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Study establishes major new treatment target in diseased arteries

May 11, 2009

By eliminating the gene for a signaling protein called cyclophilin A (CypA) from a strain of mice, researchers at the University of Rochester and were able to provide complete protection against abdominal aortic aneurysm, a fatal event in 90 percent of cases.

Inhibition of CypA also appears to have benefit in several diseases that involve blood vessels in the brain and heart, the researchers suggest.

Study finds contaminants in bottled water

October 16, 2008

Laboratory tests on ten brands of bottled water purchased in nine states and the District of Columbia detected bacteria and 38 pollutants often found in tap water, some at levels no better than tap water, a study released Wednesday by the Environmental Working Group found.

The pollutants identified include common urban wastewater pollutants like caffeine and pharmaceuticals, an array of cancer-causing byproducts from municipal tap water chlorination,… read more

Study finds new nanomaterial could be breakthrough for implantable medical devices

November 11, 2008

Nanoporous ceramic membranes may create an interface between human tissues and medical devices that is free of protein buildup, leading to new dialysis devices and other revolutionary medical implants, a new study led by North Carolina State University has found.

Study finds value in ‘junk’ DNA

October 17, 2008

A University of Iowa study has found evidence that a significant number of exons (the building blocks for protein-coding genes) created from junk DNA seem to play a role in gene regulation.

Study Gives Key Role to Sleep in Helping Brain Learn Anew

January 29, 2008

During sleep, the synapses weaken, University of Wisconsin researchers have hypothesized.

This weakening performs a crucial role of sleep: restoring the brain for the next period of learning.

Study identifies new patterns of brain activation used in forming long-term memories

February 21, 2008

New York University and Weizmann Institute of Science researchers have identified patterns of brain activation linked to the formation of long-term memories in a simulated real-life experience, finding activity in new areas of the brain: the temporal pole, superior temporal gyrus, medial prefrontal cortex, and temporal parietal junction.

Previous studies had not simulated the real-world settings in which long-term memories are typically formed, and found only that medial temporal… read more

Study identifies small molecules mimicking key brain growth factor

April 20, 2010

Stanford University School of Medicine researchers have identified several small molecules that mimic BDNF, a key protein in the brain, a discovery that could open the door to new therapies for a variety of brain disorders.

BDNF belongs to a family of proteins called nerve growth factors, which are critical during development of the nervous system. When a growth factor binds to its receptor on the surface of a… read more

Study identifies ‘traffic engineer’ in neurons

September 9, 2010

These mammalian cells were labeled with an antibody that reveals microtubules. A critical enzyme keeps traffic flowing in the right direction in the microtubules of nervous system cells. (Dorota Wloga/University of Georgia)

A new University of Georgia study published in the journal Nature has identified a critical enzyme that keeps traffic flowing in the right direction in the nervous system, and the finding could eventually lead to new treatments for conditions such as Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s disease.

Cells contain a network of tubes known as microtubules that are made of protein and serve as tracks for the shuttling… read more

Study Is Setback for Some RNA-Based Drugs

April 8, 2008

University of Kentucky researchers have found that RNA-interference-activating drugs now being tested in clinical trials do not work by silencing genes but by activating the immune system.

That could mean these drugs are not really precise tools and could have unexpected side effects.

The drugs aim to inactivate a gene contributing to leaky blood vessels in the back of the eye, the hallmark of the severe form of… read more

Study Lends Support to Mad Cow Theory

July 30, 2004

Scientists have made an artificial prion that can, by itself, produce a deadly infectious disease in mice and may help explain the roots of mad cow disease.

The findings are strong evidence for the “protein-only hypothesis,” the controversial idea that a protein, acting alone without the help of DNA or RNA, can cause certain kinds of infectious diseases.

Alzheimer’s disease, Parkinson’s disease, Type 2 diabetes and at least… read more

Study links aerobic fitness, thinner gray matter, and better math skills in kids

August 12, 2015

Cortical thickness regions of interest. Starred regions are areas in which higher-fit children showed decreased cortical thickness compared to lower-fit children. (credit: Laura Chaddock-Heyman et al./PLOS ONE)

A new study reveals that 9- and 10-year-old children who are aerobically fit tend to have significantly thinner gray matter than their “lower-fit” peers. Thinning of the outermost layer of brain cells in the cerebrum is associated with better mathematics performance, researchers report in an open-access paper in the journal PLOS ONE.

The study suggests, but does not prove, that cardiorespiratory fitness contributes to gray matter thinning —… read more

Study links diabetes and Alzheimer’s disease

May 1, 2008

Salk Institute researchers have identified a probable molecular basis for the connection between diabetes and a higher risk for developing Alzheimer’s disease.

In young mice with diabetes, beta amyloid (found in Alzheimer’s) and elevated blood glucose appeared to interact. This caused an overproduction of free radicals, leading to oxidative damage to the cells lining the brain’s blood vessels.

Diabetic patients have a 30 to 65 percent higher risk… read more

Study links lower vitamin D levels with type 1 diabetes

June 6, 2008

University of California San Diego researchers have found an association between lower sun exposure and higher type 1 diabetes rates in children, which they attribute to vitamin D levels.

The researchers plotted incidence rates by latitude, using worldwide data available through GLOBOCAN (a database of cancer incidence, mortality and prevalence for 175 countries) and found higher rates of type 1 diabetes at the highest north and south latitudes. They… read more

Study Links More Time Spent Sitting to Higher Risk of Death

July 23, 2010

A new study from American Cancer Society researchers finds it’s not just how much physical activity you get, but how much time you spend sitting that can affect your risk of death.

Researchers say time spent sitting was independently associated with total mortality, regardless of physical activity level. They conclude that public health messages should promote both being physically active and reducing time spent sitting. The study appears earlyread more

Study links vitamin D, race and cardiac deaths

January 6, 2010

Vitamin D deficiency may contribute to a higher number of heart and stroke-related deaths among black Americans compared to whites, according to a University of Rochester Medical Center study.

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