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Poor prenatal nutrition permanently damages function of insulin-producing cells in the pancreas

Scientists at Joslin Diabetes Center have discovered one reason why infants with low birth weight have a high potential of developing type 2 diabetes later in life. In studies of mice, the researchers found that poor prenatal nutrition impairs the pancreas's ability to later secrete enough insulin in response to blood glucose. .. "The bottom line is that if you don't have delivery of enough nutri...

Study Demonstrates Gene Expression Microarrays are Comparable and Reproducible

For.everyone doing or reading a paper about microarray-based experiments,.reproductibility, especially inter-lab, is the #1 concern. Can I trust.these results? If I redo the same experiment in one month, will I be.able to compare both? The NIH recently demonstrated that , as long as standardized protocols are carefully followed". <span style="fon...

Epstein-Barr virus protein crucial to its role in blood cancers

Researchers at the University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine have identified a link between a critical cancer pathway and an Epstein-Barr Virus (EBV) protein known to be expressed in a number of EBV-associated cancers. Their findings demonstrate a new mechanism by which EBV transforms human B cells from the immune system into cancerous cells, which can lead to development of B-cell lymphomas....

Reducing malarial transmission in Africa

There are 300 million cases of malaria each year worldwide, causing one million deaths. Around 90% of these deaths occur in Africa, mostly in young children. One of the greatest challenges facing Africa in the fight against malaria is drug resistance; resistance to chloroquine (CQ), the cheapest and most widely used antimalarial, is common throughout Africa, and resistance to sulfadoxine-pyrimeth...

Researchers identify protein crucial for survival of Lyme-disease bacterium

When the tick-borne bacterium that causes Lyme disease lacks a specific protein that responds to an incoming meal of blood, it is unable to be transmitted from the tick to a new animal host, researchers at UT Southwestern Medical Center have found. . .. Results of the multisite study are currently online and will appear in an upcoming issue of the Proceedin...

Molecular messengers perform a crucial role in the ability of injured nerve cells to heal themselves

Weizmann Institute findings might advance search for new therapies for injured nerve fibers. Long distance messengers star in many heroic tales, perhaps the most famous being the one about the runner who carried the news about the victory of the Greeks over the Persians in the fateful battle of Marathon. A team of researchers at the Weizmann Institute of Science has now discovered how molecular m...

Scientists discover the body's marijuana-like compounds are crucial for stress-induced pain relief

new study shows, for the first time, that the release of the body's own marijuana-like compounds is crucial to stress-induced analgesia ?the body's way of initially shielding pain after a serious injury. .. The work, led by scientists at the University of Georgia and the University of California, Irvine, may yield a target for new drug therapies that will completely bypass the current arguments o...

Long-sought flower-inducing molecule found

Researchers at the Umeå Plant Science Centre at the Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences (SLU), Sweden, report about a breakthrough in our understanding of how plants control their flowering. In an article published in the international journal Science, Thursday 11th, they show how a small molecule that is formed in the plant leaves is transported to the shoot tips where it induces the for...

DNA size a crucial factor in genetic mutations, study finds

Researchers at Stanford University have created a larger-than-normal DNA molecule that is copied almost as efficiently as natural DNA. The findings, reported in the Oct. 25 online edition of the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (PNAS), may reveal new insights into how genetic mutations-tiny mistakes that occur during DNA replication-arise. The discovery was made in the laboratory o...

Master regulatory gene found that guides fate of blood-producing stem cells

Researchers from the University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine found that a protein called NF-Ya activates several genes known to regulate the development of hematopoietic stem cells (HSC), or blood-producing stem cells, in bone marrow. Knowing the details of this pathway may one day lead to new treatments for such blood diseases as leukemia, as well as a better understanding of how HSCs work...

Regenerating worms help elucidate stem cell biology

Using a tiny flatworm best known for its extraordinary ability to regenerate lost tissue, researchers have identified a gene that controls the ability of stem cells to differentiate into specialized cells. The gene encodes a protein that is most similar to the protein PIWI, an important regulator of stem cells in organisms ranging from plants to humans. . helps scient...

Einstein scientists discover how protein crucial for motion is synthesised at the right place in the cell

Researchers at the Albert Einstein College of Medicine and the German Cancer Research Institute have shown how protein synthesis is targeted to certain regions of a cell--a process crucial for the cellular motility that governs nerve growth, wound healing and cancer metastasis. Their study appears in the November 24 issue of the journal Nature. . Led by Drs. Robert Singer and Dr Stefan Huettelmai...

Reducing antibiotic use lowers rates of drug-resistant bacteria

Fewer antibiotic prescriptions leads to fewer "superbugs." That's the take-home message behind a new study in the Oct. 15 issue of Clinical Infectious Diseases, now available online. The study found that reducing antibiotic use for pediatric respiratory tract infections resulted in lower rates of carriage of drug-resistant bacteria. . Drug-resistant bacteria, commonly called "superbugs," are fas...

Jefferson researchers find nanoparticle shows promise in reducing radiation side effects

A gene responsible for the production of a protein called vasostatin may prove a promising new way of treating pancreatic cancer, suggests research published ahead of print in Gut. . .. .. The research tea...

Source of crucial immune cell in the skin discovered

Mount Sinai School of Medicine researchers have identified the precursors of cells in the skin that are part of the first line of defense against invading pathogens. The study will appear on Nature Immunology's website this week and will be published in a future issue. . .. "Langerhans cells are particularly importan...

'Banana-jawed' fossil mammal linked to rare sound-producing skill

Paleontologists at the Duke Lemur Center have assembled a new picture of a 35-million-year-old fossil mammal -- and they even have added a hint of sound. . By painstakingly measuring hundreds of specimens of a fossil mammal called Thyrohyrax, recovered from the famous fossil beds of Egypt's Fayum Province, the researchers determined that males of this now-extinct species -- and only males -- had...

UCI researchers discover key factor for survival of human embryonic stem cells

Human embryonic stem cells (hES) offer great hope for the treatment of some devastating diseases, but finding a way to keep enough of these cells usable and healthy for transplantation in patients has been an ongoing problem. Now scientists at UC Irvine have discovered a way to keep large quantities of these cells alive, a finding that could potentially lead to mass production of hES cells for th...

Crucial site for endangered frogs and birds saved

Fast action by an alliance of conservation groups battling global extinctions has saved one of the world's most important sites for endangered species. . .. The site is the sole breeding ground for the Globally Endangered Santa Marta Parakeet. Another 18 bird species and five threatened amphibians ca...

Evolution of 'irreducible complexity' explained

Using new techniques for resurrecting ancient genes, scientists have for the first time reconstructed the Darwinian evolution of an apparently "irreducibly complex" molecular system. . .. How natural selection can drive the evolution of complex molecular systems ?those in which the function of each part depends on its interactions with the other parts--has been an unsolved issue in evolu...

Scientists elucidate the kinome of key model organism

The journal PLoS Genetics has published the findings of a team of scientists at the nonprofit Boston Biomedical Research Institute that provides a whole genome analysis of the protein kinases from a scientifically valuable model organism known as Dictyostelium. . Led by Dr. Janet Smith, this study offers important insights into the evolution of kinases, which are enzymes involved in cell commu...

Researchers add crucial information on how the body's T cells react to parasitic diseases

In the 1980s, the phrase "T cell count" burst into the world's medical vocabulary as thousands and then millions of patients died of AIDS. The public began to understand the crucial importance of T cells--cellular Pac-Men that roam the bloodstream gobbling up infection and guarding against future attacks. . While scientists understood how T cells worked in certain kinds of diseases, one area has...

On the track of tiny larvae, a new model elucidates connections in marine ecology

A computer model newly developed by researchers combines ocean current simulations and genetic forecasting to help scientists predict animal dispersion patterns and details of the ecology of coral reefs across the Caribbean Sea. The work is reported by Heather M. Galindo and Stephen R. Palumbi of Stanford University, and Donald B. Olson of the University of Miami, and appears in the August 22nd i...

Heart has enough oxygen to survive hypothermia, CPR crucial

Researchers from Norway may have ruled out insufficient oxygen supply to the heart as the critical variable in whether a mammal's heart survives while in a hypothermic state. . .. The issue is importan...

Scientists identify protein with a crucial role in cell death

Ageing, and the processes of deterioration that go with it, are largely attributable to cells that die off in a controlled manner. Therefore, gaining better understanding of this controlled cell death is very important in the fight against deterioration diseases like dementia. . In this light, researchers from the Flanders Interuniversity Institute for Biotechnology (VIB) connected to the K.U.Leu...

Neural stem cell gene plays crucial role in eye development

Scientists at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill have demonstrated that normal development of the eye requires the right amount of a neural stem cell gene be expressed at the right time and place. . .. Led by Dr. Larysa H. Pevny, an assistant professor of genetics in the UNC School of Medicine, researchers discovered that expression levels of a p...

UCI scientists find chlorine may contribute to ozone formation

Standard methods of predicting air pollution don't take atmospheric chlorine into account, but the chemical could be responsible for 10 percent or more of daily ozone production in local air, research at UC Irvine has found. . Air measurements taken nearly nonstop in the Irvine area over a two-month period showed that daytime chlorine gas levels typically measured five parts per trillion or less,...

Hopkins scientists show hallucinogen in mushrooms creates universal 'mystical' experience

Using unusually rigorous scientific conditions and measures, Johns Hopkins researchers have shown that the active agent in "sacred mushrooms" can induce mystical/spiritual experiences descriptively identical to spontaneous ones people have reported for centuries. . .. The agent, a plant alkaloid called psilocybin, mimics the effect of serotonin on brain receptors-as do some other hallucinogens-...

Producing bio-ethanol from agricultural waste a step closer

Research conducted by Delft University of Technology has brought the efficient production of the environmentally-friendly fuel bio-ethanol a great deal closer to fruition. The work of Delft researcher Marko Kuyper was an important factor in this. His research in recent years has greatly improved the conversion of certain sugars from agricultural waste to ethanol. On Tuesday 6 June, Kuyper receive...

Unique soybean lines hold promise for producing allergy-free soybeans

Researchers have isolated two Chinese soybean lines that grow without the primary protein linked to soy allergies in children and adults. The two lines already are adapted to Illinois-like conditions and will be given away to breeders seeking to produce new varieties of allergy-free soybeans without genetic engineering. . Crop scientists at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign and the U...

Mirrors in the mind: New studies elucidate how the brain reflects onto itself the actions of others

In three new independent studies, researchers have deepened our understanding of the remarkable ability of some specialized areas of the brain to activate both in response to one's own actions and in response to sensory cues (such as sight) of the same actions perpetrated by another individual. This ability is thought to be based in the activity of so-called mirror neurons, which have been hypoth...

Vaccine-producing 'plant-factories'

A research team at the Consejo Superior de Investigaciones Científicas (CSIC) has discovered a new route for the transport of proteins in plant cells, a discovery that will enable the biotechnological design of plant factories. Amongst other applications, these can be used to produce oral vaccines which, upon being ingested, will be able to immunise against diseases. Moreover, this discovery open...

Brown team finds crucial protein role in deadly prion spread

A single protein plays a major role in deadly prion diseases by smashing up clusters of these infectious proteins, creating the "seeds" that allow fatal brain illnesses to quickly spread, new Brown University research shows. . The findings are exciting, researchers say, because they might reveal a way to control the spread of prions through drug intervention. If a drug could be made that inhibits...

Producing medicines in plant seeds

Using plants to produce useful proteins could be an inexpensive alternative to current medicine production methods. Researchers from the Flanders Interuniversity Institute for Biotechnology (VIB) at Ghent University have succeeded in producing in plant seeds proteins that have a very strong resemblance to antibodies. They have also demonstrated that these antibody variants are just as active as t...

Large size crucial for Amazon forest reserves

An international research team has discovered that the size of Amazon forest reserves is yet more important than previously thought. Their findings, to be published this week (January 12th) in the journal Science, underscore the importance of protecting the Amazon in large stretches of primary forest. . The article summarizes bird survey results from the world's largest and longest running exper...

Elucidation of the genome for diabetics with DNA chips

The genome of patients with type 2 diabetes (DT2) has been elucidated, for the first time, thanks to the use of new DNA chip technologies allowing 400,000 DNA mutations to be studied simultaneously. New genes conferring a predisposition to DT2 have been identified. They include the zinc transporter of pancreatic insulin-secreting cells (ZnT8), which is a potential target for treatment. This study...

Researchers discover gene crucial for nerve cell insulation

Researchers funded by the National Institutes of Health have discovered how a defect in a single master gene disrupts the process by which several genes interact to create myelin, a fatty coating that covers nerve cells and increases the speed and reliability of their electrical signals. . The discovery has implications for understanding disorders of myelin production. These disorders can affec...

'Marathon mice' elucidate little-known muscle type

Researchers report in the January issue of the journal Cell Metabolism, published by Cell Press, the discovery of a genetic "switch" that drives the formation of a poorly understood type of muscle. Moreover, they found, animals whose muscles were full of the so-called IIX fibers were able to run farther and at higher work loads than normal mice could. . The findings could ultimately lead to novel...

UCI scientists reconstruct migration of avian flu virus

UC Irvine researchers have combined genetic and geographic data of the H5N1 avian flu virus to reconstruct its history over the past decade. They found that multiple strains of the virus originated in the Chinese province of Guangdong, and they identified many of the migration routes through which the strains spread regionally and internationally. . By knowing where H5N1 strains develop and migra...

Rapid response was crucial to containing the 1918 flu pandemic

One of the persistent riddles of the deadly 1918 Spanish influenza pandemic is why it struck different cities with varying severity. Why were some municipalities such as St. Louis spared the fate of the hard-hit cities like Philadelphia when both implemented similar public health measures? What made the difference, according to two independent studies funded by the National Institutes of Health (...

Researchers develop marker that identifies energy-producing centers in nerve cells

A protein that causes coral to glow is helping researchers at the University of Maryland School of Medicine to light up brain cells that are critical for the proper functioning of the central nervous system. This fluorescent marker protein may shed light on brain cell defects believed to play a role in various neurological diseases. The researchers describe how this marker works in mice in the De...
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