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Tag Archives: laboratory

New test scans all genes simultaneously to identify single mutation causing child’s rare genetic disease

New test scans all genes simultaneously to identify single mutation causing child’s rare genetic disease

Audrey Lapidus adored her baby’s sunny smile and irresistible dimples, but grew worried when Calvin did not roll over or crawl by 10 months and suffered chronic digestive problems. Four neurologists dismissed his symptoms and a battery of tests proved inconclusive. Desperate for answers, Audrey and her husband agreed to have their son become UCLA’s first patient to undergo a powerful new test called exome sequencing. Continue reading

Improving bladder function among people with spinal cord injuries

Improving bladder function among people with spinal cord injuries

People who have suffered spinal cord injuries are often susceptible to bladder infections, and those infections can cause kidney damage and even death. New UCLA research may go a long way toward solving the problem. A team of scientists studied 10 paralyzed rats that were trained daily for six weeks with epidural stimulation of the spinal cord and five rats that were untrained and did not receive the stimulation. Continue reading

Cystic Fibrosis lung infection: Scientists open black box on bacterial growth

Cystic Fibrosis lung infection: Scientists open black box on bacterial growth

Researchers from the University of Copenhagen have shown for the first time how bacteria can grow directly in the lungs of Cystic fibrosis patients, giving them the opportunity to get tremendous insights into bacteria behavior and growth in chronic infections. The study also discovered the bacterial growth in chronic lung infections among cystic fibrosis (CF) patients was halted or slowed down by the immune cells. The researchers discovered the immune cells consumed all the oxygen and helped “suffocate” the bacteria, forcing the bacteria to switch to a much slower growth. Continue reading

Modeling tumor dormancy: What makes a tumor switch from dormant to malignant?

Modeling tumor dormancy: What makes a tumor switch from dormant to malignant?

Cancer constantly wages war on the human body. Battles are won, lost or sometimes end in a stalemate Continue reading

Staph ‘gangs’ share nutrients during infection

Staph ‘gangs’ share nutrients during infection

Antibiotic-resistant bacteria can share resources to cause chronic infections, Vanderbilt investigators have discovered. Like the individual members of a gang who might be relatively harmless alone, they turn deadly when they get together with their “friends.” The findings, reported Oct. 8 in Cell Host & Microbe , shed light on a long-standing question in infectious diseases and may inform new treatment strategies, said Eric Skaar, Ph.D., MPH, Ernest W Continue reading

Boosting heart’s natural ability to recover after heart attack

Boosting heart’s natural ability to recover after heart attack

Researchers from the UNC School of Medicine have discovered that cells called fibroblasts, which normally give rise to scar tissue after a heart attack, can be turned into endothelial cells, which generate blood vessels to supply oxygen and nutrients to the injured regions of the heart, thus greatly reducing the damage done following heart attack. This switch is driven by p53, the well-documented tumor-suppressing protein Continue reading

German academies call for consequences from the Ebola virus epidemic

German academies call for consequences from the Ebola virus epidemic

The Ebola virus is spreading rapidly and to an unexpected extent. The outbreak does not follow the patterns experienced in the past and the virus shows a new disease dynamic in regions where it has never been recorded before. For this reason, the German National Academy of Sciences Leopoldina, acatech — the German Academy of Science and Engineering, and the Union of the German Academies of Sciences and Humanities have presented a statement on the Ebola epidemic today Continue reading

Discovery of cellular snooze button advances cancer, biofuel research

Discovery of cellular snooze button advances cancer, biofuel research

The discovery of a cellular snooze button has allowed a team of Michigan State University scientists to potentially improve biofuel production and offer insight on the early stages of cancer. Continue reading

Scientists create new protein-based material with some nerve

Scientists create new protein-based material with some nerve

Scientists at the University of California, Berkeley, have taken proteins from nerve cells and used them to create a “smart” material that is extremely sensitive to its environment. This marriage of materials science and biology could give birth to a flexible, sensitive coating that is easy and cheap to manufacture in large quantities. The work, to be published Oct. Continue reading

Moderate levels of ‘free radicals’ found beneficial to healing wounds

Moderate levels of ‘free radicals’ found beneficial to healing wounds

Long assumed to be destructive to tissues and cells, “free radicals” generated by the cell’s mitochondria — the energy producing structures in the cell — are actually beneficial to healing wounds. That’s the conclusion of biologists at UC San Diego who discovered that “reactive oxygen species” — chemically reactive molecules containing oxygen, such as peroxides, commonly referred to as free radicals — are necessary for the proper healing of skin wounds in the laboratory roundworm C. elegans. Continue reading