A small, native-Irish marine animal with remarkable powers of regeneration has provided stem cell scientists studying congenital defects and cancer biology with significant new leads.
Hydractinia echinata has the power to regenerate any lost body part, can clone itself, does not age biologically, and, according to Dr Uri Frank, who is leading the research at NUI Galway’s regenerative medicine institute, “in theory - lives forever”.
The tiny creature, which is a relative of jellyfish and sea anemones, is “perfect for understanding the role of stem cells in development, ageing and disease,” says Dr Frank.
Wednesday, August 21, 2013 - 16:15
A lifetime of too much copper in our diets may be contributing to Alzheimer's disease, US scientists say. However, research is divided, with other studies suggesting copper may actually protect the brain. The latest study in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences showed high levels of copper left the brain struggling to get rid of a protein thought to cause the dementia. The study on mice, by a team at the University of Rochester in New York, suggested that copper interfered with the brain's shielding - the blood brain barrier.
Tuesday, August 20, 2013 - 16:16
New research with worms at Rutgers may help shed light on how and why nervous system changes occur, and what causes some people to suffer from life-threatening anxiety disorders while others are better able to cope.
Monday, August 19, 2013 - 14:46
Ottawa researchers have developed unique virus-derived particles that can kill human blood cancer cells in the laboratory and eradicate the disease in mice with few side effects.
Thursday, August 15, 2013 - 15:34
Scientists' latest bright idea? Bunnies that glow in the dark. A Turkish lab used a technique developed at the University of Hawaii to breed a colony of rabbits that glow bright green in the dark, in what they say is an attempt to advance research into treatments for life-threatening genetic diseases.
Tuesday, August 13, 2013 - 13:57
A cure for human deafness just might be swimming alongside the thousands of zebrafish in muggy rooms across the hall from Texas A&M University biologist Bruce Riley's office, and a recent renewal of a federal grant totaling $1.5 million over five years will move him closer to that goal.
Monday, August 12, 2013 - 15:48
In a new study, researchers at The Center for Brain and Spinal Cord Repair at The Ohio State University Wexner Medical Center show that is possible to restore immune function in spinal injured mice.
Wednesday, August 7, 2013 - 15:31
John L. VandeBerg is the director of the Southwest National Primate Research Center and the chief scientific officer of the Texas Biomedical Research Institute. In his latest op-ed, he discusses the need for apes and chimps in research: Here is a fact about animal welfare that my opponents fail to consider: research with captive chimpanzees is vital to the development and testing of vaccines that can help save the lives not just of humans but also of wild chimpanzees and gorillas. It could even help those species from becoming extinct.
Friday, August 2, 2013 - 15:07
It appears tiny and inconsequential enough, but the "super mouse" — created by researchers at the University of Kentucky Markey Cancer Center some six years ago — has spawned plenty of new research into preventing and/or treating many types of cancer.
Tuesday, July 30, 2013 - 15:27
Scientists are struggling to find a cure for Parkinson's disease. The search has yielded a number of therapies, including deep brain stimulation, but many possible treatments can only work for so long. What makes a cure even more elusive is the scarcity of animal models for testing treatments. But even with these hurdles, a group of researchers found that certain symptoms of Parkinson's start to appear when mice suddenly lose their testosterone.
Monday, July 29, 2013 - 15:48
Every year more than 13,000 Americans will be diagnosed with a glioblastoma, the worst kind of brain tumor. There’s no cure and few treatments. On average, people only have 15 months to live after diagnosis. Now, man’s best friend could hold the key to helping these patients.
Friday, July 26, 2013 - 14:31
Ongoing research on paralyzed dogs may one day help military veterans and others who have severe spinal cord injuries. Researchers at the Texas A&M College of Veterinary Medicine & Biomedical Sciences have developed a therapy that might help paralyzed dogs regain some of their lost function.
Thursday, July 25, 2013 - 14:20
In the final hours of a nematode worm’s life, a wave of cell death propagates along the length of its body. But, as if to have one last hurrah, the dying cells put on a bright blue light show, according to a paper published online yesterday (July 23) in PLOS Biology.
The discovery of this unusual death-related phenomenon came as a result of studies into aging, said University College London’s David Gems. One of the prevailing theories to explain aging in organisms, he said, is that throughout life there is a slow accumulation of damage to cellular components. In mammals, some of that damaged material accumulates in the lysosomes of aging cells as a substance called lipofuscin—“a sort of biological crap,” Gems said.
Wednesday, July 24, 2013 - 16:10
A team of MSU researchers might have found a crucial link between peptide levels in the brain and the escalation of Alzheimer’s disease.
For the project, professor Christina Chan and MSU alumna Hirosha Geekiyanage experimented with mice, which were genetically altered to be more likely to develop symptoms of the disease. The team injected a compound called L-cycloserine into the mice and later found it decreased levels of peptides that have been shown to lead to the plaques on the brain associated with Alzheimer’s.
Wednesday, July 17, 2013 - 15:25
Although medicine has advanced far enough to treat basic headaches, strained muscles and the agony of having a cavity filled, inflammatory pain—the kind that results from osteoarthritis, bone cancer and back injuries—has proved to be a far more elusive target. Current remedies, including morphine and other opiates, flood all the nerves of the body, causing dangerous side effects. More localized remedies, such as steroid injections, wear off over time. Recently researchers have begun working with a toxin found in a Moroccan cactuslike plant that may be able to deliver permanent, local pain relief with a single injection.
Monday, July 15, 2013 - 16:09
Scientists have created genetically-engineered mice with artificial human chromosomes in every cell of their bodies, as part of a series of studies showing that it may be possible to treat genetic diseases with a radically new form of gene therapy.
Thursday, July 11, 2013 - 15:04
Some people possess a small number of cells in their bodies that are not genetically their own; this condition is known as microchimerism. It is difficult to determine potential health effects from this condition because of humans' relatively long life-spans. Now, researchers at the University of Missouri have found that microchimerism can be found in dogs as well. Jeffrey Bryan, an associate professor of oncology at the MU College of Veterinary Medicine and director of Comparative Oncology and Epigenetics Laboratory, says this discovery will help doctors determine what diseases humans with microchimerism may be more likely to develop during their lifetimes.
Wednesday, July 10, 2013 - 15:27
With some strains of tuberculosis resistant to many antibiotics and the only vaccine not very effective in adults, scientists around the world are trying to develop better drugs and immunizations for the disease. Among them are UW-Madison researchers Michael Thomas and Adel Talaat. He is focusing on four genes that activate TB in the lungs, where most TB infections cause the most harm. A vaccine using mutant versions of the genes could help the immune system fight TB, he said.
Monday, July 8, 2013 - 13:00
A federally approved drug already being inhaled by asthma patients may make mice with Down syndrome smarter, according to a new study.
Tuesday, July 2, 2013 - 14:49
A drug used to treat canker sores in people has made some fat lab mice skinny. In the laboratory, Saltiel and his team used mice that were genetically modified to be obese or that were fed a high-fat diet and grew obese. Some of the mice then were given Amlexanox, a prescription-only drug approved in the U.S. to treat canker sores.
Monday, July 1, 2013 - 16:31