List/Grid

Tag Archives: Scientists

Designer ‘barrel’ proteins created

Designer ‘barrel’ proteins created

Proteins are long linear molecules that fold up to form well-defined 3D shapes. These 3D molecular architectures are essential for biological functions such as the elasticity of skin, the digestion of food, and the transport of oxygen in blood Continue reading

Salmonella-infected mice that were given antibiotics became superspreaders

Salmonella-infected mice that were given antibiotics became superspreaders

Salmonella-infected mice that were given antibiotics became sicker and began shedding far more bacteria in their feces than they had before. Some people infected with pathogens spread their germs to others while remaining symptom-free themselves Continue reading

Scientists restore hearing in noise-deafened mice, pointing way to new therapies

Scientists restore hearing in noise-deafened mice, pointing way to new therapies

Scientists have restored the hearing of mice partly deafened by noise, using advanced tools to boost the production of a key protein in their ears. By demonstrating the importance of the protein, called NT3, in maintaining communication between the ears and brain, these new findings pave the way for research in humans that could improve treatment of hearing loss caused by noise exposure and normal aging Continue reading

Scientists restore hearing in noise-deafened mice, pointing way to new therapies

Scientists restore hearing in noise-deafened mice, pointing way to new therapies

Scientists have restored the hearing of mice partly deafened by noise, using advanced tools to boost the production of a key protein in their ears. By demonstrating the importance of the protein, called NT3, in maintaining communication between the ears and brain, these new findings pave the way for research in humans that could improve treatment of hearing loss caused by noise exposure and normal aging. In a new paper in the online journal eLife , the team from the University of Michigan Medical School’s Kresge Hearing Research Institute and Harvard University report the results of their work to understand NT3′s role in the inner ear, and the impact of increased NT3 production on hearing after a noise exposure. Continue reading

Gene duplications associated with autism evolved recently in human history

Gene duplications associated with autism evolved recently in human history

Human geneticists have discovered that a region of the genome associated with autism contains genetic variation that evolved in the last 250,000 years, after the divergence of humans from ancient hominids, and likely plays an important role in disease. Their findings were presented at the American Society of Human Genetics (ASHG) 2014 Annual Meeting in San Diego. Researchers at the University of Washington analyzed the genomes of 2,551 humans, 86 apes, one Neanderthal, and one Denisovan Continue reading

Fundamental theory about education of immune police questioned by researchers

Fundamental theory about education of immune police questioned by researchers

A fundamental theory about how our thymus educates our immune police appears to be wrong, scientists say. It’s known that stem cells come out of the bone marrow and travel to the tiny thymus gland behind the breastbone to learn to become one of two CD4T cell types: one leads an attack, the other keeps the peace. One widely held concept of why they become one or the other is that, despite coming from the same neighborhood and going to the same school, they are exposed to different things in the thymus, said Dr. Continue reading

Computational model: Ebola could infect more than 1.4 million people by end of January 2015

Computational model: Ebola could infect more than 1.4 million people by end of January 2015

The Ebola epidemic could claim hundreds of thousands of lives and infect more than 1.4 million people by the end of January, according to a statistical forecast released this week by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The CDC forecast supports the drastically higher projections released earlier by a group of scientists, including epidemiologists with the Virginia Bioinformatics Institute, who modeled the Ebola spread as part of a National Institutes of Health-sponsored project called Midas, short for Models of Infectious Disease Agent Study Continue reading

Stem cell transplant does not cure SHIV/AIDS after irradiation of infected rhesus macaques

Stem cell transplant does not cure SHIV/AIDS after irradiation of infected rhesus macaques

A study published on September 25th in PLOS Pathogens reports a new primate model to test treatments that might cure HIV/AIDS and suggests answers to questions raised by the “Berlin patient,” the only human thought to have been cured so far. Being HIV-positive and having developed leukemia, the Berlin patient underwent irradiation followed by a bone-marrow transplant from a donor with a mutation that abolishes the function of the CCR5 gene. Continue reading

Discovery may lead to better treatments for autoimmune diseases, bone loss

Discovery may lead to better treatments for autoimmune diseases, bone loss

Scientists have developed an approach to creating treatments for osteoporosis and autoimmune diseases that may avoid the risk of infection and cancer posed by some current medications. Researchers at Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis redesigned a molecule that controls immune cell activity, changing the molecule’s target and altering the effects of the signal it sends. Continue reading

Program predicts placement of chemical tags that control gene activity

Program predicts placement of chemical tags that control gene activity

Biochemists working at the University of California, San Diego, have developed a program that predicts the placement of chemical marks that control the activity of genes based on sequences of DNA. They describe their analysis and report results from its application to human embryonic cells in a paper published in Nature Methods online September 21. “All of our cells have the same blueprint, the same DNA, although they serve separate functions,” said John Whitaker, lead author of the report Continue reading