PLD3 gene contributes to risk of Alzheimer’s disease

A rare and controversial mutation in the phospholipase D3 (PLD3) protein—previously linked to Alzheimer’s disease—interferes with PLD3’s vital recycling function inside neurons. Matthew Schrag of Vanderbilt University Medical Center and colleagues report these new findings in a paper published April 8th in PLOS Genetics. About 1 percent of people with Alzheimer’s disease carry a specific mutation in their PLD3 gene. […]

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Study offers localized treatment direction for a cause of Crohn's disease

People with Crohn's disease are typically treated with powerful anti-inflammatory medications that act throughout their body, not just in their digestive tract, creating the potential for unintended, and often serious, side effects. New research from the lab of Mark Sundrud, PhD, at Scripps Research, Florida suggests a more targeted treatment approach is possible. Crohn's disease develops from chronic inflammation in […]

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Rare genetic variant may explain severe COVID-19 in young healthy male patients

The novel coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic has now been spreading for over a year, but several mysteries surrounding its diverse outcomes remain. How is it that some young healthy individuals contract the infection(caused by the severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) and become critically unwell? Why do others, who are older and have underlying comorbidities, have less severe […]

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Introducing a neuro regenerative gene into mice with spinal cord injury improves motor function

Nagoya University researchers have identified a gene that plays a crucial role in regenerating neurons of African clawed frog tadpoles, which has an unusually high capacity for nerve regeneration. Their study, recently published in the journal iScience, showed that introducing the gene into mice with spinal cord injury (SCI) led to a partial recovery of their lost motor functions. These […]

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Researchers test novel gene regulation approach to treat brain diseases

Researchers at the DZNE (Germany), at Massachusetts General Hospital (USA) and at the genomic medicine company Sangamo Therapeutics, Inc. tested a novel gene regulation approach to treat brain diseases such as Alzheimer's in laboratory studies. It leverages zinc finger proteins, which specifically bind to the DNA that codes for the protein Tau without altering it, thereby reducing Tau production in […]

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Novel computer-guided design tool helps increase the efficiency of cell conversions

There is a great need to generate various types of cells for use in new therapies to replace tissues that are lost due to disease or injuries, or for studies outside the human body to improve our understanding of how organs and tissues function in health and disease. Many of these efforts start with human induced pluripotent stem cells (iPSCs) […]

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Scientists optimize wastewater disinfection process to minimize spread of antibiotic resistance

Antibiotic-resistant bacteria have become a global threat today, owing in part to the efficiency with which resistance spreads among them. Some of this spread happens in waterbodies—and our wastewater systems are no exception. A group of scientists from Korea and the US has now conducted some of the groundwork needed to optimize disinfection processes and minimize the spread of antibiotic […]

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Commonly used sweeteners may promote antibiotic resistance

Researchers in Australia have conducted a study showing that commonly used nonnutritive sweeteners can promote the spread of antibiotic-resistant genes in the intestine. The study found that the sweeteners saccharine, sucralose, aspartame, and acesulfame potassium all promoted horizontal transfer of the genes between bacteria in both environmental and clinical settings. The sweeteners accelerated the exchange of antibiotic resistance genes (ARGs) […]

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SARS-CoV-2 DNA vaccine tested in animal model

Vaccines against the severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) are being rolled out worldwide to control the COVID-19 (coronavirus disease 2019) pandemic. Multiple vaccines are necessitated to address the variant epidemics and also overcome the challenges that may be posed by the current vaccines (such as high cost, or low immunogenicity). In this context, a team of experts has […]

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Bats and pangolins in Southeast Asia harbor SARS-CoV-2-related coronaviruses, study finds

The sudden and devastating emergence of the severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) – the etiological agent of the ongoing coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic – has raised many questions as to where it came from. The possibility of potential animal viral reservoirs, as evidenced by the ready transmission of the virus to mink and back again to mink […]

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