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ZEB1: Oscar for leading role in fat storage

ZEB1: Oscar for leading role in fat storage

A team from EPFL, in collaboration with ETH Zurich, has managed to decode the process of adipogenesis by identifying the precise proteins that play the leading roles in fat absorption. Their findings have been published in the open-access scientific journal eLife Continue reading

Disease decoded: Gene mutation may lead to development of new cancer drugs

Disease decoded: Gene mutation may lead to development of new cancer drugs

The discovery of a gene mutation that causes a rare premature aging disease could lead to the development of drugs that block the rapid, unstoppable cell division that makes cancer so deadly. Scientists at the University of Michigan and the U-M Health System recently discovered a protein mutation that causes the devastating disease dyskeratosis congenita, in which precious hematopoietic stem cells can’t regenerate and make new blood Continue reading

High-speed drug screen developed

High-speed drug screen developed

MIT engineers have devised a way to rapidly test hundreds of different drug-delivery vehicles in living animals, making it easier to discover promising new ways to deliver a class of drugs called biologics, which includes antibodies, peptides, RNA, and DNA, to human patients. In a study appearing in the journal Integrative Biology , the researchers used this technology to identify materials that can efficiently deliver RNA to zebrafish and also to rodents. This type of high-speed screen could help overcome one of the major bottlenecks in developing disease treatments based on biologics: It is challenging to find safe and effective ways to deliver them Continue reading

Potential biomarker to detect SCID (severe combined immunodeficiency)

Potential biomarker to detect SCID (severe combined immunodeficiency)

A genetic disease called SCID, short for severe combined immunodeficiency, forces patients to breathe filtered air and avoid human contact because their bodies’ natural defenses are too weak to fight germs. Although it affects fewer than 2,000 new births each year worldwide, SCID is a cousin to acquired immune deficiency syndrome triggered by a human immunodeficiency virus — HIV/AIDS Continue reading

Synthetic sperm protein raises the chance for successful in vitro fertilization

Synthetic sperm protein raises the chance for successful in vitro fertilization

Having trouble getting pregnant — even with IVF? Continue reading

New blood test determines whether you have or are likely to get cancer

New blood test determines whether you have or are likely to get cancer

A new research report published in the October 2014 issue of The FASEB Journal may make the early detection of cancer as easy as a simple blood test. This test, called the “lymphocyte genome sensitivity” (LGS) test, could not only detect some cancers earlier than ever before, but it may eliminate the need for some types of biopsies, as well as identify those more likely to develop cancer in the future. “The test could allow earlier cancer detection, so helping to save peoples’ lives,” said Diana Anderson, a researcher involved in the work from the School of Life Sciences at the University of Bradford in West Yorkshire, United Kingdom Continue reading

Scientists identify which genes are active in muscles of men, women

Scientists identify which genes are active in muscles of men, women

If you want your doctor to know what goes wrong with your muscles because of age, disease or injury, it’s a good idea to know what “normal” actually is. Continue reading

Adolescent exposure to THC may cause immune systems to go up in smoke

Adolescent exposure to THC may cause immune systems to go up in smoke

When it comes to using marijuana, new research, involving mice and published in the October 2014 issue of the Journal of Leukocyte Biology , suggests that just because you can do it, doesn’t mean that you should. That’s because a team of Italian scientists have found that using marijuana in adolescence may do serious long-term damage to the immune system. This damage may result in autoimmune diseases and chronic inflammatory diseases, such as multiple sclerosis, inflammatory bowel disease and rheumatoid arthritis in adulthood. Continue reading

Bacteria may have ability to reduce impact of diazepam on UK river environments

Bacteria may have ability to reduce impact of diazepam on UK river environments

The natural photo degradation of diazepam (valium) and similar medicines — followed by bacterial breakdown — may reduce their potentially harmful impact on the UK’s freshwater environment, a team of researchers has said. Diazepam — used to treat anxiety and other similar conditions — has been detected in rivers across the UK and Europe, having been released from waste water treatment plants Continue reading

‘Frenemy’ in Parkinson’s disease takes to crowdsourcing

‘Frenemy’ in Parkinson’s disease takes to crowdsourcing

The protein alpha-synuclein is a well-known player in Parkinson’s disease and other related neurological conditions, such as dementia with Lewy bodies. Continue reading