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Old drug may be key to new antibiotics

Old drug may be key to new antibiotics

McMaster scientists have found that an anticonvulsant drug may help in developing a new class of antibiotics. Although dozens of antibiotics target what bacteria do, their study has looked at how a certain part of bacteria are created, and they found there is a way of stopping it. The discovery is important as there is growing concern worldwide about how antibiotic resistance is making the cures for infections ineffective. Continue reading

Lack of thyroid hormone blocks hearing development

Lack of thyroid hormone blocks hearing development

Fatigue, weight gain, chills, hair loss, anxiety, excessive perspiration — these symptoms are a few of the signs that the thyroid gland, which regulates the body’s heart rate and plays a crucial role in its metabolism, has gone haywire. Now, new research from Tel Aviv University points to an additional complication caused by thyroid imbalance: congenital deafness. Continue reading

Lack of thyroid hormone blocks hearing development

Lack of thyroid hormone blocks hearing development

Fatigue, weight gain, chills, hair loss, anxiety, excessive perspiration — these symptoms are a few of the signs that the thyroid gland, which regulates the body’s heart rate and plays a crucial role in its metabolism, has gone haywire. Now, new research from Tel Aviv University points to an additional complication caused by thyroid imbalance: congenital deafness. Continue reading

Lack of thyroid hormone blocks hearing development

Lack of thyroid hormone blocks hearing development

Fatigue, weight gain, chills, hair loss, anxiety, excessive perspiration — these symptoms are a few of the signs that the thyroid gland, which regulates the body’s heart rate and plays a crucial role in its metabolism, has gone haywire. Now, new research from Tel Aviv University points to an additional complication caused by thyroid imbalance: congenital deafness. Continue reading

Program predicts placement of chemical tags that control gene activity

Program predicts placement of chemical tags that control gene activity

Biochemists working at the University of California, San Diego, have developed a program that predicts the placement of chemical marks that control the activity of genes based on sequences of DNA. They describe their analysis and report results from its application to human embryonic cells in a paper published in Nature Methods online September 21. “All of our cells have the same blueprint, the same DNA, although they serve separate functions,” said John Whitaker, lead author of the report Continue reading

Mitochondria’s role in neurodegenerative diseases clearer thanks to mouse study

Mitochondria’s role in neurodegenerative diseases clearer thanks to mouse study

A new study by researchers at the University of Utah School of Medicine sheds light on a longstanding question about the role of mitochondria in debilitating and fatal motor neuron diseases and resulted in a new mouse model to study such illnesses. Researchers led by Janet Shaw, Ph.D., professor of biochemistry, found that when healthy, functioning mitochondria was prevented from moving along axons — nerve fibers that conduct electricity away from neurons — mice developed symptoms of neurodegenerative diseases. Continue reading

Sensing neuronal activity with light

Sensing neuronal activity with light

For years, neuroscientists have been trying to develop tools that would allow them to clearly view the brain’s circuitry in action — from the first moment a neuron fires to the resulting behavior in a whole organism. To get this complete picture, neuroscientists are working to develop a range of new tools to study the brain. Continue reading

New genetic targets discovered in fight against muscle-wasting disease

New genetic targets discovered in fight against muscle-wasting disease

Scientists have pinpointed for the first time the genetic cause in some people of an incurable muscle-wasting disease, Emery-Dreifuss muscular dystrophy (EDMD). The international research team led by the University of Leicester say the finding of two target genes opens the possibility of developing drugs to tackle the disease in these patients. Their work has been published today in the journal PLOS Genetics . Continue reading

New genetic targets discovered in fight against muscle-wasting disease

New genetic targets discovered in fight against muscle-wasting disease

Scientists have pinpointed for the first time the genetic cause in some people of an incurable muscle-wasting disease, Emery-Dreifuss muscular dystrophy (EDMD). The international research team led by the University of Leicester say the finding of two target genes opens the possibility of developing drugs to tackle the disease in these patients Continue reading

Statins may protect against microvascular complications of diabetes

Statins may protect against microvascular complications of diabetes

The development of common diabetes complications that can lead to blindness and amputations could be reduced by taking statins, indicates new research published in The Lancet Diabetes & Endocrinology. It is well established that statins via cholesterol lowering effectively reduce the risks of heart attack and stroke in people with type 2 diabetes, but whether statin use affects the development of small blood vessel (or microvascular) complications, such as eye, nerve, and kidney disease in individuals with diabetes is not known. “Since high levels of blood glucose, the hallmark of diabetes, are linked with microvascular disease, and since statins are suspected of raising glucose levels, we tested the hypothesis that individuals taking a statin before a diagnosis of diabetes might be at increased risk of developing microvascular complications,” explains study author Professor Børge G Nordestgaard, Chief Physician in Clinical Biochemistry at Copenhagen University Hospital in Denmark. Continue reading