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New reprogramming method makes better stem cells

New reprogramming method makes better stem cells

A team of researchers from the University of California, San Diego School of Medicine, Oregon Health & Science University (OHSU) and Salk Institute for Biological Studies has shown for the first time that stem cells created using different methods produce differing cells. The findings, published in the July 2, 2014 online issue of Nature , provide new insights into the basic biology of stem cells and could ultimately lead to improved stem cell therapies. Continue reading

Stem cell type resists chemotherapy drug

Stem cell type resists chemotherapy drug

A new study shows that adipose-derived human stem cells, which can become vital tissues such as bone, may be highly resistant to the common chemotherapy drug methotrexate (MTX). The preliminary finding from lab testing may prove significant because MTX causes bone tissue damage in many patients. MTX is used to treat cancers including acute lymphoblastic leukemia, the most common form of childhood cancer. Continue reading

Twin study links community socioeconomic deprivation to sleep duration

Twin study links community socioeconomic deprivation to sleep duration

A new study of adult twins suggests that the level of socioeconomic deprivation in a neighborhood is associated with the sleep duration of residents. Results show that increased socioeconomic deprivation was significantly associated with decreased sleep duration across all twins. Continue reading

Fruit fly research may reveal what happens in female brains during courtship, mating

Fruit fly research may reveal what happens in female brains during courtship, mating

What are the complex processes in the brain involved with choosing a mate, and are these processes different in females versus males? It’s difficult to study such questions in people, but researchers are finding clues in fruit flies that might be relevant to humans and other animals. Continue reading

New compound blocks ‘gatekeeper’ enzyme to kill malaria

New compound blocks ‘gatekeeper’ enzyme to kill malaria

Melbourne researchers are homing in on a new target for malaria treatment, after developing a compound that blocks the action of a key ‘gatekeeper’ enzyme essential for malaria parasite survival. The compound, called WEHI-916, is the first step toward a new class of antimalarial drugs that could cure and prevent malaria infections caused by all species of the parasite, including those resistant to existing drugs Continue reading

Using geometry, researchers coax human embryonic stem cells to organize themselves

Using geometry, researchers coax human embryonic stem cells to organize themselves

About seven days after conception, something remarkable occurs in the clump of cells that will eventually become a new human being. Continue reading

Alzheimer’s linked to brain hyperactivity

Alzheimer’s linked to brain hyperactivity

Patients with Alzheimer’s disease run a high risk of seizures. While the amyloid-beta protein involved in the development and progression of Alzheimer’s seems the most likely cause for this neuronal hyperactivity, how and why this elevated activity takes place hasn’t yet been explained — until now. A new study by Tel Aviv University researchers, published in Cell Reports , pinpoints the precise molecular mechanism that may trigger an enhancement of neuronal activity in Alzheimer’s patients, which subsequently damages memory and learning functions Continue reading

Evolution of life’s operating system revealed in detail

Evolution of life’s operating system revealed in detail

The evolution of the ribosome, a large molecular structure found in the cells of all species, has been revealed in unprecedented detail in a new study. Continue reading

Combatting drug resistance for melanoma patients

Combatting drug resistance for melanoma patients

Moffitt Cancer Center researchers developed a new way to identify possible therapeutic targets for patients with drug resistant melanoma. It involves using liquid chromatography-multiple reaction monitoring mass spectrometry to measure biomarkers or molecules in blood and tissue that indicates cancer is present. These measurements can help researchers determine if a patient is responding to treatment Continue reading

Potential drug target for PTSD prevention

Potential drug target for PTSD prevention

Scientists at Yerkes National Primate Research Center, Emory University have identified a drug that appears to make memories of fearsome events less durable in mice. The finding may accelerate the development of treatments for preventing PTSD (post-traumatic stress disorder). The drug, called osanetant, targets a distinct group of brain cells in a region of the brain that controls the formation and consolidation of fear memories. Continue reading