Current Activation News and Events

Current Activation News and Events, Activation News Articles.
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Innate immune system worsens the situation in severe COVID-19
In patients with severe COVID-19, the innate immune system overreacts. This overreaction may underlie the formation of blood clots (thrombi) and deterioration in oxygen saturation that affect the patients. This is shown in an Uppsala University study published in the journal Frontiers in Immunology. (2021-02-23)

Politics and the brain: Attention perks up when politicians break with party lines
Building upon previous work studying the brain and politics, Ingrid Haas, associate professor of political science affiliated with Nebraska's Center for Brain, Biology and Behavior, examined the insula and anterior cingular cortex in 58 individuals using functional Magnetic Resonance Imaging and learned that the human brain processes politically incongruent statements differently. (2021-02-22)

Deep brain stimulation prevents epileptic seizures in mouse model
Scientists led by neurobiologist Prof. Dr. Carola Haas, head of the research group at the Department of Neurosurgery at Medical Center - University of Freiburg and the BrainLinks-BrainTools research center, have investigated a new therapeutic approach to prevent epileptic seizures in temporal lobe epilepsy. They showed in mice that low-frequency stimulation of specific brain areas could completely stop epileptic activity. (2021-02-19)

Targeting MAPK4 emerges as a promising therapy for prostate cancer
New research opens the possibility that targeting the enzyme MAPK4 in human prostate cancer might provide a novel therapeutic strategy for this disease that is the second leading cause of cancer death in American men. (2021-02-19)

Cytoglobin: key player in preventing liver disease
Researchers have discovered that the use of Cytoglobin (CYGB) as an intravenous drug could delay liver fibrosis progression in mice. CYGB, discovered in 2001 by Professor Norifumi Kawada, is present in hepatic stellate cells, the cells that produce fibrotic molecules such as collagens when the liver has acute or chronic inflammation induced by different etiologies. The enhancement of CYGB on these cells or the injection of recombinant CYGB has the effect of suppressing liver damage and cirrhosis. (2021-02-16)

How comparable different stress tests are
Scientists use many different tests to investigate what happens in the brain in people experiencing stress. It is unclear to what extent the various methods with which subjects are placed under stress are comparable to each other. In a meta-analysis, researchers compared 31 previous studies that had investigated stress using functional magnetic resonance imaging. The team worked out which regions of the brain are activated as standard during stress and which stress tests trigger similar activation patterns. (2021-02-12)

Going the distance--insights into how cancer cells spread
In a study published in Nature Communications, cancer researchers at Kanazawa University identify mechanisms by which malignant tumor cells extend their toxicity to distinct cell types and in turn help them spread. (2021-02-12)

New "molecular" tool helps shed light on individual synapses in brain cells
Optogenetics, or genetically engineering neurons to respond to light, is an important technique for studying how neurons work. However, manipulating individual synapses (gaps between neurons), where signaling transmission occurs, has been challenging until now. Researchers at National Institute of Physiological Sciences, Japan, have now generated a light-activated signaling protein that can help study signaling-related physiological changes in single neurons--a breakthrough that will be valuable for neuroscience. (2021-02-09)

New biomarker may predict which pancreatic cancer patients respond to CD40 immunotherapy
Inflammation in the blood could serve as a new biomarker to help identify patients with advanced pancreatic cancer who won't respond to the immune-stimulating drugs known as CD40 agonists, suggests a new study from researchers in the Abramson Cancer Center of the University of Pennsylvania published in JCI Insight. (2021-02-04)

Dual treatments help PTSD and depression
Reducing the severity of posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and depression - an urgent concern in the era of COVID-19 lockdown and isolation traumas - may benefit from dual treatments rather than a single treatment protocol, according to Flinders University researchers. (2021-02-04)

Spanish scientists identify a mechanism through which dendritic cells improve their antiviral and immunotherapy strategies
Researchers at the Centro Nacional de Investigaciones Cardiovasculares (CNIC) have discovered that dendritic cells, which initiate specific immune responses, can reprogram their genes to improve their immune response (2021-02-03)

Origami with DNA
To study the behaviour of T-cells, an unusual method was used at TU Wien: DNA molecules were folded in an ingenious way, similar to the paper folding art origami. In this way, not just a double helix is created, but a rectangular ''molecular raft'' that floats across a cell membrane and serves as a tool for novel measurements. (2021-02-01)

Ludwig Cancer Research study reveals how certain gut bacteria compromise radiotherapy
A study led by Ludwig Chicago Co-director Ralph Weichselbaum and Yang-Xin Fu of the University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center has shown how bacteria in the gut can dull the efficacy of radiotherapy, a treatment received by about half of all cancer patients. (2021-01-26)

Immune cells found in the brain are behind the depression experienced in inflammation
Special immune cells found in the brain, microglia, play a key role in the processes that make you feel uneasy and depressed in correlation with inflammation. This is the conclusion of a study using mice carried out by researchers at Linköping University, Sweden. The results have been published in the scientific journal Immunity, and suggest that microglial cells contribute to the negative mood experienced during several neurological diseases, and maybe also depression. (2021-01-25)

Potential combined drug therapy for lung cancer
Researchers at Kanazawa University report in Clinical Cancer Research that in the most common type of lung cancer, certain secondary mutations occurring with another gene alteration known as ALK make the efficacy of alectinib, an otherwise commonly used drug for treating lung cancer, become unfavorable. Combining alectinib with another kind of drug can overcome this adverse effect, however. (2021-01-22)

Abnormal hyperactivation in the brain may be an early sign of Alzheimer's
A research team led by UdeM psychology and neuroscience professor Sylvie Belleville has just targeted an early biomarker of the disease. (2021-01-21)

Parkinson's: Initial steps to show nerves their growth direction magnetically
One reason why nerve damage in the brain cannot regenerate easily is that the neurites do not know in which direction they should grow. A team of researchers from Ruhr-Universität Bochum (RUB), Sorbonne University Paris, and the Technische Universität Braunschweig is now working on showing them the direction using magnetic nanoparticles. (2021-01-18)

How insects activate muscles to adapt to limbs removed
Adaptability explains why insects spread so widely and why they are the most abundant animal group on earth. Insects exhibit resilient and flexible locomotion, even with drastic changes in their body structure such as losing a limb. (2021-01-14)

Scientists reveal mechanism that causes irritable bowel syndrome
KU Leuven researchers have identified the biological mechanism that explains why some people experience abdominal pain when they eat certain foods. The finding paves the way for more efficient treatment of irritable bowel syndrome and other food intolerances. The study, carried out in mice and humans, was published in Nature. (2021-01-13)

Scientists explore deficits in processing speed in individuals with spinal cord injury
This study is the first to examine the neural mechanisms of higher order cognitive tasks of individuals with SCI.''Our ability to observe brain activation while the individual performs specific cognitive tasks provides new information on the mechanisms that underlie the cognitive deficits that we now know affect a substantial proportion of the SCI population,'' Dr. Wylie said. ''Developing treatments targeted to these deficits depends on our pursuit of this line of research, which may benefit other populations affected by delayed processing speed.'' (2020-12-30)

Sustained cellular immune dysregulation in individuals recovering from COVID-19
Ongoing observational clinical research has become a priority to better understand how the COVID-19 virus acts, and findings from this research can better inform treatment and vaccine design. Researchers at the University of Alabama at Birmingham have now reported their observational study, ''Sustained cellular immune dysregulation in individuals recovering from SARS-CoV-2 infection,'' published in the Journal of Clinical Investigation. (2020-12-29)

Music-induced emotions can be predicted from brain scans
Researchers at the University of Turku have discovered what type of neural mechanisms are the basis for emotional responses to music. Altogether 102 research subjects listened to music that evokes emotions while their brain function was scanned with functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI). The study was carried out in the national PET Centre. (2020-12-28)

Potential preventative treatment demonstrated for Crohn's disease
A potential preventive treatment for Crohn's disease, a form of inflammatory bowel disease, has been demonstrated in a mouse model and using immune-reactive T cells from patients with Crohn's disease. (2020-12-21)

Pacify the protein and win over a disease
Will it be enough to pacify the activity of certain proteins in order to hold back the development of many dangerous diseases including Alzheimer's disease? An article on a breaking through discovery has just been published in PNAS, a prestigious magazine of American Academy of Sciences. Its first author is Karolina Mikulska-Ruminska, Dr., a biophysicist from Nicolaus Copernicus University in Torun (Poland). The article refers to the mechanisms of the activities of the immune system under inflammatory conditions. (2020-12-21)

New study: available drugs can prevent rejection and tissue injury after transplantation
Controlling inflammation after transplantation of organs, cells, or tissues is critical for graft survival; however, it can be difficult. Continuing injuries due to chronic rejection can be particularly problematic. Now, a team of researchers from Albert Einstein College of Medicine report that neutralizing the cell signaling molecule, tumor necrosis factor (TNF), can prevent cascades of injurious molecules and signals after cell transplantation in The American Journal of Pathology, published by Elsevier. (2020-12-21)

Fighting hypertension through electrical impulses
Electrical impulses applied to a particular branch of the vagus nerve could be used in the future to reduce complications of arterial hypertension. These are the results of a research conducted, on animal models, by the Department of Angiocardioneurology and Translational Medicine of the I.R.C.C.S. Neuromed, in Italy, and published in the scientific journal Cell Reports. (2020-12-15)

Molecule holds promise to reprogram white blood cells for better cancer treatment
Cancer immunotherapy using ''designer'' immune cells has revolutionized cancer treatment. In this type of therapy, T cells, a type of white blood cell, are collected from a patient's blood and genetically engineered to produce T cells carrying a synthetic molecule termed chimeric antigen receptor (CAR) that enables T cells to recognize and destroy cancer cells. Then these genetically modified CAR T cells are expanded and infused back to the patient. (2020-12-14)

Study shows endothelial cell targeting could help fight Covid-19 symptoms
For Covid-19 patients with serious lung disease, targeting endothelial cells -cells that comprise the blood vessel wall which regulate oxygen exchange between airways and the bloodstream- may be a novel approach restoring normal lung function. (2020-12-14)

New insights about age-related macular degeneration could spur better treatments
Experiments in a mouse model have uncovered mechanisms involved in abnormal blood vessel formation in ''wet'' age-related macular degeneration. Certain inflammatory pathways and proteins may be attractive therapeutic targets for the disease. (2020-12-11)

Elevated biomarker for blood vessel damage found in all children with SARS-CoV-2
Researchers at Children's Hospital of Philadelphia (CHOP) have found elevated levels of a biomarker related to blood vessel damage in children with SARS-CoV-2 infection, even if the children had minimal or no symptoms of COVID-19. They also found that a high proportion of children with SARS-CoV-2 infection met clinical and diagnostic criteria for thrombotic microangiopathy (TMA). (2020-12-08)

Astrocytes improve decision-making
A study led by researchers from the Cajal Institute of the Spanish Research Council (CSIC) has demonstrated the relevance of the astrocytes (a cell type present in the Nervous System) in the decision-making process. Data published in Nature Neuroscience journal, indicate that these glial cells favor those decisions with higher etiological value for individuals. (2020-12-07)

Molecular mechanism of plant immune receptors discovered
Research team from the University of Cologne and the Max Planck Institute for Plant Breeding Research (MPIPZ) explore the activation of plant immune receptors by pathogens / similar function of immune receptors in plants and animals. (2020-12-07)

Gasdermin offers insight into coral necrotic death
A research team led by Professor SUN Li from the Institute of Oceanology of the Chinese Academy of Sciences (IOCAS), in collaboration with Professor ZHOU Zhi from Hainan University, has identified gasdermin E (GSDME) from the reef-building coral Orbicella faveolata and demonstrated that coral GSDME triggers pyroptosis and is involved in pathogen-induced coral death. (2020-12-04)

A plant immune receptor: It takes four to tango
A collaborative study on a plant intracellular immune receptor from researchers at the Max Planck Institute for Plant Breeding Research (MPIPZ) not only shows how an important resistance protein is activated during pathogen infection but also reveals some common operational principles with immunity proteins from humans. (2020-12-03)

Research reveals how a fungal infection activates inflammation
Scientists at St. Jude Children's Research Hospital have shed light on the mechanisms that underlie how Aspergillus fumigatus activates the inflammasome, with implications for therapeutic development. (2020-12-02)

Study sheds light on immune mechanism that triggers cytokine storm typical of COVID-19
In lung tissue from a person who died after contracting COVID-19, active inflammasomes (puncta, represented as red specks) can be seen in some cells. Collagen fibers, lung cell nuclei and epithelial cells are stained green, blue and pink respectively (2020-12-01)

The neurobiology of thirst: The neural mechanisms that control hydration
Scientists at the Tokyo Institute of Technology (Tokyo Tech) provide deeper insights into neural thirst control. Their study published recently in Nature Communications indicates that cholecystokinin-mediated water-intake suppression is controlled by two neuronal 'thirst-suppressing' sub-populations in the subfornical organ in the brain; one population is persistently activated by excessive water levels, and the other, transiently after drinking water. (2020-11-26)

Ribosome assembly - The final trimming step
Ribosomes synthesize all the proteins in cells. Studies mainly done on yeast have revealed much about how ribosomes are put together, but an Ludwig-Maximilians-Universitaet (LMU) in Munich team now reports that ribosome assembly in human cells requires factors that have no counterparts in simpler model organisms. (2020-11-20)

Simple measurement could transform injury rehabilitation
Researchers from Edith Cowan University in Western Australia have found a simple way to analyse the effectiveness of exercise training that could one day be conducted easily at a local gym or physio. Using vertical jumps as a test activity, the researchers could predict detailed information regarding technique and muscle activation patterns just through a relatively simple analysis of forces produced against the ground during the jump. (2020-11-19)

Parasite infection discovery could assist mental health treatments
New research into how a common parasite infection alters human behaviour could help development of treatments for schizophrenia and other neurological disorders. T. gondii currently infects 2.5 billion people worldwide and causes the disease Toxoplasmosis. (2020-11-16)

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