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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

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. Continue reading

Galectins direct immunity against bacteria that employ camouflage

Galectins direct immunity against bacteria that employ camouflage

Our bodies produce a family of proteins that recognize and kill bacteria whose carbohydrate coatings resemble those of our own cells too closely, scientists have discovered. Called galectins, these proteins recognize carbohydrates from a broad range of disease-causing bacteria, and could potentially be deployed as antibiotics to treat certain infections. Continue reading

Spinal cord neurons that control skilled limb movement identified

Spinal cord neurons that control skilled limb movement identified

Researchers have identified two types of neurons that enable the spinal cord to control skilled forelimb movement. Continue reading

Spinal cord neurons that control skilled limb movement identified

Spinal cord neurons that control skilled limb movement identified

Researchers have identified two types of neurons that enable the spinal cord to control skilled forelimb movement. The first is a group of excitatory interneurons that are needed to make accurate and precise movements; the second is a group of inhibitory interneurons necessary for achieving smooth movement of the limbs Continue reading

Cutting cancer to pieces: New research on bleomycin

Cutting cancer to pieces: New research on bleomycin

A variety of cancers are treated with the anti-tumor agent bleomycin, though its disease-fighting properties remain poorly understood. Continue reading

New type of protein action found to regulate development

New type of protein action found to regulate development

Johns Hopkins researchers report they have figured out how the aptly named protein Botch blocks the signaling protein called Notch, which helps regulate development. In a report on the discovery, to appear online April 24 in the journal Cell Reports , the scientists say they expect the work to lead to a better understanding of how a single protein, Notch, directs actions needed for the healthy development of organs as diverse as brains and kidneys Continue reading