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New neural pathway found in eyes that aids in vision

New neural pathway found in eyes that aids in vision

A type of retina cell plays a more critical role in vision than previously known, a team led by Johns Hopkins University researchers has discovered. Working with mice, the scientists found that the ipRGCs — an atypical type of photoreceptor in the retina — help detect contrast between light and dark, a crucial element in the formation of visual images. The key to the discovery is the fact that the cells express melanopsin, a type of photopigment that undergoes a chemical change when it absorbs light Continue reading

New neural pathway found in eyes that aids in vision

New neural pathway found in eyes that aids in vision

A type of retina cell plays a more critical role in vision than previously known, a team led by Johns Hopkins University researchers has discovered. Working with mice, the scientists found that the ipRGCs — an atypical type of photoreceptor in the retina — help detect contrast between light and dark, a crucial element in the formation of visual images. The key to the discovery is the fact that the cells express melanopsin, a type of photopigment that undergoes a chemical change when it absorbs light Continue reading

Screen of existing drugs finds compounds active against MERS coronavirus

Screen of existing drugs finds compounds active against MERS coronavirus

Clinicians treating patients suffering from Middle East respiratory syndrome (MERS) currently have no drugs specifically targeted to the MERS coronavirus (MERS-CoV), a virus first detected in humans in 2012 that has since caused 614 laboratory-confirmed infections, including 181 that were fatal, according to the World Health Organization. The case count escalated sharply in the spring of this year, and the first cases in the United States were announced in early May. To address the urgent need for therapies, researchers supported by the National Institutes of Health screened a set of 290 compounds already approved by the U.S Continue reading

Antidepressant may slow Alzheimer’s disease

Antidepressant may slow Alzheimer’s disease

A commonly prescribed antidepressant can reduce production of the main ingredient in Alzheimer’s brain plaques, according to new research at Washington University School of Medicine in St. Continue reading

Ability to isolate, grow breast tissue stem cells could speed cancer research

Ability to isolate, grow breast tissue stem cells could speed cancer research

By carefully controlling the levels of two proteins, researchers at the Salk Institute have discovered how to keep mammary stem cells — those that can form breast tissue — alive and functioning in the lab. Continue reading

Ability to isolate, grow breast tissue stem cells could speed cancer research

Ability to isolate, grow breast tissue stem cells could speed cancer research

By carefully controlling the levels of two proteins, researchers at the Salk Institute have discovered how to keep mammary stem cells — those that can form breast tissue — alive and functioning in the lab. Continue reading

Autoimmune diseases may succumb to new drug strategy

Autoimmune diseases may succumb to new drug strategy

New pharmaceuticals to fight autoimmune diseases, such as multiple sclerosis, rheumatoid arthritis and psoriasis, may be identified more effectively by adding genome analysis to standard drug screening, according to a new study by a research team led by UC San Francisco and Harvard researchers, in collaboration with Tempero and GlaxoSmithKlein. Continue reading

New insights into bacterial substitute for sex

New insights into bacterial substitute for sex

Bacteria don’t have sex as such, but they can mix their genetic material by pulling in DNA from dead bacterial cells and inserting these into their own genome. New research led by Imperial College London has found that this process — called recombination — is more complex than was first thought. The findings, published today in PLoS Genetics , could help us understand why bacteria which cause serious diseases are able to evade vaccines and rapidly become drug-resistant. Continue reading

Stem cells from some infertile men form germ cells when transplanted into mice

Stem cells from some infertile men form germ cells when transplanted into mice

Stem cells made from the skin of adult, infertile men yield primordial germ cells — cells that normally become sperm — when transplanted into the reproductive system of mice, according to researchers at the Stanford University School of Medicine and Montana State University. The infertile men in the study each had a type of genetic mutation that prevented them from making mature sperm — a condition called azoospermia. The research suggests that the men with azoospermia may have had germ cells at some point in their early lives, but lost them as they matured to adulthood Continue reading

Novel regulator of key gene expression in cancer identified

Novel regulator of key gene expression in cancer identified

Scientists at the Salk Institute for Biological Studies have identified a key genetic switch linked to the development, progression and outcome of cancer, a finding that may lead to new targets for cancer therapies. Continue reading