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Drug Candidates May Halt Parkinson's Patients' Decline

January 27, 2015 3:00 pm | by The Scripps Research Institute | News | Comments

In a pair of related studies, scientists have shown their drug candidates can target biological pathways involved in the destruction of brain cells in Parkinson's disease. The studies suggest it is possible to design highly effective and highly selective drug candidates that can protect the function of mitochondria, which provide the cell with energy, ultimately preventing brain cell death.

Obama: More Money Needed to Fight Antibiotic-resistant Germs

January 27, 2015 3:00 pm | by Associated Press, Nedra Pickler | News | Comments

President Barack Obama wants the U.S. to invest much more in fighting antibiotic-resistant germs...

Surgeon Performs Brain Surgery Through Eyelid

January 27, 2015 7:00 am | by Associated Press, Lauran Neergaard | News | Comments

Doctor after doctor said removing the tumor causing Pamela Scott's unrelenting headaches...

Cancer Hijacks Healthy Cells

January 27, 2015 7:00 am | by Rice Univ. | News | Comments

Cancer uses a little-understood element of cell signaling to hijack the communication process...

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Today in Lab History: Aspartame, the Controversial Sweetener

January 27, 2015 7:00 am | by Lily Barback, Associate Editor | News | Comments

On Jan. 27, 1970, James Schlatter, a chemist working for G.D. Searle & Company, patented an artificial sweetener as “peptide sweetening agents.” It was later named aspartame. It remains, even today, a very popular sugar substitute but is frequently vilified.

Identifying Zombie Bacteria May Help Treat TB

January 26, 2015 2:00 pm | by EPFL | News | Comments

“Living-dead” bacteria exist in limbo: biologically active but not proliferating. Buried in this zombie state, disease-causing bacteria could come back from the dead to re-infect patients. Researchers have produced the first evidence of this strange phenomenon in tuberculosis, suggesting new avenues for treatment.

WHO Tries to Fix Itself After Botching Ebola

January 26, 2015 2:00 pm | by Associated Press, Maria Cheng | News | Comments

The World Health Organization has proposed reforms that could overhaul its structure after botching the response to the biggest-ever Ebola outbreak, a sluggish performance that experts say cost thousands of lives. Several dozen of WHO's member countries have approved a resolution aimed at strengthening the U.N. health agency's ability to respond to emergencies.

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New Drug Testing: One Dose, Then Surgery

January 23, 2015 3:00 pm | by Associated Press, Marilynn Marchione | News | Comments

Lori Simons took the bright orange pill at 3 a.m. Eight hours later, doctors sliced into her brain, looking for signs that the drug was working. She is taking part in one of the most unusual cancer experiments in the nation. With special permission from the FDA and multiple drug companies, a hospital is testing medicines very early in development and never tried on brain tumors before.

Vaccine May Help You Quit Smoking

January 23, 2015 7:00 am | by ACS | Videos | Comments

New research may help millions stick to a common resolution: quitting smoking. Scientists are working on a nicotine vaccine that could put an end to the addiction.

Today in Lab History: Gertrude Belle Elion

January 23, 2015 7:00 am | by Lily Barback, Associate Editor | News | Comments

Gertrude Belle Elion was born Jan. 23, 1918 in New York City. She was a biochemist and pharmacologist who received the Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine in 1988 for the development of drugs using methods of her own devising, which later led to the development of AZT, used to fight HIV/AIDS.

Supposed Cancer-promoting Enzymes Suppress Tumors

January 22, 2015 3:00 pm | by UC San Diego | News | Comments

Upending decades-old dogma, a team of scientists say enzymes— long categorized as promoting cancer— are, in fact, tumor suppressors and that current clinical efforts to develop inhibitor-based drugs should instead focus on restoring the enzymes' activities.

Travelers on Antibiotics May Spread Superbugs Globally

January 22, 2015 3:00 pm | by Oxford University Press | News | Comments

Taking antibiotics for diarrhea may put travelers visiting developing parts of the world at higher risk for contracting superbugs and spreading these daunting drug-resistant bacteria to their home countries. This is according to a new study that calls for greater caution in using antibiotics for travelers’ diarrhea, except in severe cases.

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Chat Between Good Bacteria, Host Key to Digestive Health

January 22, 2015 3:00 pm | by Univ. of Utah Health Sciences | News | Comments

As many as 1.4 million Americans suffer from inflammatory bowel disease. A new study has demonstrated that mice deficient for a component of the immune system, a protein called MyD88, are more susceptible to contracting a severe IBD-like illness.

Eight Gene Mutations May Shed Light on Brain

January 22, 2015 7:00 am | by Univ. of Southern California | News | Comments

In the largest collaborative study of the brain to date, a global consortium of 190 institutions has identified eight common genetic mutations that appear to age the brain an average of three years. The discovery could lead to targeted therapies and interventions for Alzheimer’s disease, autism and other neurological conditions.

Why are Generic Drugs Getting Pricy?

January 22, 2015 7:00 am | by The Conversation, Geoffrey Joyce | News | Comments

More than eight out of every 10 prescriptions dispensed in the U.S. is generic. This growth is because of a large number of top-selling drugs going off patent over the past decade, as well as innovations in the retail sector. But, recently, prices of some long-time generic drugs like digoxin (a heart medication), albuterol (for asthma) and doxycycline (an antibiotic) increased more than 10-fold over a very short period of time.

Baby’s Hunger Hormone Linked to Continued Obesity

January 21, 2015 3:00 pm | by The Saban Research Institute of Children’s Hospital Los Angeles | News | Comments

Our subconscious motivation to eat is powerfully and dynamically regulated by hormone signals. The gut-derived hormone ghrelin is one such key regulator. Now, researchers have revealed an unexpected role for ghrelin in early brain development and show its long-term impact on appetite regulation.

Implantable Fibers Deliver Drugs to the Brain

January 21, 2015 7:00 am | by MIT, David Chandler | Videos | Comments

By producing complex multimodal fibers that could be less than the width of a hair, researchers have created a system that could deliver optical signals and drugs directly into the brain, along with simultaneous electrical readout to continuously monitor the effects of the various inputs.

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Study Finds Fight or Flight Response Control Center

January 21, 2015 7:00 am | by Johns Hopkins Univ. | News | Comments

An animal study has uncovered what controls the ability of healthy hearts to speed up in response to circumstances ranging from fear to a jog around the block. The key to the heart’s “fight or flight” response, researchers report, is a channel in cells’ energy factories. Better understanding of this channel could lead to new treatments for people whose heart rates needlessly accelerate.

Type 1 Diabetes Prevented in Lab

January 20, 2015 3:00 pm | by Saint Louis Univ. | News | Comments

Researchers have found a way to prevent type 1 diabetes in an animal model. They focused on blocking the autoimmune process that destroys beta cells and leads to diabetes, with the aim of developing therapies that can prevent the illness from developing rather than treating its symptoms.

Ebola Vaccine Desperately Needed for Chimps, Gorillas

January 20, 2015 3:00 pm | by The Conversation, Meera Inglis | News | Comments

At this moment in time, Ebola is the single greatest threat to the survival of gorillas and chimpanzees. The virus is even more deadly for other great apes than it is for humans, with mortality rates approximately 95 percent for gorillas and 77 percent for chimpanzees. Current estimates suggest a third of the world’s gorillas and chimpanzees have died from Ebola since the 1990s.

Neural Circuit Controls Fear in the Brain

January 20, 2015 8:18 am | by Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory | News | Comments

For the nearly 40 million adults who suffer from anxiety disorders, an overabundance of fear rules their lives. Debilitating anxiety prevents them from participating in life's most mundane moments, from driving a car to riding in an elevator. Now, a team of researchers has described a new pathway that controls fear memories and behavior in the mouse brain, offering mechanistic insight into how anxiety disorders may arise.

Breakthrough Key to New Anesthetics

January 20, 2015 7:00 am | by American Society of Anesthesiologists | News | Comments

While physician anesthesiologists have improved the safety of anesthesia over the years, there are still many risks associated with general anesthesia. And yet, no new anesthetics have been developed for more than 40 years. Now, for the first time since the 1970s, researchers are on the verge of developing a new class of anesthetics.

Mosquitoes Stymied Ming Dynasty Invasion Attempts

January 16, 2015 2:00 pm | by Pennsylvania State Univ. | News | Comments

Chinese rulers spent hundreds of years and sacrificed countless lives building a meandering 5,500-mile earth, stone and brick wall along the country's northern border, designed to keep invaders from attacking the empire. Meanwhile, tiny germs and bugs were one brick in a wall that restrained China's own ambitions to conquer and incorporate parts of what is now called Vietnam and the empire's other southern neighbors.

Inflammation Linked to Cancer

January 16, 2015 2:00 pm | by MIT, Anne Trafton | News | Comments

A study has revealed one reason why people who suffer from chronic inflammatory diseases such as colitis have a higher risk of mutations that cause cancer. The researchers also found that exposure to DNA-damaging chemicals after a bout of inflammation boosts these mutations even more, further increasing cancer risk.

Research Sheds Light on How Blood Stem Cells Take Root

January 16, 2015 7:00 am | by Harvard Medical School | Videos | Comments

A see-through zebrafish and enhanced imaging provide the first direct glimpse of how blood stem cells take root in the body to generate blood. Researchers have described a surprisingly dynamic system that offers several clues for improving bone-marrow transplants in patients with cancer, severe immune deficiencies and blood disorders, and for helping those transplants “take.”

Cooperation of Two Hormones May Burn More Fat

January 16, 2015 7:00 am | by Monash Univ. | News | Comments

By shedding light on the action of two naturally occurring hormones, scientists may have discovered a way to assist in the shedding of excess fat. The researchers have unraveled a molecular mechanism that depends on the combined action of two hormones— leptin, an appetite suppressant generated in fat cells, and insulin, produced in the pancreas in response to rising levels of glucose in the blood.

Hibernation Mechanism May Help Prevent Alzheimer's

January 16, 2015 7:00 am | by Univ. of Leicester | News | Comments

During hibernation, where a mammal’s core temperature cools to well below normal, the connections between brain cells are depleted. This process may be defective in neurodegenerative diseases such as Alzheimer’s, contributing to the death of brain cells in these disorders. By simulating the effects of cooling in mice, scientists have revealed a possible new target for drugs that could protect against neurodegeneration.

Drug Prevents HIV-like Infection in Monkeys

January 15, 2015 3:00 pm | by The Rockefeller Univ. | News | Comments

The new drug cabotegravir has been shown to protect monkeys from infection by an HIV-like virus, and a clinical trial testing its safety and acceptability has begun. Unlike other preventive treatments, it would require only one injection every three months.

Excess Iron Promotes Aging

January 15, 2015 3:00 pm | by Buck Institute for Age Research | News | Comments

It's been known for decades that some metals, including iron, accumulate in human tissues during aging. Common belief has held that iron accumulation happens as a result of the aging process. But, research shows that iron accumulation itself may also be a significant contributor to the aging process, causing dysfunction and malfolding of proteins already implicated in the aging process.

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