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Obesity: Not just what you eat

Obesity: Not just what you eat

Over 35 percent of American adults and 17 percent of American children are considered obese, according to the latest survey conducted by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Associated with diabetes, heart disease, stroke, and even certain types of cancer, obesity places a major burden on the health care system and economy. It’s usually treated through a combination of diet, nutrition, exercise, and other techniques. Continue reading

Bright future for protein nanoprobes

Bright future for protein nanoprobes

The term a “brighter future” might be a cliché, but in the case of ultra-small probes for lighting up individual proteins, it is now most appropriate. Researchers at the U.S Continue reading

Bacterial reporters that get the scoop: Engineered gut bacteria ‘remembers’ what it saw

Bacterial reporters that get the scoop: Engineered gut bacteria ‘remembers’ what it saw

It’s a jungle in there. Continue reading

Chronic sleep disturbance could trigger onset of Alzheimer’s

Chronic sleep disturbance could trigger onset of Alzheimer’s

People who experience chronic sleep disturbance — either through their work, insomnia or other reasons — could face an earlier onset of dementia and Alzheimer’s, according to a new pre-clinical study by researchers at Temple University. “The big biological question that we tried to address in this study is whether sleep disturbance is a risk factor to develop Alzheimer’s or is it something that manifests with the disease,” said Domenico Praticò, professor of pharmacology and microbiology/immunology in Temple’s School of Medicine, who led the study. Initially, the researchers looked at longitudinal studies which indicated that people who reported chronic sleep disturbances often developed Alzheimer’s disease Continue reading

Protein common in cancers jumps anti-tumor mechanisms

Protein common in cancers jumps anti-tumor mechanisms

A Stony Brook University-led international team of infectious disease researchers have discovered how a cellular protein, called STAT3, which is overactive in a majority of human cancers, interferes with an antitumor mechanism in cells and therefore promotes the growth of cancer. The findings, to be published this week in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences ( PNAS ) add to the understanding of cancer development and provide a basis for potentially new targeted methods to prevent and treat cancer. In the paper, titled “STAT3 interrupts ATR-Chk1 signaling to allow oncovirus-mediated cell proliferation,” lead author Sumita Bhaduri-McIntosh, MD, PhD, and colleagues made their discovery by using the Epstein-Barr virus (EBV) as a tool to probe fundamental cancer development-related questions. Continue reading

Fast-moving cells in human immune system walk in stepwise manner

Fast-moving cells in human immune system walk in stepwise manner

A team of biologists and engineers at the University of California, San Diego has discovered that white blood cells, which repair damaged tissue as part of the body’s immune response, move to inflamed sites by walking in a stepwise manner. The cells periodically form and break adhesions mainly under two “feet,” and generate the traction forces that propel them forward by the coordinated action of contractile proteins. Their discovery, published March 17 in the Journal of Cell Biology , is an important advance toward developing new pharmacological strategies to treat chronic inflammatory diseases such as arthritis, irritable bowel syndrome, Type 1 diabetes, and multiple sclerosis. Continue reading

Tension triggers muscle building

Tension triggers muscle building

Skeletal muscles are built from small contractile units, the sarcomeres. Many of these sarcomeres are connected in a well-ordered series to form myofibrils that span from one muscle end to the other. Continue reading

Tension triggers muscle building

Tension triggers muscle building

Skeletal muscles are built from small contractile units, the sarcomeres. Many of these sarcomeres are connected in a well-ordered series to form myofibrils that span from one muscle end to the other. Continue reading

Motion, muscles don’t always work in lockstep, researchers find in surprising new study

Motion, muscles don’t always work in lockstep, researchers find in surprising new study

Animals “do the locomotion” every day, whether it’s walking down the hall to get some coffee or darting up a tree to avoid a predator. And until now, scientists believed the inner workings of movement were pretty much the same — the nerves send a message to the muscles and there is motion. But in a first-of-its-kind study on wild green anole lizards, biologists at the University of California, Riverside have discovered that the link between muscle function and movement is a lot more complicated than anyone realized. Continue reading

Motion, muscles don’t always work in lockstep, researchers find in surprising new study

Motion, muscles don’t always work in lockstep, researchers find in surprising new study

Animals “do the locomotion” every day, whether it’s walking down the hall to get some coffee or darting up a tree to avoid a predator. Continue reading