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Tag Archives: laboratory

Brain scans used to forecast early reading difficulties

Brain scans used to forecast early reading difficulties

UC San Francisco researchers have used brain scans to predict how young children learn to read, giving clinicians a possible tool to spot children with dyslexia and other reading difficulties before they experience reading challenges. In the United States, children usually learn to read for the first time in kindergarten and become proficient readers by third grade, according to the authors Continue reading

Combining Epilepsy Drug, Morphine Can Result in Less Pain, Lower Opioid Doses

Combining Epilepsy Drug, Morphine Can Result in Less Pain, Lower Opioid Doses

Adding a common epilepsy drug to a morphine regimen can result in better pain control with fewer side effects. Moreover, the combination can reduce the dosage of the opioid needed to be effective, according to a team of pain researchers at Indiana University. The result could bring significant relief to many patients with neuropathic pain, a difficult-to-treat condition often felt in the arms and legs and associated with nerve tissue damage. Continue reading

Worldwide study demonstrates accuracy of genetic analyses

Worldwide study demonstrates accuracy of genetic analyses

Physicians envision a future in which genomic data from patients is heavily used to manage care, but experts have questioned the accuracy and reliability of these analyses. Now, a study by 150 researchers in 12 countries finds real strength and agreement across RNA genomic sequencing techniques and laboratories — as well as ways to improve what little variability exists to set a new high standard. The results of the study were published in Nature Biotechnology in three separate research articles Continue reading

Simple method turns human skin cells into immune strengthening white blood cells

Simple method turns human skin cells into immune strengthening white blood cells

For the first time, scientists have turned human skin cells into transplantable white blood cells, soldiers of the immune system that fight infections and invaders. The work, done at the Salk Institute, could let researchers create therapies that introduce into the body new white blood cells capable of attacking diseased or cancerous cells or augmenting immune responses against other disorders. Continue reading

Diverse gut bacteria associated with favorable ratio of estrogen metabolites

Diverse gut bacteria associated with favorable ratio of estrogen metabolites

Postmenopausal women with diverse gut bacteria exhibit a more favorable ratio of estrogen metabolites, which is associated with reduced risk for breast cancer, compared to women with less microbial variation, according to a new study published in the Endocrine Society’s Journal of Clinical Endocrinology & Metabolism ( JCEM ). Since the 1970s, it has been known that in addition to supporting digestion, the intestinal bacteria that make up the gut microbiome influence how women’s bodies process estrogen, the primary female sex hormone. The colonies of bacteria determine whether estrogen and the fragments left behind after the hormone is processed continue circulating through the body or are expelled through urine and feces. Continue reading

Intestinal bacteria needed for strong flu vaccine responses in mice

Intestinal bacteria needed for strong flu vaccine responses in mice

Mice treated with antibiotics to remove most of their intestinal bacteria or raised under sterile conditions have impaired antibody responses to seasonal influenza vaccination, researchers have found. Continue reading

New payment model for gene therapy needed, experts say

New payment model for gene therapy needed, experts say

Hoping to encourage sufficient investments by pharmaceutical companies in expensive gene therapies, which often consist of a single treatment, a Penn researcher and the chief medical officer of CVS Health outline an alternative payment model in this month’s issue of Nature Biotechnology . They suggest annuity payments over a defined period of time and contingent on evidence that the treatment remains effective Continue reading

Biologists delay the aging process by ‘remote control’

Biologists delay the aging process by ‘remote control’

UCLA biologists have identified a gene that can slow the aging process throughout the entire body when activated remotely in key organ systems. Working with fruit flies, the life scientists activated a gene called AMPK that is a key energy sensor in cells; it gets activated when cellular energy levels are low Continue reading

Researchers discover key to making new muscles

Researchers discover key to making new muscles

Researchers at Sanford-Burnham Medical Research Institute (Sanford-Burnham) have developed a novel technique to promote tissue repair in damaged muscles. Continue reading

Disease in a dish approach could aid Huntington’s disease discovery

Disease in a dish approach could aid Huntington’s disease discovery

Creating induced pluripotent stem cells or iPS cells allows researchers to establish “disease in a dish” models of conditions ranging from Alzheimer’s disease to diabetes. Scientists at Yerkes National Primate Research Center, Emory University have now applied the technology to a model of Huntington’s disease (HD) in transgenic nonhuman primates, allowing them to conveniently assess the efficacy of potential therapies on neuronal cells in the laboratory. Continue reading