News Archive


Flu epidemics cause up to half a million deaths worldwide each year, and emerging strains continually threaten to spread to humans and cause even deadlier pandemics. A study by a McGill University professor reveals that a drug that inhibits a molecule called prostaglandin E2 (PGE2) increases survival rates in mice infected with a lethal dose of the H1N1 flu virus. The findings pave the way for an urgently needed therapy that is highly effective against the flu virus and potentially other viral infections.


Thursday, April 10, 2014 - 15:28

Working with animal models, Duke University researchers and other scientists are making strides in growing muscle in the lab that not only repairs itself but exhibits strength similar to that of normal muscle.

Using lab-grown muscle could one day help people with certain muscle injuries, including accident victims with big gashes that lead to significant scar tissue. Engineering muscle that works like natural tissue could also accelerate the testing of new drugs: Scientists could use this tissue in place of animals.

Tuesday, April 8, 2014 - 14:38

Using a new gene-editing system based on bacterial proteins, MIT researchers have cured mice of a rare liver disorder caused by a single genetic mutation.


Monday, March 31, 2014 - 16:00

A new drug extracted from snail venom could provide a breakthrough in treating severe chronic pain without the risk of addiction and dangerous side effects, researchers have found. The venom - considered 100 times stronger than morphine - could lead to the development of a new class of oral drugs used to relieve nerve pain associated with injury, cancer, AIDS and other diseases.

Tuesday, March 18, 2014 - 14:00

While scientists know that a superfamily of genes inside olfactory receptors is responsible for our sense of smell – we still don’t know the mechanism behind the interpretation of odor molecules into a particular smell. A new study published in the journal Molecular Biology and Evolution has found a distinct gene pattern in the olfactory receptors of fruit-eating bats – potentially shedding some light on the mechanism behind our own sense of smell.

Wednesday, March 5, 2014 - 15:17

New research using fruit flies with Alzheimer’s protein finds that the disease doesn’t stop the biological clock ticking, but detaches it from the sleep-wake cycle that it usually regulates. Findings could lead to more effective ways to improve sleep patterns in those with Alzheimer’s.

Friday, February 28, 2014 - 14:48

Cancer of the pancreas is usually not detected until it’s too late to cure. But precursor lesions that form in the pancreas and its ducts can signal the disease before it strikes, and when caught early enough, they can be prevented from progressing to become cancer.

A new study reports two breakthroughs in understanding those lesions and their role in pancreatic cancer: the development of the first mouse model that simulates a precursor lesion called intraductal papillary mucinous neoplasia (IPMN), and the identification of an enzyme, Brg1, that appears to help cause the formation of IPMN lesions while also suppressing another precursor lesion.

Wednesday, February 26, 2014 - 16:58

Colorado State University researchers are finding new ways to treat cancers in humans and pets, but they are doing it with a specimen not of those species: mice.

Monday, February 24, 2014 - 16:28

There is no biological cure for deafness—yet. We detect sound using sensory cells sporting microscopic hairlike projections, and when these so-called hair cells deep inside the inner ear are destroyed by illness or loud noise, they are gone forever. Or so scientists thought. A new study finds specific cells in the inner ear of newborn mice that regenerate these sensory cells—even after damage, potentially opening up a way to treat deafness in humans.

Friday, February 21, 2014 - 15:08

A new potential test for persistent Lyme disease uses an organism that's known to be good at picking up diseases: ticks.

Wednesday, February 19, 2014 - 14:15

Here’s another reason to love a dog: our best friend is helping scientists identify the genetic variations that may lead to obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD) in people, according to new research. Because the human and canine versions are often similar — dogs may lick their paws to the point of injury while people may wash their hands until they bleed — the hope is these and other findings will help researchers develop new medications to treat the debilitating disorder.

Tuesday, February 18, 2014 - 15:08

Japanese researchers have confirmed for the first time an association in mice between a genetic mutation and the intractable autoimmune disease lupus erythematosus.

Friday, February 14, 2014 - 14:58

Temporary blindness heightens hearing and has potential as a therapy for some deaf people, animal research suggests.

Thursday, February 6, 2014 - 16:28

Adult zebrafish can replace bones when they lose a tail fin. Knowing how they do it might lead to better ways to treat bone fractures in people, researchers say.

Friday, January 31, 2014 - 15:23

An Irish scientist is trying to unravel the secrets of what we smell and how our noses evolved to aid survival. And she has come up with important answers by studying the sniffing skills of the bat.

Thursday, January 30, 2014 - 15:10

A new study on worms with a genetic mutation could play a role in developing personalized diets for humans.

Wednesday, January 29, 2014 - 16:32

Dennis Kim, associate professor of biology at MIT, spends his days carefully raising worms that are no bigger than a comma. The students in his lab feed them, watching them grow and multiply on petri dishes that sit in a plastic tub.

Then they infect the worms with deadly bacteria and watch them fight for their lives.

But as the worms die, humans learn how the simplest immune system can stave off a deadly infection while swimming in a world of bacteria.

Thursday, January 23, 2014 - 16:32

A team of Yale researchers says it has found a genetic cause of Tourette syndrome, a discovery that could lead to better medications for the hard-to-treat disorder.

Friday, January 10, 2014 - 15:13

New research in mice suggests that a molecule linked to clogged arteries might activate the immune system to the point where it harms the body. The findings may explain why clogged arteries, a condition called atherosclerosis, have been tied to autoimmune disorders, which develop when the immune system goes awry.

"The lesson from this study is that immune diseases are not always a matter of immune system alone," said senior study author Yeonseok Chung, of the University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston. "With our findings, we have just started to understand how factors in the circulatory system impact the immune system."

Thursday, January 9, 2014 - 16:07

A faulty gene in mice may predispose some people with the same genetic defect to Type 2 diabetes, researchers at the University of Illinois at Chicago College of Medicine have found.

Tuesday, January 7, 2014 - 14:35