Single protein plays important dual transport roles in the brain

Just as a packaging breakdown can hamstring delivery of cables, switches and connectors to a house under construction, removing a protein from neurons can block the “shipment” of proteins to developing axons. Axons are the telephone wires of the nervous system. They convey information to dendrites on other nerve cells, in a processing network of phenomenal complexity that is the […]

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Scientists reverse aging process in rat brain stem cells

New research, published today in Nature, reveals how increasing brain stiffness as we age causes brain stem cell dysfunction, and demonstrates new ways to reverse older stem cells to a younger, healthier state. The results have far reaching implications for how we understand the ageing process, and how we might develop much-needed treatments for age-related brain diseases. As our bodies […]

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A simpler way to choose the sex of offspring by separating X and Y sperm: Differential gene activity by the two sex chromosomes allows X-bearing sperm to be slowed down

A simple, reversible chemical treatment can segregate X-bearing sperm from Y-bearing sperm, allowing dramatic alteration of the normal 50/50 male/female offspring ratio, according to a new study by Masayuki Shimada and colleagues at Hiroshima University, published on August 13 in the open-access journal PLOS Biology. The study was performed in mice, but the technique is likely to be widely applicable […]

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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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Better tools, better cancer immunotherapy

In the journal Science Immunology, researchers from DTU Health Technology and Jacobs University in Bremen have just published their cutting-edge research demonstrating advancement in detection of a certain type of immune cells, called T cells. Improved detection of T cells have several therapeutic implications. For example, in cancer immunotherapy (a therapeutic approach that engage patients own immune cells) characterization of […]

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Study links progenitor cells to age-related prostate growth: As the organ enlarges, the risk for cancer and other diseases increases

The prostates of older mice contain more luminal progenitor cells — cells capable of generating new prostate tissue — than the prostates of younger mice, UCLA researchers have discovered. The observation, published in Cell Reports, helps explain why, as people age, the prostate tends to grow, leading to an increased risk for prostate cancer and other conditions. “Understanding what’s causing […]

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New insight into microRNA function can give gene therapy a boost

Scientists at the University of Eastern Finland and the University of Oxford have shown that small RNA molecules occurring naturally in cells, i.e. microRNAs, are also abundant in cell nuclei. Previously, microRNAs were mainly thought to be found in cytoplasm. The scientists also discovered that microRNA concentrations in cell nuclei change as a result of hypoxia. The findings strongly suggest […]

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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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Cascade exacerbates storage diseases: Researchers show that a defective degradation enzyme triggers a series of consequential damages

In rare, hereditary storage diseases such as Sandhoff’s disease or Tay-Sachs syndrome, the metabolic waste from accumulating gangliosides cannot be properly disposed of in the nerve cells because important enzymes are missing. The consequences for the patients are grave: They range from movement restrictions to blindness, mental decline and early death. Scientists at the University of Bonn now demonstrate why […]

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Breaking down pathological protein aggregates

Aggregates of the protein alpha-synuclein in the nerve cells of the brain play a key role in Parkinson’s and other neurodegenerative diseases. These protein clumps can travel from nerve cell to nerve cell, causing the disease to progress. A team of researchers led by ETH scientists have now discovered how the body can rid itself of these damaging aggregates. Their […]

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