Category Archives: Science News

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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Antibody therapy opens door to potential new treatment for HIV

Antibody Therapy Opens Door to Potential New Treatment for HIVResearchers are developing an antibody-based drug that may provide a better strategy for long-term control of HIV. New results from a clinical trial suggest that a single dose of a so-called broadly neutralizing antibody enables patients’ immune systems to better fight the virus. More »

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Researchers use new CRISPR-based strategy to replicate disease in cells

An experimental Alzheimer’s drug reverses genetic changes thought to spur the diseaseWith a new strategy they developed, Rockefeller scientists used the CRISPR genome editing system to engineer neurons so they looked like those in the brains of people suffering from Alzheimer’s disease. This development will aid biomedical research by making it easier to create cellular models of disease. More »

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A central clock runs the cell division cycle

A central clock runs the cell division cycleScientists have long known that proteins called cyclins regulate cell division in yeast, but this picture has lately come into question as oscillations in gene expression were posited to run independently in the cell division cycle. Now a new study confirms that cyclins are indeed in control. More »

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New method allows first look at key stage of human development, embryo implantation

New method allows first look at key stage of human development, embryo implantationAlmost nothing is known about the stage of human development called implantation, when the developing embryo attaches to the uterus. Now scientists have devised a method that replicates implantation in an experimental setting, providing a revolutionary system capable of answering basic questions about our own development. More »

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An experimental Alzheimer’s drug reverses genetic changes thought to spur the disease

An experimental Alzheimer’s drug reverses genetic changes thought to spur the diseaseWhen given to old rats, riluzole reversed many age-related changes that occur in a brain region key to learning and memory. This drug also produced effects opposing those seen in the brains of Alzheimer’s patients. More »

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Mice engineered with rare kidney disease provide new insights about how cells repair broken DNA

Mice engineered with rare kidney disease provide new insights about how cells repair broken DNAMutations in many genes involved in a certain type of DNA repair cause a rare anemia, but one such gene has been shown to cause kidney disease instead. By eliminating this unique gene in mice, scientists hope to show how and why it has such different effects. More »

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A common brain cell shapes the nervous system in unexpected ways

A common brain cell shapes the nervous system in unexpected waysGlial cells nourish, protect, and support neurons, but their role is far from passive. A new study shows how they can change the shape of nerve endings and distinguish between the different types of neurons they encase. More »

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A newly discovered way for cells to die

A newly discovered way for cells to dieIn studying how worms develop from larvae into adults, scientists have discovered a previously unknown process in which cells are programmed to die. The findings might have implications for understanding some diseases, including neurodegenerative disorders. More »

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Sweet tooth? Flies have it too—and new research explains how they know what to eat and when to stop

Sweet tooth? Flies have it too—and new research explains how they know what to eat and when to stopIn studying the eating behavior of fruit flies, scientists have discovered a set of throat neurons that regulate food intake based on how hungry the flies are and whether they’ve had enough sugar. A similar neural circuit may exist in vertebrates, like us. More »

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Using magnetic forces to control neurons, study finds the brain plays key role in glucose metabolism

Using magnetic forces to control neurons, study finds the brain plays key role in glucose metabolismA new tool to control neurons in mice avoids the downfalls of current methods by using magnetic forces to remotely control the flow of ions into specifically targeted cells. Applying this method to a group of neurons in the hypothalamus, researchers found that the brain plays a surprisingly vital role in maintaining blood glucose levels. More »

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Parasites reveal how evolution has molded an ancient nuclear structure

Parasites reveal how evolution has molded an ancient nuclear structureThe architecture of the nuclear pore complex is similar in humans and yeast, suggesting that it had been established over a billion years ago. But new research in a simple parasite, the trypanosome, indicates that it has actually been evolving steadily. More »

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