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Baboon matriarchs enjoy less stress
You know the type: Loud. Swaggering. Pushy. The alpha male clearly runs the show. Female alphas are often less conspicuous than their puffed up male counterparts, but holding the top spot still has its perks. Now, a study of female baboons points to another upside to being No. 1. A Duke University-led study of 237 female baboons in Kenya found that alphas have significantly lower levels of glucocorticoids, hormones produced in response to stress. (2020-09-09)

As information flows through brain's heirarchy, higher regions use higher frequency waves
New study by MIT neuroscientists also finds specific frequency bands associated with encoding, or inhibiting encoding, of sensory information across the cortex. (2020-09-08)

Polycythaemia vera: Determination of individual DNA variants allows for more effective treatment
Polycythaemia vera is a chronic malignant disease of the haematopoietic system and is treated with interferon-alpha-based drugs, in most cases with long-lasting success. However, in some cases this therapy is unsuccessful for reasons that are not yet understood. A research group led by Robert Kralovics from MedUni Vienna's Department of Laboratory Medicine and from CeMM has now conducted genetic association studies, which show that patients with certain DNA variants commonly found in the population do not respond sufficiently to the treatment. (2020-09-08)

Fatty acid receptor involved in temperature-induced sex reversal of Japanese medaka fish
A research collaboration based at Kumamoto University (Japan) has found that activation of PPAR╬▒, a fatty acid receptor that detects fatty acids in cells and regulates physiological functions, causes Japanese rice fish (medaka) to become male. The discovery of this molecular mechanism is expected to advance the development of new sex control technologies. (2020-09-04)

Wool-like material can remember and change shape
SEAS researchers have developed a biocompatible material that can be 3D printed into any shape and pre-programmed with reversible shape memory. The material is made using keratin, a fibrous protein found in hair, nails and shells, extracted from leftover Agora wool used in textile manufacturing. It could be used in anything from self-fitting bras to actuating textiles for medical therapeutics and could help reduce waste in the fashion industry. (2020-09-03)

Unique protein structures could hold the key to treatment for Parkinson's disease
Scientists at the University Bath have discovered a series of protein structures that are thought to be highly relevant to the onset of Parkinson's disease. It is hoped that further analysis of these structures will open up a new avenue for potential treatment for a disease that is the fastest growing neurological condition in the world, with no cure currently available. (2020-08-20)

Targeting a chronic pain gateway could bring relief
A new approach to chronic pain treatment targets a molecule that moves pain messages into nerve cell nuclei. (2020-08-19)

Study shows how a single gene drives aggression in wild songbird
A new study shows how differentiation of a single gene changes behavior in a wild songbird, determining whether the white-throated sparrow displays more, or less, aggression. (2020-08-18)

Drugs against alpha-ketoglutarate may combat deadly childhood brain tumor
Every year, 150 to 300 children in the United States are diagnosed with diffuse intrinsic pontine gliomas (DIPGs), aggressive and lethal tumors that grow deep inside the brain, for which there are no cures. In a study funded by the National Institutes of Health, researchers showed that experimental drugs designed to lower the body's natural production of alpha-ketoglutarate extended the lives of mice harboring DIPG tumors by slowing the growth of the cancer cells. (2020-08-18)

Brain waves can be used to predict future pain sensitivity
Rhythms produced by the brain can reliably be used to predict how sensitive we are to pain, new research shows. (2020-08-06)

New insight into the evolution of complex life on Earth
A novel connection between primordial organisms and complex life has been discovered, as new evidence sheds light on the evolutionary origins of the cell division process that is fundamental to complex life on Earth. (2020-08-06)

New study on development of Parkinson's disease is 'on the nose'
Scientists suggest that the initial impact of environmental toxins inhaled through the nose may induce inflammation in the brain, triggering the production of Lewy bodies that can then be spread to other brain regions. However, the relationship linking olfactory dysfunction and Parkinson's disease development remains unclear. New findings from a study add weight to this theory and identify a critical signaling molecule that may be key to the domino effect kicked off by nasal inflammation. (2020-08-03)

Diverse amyloid structures and dynamics revealed by high-speed atomic force microscopy
Researchers at Kanazawa University report in ACS Nano a high-speed atomic-force microscopy study of the formation of protein fibrils (amyloids) associated with pathologies in collaborated research with Showa University. Mixing different variants of a single protein and changing the acidity of its environment is shown to result in significant variations in amyloid structure and elongation rates. (2020-08-03)

Immune system variation can predict severe COVID-19 outcomes
The differing immune system responses of patients with COVID-19 can help predict who will experience moderate and severe consequences of disease, according to a new study by Yale researchers published July 27 in the journal Nature. (2020-07-27)

'Self-eating' process of stem cells may be the key to new regenerative therapies
The self-eating process in embryonic stem cells known as chaperone-mediated autophagy (CMA) and a related metabolite may serve as promising new therapeutic targets to repair or regenerate damaged cells and organs, Penn Medicine researchers show in a new study published online in Science. (2020-07-23)

Exhaled biomarkers can reveal lung disease
Using specialized nanoparticles, MIT engineers have developed a way to diagnose pneumonia or other lung diseases by analyzing the breath exhaled by the patient. (2020-07-20)

Type 1 interferon deficiency: Biomarker of patients at risk of severe COVID
Which patients are more likely to develop a severe form of Covid-19? This is a key question that needs to be answered to improve the individual management and prognosis of patients. In a study published in Science on July 13, teams from AP-HP, Inserm, Universit├ę of Paris, Institut Pasteur and Institut Imagine describe a unique and unexpected immunological phenotype in severe and critical patients. (2020-07-17)

Turmeric could have antiviral properties
Curcumin, a natural compound found in the spice turmeric, could help eliminate certain viruses, research has found. A study published in the Journal of General Virology showed that curcumin can prevent Transmissible gastroenteritis virus (TGEV) - an alpha-group coronavirus that infects pigs - from infecting cells. At higher doses, the compound was also found to kill virus particles. (2020-07-17)

Largest source of AATD stem cells collected
Researchers from the Center for Regenerative Medicine (CReM) at Boston University and Boston Medical Center (BMC) have assembled the largest repository of patient derived stem cells (iPSCs) from patients with alpha-1 antitrypsin deficiency (AATD). (2020-07-02)

RCSI begins clinical trial for potential drug therapy for severe COVID-19 infection
Clinician scientists at RCSI University of Medicine and Health Sciences have begun a clinical trial of a promising therapy for critically ill COVID-19 patients in intensive care. (2020-06-29)

It's not just Alzheimer's disease: Sanders-Brown research highlights form of dementia
The long-running study on aging and brain health at the University of Kentucky's Sanders-Brown Center on Aging Alzheimer's Disease Center has once again resulted in important new findings -- highlighting a complex and under-recognized form of dementia. (2020-06-26)

Invasive fire ants limiting spread of meat allergy -- but pose their own dangers
Invasive fire ants with a nasty bite are limiting the spread of a dangerous meat allergy, new research suggests. But it's not all good news, as the ants themselves can also cause severe allergic reactions. (2020-06-24)

Insight into protein misfolding could open up new approaches to treat Parkinson's disease
Researchers have uncovered a link between the structure of the protein alpha-synuclein and its likelihood to misfold and aggregate. (2020-06-04)

'Terminator' protein halts cancer-causing cellular processes
New research from the lab of Hening Lin, professor of chemistry and chemical biology in the College of Arts and Sciences, finds that a protein called TiPARP acts as a terminator for several cancer-causing transcription factors, including HIF-1, which is implicated in many cancers, including breast cancer. The research demonstrates that TiPARP, therefore, is a tumor suppressor. (2020-06-03)

Does estrogen influence alcohol use disorder?
A new study from researchers at the University of Illinois at Chicago shows that high estrogen levels may make alcohol more rewarding to female mice. (2020-06-01)

New streamlined assay can improve prenatal detection of alpha-thalassemia
In a report in The Journal of Molecular Diagnostics, published by Elsevier, researchers describe a rapid, accurate novel assay for nondeletional alpha-thalassemia genotyping based on one-step nested asymmetric PCR melting curve analysis, which may enhance prenatal diagnosis, newborn screening, and large-scale population screening. (2020-05-29)

Glucocorticoids are harmful in treating viral respiratory infections
Glucocorticoids, which are widely used as treatment in intensive care, can nearly quadruple the death rate of patients suffering from acute respiratory distress syndrome. Researchers at the University of Turku, Finland, discovered the reason for the higher mortality. The findings are also important in the fight against COVID-19 disease. (2020-05-29)

An imbalance of electrons in the liver may be a common risk factor for disease
Researchers at Massachusetts General Hospital have uncovered an unexpected connection between an imbalance of electrons in liver cells and many metabolic problems that increase the risk for conditions such as cardiovascular disease and fatty liver disease. (2020-05-28)

Preventing 'cytokine storm' may ease severe COVID-19 symptoms
A clinical trial in people with the new coronavirus is testing a drug that may halt an overactive immune response before it ramps up. (2020-05-21)

Scientists find a new way to reverse symptoms of Fragile X
MIT scientists have identified a potential new strategy for treating Fragile X syndrome, a disorder that is the leading heritable cause of intellectual disability and autism. In a study of mice, the researchers showed that inhibiting an enzyme called GSK3 alpha reversed many of the behavioral and cellular features of Fragile X. (2020-05-20)

Scientists find evidence of link between diesel exhaust, risk of Parkinson's
A new UCLA study in zebrafish identified the process by which air pollution can damage brain cells, potentially contributing to Parkinson's disease. (2020-05-20)

Discovery of bacterial enzyme activity could lead to new sugar-based drugs
Researchers from DTU have revealed the structure of an enzyme that can convert low-cost sugars into hard-to-produce alpha-GalNAc sugars with therapeutic properties for e.g. cancer drugs. (2020-05-04)

Nanostimulators boost stem cells for muscle repair
In regenerative medicine, an ideal treatment for patients whose muscles are damaged from lack of oxygen would be to invigorate them with an injection of their own stem cells. Illinois researchers demonstrated that 'nanostimulators' - -nanoparticles seeded with a molecule the body naturally produces to prompt stem cells to heal wounds -- can amp up stem cells' regenerative powers in a targeted limb in mice. (2020-05-01)

Researchers identify unique glucose-sensing neurons that regulate blood sugar
At Baylor College of Medicine and other institutions, researchers have identified a group of unique glucose-sensing neurons in the brain and how they work together to prevent severe hypoglycemia in mice. (2020-05-01)

Good news for the wheat-sensitive among us
A joint project between Edith Cowan University (ECU) in Australia and CSIRO has revealed key insights about the proteins causing two of the most common types of wheat sensitivity - non-coeliac wheat sensitivity and occupational asthma (baker's asthma). (2020-04-23)

A biological mechanism for depression
Researchers report that in depressed individuals there are increased amounts of an unmodified structural protein, called tubulin, in lipid rafts compared with non-depressed individuals. (2020-04-21)

New research gives further evidence that autoimmunity plays a role in Parkinson's disease
A new study co-led by scientists at the La Jolla Institute for Immunology (LJI) adds increasing evidence that Parkinson's disease is partly an autoimmune disease. In fact, the researchers report that signs of autoimmunity can appear in Parkinson's disease patients years before their official diagnosis. (2020-04-20)

Turning colon cancer cells around
Using a modified natural substance along with current approaches could improve colon cancer treatment, according to findings by University of California, Irvine biologists. The discovery comes from their research into the role of an amino acid in tumor development and a potential method for reversing the process. Their paper appears in Nature Cancer. The disease is the second-leading cause of cancer-related deaths in the United States. (2020-04-03)

Study sheds light on fatty acid's role in 'chemobrain' and multiple sclerosis
Medical experts have always known myelin, the protective coating of nerve cells, to be metabolically inert. A study led by The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center has found that myelin is surprisingly dynamic, a discovery that has implications for treatment of multiple sclerosis and a type of myelin damage caused by some chemotherapy drugs, often referred to as 'chemobrain.' (2020-03-23)

Scientists can see the bias in your brain
The strength of alpha brain waves reveals if you are about to make a biased decision, according to research recently published in JNeurosci. (2020-03-16)

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