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New front in war on Alzheimer’s, other protein-linked brain diseases

New front in war on Alzheimer’s, other protein-linked brain diseases

A surprise discovery that overturns decades of thinking about how the body fixes proteins that come unraveled greatly expands opportunities for therapies to prevent diseases such as Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s, which have been linked to the accumulation of improperly folded proteins in the brain. “This finding provides a whole other outlook on protein-folding diseases; a new way to go after them,” said Andrew Dillin, the Thomas and Stacey Siebel Distinguished Chair of Stem Cell Research in the Department of Molecular and Cell Biology and Howard Hughes Medical Institute investigator at the University of California, Berkeley. Dillin, UC Berkeley postdoctoral fellows Nathan A Continue reading

Staph ‘gangs’ share nutrients during infection

Staph ‘gangs’ share nutrients during infection

Antibiotic-resistant bacteria can share resources to cause chronic infections, Vanderbilt investigators have discovered. Like the individual members of a gang who might be relatively harmless alone, they turn deadly when they get together with their “friends.” The findings, reported Oct. 8 in Cell Host & Microbe , shed light on a long-standing question in infectious diseases and may inform new treatment strategies, said Eric Skaar, Ph.D., MPH, Ernest W Continue reading

Personalized ovarian cancer vaccines developed

Personalized ovarian cancer vaccines developed

Researchers at the University of Connecticut have found a new way to identify protein mutations in cancer cells. The novel method is being used to develop personalized vaccines to treat patients with ovarian cancer. Continue reading

Cadavers beat computers for learning anatomy

Cadavers beat computers for learning anatomy

Despite the growing popularity of using computer simulation to help teach college anatomy, students learn much better through the traditional use of human cadavers, according to new research that has implications for health care. Cary Roseth, associate professor of educational psychology at Michigan State University, said the study suggests cadaver-based instruction should continue in undergraduate human anatomy, a gateway course to medical school, nursing and other health and medical fields. In the United States, most anatomy courses still emphasize the use of cadavers, although in many cases digital technologies supplement the instruction Continue reading

New mechanism that can lead to blindness discovered

New mechanism that can lead to blindness discovered

An important scientific breakthrough by a team of IRCM researchers led by Michel Cayouette, PhD, is being published by The Journal of Neuroscience . The Montréal scientists discovered that a protein found in the retina plays an essential role in the function and survival of light-sensing cells that are required for vision. These findings could have a significant impact on our understanding of retinal degenerative diseases that cause blindness Continue reading

German academies call for consequences from the Ebola virus epidemic

German academies call for consequences from the Ebola virus epidemic

The Ebola virus is spreading rapidly and to an unexpected extent. The outbreak does not follow the patterns experienced in the past and the virus shows a new disease dynamic in regions where it has never been recorded before. For this reason, the German National Academy of Sciences Leopoldina, acatech — the German Academy of Science and Engineering, and the Union of the German Academies of Sciences and Humanities have presented a statement on the Ebola epidemic today Continue reading

Molecular ‘breadcrumb trail’ that helps melanoma spread found

Molecular ‘breadcrumb trail’ that helps melanoma spread found

Cancer Researchers UK scientists have discovered that melanoma cells are drawn to follow the ‘trail’ of a naturally-occurring molecule in the body, which directs this serious type of skin cancer to spread, according to research published in PLOS Biology . The team at the Cancer Research UK Beatson Institute at the University of Glasgow, revealed that melanoma cells give themselves the ‘green light’ to move using the molecule — a type of fatty chemical called lysophosphatidic acid (LPA). This signal prompts them to travel and spread in the body. Continue reading

Discovery of cellular snooze button advances cancer, biofuel research

Discovery of cellular snooze button advances cancer, biofuel research

The discovery of a cellular snooze button has allowed a team of Michigan State University scientists to potentially improve biofuel production and offer insight on the early stages of cancer. Continue reading

Scientists create new protein-based material with some nerve

Scientists create new protein-based material with some nerve

Scientists at the University of California, Berkeley, have taken proteins from nerve cells and used them to create a “smart” material that is extremely sensitive to its environment. This marriage of materials science and biology could give birth to a flexible, sensitive coating that is easy and cheap to manufacture in large quantities. The work, to be published Oct. Continue reading

How metastases develop in the liver

How metastases develop in the liver

In order to invade healthy tissue, tumor cells must leave the actual tumor and enter the bloodstream or lymphatic system. Continue reading