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Tag Archives: Scientists

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

‘Immortal’ flatworms: Weapon against bacteria

‘Immortal’ flatworms: Weapon against bacteria

A novel mode of defense against bacteria such as the causal agent of tuberculosis or Staphylococcus aureus has been identified in humans by studying a small, aquatic flatworm, the planarian. This discovery was made by scientists in the “Unité de Recherche sur les Maladies Infectieuses et Tropicales Emergentes” (CNRS/IRD/Inserm/Aix-Marseille Université), working in collaboration with the “Centre Méditerranéen de Médecine Moléculaire” (Inserm/Université Nice Sophia Antipolis) and other national and international research groups Continue reading

Avatars make the Internet sign to deaf people

Avatars make the Internet sign to deaf people

It is challenging for deaf people to learn a sound-based language, since they are physically not able to hear those sounds. Hence, most of them struggle with written language as well as with text reading and comprehension. Continue reading

Encyclopedia of how genomes function gets much bigger

Encyclopedia of how genomes function gets much bigger

A big step in understanding the mysteries of the human genome was unveiled today in the form of three analyses that provide the most detailed comparison yet of how the genomes of the fruit fly, roundworm, and human function. The research, appearing August 28 in in the journal Nature, compares how the information encoded in the three species’ genomes is “read out,” and how their DNA and proteins are organized into chromosomes. The results add billions of entries to a publicly available archive of functional genomic data Continue reading

Mimicking natural evolution with ‘promiscuous reactions’ to improve the diversity of drugs

Mimicking natural evolution with ‘promiscuous reactions’ to improve the diversity of drugs

The researchers, who report their findings online in the journal Nature Chemistry , took their inspiration from evolution in nature. The research may uncover new pharmaceutical drugs that traditional methods would never have found. “Nature produces some amazing structures with really interesting biological activity, but the plant or animal did not design them. Continue reading

Potential risk factors for urinary tract infections in young girls

Potential risk factors for urinary tract infections in young girls

Young girls with an intense, red, itchy rash on their outer genital organs may be at increased risk of developing urinary tract infections (UTIs), according to new research from Wake Forest Baptist Medical Center. The treatment may be as simple as better hygiene and avoiding potential irritants such as bubble baths and swimming pools Continue reading

Seals and sea lions likely spread tuberculosis to humans

Seals and sea lions likely spread tuberculosis to humans

Tuberculosis is one of the most persistent and deadliest infectious diseases in the world, killing one to two million people each year. Scientists who study tuberculosis have long debated its origins Continue reading