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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

Coronary arteries hold heart-regenerating cells

Coronary arteries hold heart-regenerating cells

Endothelial cells residing in the coronary arteries can function as cardiac stem cells to produce new heart muscle tissue, Vanderbilt University investigators have discovered. The findings, published recently in Cell Reports , offer insights into how the heart maintains itself and could lead to new strategies for repairing the heart when it fails after a heart attack. The heart has long been considered to be an organ without regenerative potential, said Antonis Hatzopoulos, Ph.D., associate professor of Medicine and Cell and Developmental Biology Continue reading

‘Tickling’ your ear could be good for your heart

‘Tickling’ your ear could be good for your heart

Stimulating nerves in your ear could improve the health of your heart, researchers have discovered. A team at the University of Leeds used a standard TENS machine like those designed to relieve labour pains to apply electrical pulses to the tragus, the small raised flap at the front of the ear immediately in front of the ear canal. Continue reading

Genetic key to lupus shows potential of personalized medicine

Genetic key to lupus shows potential of personalized medicine

Medical researchers have used DNA sequencing to identify a gene variant responsible for causing lupus in a young patient. The development shows that for the first time, it is feasible for researchers to identify the individual causes of lupus in patients by using DNA sequencing, allowing doctors to target specific treatments to individual patients. Lupus is a chronic autoimmune disease that affects one in 700 Australians, predominantly young and middle aged women. Continue reading

Taking pulse of aging of the brain

Taking pulse of aging of the brain

Researchers at the Beckman Institute at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign have developed a new technique that can noninvasively image the pulse pressure and elasticity of the arteries of the brain, revealing correlations between arterial health and aging. Brain artery support, which makes up the cerebrovascular system, is crucial for healthy brain aging and preventing diseases like Alzheimer’s and other forms of dementia. Continue reading