News Archive

Researchers use the electric potential of a guinea pig’s inner ear to harvest enough energy to run a tiny sensor.

Monday, November 12, 2012 - 12:29

The brain holds in mind what has just been seen by synchronizing brain waves in a working memory circuit, an animal study supported by the National Institutes of Health suggests. The more in-sync such electrical signals of neurons were in two key hubs of the circuit, the more those cells held the short-term memory of a just-seen object.

Friday, November 9, 2012 - 12:23

Biologists are well-known for using lab rats in experiments, but a few may now have the chance to work with rats in a unique way.

A team of engineers has set up a system that lets lab rats control a human-shaped avatar in a virtual environment, while humans control a rat-size robot inside the rat's cage. The result? A six-foot human and a six-inch rat get to interact with each other remotely, and they get to each get to see either a virtual avatar or a robot that's close to their own size.

Friday, November 2, 2012 - 14:02

For mice, the Goliath of lung cancer has a vanquisher in the form of a tiny David.

In a study published in the November issue of Cancer Research, Yale biology researchers Frank J. Slack and Andrea Kasinski revealed that short strands of microRNA, non-coding RNA inhibiting protein translation, were successful in both preventing and curing lung adenocarcinoma in mice. The research is the first to propose that, in a clinical trial using mice, microRNA can be used as a therapeutic to suppress the activation and expression of oncogenic, or cancer-causing, proteins.

Thursday, November 1, 2012 - 15:52

Among the smaller but still important casualties of Hurricane Sandy were thousands of laboratory rodents, genetically altered for use in the study of heart disease, cancer and mental disorders like autism and schizophrenia, that drowned in basement rooms at a New York University research center in Kips Bay.

Thursday, November 1, 2012 - 15:51

Primates' brains see the world through triangular grids, according to a new study published online Sunday in the journal Nature.

Scientists at Yerkes National Primate Research Center, Emory University, have identified grid cells, neurons that fire in repeating triangular patterns as the eyes explore visual scenes, in the brains of rhesus monkeys.

Wednesday, October 31, 2012 - 10:02

Columbia University Medical Center (CUMC) researchers have created the first true mouse model of typhoid infection. The development promises to advance the study of typhoid and the creation of new vaccines against the infection, which remains a major health threat in developing countries. The paper was published today in the online edition of the journal Cell.

Friday, October 26, 2012 - 10:55

The three rats snoozing in Cage 57 don’t know it, but they could someday help save thousands of human lives.

Friday, October 26, 2012 - 09:49

Oregon Health & Science University's development of a new gene therapy method to prevent certain inherited diseases has reached a significant milestone. Researchers at the university's Oregon National Primate Research Center and the OHSU Department of Obstetrics & Gynecology have successfully demonstrated their procedure in human cells. It's believed that this research, along with other efforts, will pave the way for future clinical trials in human subjects.

Friday, October 26, 2012 - 09:40

An African mouse’s ability to regenerate body parts may have implications for medical treatment in humans, according to a recent study by UF researchers.

Friday, October 19, 2012 - 15:50

A quintessential English gentleman educated at Eton and a Japanese orthopedic surgeon. Not the most likely of traveling companions, you might think. But very soon the two of them will be journeying to Stockholm to collect the Nobel Prize for Physiology or Medicine, for research carried out on different continents, using different animal species and decades apart, yet intimately linked. The work of both men is elegant and beautiful and has one of the features that characterizes the truly revolutionary in biology -- as soon as you understand it, it seems so self-evident that it's hard to believe no one had ever thought of it or done it before.

Friday, October 19, 2012 - 15:49

Researchers at Mount Sinai School of Medicine have shown for the first time in an animal model that vitamin C actively protects against osteoporosis, a disease affecting large numbers of elderly women and men in which bones become brittle and can fracture.

Thursday, October 11, 2012 - 13:51

Recent studies have linked caffeine consumption to a reduced risk of Alzheimer’s disease, and a new University of Illinois study may be able to explain how this happens.  “We have discovered a novel signal that activates the brain-based inflammation associated with neurodegenerative diseases, and caffeine appears to block its activity. This discovery may eventually lead to drugs that could reverse or inhibit mild cognitive impairment,” said Gregory Freund, a professor in the U of I’s College of Medicine and a member of the U of I’s Division of Nutritional Sciences.

Wednesday, October 10, 2012 - 15:12

Two Americans shared this year’s Nobel Prize in Chemistry for deciphering the communication system that the human body uses to sense the outside world and send messages to cells — for example, speeding the heart when danger approaches. The understanding is aiding the development of new drugs.

Wednesday, October 10, 2012 - 13:00

John B. Gurdon of the Gurdon Institute in Cambridge and Shinya Yamanaka of Kyoto University in Japan have won the 2012 Nobel Prize for Physiology or Medicine for finding that cells of an adult organism—once thought be terminally locked into their developed state—can start anew. The discoveries, awarded the prize this morning (October 8) by The Nobel Assembly at Karolinska Institute in Stockholm, have ignited research in areas ranging from cloning to cancer treatment.

Monday, October 8, 2012 - 12:49

Researchers claim to have successfully transformed stem cells into viable mouse oocytes that produced healthy, fertile pups.

Monday, October 8, 2012 - 09:48

Researchers at Cedars-Sinai’s Maxine Dunitz Neurosurgical Institute have found that a blood vessel-building gene boosts the ability of human bone marrow stem cells to sustain pancreatic recovery in a laboratory mouse model of insulin-dependent diabetes.

Wednesday, October 3, 2012 - 14:52

Using animal models, researchers at the University of Cincinnati and Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Center have found a new genetic mutation responsible for deafness and hearing loss associated with Usher syndrome type 1.

Tuesday, October 2, 2012 - 15:29

Animal models contribute significantly to our understanding of molecular mechanisms underlying disease pathologies. However, few models predictably translate preclinical findings into what will happen in humans.

Investigational drugs are able to cure mice from many diseases, but continue to fail in clinical trials. This fact is largely attributed to poor model designs that do not sufficiently reflect the pathophysiology of disease in humans. In addition, tremendous diversity of human genetic background, co-medications, dosing, timing of treatment, and many other factors greatly influence the treatment outcome.

Tuesday, October 2, 2012 - 12:51

An international team of scientists, led from Karolinska Institutet in Sweden, have discovered an entirely new approach to the treatment of type II diabetes. The therapy involves the blockade of signalling by a protein known as VEGF-B and this prevents fat from accumulating in the "wrong" places, such as in muscles and in the heart. As a result the cells within these tissues are once again able to respond to insulin.  In experiments on mice and rats, the scientists have managed to both prevent the development of type II diabetes and reverse the progression of established disease.

Monday, October 1, 2012 - 15:34