News Archive

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 - 15:10

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 - 14:25

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 - 15:09

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 - 14:04

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 - 14:27

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.

Studies in mice have shown promise, and Talaat hopes to start studies in guinea pigs soon.

Monday, July 8, 2013 - 12:00

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 - 13:49

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 - 15:31

Humans and their pet dogs are close, so close that they both develop a type of cancer called diffuse large B-cell lymphoma. In humans it's the most common lymphoma subtype while in dogs, it's one of the most common cancers in veterinary oncology. Now, a study comparing canine and human B-cell lymphoma has found molecular similarities between the cancers, allowing researchers to better understand the origins of the disease in both species.

Wednesday, June 26, 2013 - 13:14

Vampire bat venom could prove the key ingredient in future medication for stroke and high blood pressure after an international team of scientists identified ''a whole suite'' of ways bats prevent blood from clotting.

Tuesday, June 25, 2013 - 15:19

Researchers at Duke Medicine have found a way to prevent epilepsy in mice that have already experienced a long period of seizures--a feat that could help scientists develop new drugs to treat the serious neurological disorder.

Tuesday, June 25, 2013 - 13:49

Exercise can lead to more regular sleep patterns, an improved immune system, better brain function and a longer life, research suggests.

Glasgow University scientists found that old mice took longer to adapt to changes to their daily routine, but that their synchronisation improved if they had access to a running wheel.

Monday, June 24, 2013 - 13:42

Researchers have known for some time that stem cells are capable of producing new cells, but the new study shows how a select group of stem cells can create progenitors that then generate numerous subtypes of cells.

Friday, June 21, 2013 - 13:17

Studies in zebrafish reveal abundant potential source for repair of injured heart muscle.

Thursday, June 20, 2013 - 14:40

A study of wild mice, which typically carry several parasitic infections at a time, finds treating one infection may worsen another.

Wednesday, June 19, 2013 - 14:13

In what CSU is calling the most realistic study of its kind, scientists are hoping to better understand how tuberculosis is transmitted, thanks in part to humans infected with the killer disease and hundreds of guinea pigs.

Tuesday, June 18, 2013 - 14:44

Scientists commonly use just four species to investigate the basic processes shared by all living creatures. Tom Shakespeare explains how the fruit fly, the zebra fish, the roundworm and the mouse found themselves at the forefront of scientific research.

Monday, June 17, 2013 - 13:35

Researchers at UC Berkeley have developed an easier and more effective method for inserting genes into eye cells that could greatly expand gene therapy to help restore sight to patients with blinding diseases ranging from inherited defects like retinitis pigmentosa to degenerative illnesses of old age, such as macular degeneration. The engineered virus works far better than current therapies in rodent models of two human degenerative eye diseases, and can penetrate photoreceptor cells in monkeys’ eyes, which are like those of humans.

Friday, June 14, 2013 - 11:29

Working with mice, researchers led by Mayumi Ito at New York University have identified a population of stem cells lying beneath the base of the nail that can orchestrate the restoration of a partially amputated digit.

Thursday, June 13, 2013 - 14:04

A team of NIH-supported researchers is the first to show, in mice, an unexpected two-step process that happens during the growth and regeneration of inner ear tip links. Tip links are extracellular tethers that link stereocilia, the tiny sensory projections on inner ear hair cells that convert sound into electrical signals, and play a key role in hearing. The discovery offers a possible mechanism for potential interventions that could preserve hearing in people whose hearing loss is caused by genetic disorders related to tip link dysfunction.

Wednesday, June 12, 2013 - 11:02