Brightsurf Science News & Current Events

December 24, 2009
1 step closer to closure
Spinal cord disorders like spina bifida arise during early development when future spinal cord cells growing in a flat layer fail to roll up into a tube.

Citrus surprise: Vitamin C boosts the reprogramming of adult cells into stem cells
Famous for its antioxidant properties and role in tissue repair, vitamin C is touted as beneficial for illnesses ranging from the common cold to cancer and perhaps even for slowing the aging process.

Small changes in protein chemistry play large role in Huntington's disease
Investigators studying the toxic protein at the root of Huntington's disease have found that small biochemical changes to the protein have a large effect on its toxicity.

UCLA scientists find molecular switch to prevent Huntington's disease in mice
UCLA scientists have identified a molecular switch that prevents Huntington's disease from developing in mice.

Ladder-walking locusts show big brains aren't always best
Scientists have shown for the first time that insects, like mammals, use vision rather than touch to find footholds.

Steroid injections may slow diabetes-related eye disease
Researchers led by specialists at the Johns Hopkins Wilmer Eye Institute have found that injecting a corticosteroid, triamcinolone, directly into the eye may slow the progression of proliferative diabetic retinopathy, a complication of diabetes that frequently leads to blindness.

'Self-seeding' of cancer cells may play a critical role in tumor progression
Cancer progression is commonly thought of as a process involving the growth of a primary tumor followed by metastasis, in which cancer cells leave the primary tumor and spread to distant organs.

Stanford scientists identify protein that keeps stem cells poised for action
Researchers at the Stanford University School of Medicine have now identified a critical component, called Jarid2, of this delicate balancing act -- one that both recruits other regulatory proteins to genes important in differentiation and also modulates their activity to keep them in a state of ongoing readiness.

Seeing without looking
Like a spotlight that illuminates an otherwise dark scene, attention brings to mind specific details of our environment while shutting others out.

Mobilizing the repair squad: Critical protein helps mend damaged DNA
In order to preserve our DNA, cells have developed an intricate system for monitoring and repairing DNA damage.

How does a locust walk a ladder? A lot like you
When a person walks a ladder or perhaps a series of stepping stones, they rely on their vision to find each and every foothold.

Molecular anchor links the 2 inheritable diseases Fanconi anemia and Bloom's syndrome
A new study establishes a molecular link that bridges two rare inherited disorders and explains why these diseases result in genetic instability.

New tool in the fight against mosquito-borne disease: A microbial 'mosquito net'
Earlier this year, researchers showed that they could cut the lives of disease-carrying mosquitoes in half by infecting them with a bacterium they took from fruit flies.
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