News Archive

Pythons are known for their enormous appetites. In a single meal they can devour animals at least as big as they are — deer, alligators pigs and house pets, for example.  Equally remarkable is what happens inside the python as it digests its prey.

Friday, October 28, 2011 - 14:18

The pigmented cells called melanocytes aren't just for making freckles and tans. Melanocytes absorb ultraviolet light, protecting the skin from the harmful effects of the sun. They also are the cells that go haywire in melanoma, as well as in more common conditions as vitiligo and albinism.Naturally, researchers would love to study melanocytes in the laboratory. There's just one problem -- melanocytes from adult skin don't grow very well in the lab.

Thursday, October 27, 2011 - 13:51

Scientists working at a secured lab in Montana say a human antibody proved highly effective in guarding against a rare but highly lethal virus in a primate study. Investigators injected the deadly Hendra virus--which has killed about half of the people infected by it--in 14 African monkeys. Twelve of those monkeys were treated with the m102.4 antibody and lived. The two untreated monkeys both died.

Thursday, October 27, 2011 - 12:20

Animal experiments in the UK are on the rise. Though controversial, these tests are transforming human lives, discovers Paul Vallely. 

Tuesday, October 25, 2011 - 12:21

Rats exposed to an antidepressant just before and after birth showed substantial brain abnormalities and behaviors, in a study funded by the National Institutes of Health.

Tuesday, October 25, 2011 - 11:37

“Estrogen has a profound effect on metabolism,” said Dr. Deborah Clegg, associate professor of internal medicine and senior author of the study published Oct. 5 in Cell Metabolism. “We hadn’t previously thought of sex hormones as being critical regulators of food intake and body weight.”

Friday, October 21, 2011 - 10:29

Researchers at Emory University School of Medicine have identified a set of genes that act in muscles to modulate aging and resistance to stress in fruit flies.

Tuesday, October 18, 2011 - 10:34

Sickle cell anemia is a genetic disease that affects hemoglobin production. It is estimated that as many as 100,000 people in the United States and many more in other parts of the world, Africa in particular, have the disease.

Monday, October 17, 2011 - 15:01

A team of researchers led by the Sanger Institute and the University of Cambridge used cutting-edge methods to correct a genetic mutation in stem cells derived from a patient's skin biopsy, and then grew them into fresh liver cells.

Friday, October 14, 2011 - 14:35

Modern medicine’s ability to save lives through organ transplantation has been revolutionized by the development of drugs that prevent the human body from rejecting the transplanted organ.  But those antirejection drugs have their own side effects — sometimes serious.

Tuesday, October 11, 2011 - 12:10

Scientists in the US were able to normalise blood sugar levels in diabetic mice by injecting them with a compound, nicotinamide mononucleotide (NMN). At the same time the jabs lowered raised levels of cholesterol and triglyceride blood fats.

Tuesday, October 11, 2011 - 12:01

University of Alabama scientist Harald Sontheimer has become popular with brain cancer patients and their doctors after his ongoing research found that a drug approved to treat Crohn's disease in humans shrinks brain tumors in mice.

Tuesday, October 11, 2011 - 11:48

Over the next five years, National Institutes of Health (NIH)-funded researchers will extensively test and generate data about mice with disrupted genes to gain clues about human diseases. NIH today awarded a set of cooperative agreements totaling more than $110 million to begin the second phase of the Knockout Mouse Project (KOMP).

Thursday, September 29, 2011 - 11:11

Ralph Brinster, a prominent veterinary scientist at the University of Pennsylvania, is to receive the National Medal of Science for his work on transgenic lab animals - research that helped lay the foundation for much of modern biomedicine.

Thursday, September 29, 2011 - 10:52

A protein linked to Alzheimer's disease kills nerve cells that detect odors, according to an animal study in the September 28 issue of The Journal of Neuroscience. The findings shed light on why people with Alzheimer's disease often lose their sense of smell early on in the course of the disease.

Wednesday, September 28, 2011 - 09:58

Our livers can fight back against the immune system — reducing organ rejection but also making us more susceptible to liver disease.

Tuesday, September 20, 2011 - 13:39

Cystic fibrosis (CF), a chronic disease that clogs the lungs and leads to life-threatening lung infections, is caused by a genetic defect in a chloride channel called cystic fibrosis transmembrane conductase regulator (CFTR). Although scientists do not fully understand how or why this defect occurs, a team of researchers at The Hospital for Sick Children (SickKids) in Toronto, Ontario, Canada has found a promising clue: a protein called ubiquitin ligase Nedd4L.

Tuesday, September 20, 2011 - 12:13

Only 40 years ago it was widely believed that if you lived long enough, you would eventually experience serious cognitive decline, particularly with respect to memory. The implication was that achieving an advanced age was effectively equivalent to becoming senile—a word that implies mental defects or illness.

Friday, September 16, 2011 - 13:04

Researchers have shown previously that maternal stress during pregnancy may have negative consequences for the fetus, both in humans and laboratory animals. A new study from the University of Pennsylvania suggests that in mice, such impacts - namely, an increased sensitivity to stress - are passed along even to the fetus' children.

Monday, September 12, 2011 - 14:53

In a finding that could open the door to new drugs for chronic, long-lasting, unrelenting pain, British scientists have discovered a gene that, when knocked out in mice, abolishes nerve pain - one of the most common and difficult to treat pain conditions.

Monday, September 12, 2011 - 14:17