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Human stem cells successfully transplanted, grown in pigs

Human stem cells successfully transplanted, grown in pigs

One of the biggest challenges for medical researchers studying the effectiveness of stem cell therapies is that transplants or grafts of cells are often rejected by the hosts. This rejection can render experiments useless, making research into potentially life-saving treatments a long and difficult process Continue reading

Uncovering Clues to the Genetic Cause of Schizophrenia

Uncovering Clues to the Genetic Cause of Schizophrenia

The overall number and nature of mutations — rather than the presence of any single mutation — influences an individual’s risk of developing schizophrenia, as well as its severity, according to a discovery by Columbia University Medical Center researchers published in the latest issue of Neuron . The findings could have important implications for the early detection and treatment of schizophrenia. Maria Karayiorgou, MD, professor of psychiatry and Joseph Gogos, MD, PhD, professor of physiology and cellular biophysics and of neuroscience, and their team sequenced the “exome” — the region of the human genome that codes for proteins — of 231 schizophrenia patients and their unaffected parents Continue reading

Intertwined evolution of human brain and brawn

Intertwined evolution of human brain and brawn

The cognitive differences between humans and our closest living cousins, the chimpanzees, are staggeringly obvious. Although we share strong superficial physical similarities, we have been able to use our incredible mental abilities to construct civilisations and manipulate our environment to our will, allowing us to take over our planet and walk on the moon while the chimps grub around in a few remaining African forests. But a new study suggests that human muscle may be just as unique Continue reading

Intertwined evolution of human brain and brawn

Intertwined evolution of human brain and brawn

The cognitive differences between humans and our closest living cousins, the chimpanzees, are staggeringly obvious. Although we share strong superficial physical similarities, we have been able to use our incredible mental abilities to construct civilisations and manipulate our environment to our will, allowing us to take over our planet and walk on the moon while the chimps grub around in a few remaining African forests. But a new study suggests that human muscle may be just as unique Continue reading

‘Virtual human’ shows that stiff arteries can explain cause of high blood pressure

‘Virtual human’ shows that stiff arteries can explain cause of high blood pressure

High blood pressure is highly age-related and affects more than 1 billion people worldwide. But doctors can’t fully explain the cause of 90 per cent of all cases. Continue reading

‘Virtual human’ shows that stiff arteries can explain cause of high blood pressure

‘Virtual human’ shows that stiff arteries can explain cause of high blood pressure

High blood pressure is highly age-related and affects more than 1 billion people worldwide. But doctors can’t fully explain the cause of 90 per cent of all cases. Continue reading

A better way to treat ACE inhibitor angioedema in the ED

A better way to treat ACE inhibitor angioedema in the ED

Investigators at the University of Cincinnati have found a safe and effective treatment for life-threatening angioedema attacks in the emergency department. In angioedema, patients experience a rapid swelling of the skin and subcutaneous tissues — which, in some cases, can lead to airway obstruction and suffocation. Continue reading

Scientists investigate the role of the ‘silent killer’ inside deep-diving animals

Scientists investigate the role of the ‘silent killer’ inside deep-diving animals

With its imperceptible features, carbon monoxide is widely known as the “silent killer” due to its risks at lethal concentrations. Far less known is that carbon monoxide is produced naturally in small quantities in humans and animals, and in recent years medical researchers have evaluated the gas as a treatment for diabetes, heart attacks, sepsis, and other illnesses Continue reading

How cone snail venom minimizes pain

How cone snail venom minimizes pain

The venom from marine cone snails, used to immobilize prey, contains numerous peptides called conotoxins, some of which can act as painkillers in mammals. A recent study in The Journal of General Physiology provides new insight into the mechanisms by which one conotoxin, Vc1.1, inhibits pain. The findings help explain the analgesic powers of this naturally occurring toxin and could eventually lead to the development of synthetic forms of Vc1.1 to treat certain types of neuropathic pain in humans. Continue reading

Role of calcium in familial Alzheimer’s disease clarified, pointing to new therapeutics

Role of calcium in familial Alzheimer’s disease clarified, pointing to new therapeutics

In 2008 researchers at the Perelman School of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania showed that mutations in two proteins associated with familial Alzheimer’s disease (FAD) disrupt the flow of calcium ions within neurons. Continue reading