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Common heart drug’s link to diabetes uncovered by researchers

Common heart drug’s link to diabetes uncovered by researchers

McMaster University researchers may have found a novel way to suppress the devastating side effect of statins, one of the worlds’ most widely used drugs to lower cholesterol and prevent heart disease. The research team — led by Jonathan Schertzer, assistant professor of Biochemistry and Biomedical Sciences and Canadian Diabetes Association Scholar — discovered one of the pathways that link statins to diabetes. Their findings could lead to the next generation of statins by informing potential combination therapies while taking the drug Continue reading

Biologists pave the way for improved epilepsy treatments

Biologists pave the way for improved epilepsy treatments

University of Toronto biologists leading an investigation into the cells that regulate proper brain function, have identified and located the key players whose actions contribute to afflictions such as epilepsy and schizophrenia. The discovery is a major step toward developing improved treatments for these and other neurological disorders. “Neurons in the brain communicate with other neurons through synapses, communication that can either excite or inhibit other neurons,” said Professor Melanie Woodin in the Department of Cell and Systems Biology at the University of Toronto (U of T), lead investigator of a study published today in Cell Reports Continue reading

Human stem cells successfully transplanted, grown in pigs

Human stem cells successfully transplanted, grown in pigs

One of the biggest challenges for medical researchers studying the effectiveness of stem cell therapies is that transplants or grafts of cells are often rejected by the hosts. This rejection can render experiments useless, making research into potentially life-saving treatments a long and difficult process Continue reading

Human stem cells successfully transplanted, grown in pigs

Human stem cells successfully transplanted, grown in pigs

One of the biggest challenges for medical researchers studying the effectiveness of stem cell therapies is that transplants or grafts of cells are often rejected by the hosts. This rejection can render experiments useless, making research into potentially life-saving treatments a long and difficult process. Now, researchers at the University of Missouri have shown that a new line of genetically modified pigs will host transplanted cells without the risk of rejection. Continue reading

Humans’ tiny cellular machines: Spliceosomes in detail

Humans’ tiny cellular machines: Spliceosomes in detail

A grandfather clock is, on its surface, a simple yet elegant machine. Tall and stately, its job is to steadily tick away the time. Continue reading

How DNA is ‘edited’ to correct genetic diseases

How DNA is ‘edited’ to correct genetic diseases

An international team of scientists has made a major step forward in our understanding of how enzymes ‘edit’ genes, paving the way for correcting genetic diseases in patients. Researchers at the Universities of Bristol, Münster and the Lithuanian Institute of Biotechnology have observed the process by which a class of enzymes called CRISPR — pronounced ‘crisper’ — bind and alter the structure of DNA. The results, published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences ( PNAS ), provide a vital piece of the puzzle if these genome editing tools are ultimately going to be used to correct genetic diseases in humans. Continue reading

How DNA is ‘edited’ to correct genetic diseases

How DNA is ‘edited’ to correct genetic diseases

An international team of scientists has made a major step forward in our understanding of how enzymes ‘edit’ genes, paving the way for correcting genetic diseases in patients. Researchers at the Universities of Bristol, Münster and the Lithuanian Institute of Biotechnology have observed the process by which a class of enzymes called CRISPR — pronounced ‘crisper’ — bind and alter the structure of DNA. Continue reading

Breakthrough in RSV research to help infected children

Breakthrough in RSV research to help infected children

Researchers at Le Bonheur Children’s Hospital and the University of Tennessee Health Science Center announced results today from a clinical trial of a drug shown to safely reduce the viral load and clinical illness of healthy adult volunteers intranasally infected with respiratory syncytial virus (RSV). Continue reading

Breakthrough in RSV research to help infected children

Breakthrough in RSV research to help infected children

Researchers at Le Bonheur Children’s Hospital and the University of Tennessee Health Science Center announced results today from a clinical trial of a drug shown to safely reduce the viral load and clinical illness of healthy adult volunteers intranasally infected with respiratory syncytial virus (RSV). Detailed results of this study were presented by lead researcher Infectious Disease Specialist John DeVincenzo, MD, this week during a poster discussion session at the American Thoracic Society 2014 International Conference in San Diego. Continue reading

Research explains action of drug that may slow aging, related disease

Research explains action of drug that may slow aging, related disease

A proven approach to slow the aging process is dietary restriction, but new research in the Linus Pauling Institute at Oregon State University helps explain the action of a drug that appears to mimic that process — rapamycin. Rapamycin, an antibiotic and immunosuppressant approved for use about 15 years ago, has drawn extensive interest for its apparent ability — at least in laboratory animal tests — to emulate the ability of dietary restriction in helping animals to live both longer and healthier. However, this medication has some drawbacks, including an increase in insulin resistance that could set the stage for diabetes. Continue reading