“A crisis has been building up over the decades, so that today many common and life-threatening infections are becoming difficult or even impossible to treat, sometimes turning a common infection into a life-threatening one.”
Posts tagged medicine.
“A cheap antibiotic normally prescribed to teenagers for acne is to be tested as a treatment to alleviate the symptoms of psychosis in patients with schizophrenia, in a trial that could advance scientific understanding of the causes of mental illness.”
The prevailing wisdom has been that women have a finite number of eggs, that gradually diminish in number and quality until the menopause.
But British experts said the findings, published in the journal Nature Medicine, “re-write the rule book” on this point and amounted to “a potentially landmark piece of research”.
The academics, led by Dr Jonathan Tilly of Massachusetts General Hospital, managed to identify and extract human stem cells that can go on to become immature eggs, because all carry a unique protein called DDX4.
In an unlikely marriage of quantum physics and neuroscience, tiny particles called quantum dots have been used to control brain cells for the first time.
Having such control over the brain could one day provide a non-invasive treatment for conditions such as Alzheimer’s disease, depression and epilepsy. In the nearer term, quantum dots could be used to treat blindness by reactivating damaged retinal cells.
“Many brain disorders are caused by imbalanced neural activity,” says Lih Linat the University of Washington, Seattle. “Manipulation of specific neurons could permit the restoration of normal activity levels.”
February 23rd, 2012
Researchers at the RIKEN-MIT Center for Neural Circuit Genetics have discovered an answer to the long-standing mystery of how brain cells can both remember new memories while also maintaining older ones.
They found that specific neurons in a brain region called the dentate…
“A tiny piece of RNA plays a key role in determining when muscle stem cells from mice activate and start to divide, according to researchers at the Stanford University School of Medicine. The finding may help scientists learn how to prepare human muscle stem cells for use in therapies for conditions such as muscular dystrophy and aging by controlling their activation state.”
Scientists have developed a new community resource that may act as a Rosetta Stone for revealing the genetic basis of traits and disease.
“One of the grand challenges of biology is to understand how genetic variants and environmental factors interact to produce variation in complex phenotypes such as height, behaviors, and disease susceptibility within populations. This effort has been stymied by the lack of knowledge of all genetic variants in a population of a genetically tractable model organism. The DGRP sequences provide such a resource,” Mackay noted.”
Found out this morning that the Body Worlds exhibition, which I’ve wanted to visit since the moment I first heard about von Hagens’ work, is actually on display in Amsterdam at the moment, and now I can’t wait to go.
“In people with depression, brain regions appear to be overly connected to one another, says the study, which is being published by UCLA’s Semel Institute for Neuroscience and Human Behavior. In turn, this excessive connectivity reduces the flexibility the brain needs to function properly.”
“Scientists have known for some time that a low-calorie diet is a recipe for longer life. Rats and mice reared on restricted amounts of food increase their lifespan by up to 40%. A similar effect has been noted in humans. But Mattson and his team have taken this notion further. They argue that starving yourself occasionally can stave off not just ill-health and early death but delay the onset of conditions affecting the brain, including strokes. “Our animal experiments clearly suggest this,” said Mattson.
He and his colleagues have also worked out a specific mechanism by which the growth of neurones in the brain could be affected by reduced energy intakes. Amounts of two cellular messaging chemicals are boosted when calorie intake is sharply reduced, said Mattson. These chemical messengers play an important role in boosting the growth of neurones in the brain, a process that would counteract the impact of Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s.
“The cells of the brain are put under mild stress that is analogous to the effects of exercise on muscle cells,” said Mattson. “The overall effect is beneficial.”
Researchers make living model of brain tumor
Researchers have created a living 3-D model of a brain tumor and its surrounding blood vessels. In experiments, the scientists report that iron-oxide nanoparticles carrying the agent tumstatin were taken by blood vessels, meaning they should block blood vessel growth. The living-tissue model could be used to test the effectiveness of nanoparticles in fighting other diseases. Results appear in Theranostics.
(clicking the image will bring you to the source article)
New ultra-sensitive listening devices could let doctors hear what’s going wrong in the body just like engineers can diagnose your engine problems by sound, reports Steve Jones.
The researchers have for the first time generated crucial types of human brain cells in the laboratory by reprogramming skin cells, which they say could speed up the hunt for new treatments for conditions such as Alzheimer’s disease, epilepsy and stroke.
Until now it has only been possible to generate tissue from the cerebral cortex, the area of the brain where most major neurological diseases occur, by using controversial embryonic stem cells, obtained by the destruction of an embryo.
This has meant the supply of brain tissue available for research has been limited due to the ethical concerns around embryonic stem cells and shortages in their availability.
Scientists at the University of Cambridge, however, now insist they have overcome this problem after showing for the first time that it is possible to re-programme adult human skin cells so that they develop into neurons found in the cerebral cortex.
Destructive plaques found in the brains of Alzheimer’s patients have been rapidly cleared by researchers testing a cancer drug on mice. The US study, published in the journal Science, reported the plaques were broken down at “unprecedented” speed.
Scientists have shown how some cells in the body can repel attacks from HIV by starving the virus of the building blocks of life.
Viruses cannot replicate on their own; they must hijack other cells and turn them into virus production factories. A study, published in Nature Immunology, showed how some parts of the immune system destroy their own raw materials, stopping HIV.
It is uncertain whether this could be used in therapy, experts caution.