How a fungus can cripple the immune system: Research team clarifies the mechanism of gliotoxin, a mycotoxin from the fungus Aspergillus fumigatus

It is everywhere — and it is extremely dangerous for people with a weakened immune system. The fungus Aspergillus fumigatus occurs virtually everywhere on Earth, as a dark grey, wrinkled cushion on damp walls or in microscopically small spores that blow through the air and cling to wallpaper, mattresses and floors. Healthy people usually have no problem if spores find […]

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A tradeoff in the neural code: The price we pay for our advanced brains may be a greater tendency to disorders

Prof. Rony Paz of the Weizmann Institute of Science suggests that our brains are like modern washing machines — evolved to have the latest sophisticated programming, but more vulnerable to breakdown and prone to develop costly disorders. He and a group of researchers recently conducted experiments comparing the efficiency of the neural code in non-human and human primates, and found […]

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Teen brain volume changes with small amount of cannabis use, study finds

At a time when several states are moving to legalize recreational use of marijuana, new research shows that concerns about the drug’s impact on teens may be warranted. The study, published in The Journal of Neuroscience, shows that even a small amount of cannabis use by teenagers is linked to differences in their brains. Senior author and University of Vermont […]

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A bacterial protein is found to promote cancer: Research suggests suggests that bacterial infections may contribute to far more cancers than previously thought

The Institute of Human Virology (IHV) at the University of Maryland School of Medicine (UMSOM) announced today the discovery that DnaK, a protein of the bacterium mycoplasma, interferes with the mycoplasma-infected cell’s ability to respond to and repair DNA damage, a known origin of cancer. Little or no mycoplasma DnaK DNA sequences were found associated with the tumor, which was […]

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Microglia react distinctively during inflammation: LIH scientists provide new insights into function and heterogeneity of brain immune cells

The NorLux Neuro-Oncology Laboratory at LIH’s Department of Oncology conducts research on brain diseases, with a special emphasis on glioma biology, drug resistance and systems approaches. Within this research unit, Dr. Alessandro Michelucci focuses on the role of glial cells and inflammatory responses. Jointly with team member Dr. Carole Sousa and collaborating research groups from LIH and the University of […]

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How your muscles form

All vertebrates need muscles to function; they are the most abundant tissue in the human body and are integral to movement. In a recent article published in Nature Communications, an international team of researchers discovered two proteins essential to the development of skeletal muscle. This research, led by Jean-François Côté, a professor at the Montreal Clinical Research Institute (IRCM) and […]

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Chlamydia attacks with Frankenstein protein: The bacterium remodels human cells for its own nefarious purposes

When Chlamydia trachomatis, the bacterium that causes one of the most common sexually transmitted infections worldwide, infects a human cell, it hijacks parts of the host to build protective layers around itself. Inside this makeshift fortress, the bug grows and reproduces, eventually bursting out in search of a new target and killing the host cell. While scientists have known for […]

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Changes to RNA aid the process of learning and memory

RNA carries pieces of instructions encoded in DNA to coordinate the production of proteins that will carry out the work to be done in a cell. But the process isn’t always straightforward. Chemical modifications to DNA or RNA can alter the way genes are expressed without changing the actual genetic sequences. These epigenetic or epitranscriptome changes can affect many biological […]

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Immigration to the United States changes a person’s microbiome

Researchers at the University of Minnesota and the Somali, Latino, and Hmong Partnership for Health and Wellness have new evidence that the gut microbiota of immigrants and refugees rapidly Westernize after a person’s arrival in the United States. The study of communities migrating from Southeast Asia to the U.S., published November 1 in the journal Cell, could provide insight into […]

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Owls help scientists unlock secret of how the brain pays attention

By studying barn owls, scientists at Johns Hopkins University believe they’ve taken an important step toward solving the longstanding mystery of how the brain chooses what most deserves attention. The finding, the cover article in the latest issue of the journal Cell Reports, likely applies to all animals, including humans, and offers new insight into what goes wrong in the […]

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