Stem cell researchers reactivate ‘back-up genes’ in the lab: Researchers in Belgium present new findings on X chromosome reactivation

Vincent Pasque and his team at KU Leuven have unravelled parts of a mechanism that may one day help to treat Rett syndrome and other genetic disorders linked to the X chromosome. Women and most female mammals have two X chromosomes, but only one of these is active in any given cell. This active X chromosome is selected through a […]

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Genetic discovery linked to rare eye disease

John A. Moran Eye Center physician-researcher Paul S. Bernstein, MD, PhD, and his patients at the University of Utah played a key role in the recent discovery of the first genetic cause for a rare eye disease. Macular telangiectasia type 2 (MacTel) affects about one in 5,000 people, causing a gradual loss of central vision, typically after age 40. As […]

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Cellular processes controlling the formation of lymphatic valves: Targeting VE-cadherin signaling pathways holds promise for treating lymphedema’s debilitative swelling

Lymphedema, resulting from a damaged lymphatic system, can be a debilitating disease in which excess protein-rich fluid (lymph) collects in soft tissues and causes swelling — most often in the arms or legs. Symptom severity varies, but the chronic swelling can lead to pain, thickened skin, disfigurement, loss of mobility in affected limbs, and recurrent infections. While lymphedema can be […]

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How viruses outsmart their host cells: Scientists decipher protein structure after more than fifty years of research

Viruses depend on host cells for replication, but how does a virus induce its host to transcribe its own genetic information alongside that of the virus, thus producing daughter viruses? For decades, researchers have been studying a type of bacteriophage known as ‘lambda’ to try and find an answer to this question. Using high-resolution cryo-electron microscopy, a research group from […]

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Tiny lensless endoscope captures 3D images of objects smaller than a cell: Self-calibrating technology opens new opportunities for medicine and research

Researchers have developed a new self-calibrating endoscope that produces 3D images of objects smaller than a single cell. Without a lens or any optical, electrical or mechanical components, the tip of the endoscope measures just 200 microns across, about the width of a few human hairs twisted together. As a minimally invasive tool for imaging features inside living tissues, the […]

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Human cells assembling into fractal-like clusters

Tree-like branching structures are everywhere in the human body, from the bronchial system in the lungs to the spidering capillaries that supply blood to the extremities. Researchers have long worked to understand the cellular signaling needed to build these intricate structures, but new research suggests that simple physics may play an underappreciated role. The research, published in the Proceedings of […]

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Improving outcomes for sepsis patients

More than 1 million sepsis survivors are discharged annually from acute care hospitals in the United States. Although the majority of these patients receive post-acute care (PAC) services, with over a third coming to home health care (HHC), sepsis survivors account for a majority of readmissions nationwide. Effective interventions are needed to decrease these poor outcomes. A national study from […]

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‘Can you hear me, now?’ A new strategy ‘raises the volume’ of gut-body communication

Throughout the gastrointestinal tract there are specialized hormone-producing cells called enteroendocrine cells and, although they comprise only a small population of the total cells, they are one of the most important moderators of communication between the gut and the rest of the body. Studying these cells, however, has been difficult. “Enteroendocrine cells are extremely challenging to study because we just […]

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Synthetic joint lubricant holds promise for osteoarthritis

A new type of treatment for osteoarthritis, currently in canine clinical trials, shows promise for eventual use in humans. The treatment, developed by Cornell University biomedical engineers, is a synthetic version of a naturally occurring joint lubricant that binds to the surface of cartilage in joints and acts as a cushion during high-impact activities, such as running. “When the production […]

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Mutant bacterial receptor could point to new therapies against opportunistic pathogen

Researchers have developed a new mutant version of a receptor used by a bacterial pathogen for a chemical communication process called quorum sensing, according to a study published June 13 in the open-access journal PLOS Pathogens by Bonnie Bassler of Princeton University, and colleagues. As the authors note, the mutant receptor could be used to identify therapeutic compounds that inhibit […]

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