Health News

Looking behind a rare brain disease for clues to treat more common mental disorders: Researchers use genetic manipulation techniques to highlight how the function of a protein can lead to neurodevelopmental delays

Researchers have clarified, for the first time, the mechanism behind a very rare brain disorder called MICPCH (microcephaly, disproportionate pontine and cerebellar hypoplasia) syndrome in animal models. Information gleaned from this study could also inform research into other, more common neurological diseases such as mental retardation, epilepsy, and autism. MICPCH has only affected a total […]

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Human cells can also change jobs

Biology textbooks teach us that adult cell types remain fixed in the identity they have acquired upon differentiation. By inducing non-insulin-producing human pancreatic cells to modify their function to produce insulin in a sustainable way, researchers at the University of Geneva (UNIGE), Switzerland, show for the first time that the adaptive capacity of our cells […]

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New therapy for aggressive blood cancer discovered

Researchers at the Vetmeduni Vienna and the Ludwig Boltzmann Institute for Cancer Research have identified a new therapeutic strategy for Acute Myeloid Leukemia (AML), the most common form of acute leukemia. They found that the activity of the mutated oncogenic protein C/EBPα is dependent on a functional epigenetic helper, the MLL1 histone methyltransferase complex. Laboratory […]

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Cancer: A mutation that breaks gene interplay in 3D

Inside the cell, DNA is tightly wrapped around proteins and packed in a complex, 3D structure that we call “chromatin.” Chromatin not only protects our genetic material from damage, but also organizes the entire genome by regulating the expression of genes in three dimensions, unwinding them to be presented to the cell’s gene-expression machinery and […]

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Cancer has a biological clock and this drug may keep it from ticking: A promising drug slows cancer’s circadian clock, halts its spread

A new drug shows potential to halt cancer cells’ growth by stunting the cells’ biological clock. The findings from scientists at the USC Michelson Center for Convergent Bioscience and Nagoya University’s Institute of Transformative BioMolecules (ITbM) advance a burgeoning area of research: turning the body’s circadian rhythms against cancer. Their study, conducted on human kidney […]

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A new molecular player involved in T cell activation

When bacteria or viruses enter the body, proteins on their surfaces are recognized and processed to activate T cells, white blood cells with critical roles in fighting infections. During T-cell activation, a molecular complex known as the microtubule-organizing center (MTOC) moves to a central location on the surface of the T-cell. Microtubules have several important […]

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Breast cancer cells become invasive by changing their identity

Researchers from Karolinska Institutet in Sweden have identified a protein that determines the identity and invasive properties of breast cancer cells. The finding could lead to the development of new therapeutic and diagnostic strategies to target breast cancer invasion and metastasis. The study is published in the scientific journal Cancer Research. Cancer cell invasion of […]

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Disrupted circadian rhythms may drive anxiety and exacerbate brain disorders: New studies reveal critical role of healthy sleep and powerful role of circadian rhythm regulation in the brain

Sleep disruptions are associated with many brain disorders, including anxiety, dementias, and traumatic brain injury. While these disruptions are sometimes viewed as a side effect of brain disorders, new findings presented today suggest that aberrant sleep-wake cycles can also drive brain pathology. The studies were presented at Neuroscience 2018, the annual meeting of the Society […]

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Single protein controls thousands of genes essential for sperm development: New regulatory mechanism could underlie male infertility

A single protein regulates a battery of key genes inside developing sperm, according to a new study out of Case Western Reserve University School of Medicine. Scientists discovered the protein — called Dazl — controls a network of genes essential for developing sperm to replicate and survive. The findings, published in Cell Reports, could lay […]