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Breakthroughs made in ovarian cancer research

Breakthroughs made in ovarian cancer research

Scientists at A*STAR’s Institute of Medical Biology (IMB) and the Bioinformatics Institute (BII) have found new clues to early detection and personalised treatment of ovarian cancer, currently one of the most difficult cancers to diagnose early due to the lack of symptoms that are unique to the illness. Continue reading

Mystery of brain cell growth unraveled by scientists

Mystery of brain cell growth unraveled by scientists

In the developing brain, special proteins that act like molecular tugboats push or pull on growing nerve cells, or neurons, helping them navigate to their assigned places amidst the brain’s wiring. How a single protein can exert both a push and a pull force to nudge a neuron in the desired direction is a longstanding mystery that has now been solved by scientists from Dana-Farber Cancer Institute and collaborators in Europe and China. Jia-huai Wang, PhD, who led the work at Dana-Farber and Peking University in Beijing, is a corresponding author of a report published in the August 7 online edition of Neuron that explains how one guidance protein, netrin-1, can either attract or repel a brain cell to steer it along its course. Continue reading

Hybrid-motor helps cells push their way through tissues

Hybrid-motor helps cells push their way through tissues

Research has uncovered how two cellular motors, previously thought to compete with each other, can actually work together to help cells squeezing through a crowded mass of cells. Continue reading

Elderly with depression, mild cognitive impairment more vulnerable to accelerated brain aging

Elderly with depression, mild cognitive impairment more vulnerable to accelerated brain aging

People who develop depression and mild cognitive impairment (MCI) after age 65 are more likely to have biological and brain imaging markers that reflect a greater vulnerability for accelerated brain aging, according to a study conducted by researchers at the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine. The findings were published online in Molecular Psychiatry . Continue reading

Gut microbes browse along gene buffet

Gut microbes browse along gene buffet

In the moist, dark microbial rainforest of the intestine, hundreds of species of microorganisms interact with each other and with the cells of the host animal to get the resources they need to survive and thrive. Though there’s a lot of competition in this vibrant ecosystem, collaboration is valued too. A new study on the crosstalk between microbes and cells lining the gut of mice shows just how cooperative this environment can be Continue reading

Growing human GI cells may lead to personalized treatments

Growing human GI cells may lead to personalized treatments

A method of growing human cells from tissue removed from a patient’s gastrointestinal (GI) tract eventually may help scientists develop tailor-made therapies for inflammatory bowel disease and other GI conditions. Reporting online recently in the journal Gut , researchers at Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis said they have made cell lines from individual patients in as little as two weeks. Continue reading

Stem cell behavior of human bowel discovered for first time

Stem cell behavior of human bowel discovered for first time

For the first time, scientists have uncovered new information on how stem cells in the human bowel behave, revealing vital clues about the earliest stages in bowel cancer development and how we may begin to prevent it. The study, led by Queen May University of London (QMUL) and published today in the journal Cell Reports , discovered how many stem cells exist within the human bowel and how they behave and evolve over time. Continue reading

Dramatic growth of grafted stem cells in rat spinal cord

Dramatic growth of grafted stem cells in rat spinal cord

Building upon previous research, scientists at the University of California, San Diego School of Medicine and Veteran’s Affairs San Diego Healthcare System report that neurons derived from human induced pluripotent stem cells (iPSC) and grafted into rats after a spinal cord injury produced cells with tens of thousands of axons extending virtually the entire length of the animals’ central nervous system. Writing in the August 7 early online edition of Neuron , lead scientist Paul Lu, PhD, of the UC San Diego Department of Neurosciences and colleagues said the human iPSC-derived axons extended through the white matter of the injury sites, frequently penetrating adjacent gray matter to form synapses with rat neurons. Continue reading

Gene increases risk of breast cancer to one in three by age 70

Gene increases risk of breast cancer to one in three by age 70

Breast cancer risks for one of potentially the most important genes associated with breast cancer after the BRCA1/2 genes are today reported in the New England Journal of Medicine . Continue reading

Stress during pregnancy can be passed down through generations, rat study shows

Stress during pregnancy can be passed down through generations, rat study shows

To better understand problems during pregnancies today, we should look to the experiences of our ancestors, research published in the open access journal BMC Medicine suggests. Scientists investigating pregnancies in four generations of rats show that inherited epigenetic effects of stress could affect pregnancies for generations. Continue reading