List/Grid

Basic Sciences Subscribe to Basic Sciences

Gene responsible for traits involved in diabetes discovered

Gene responsible for traits involved in diabetes discovered

A collaborative research team led by Medical College of Wisconsin (MCW) scientists has identified a new gene associated with fasting glucose and insulin levels in rats, mice and in humans. The findings are published in the September issue of Genetics Continue reading

Simple test can help detect Alzheimer’s before dementia signs show, study shows

Simple test can help detect Alzheimer’s before dementia signs show, study shows

York University researchers say a simple test that combines thinking and movement can help to detect heightened risk for developing Alzheimer’s disease in a person, even before there are any telltale behavioural signs of dementia. Continue reading

Mitochondria’s role in neurodegenerative diseases clearer thanks to mouse study

Mitochondria’s role in neurodegenerative diseases clearer thanks to mouse study

A new study by researchers at the University of Utah School of Medicine sheds light on a longstanding question about the role of mitochondria in debilitating and fatal motor neuron diseases and resulted in a new mouse model to study such illnesses. Researchers led by Janet Shaw, Ph.D., professor of biochemistry, found that when healthy, functioning mitochondria was prevented from moving along axons — nerve fibers that conduct electricity away from neurons — mice developed symptoms of neurodegenerative diseases. Continue reading

Premature deaths could be reduced by 40% over next 20 years, researchers say

Premature deaths could be reduced by 40% over next 20 years, researchers say

New research published today in The Lancet suggests that, with sustained international efforts, the number of premature deaths could be reduced by 40% over the next two decades (2010-2030), halving under-50 mortality and preventing a third of the deaths at ages 50-69 years. The findings reveal that, between 2000 and 2010, child deaths fell by one-third worldwide, helped by the fourth Millennium Development Goal (MDG) to reduce child deaths by two-thirds; and premature deaths among adults fell by one-sixth, helped by MDG 5 to reduce maternal mortality and MDG 6 to fight AIDS, malaria and other diseases. Continue reading

Sensing neuronal activity with light

Sensing neuronal activity with light

For years, neuroscientists have been trying to develop tools that would allow them to clearly view the brain’s circuitry in action — from the first moment a neuron fires to the resulting behavior in a whole organism. To get this complete picture, neuroscientists are working to develop a range of new tools to study the brain. Continue reading

VIP: New way to prevent spread of devastating diseases

VIP: New way to prevent spread of devastating diseases

For decades, researchers have tried to develop broadly effective vaccines to prevent the spread of illnesses such as HIV, malaria, and tuberculosis. While limited progress has been made along these lines, there are still no licensed vaccinations available that can protect most people from these devastating diseases. So what are immunologists to do when vaccines just aren’t working Continue reading

New insights on an ancient plague could improve treatments for infections

New insights on an ancient plague could improve treatments for infections

Dangerous new pathogens such as the Ebola virus invoke scary scenarios of deadly epidemics, but even ancient scourges such as the bubonic plague are still providing researchers with new insights on how the body responds to infections. In a study published online Sept Continue reading

How epigenetic memory is passed through generations: Sperm and eggs transmit memory of gene repression to embryos

How epigenetic memory is passed through generations: Sperm and eggs transmit memory of gene repression to embryos

A growing body of evidence suggests that environmental stresses can cause changes in gene expression that are transmitted from parents to their offspring, making “epigenetics” a hot topic. Epigenetic modifications do not affect the DNA sequence of genes, but change how the DNA is packaged and how genes are expressed. Continue reading

New molecule allows for up to 10-fold increase in stem cell transplants

New molecule allows for up to 10-fold increase in stem cell transplants

Investigators from the Institute for Research in Immunology and Cancer (IRIC) at the Université de Montréal have just published, in the journal Science , the announcement of the discovery of a new molecule, the first of its kind, which allows for the multiplication of stem cells in a unit of cord blood. Umbilical cord stem cells are used for transplants aimed at curing a number of blood-related diseases, including leukemia, myeloma and lymphoma. Continue reading

Tolerating, not fighting, viruses a viable survival strategy

Tolerating, not fighting, viruses a viable survival strategy

In ecology, disease tolerance is defined as a host strategy not to fight a pathogen tooth and nail, but rather tolerate it to live (and survive) better in the long term. One key feature of tolerance is that the disease only progresses very slowly — if at all — even if the host carries a high pathogen load. Roland Regoes, a senior scientist at ETH Zurich’s Institute of Theoretical Biology, has now transferred this approach to HIV Continue reading