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Simply complex: The origin of our body axes

Simply complex: The origin of our body axes

The fresh-water polyp Hydra, a member of the over 600-million-year-old phylum Cnidaria, is famous for its virtually unlimited regenerative capability and hence a perfect model for molecular stem cell and regeneration research. This polyp, with its simple structure and radial symmetry, can help us understand how our body axes came to evolve Continue reading

Study of self-awareness in MS has implications for rehabilitation

Study of self-awareness in MS has implications for rehabilitation

A new study of self-awareness by Kessler Foundation researchers shows that persons with multiple sclerosis (MS) may be able to improve their self-awareness through task-oriented cognitive rehabilitation. The study was epublished ahead of print on July 2 in NeuroRehabilitation . Self-awareness is one’s ability to recognize cognitive problems caused by brain injury. Continue reading

New enzyme targets for selective cancer therapies

New enzyme targets for selective cancer therapies

Thanks to important discoveries in basic and clinical research and technological advances, the fight against cancer has mobilized into a complex offensive spanning multiple fronts. Work happening in a University of Alberta chemistry lab could help find new and more selective therapies for cancer. Researchers have developed a compound that targets a specific enzyme overexpressed in certain cancers — and they have tested its activity in cells from brain tumours Continue reading

How cellular guardians of the intestine develop

How cellular guardians of the intestine develop

Even the most careful chosen meal can contain surprises. To defend against infectious microbes, viruses or other potential hazards that find their way to the intestines, a dedicated contingent of immune cells keeps watch within the thin layer of tissue that divides the contents of the gut from the body itself Continue reading

Some anti-inflammatory drugs affect more than their targets

Some anti-inflammatory drugs affect more than their targets

Researchers have discovered that three commonly used nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs, or NSAIDs, alter the activity of enzymes within cell membranes. Their finding suggests that, if taken at higher-than-approved doses and/or for long periods of time, these prescription-level NSAIDs and other drugs that affect the membrane may produce wide-ranging and unwanted side effects. More positively, the researchers say, their work provides the basis for a test that drug developers can use to predict and perhaps avoid these side effects in new medicines they make Continue reading

Children with autism have extra synapses in brain: May be possible to prune synapses with drug after diagnosis

Children with autism have extra synapses in brain: May be possible to prune synapses with drug after diagnosis

Children and adolescents with autism have a surplus of synapses in the brain, and this excess is due to a slowdown in a normal brain “pruning” process during development, according to a study by neuroscientists at Columbia University Medical Center (CUMC). Continue reading

Maturing brain flips function of amygdala in regulating stress hormones

Maturing brain flips function of amygdala in regulating stress hormones

In contrast to evidence that the amygdala stimulates stress responses in adults, researchers at Yerkes National Primate Research Center, Emory University have found that the amygdala has an inhibitory effect on stress hormones during the early development of nonhuman primates. The results are published this week in Journal of Neuroscience . The amygdala is a region of the brain known to be important for responses to threatening situations and learning about threats Continue reading

Newborn screening expansion offers early diagnosis and treatment to infants with SCID

Newborn screening expansion offers early diagnosis and treatment to infants with SCID

Using population-based screening outcomes of approximately 3 million infants, a team of scientists across 14 states, including four researchers at the University of Massachusetts Medical School, have shown that newborn screening for severe combined immunodeficiency (SCID) can be successfully implemented across public health newborn screening programs. Data from 11 newborn screening programs published in the Aug. 20 issue of the Journal of the American Medical Association ( JAMA ) showed the rate of SCID in newborns is higher than previously thought and believed to be 1 in 58,000 Continue reading

Novel gene predicts both breast cancer relapse, response to chemotherapy

Novel gene predicts both breast cancer relapse, response to chemotherapy

Scientists have made it easier to predict both breast cancer relapses and responses to chemotherapy, through the identification of a unique gene. Continue reading

Gene therapy protects mice from lethal heart condition, researchers find

Gene therapy protects mice from lethal heart condition, researchers find

A new gene therapy developed by researchers at the University of Missouri School of Medicine has shown to protect mice from a life-threatening heart condition caused by muscular dystrophy. “This is a new therapeutic avenue,” said Yi Lai, PhD, the leading author of the study and assistant research professor in the MU School of Medicine’s Department of Molecular Microbiology and Immunology. “This is just a first step, but we hope this could lead to a treatment for people with this devastating heart condition, which is a leading cause of death for people with Duchenne muscular dystrophy.” About one in 3,500 children, mostly boys, are born with Duchenne muscular dystrophy (DMD) Continue reading