News Archive

The trillions of bacteria that live in the gut — helping digest foods, making some vitamins, making amino acids — may help determine if a person is fat or thin. Dr. Jeffrey I. Gordon and Vanessa K. Ridaura are two members of a scientific team whose research shows a connection between human gut bacteria and obesity. The evidence is from a novel experiment involving mice and humans that is part of a growing fascination with gut bacteria and their role in health and diseases like irritable bowel syndrome and Crohn’s disease. In this case, the focus was on obesity. Researchers found pairs of human twins in which one was obese and the other lean. They transferred gut bacteria from these twins into mice and watched what happened. The mice with bacteria from fat twins grew fat; those that got bacteria from lean twins stayed lean.

Friday, September 6, 2013 - 12:52

According to new research on epilepsy, zebrafish have certainly earned their stripes. Results of a study in Nature Communications suggest that zebrafish carrying a specific mutation may help researchers discover treatments for Dravet syndrome (DS), a severe form of pediatric epilepsy that results in drug-resistant seizures and developmental delays.

Tuesday, September 3, 2013 - 16:21

University of Iowa researchers say that the common fruit fly, Drosophila melanogaster, is an ideal model to study hearing loss in humans caused by loud noise. The reason: The molecular underpinnings to its hearing are roughly the same as with people.

Tuesday, September 3, 2013 - 16:20

This summer, Duke welcomed two new members to its community—each weighing no more than a handful of paperclips and standing less than three and a half centimeters tall.

Filbert and his sister Scuppernong, twin grey mouse lemurs, were born on June 18 at the Duke Lemur Center. DLC Director Anne Yoder said the birth of these twins is particularly significant in terms of the Center’s research, because mouse lemurs have been documented to show symptoms of dementia very similar to the onset of Alzheimer's in humans. By studying mouse lemur genomes, the Center hopes to shed light on the nature of Alzheimer's.

Thursday, August 29, 2013 - 16:00

Eating lots of broccoli may slow down and even prevent osteoarthritis, UK researchers believe.

The University of East Anglia team is starting human trials following on from successful lab studies.

Tests on cells and mice showed that a broccoli compound - which humans can also get from Brussels sprouts and cabbage - blocked a key destructive enzyme that damages cartilage.

Wednesday, August 28, 2013 - 16:19

Scientists have used a gene therapy technique to reverse symptoms of Rett syndrome in mice, showing the potential for clinical application.

Tuesday, August 27, 2013 - 15:43

UW-Madison researchers say fine control of genome editing in fruit flies promises to provide new insights into embryonic development, nervous system function, and the understanding of human disease.

Friday, August 23, 2013 - 14:05

It's well known that natural redheads are at higher odds for deadly melanoma skin cancer, and new research in mice may help explain why.

Researchers at Harvard Medical School say the genetic mutation responsible for red hair and light skin also appears to promote a well-known cancer-causing pathway.

Thursday, August 22, 2013 - 15:14

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