Health News

New biologically derived metal-organic framework mimics DNA

The field of materials science has become abuzz with “metal-organic frameworks” (MOFs), versatile compounds made up of metal ions connected to organic ligands, thus forming one-, two-, or three-dimensional structures. There is now an ever-growing list of applications for MOF, including separating petrochemicals, detoxing water from heavy metals and fluoride anions, and recovering hydrogen or […]

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Effects on offspring of epigenetic inheritance via sperm

As an organism grows and responds to its environment, genes in its cells are constantly turning on and off, with different patterns of gene expression in different cells. But can changes in gene expression be passed on from parents to their children and subsequent generations? Although indirect evidence for this phenomenon, called “transgenerational epigenetic inheritance,” […]

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How a common oral bacteria makes colon cancer more deadly: Findings may help predict aggressive colon cancer and identify new treatment targets

Researchers at the Columbia University College of Dental Medicine have determined how F. nucleatum — a common oral bacteria often implicated in tooth decay — accelerates the growth of colon cancer. The study was published online in the journal EMBO Reports. Why it matters The findings could make it easier to identify and treat more […]

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A better way to measure cell survival: New test rapidly evaluates the effect of drugs and potentially toxic compounds on cells

Measuring the toxic effects of chemical compounds on different types of cells is critical for developing cancer drugs, which must be able to kill their target cells. Analyzing cell survival is also an important task in fields such as environmental regulation, to test industrial and agricultural chemicals for possible harmful effects on healthy cells. MIT […]

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Discovery casts doubt on cell surface organization models

Like planets, the body’s cell surfaces look smooth from a distance but hilly closer up. An article published in Communications Biology describes implications, unknown to date, of the way data from cell surfaces are normally interpreted; i.e. as if they lacked topographic features. When Earth is studied from space, its surface looks smooth, but on […]

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A new aspect in Plasmodium falciparum life cycle revealed: ‘Express’ sexual conversion: Conversion from the asexual to the sexual phase of the malaria parasite is necessary for its transmission to the mosquito

A study led by the Barcelona Institute for Global Health (ISGlobal) — an institution supported by “la Caixa” Foundation- reveals a new mechanism by which the malaria parasite Plasmodium falciparum converts from its asexual to its sexual form, which can be transmitted to the mosquito. The results, published in Nature Microbiology, provide important information on […]

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A Trojan horse delivery method for miRNA-enriched extracellular vesicles

A method for large-scale production of extracellular vesicles enriched with specific microRNAs (miRNAs) has been developed in the Wake Forest Institute for Regenerative Medicine (WFIRM) labs, offering a manufacturing standardization process which may have therapeutic applications and clinical impact. Extracellular vesicles are currently of particular interest in the scientific community for their therapeutic potential as […]

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Repeated interferon stimulation creates innate immune memory

The innate immune system may be able to be trained to react to viral infections more efficiently by repeated exposure to anti-viral signaling molecules. Mammalian cells seem to be able to memorize anti-viral stimulation at the level of DNA-packaging molecules, enabling faster and greater activation of anti-viral genes in subsequent stimulations, according to a study […]

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Dr Miriam Stoppard – ‘New hope for fatal muscle flaw in boys’

The most common fatal genetic disorder in children is Duchenne muscular dystrophy (DMD), the muscle-weakening condition affecting as many as one in 3,500 boys worldwide. “Children with DMD often die either because their heart loses the strength to pump, or their diaphragm becomes too weak to breathe,” said Dr Eric Olson, Director of UT Southwestern’s […]