. More »

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Research explains how cellular guardians of the gut develop

Research explains how cellular guardians of the intestine developA specialized class of immune cell inhabits the thin layer of tissue that lines the intestine. New experiments reveal how these cells arise, sometimes from other mature immune cells. More »

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Antibodies, together with viral ‘inducers,’ found to control HIV in mice

Antibodies, together with viral ‘inducers,’ found to control HIV in miceA new strategy devised by researchers at Rockefeller University harnesses the power of broadly neutralizing antibodies, along with a combination of compounds that induce viral transcription, in order to attack latent reservoirs of HIV-infected cells in an approach termed ‘shock and kill.’ More »

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An embryonic cell’s fate is sealed by the speed of a signal

An embryonic cell’s fate is sealed by the speed of a signalEarly in development, chemical signals tell cells whether to turn into muscle, bone, brain or other tissue. By tracking cells’ responses to signals, researchers found the speed at which the signal arrives has an unexpected influence on that decision. More »

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