News Archive

A discovery about the aging process in mice might one day help efforts to develop treatments for age-related diseases in humans, researchers report.

Monday, February 4, 2013 - 12:33

Zebrafish, the staple of genetic research, may hold the answer to repairing damaged retinas and returning eye-sight to people.  University of Alberta researchers discovered that a zebrafish's stem cells can selectively regenerate damaged photoreceptor cells.

Friday, February 1, 2013 - 16:14

The most sensitive patch of mammalian skin known to us isn't human but on the star-shaped tip of the star-nosed mole's snout. Researchers studying this organ have found that the star has a higher proportion of touch-sensitive nerve endings than pain receptors, according to a study published Jan. 30 in the open access journal PLOS ONE by Diana Bautista and colleagues from the University of California, Berkeley and Vanderbilt University.

Thursday, January 31, 2013 - 17:08

 

 

Jasper, a 7-year-old rescue dog from San Jose, has a personality that endears him to everyone -- even to cats. He also has lymphoma, a cancer that sprouts from the body's defense system and is similar to non-Hodgkin lymphoma in people.

Right now, Jasper's treatment plan is based on laboratory tests, ultrasounds and the expertise of his veterinarian, Linda Fineman, a cancer specialist at the SAGE center in Campbell. In the future, however, tests on Jasper's DNA could determine the best medications for him and show how long they'll work, according to scientists who study the DNA of dogs. And those researchers are increasingly discovering that cancer and other diseases are caused by the same genetic mutations in pooches and people.  So as scientists develop new therapies for canine cancers, they're also finding more effective methods to treat similar problems in humans.

 

Tuesday, January 29, 2013 - 15:51

Rats injected with stem cells 30 minutes after a stroke had almost normal brain function restored within a fortnight.

Monday, January 28, 2013 - 17:03

Scientists believe the genes of virus-resistant and long-living wild bats might hold clues to treating cancer and infectious diseases in humans.

Friday, January 25, 2013 - 14:45

In the first study that non-invasively measures oxytocin levels in wild animals, researchers have found in chimpanzees that this hormone likely plays a key role in maintaining social relations among both related and non-related animals.

Thursday, January 24, 2013 - 13:36

Vanishing White Matter (VWM) disease is a devastating condition that destroys the brain's white matter. This white matter protects the axons of neurons, and leads to seizures and the progressive loss of motor function, eyesight, and speech. Also known as Childhood Ataxia with Central Nervous System Hypomyelination (CACH), the disease has no cure, and victims do not typically live longer than the early teens.

Marisol passed away from the disease in 2008, but her DNA pattern and specific genetic mutation were the basis for Prof. Elroy-Stein's breakthrough development of the first population of laboratory mice — called "Marisol's mice" — with a VWM disease mutation. With this invaluable biological tool in place, researchers have been able to make important progress into understanding how the disease functions.

Through these mice, the researchers were able to discover that VWM disease was in essence a developmental disorder — the mutation causes delayed development of the myelin that forms after birth, they reported in the journal Brain. The researchers' most recent findings, published in the journal PLoS One, add to this understanding.

Wednesday, January 23, 2013 - 16:35

Historically, the "lab rats" scientists use to test new medicines and run studies have been, well, rats. But that may be changing. A growing number of laboratories have begun using zebrafish as their test subjects, and there is reason to believe that trend is growing.

Tuesday, January 22, 2013 - 17:42

A new study has found that tamoxifen, a well-known breast cancer drug, can counteract some pathologic features in a mouse model of Duchenne muscular dystrophy (DMD). At present, no treatment is known to produce long-term improvement of the symptoms in boys with DMD, a debilitating muscular disorder that is characterized by progressive muscle wasting, respiratory and cardiac impairments, paralysis, and premature death.

Tuesday, January 22, 2013 - 15:25

In a study published in the January 18 issue of Cell, researchers from the University of North Carolina Lineberger Comprehensive Cancer Center have developed a new method to visualize aging and tumor growth in mice using a gene closely linked to these processes.

Friday, January 18, 2013 - 10:41

By manipulating the genes, or six specific proteins known to affect development in the zebrafish, Williams can see potential problems in human fetuses.

Thursday, January 17, 2013 - 17:04

The lowly -- but very tenacious -- mussel has helped researchers develop new medical adhesives for sealing surgical incisions and other wounds.

Wednesday, January 16, 2013 - 16:28

Usually, results from a new study help scientists inch their way toward an answer whether they are battling a health problem or are on the verge of a technological breakthrough. Once in a while, those results give them a giant leap forward.  In a preliminary study in a canine model of Duchenne muscular dystrophy (DMD), University of Missouri scientists showed exactly such a leap using gene therapy to treat muscular dystrophy.

Tuesday, January 15, 2013 - 16:49

Scientists at The University of Manchester have made a surprising finding after studying how tadpoles re-grow their tails which could have big implications for research into human healing and regeneration.

Monday, January 14, 2013 - 12:33

Apparent stem cell transplant success in mice may hold promise for people with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), or Lou Gehrig’s disease.

Friday, January 11, 2013 - 16:54

Most people might see cockroaches as good-for-nothing pests, but this germ-ridden insect could be an indirect source of new antibiotics for humans. Cockroaches host the larvae of a parasitic type of wasp, which spend their formative days eating the bacteria-laden body of the cockroach from the inside out. Researchers have discovered the wasp larva secretes chemicals that sanitize the decidedly unsanitary guts of the cockroach. These germ-killing chemicals could eventually be developed for human uses.

Thursday, January 10, 2013 - 15:43

Scientists have used a drug injected into the inner ears of mice deafened by loud noise to induce the regeneration of sound-sensing hair cells and partially restore hearing in the animals, according to a paper published this week (January 9) in Neuron.

Thursday, January 10, 2013 - 12:07

Giant pandas may be the source of a new antibiotic, according to scientists at Nanjing Agricultural University in China.

Tuesday, January 8, 2013 - 10:23

For several years, neurologists at UCLA have been building a case that a link exists between pesticides and Parkinson's disease. To date, paraquat, maneb and ziram — common chemicals sprayed in California's Central Valley and elsewhere — have been tied to increases in the disease, not only among farmworkers but in individuals who simply lived or worked near fields and likely inhaled drifting particles. Now, UCLA researchers have discovered a link - using zebrafish - between Parkinson's and another pesticide, benomyl, whose toxicological effects still linger some 10 years after the chemical was banned by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.

Monday, January 7, 2013 - 16:48