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Forgotten vials of smallpox found in storage room

July 8, 2014 12:29 pm | by Mike Stobbe, AP Medical Writer | News | Comments

Government officials say workers cleaning a storage room at National Institutes of Health in Maryland made a startling discovery last week. Decades-old vials of smallpox had been forgotten in a cardboard box. The only other known smallpox samples are in super-secure labs in the U.S. and Russia.

NSF, NIH collaborate to accelerate advance of biomedical innovations

June 19, 2014 8:39 am | News | Comments

A new collaboration between the National Science...

New ultrasound system guides minimally-invasive procedures

May 7, 2014 9:34 am | News | Comments

Researchers have recently developed a unique...

NIH opens new research facility dedicated to study of the brain

April 1, 2014 3:44 pm | News | Comments

The National Institutes of Health held a...

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Scientists track evolution of a superbug

March 18, 2014 8:59 am | News | Comments

Using genome sequencing, National Institutes of Health scientists and their colleagues have tracked the evolution of the antibiotic-resistant bacterium Klebsiella pneumoniae sequence type 258 (ST258), an important agent of hospital-acquired infections. Their results promise to help guide the development of new strategies to diagnose, prevent and treat this emerging public health threat.

Want to get the flu? Volunteers sneeze for science

January 29, 2014 7:31 am | by Lauran Neergaard, AP Medical Writer | News | Comments

Forget being sneezed on: Government scientists are deliberately giving dozens of volunteers the flu by squirting the live virus straight up their noses. It may sound bizarre, but the rare type of research is a step in the quest for better flu vaccines. It turns out that how the body fends off influenza remains something of a mystery.

Ultrathin “diagnostic skin” allows continuous patient monitoring

December 5, 2013 9:10 am | News | Comments

An international multidisciplinary team including researchers at the Univ. of Illinois at Urbana/Champaign and the National Institute of Biomedical Imaging and Bioengineering has developed  a sophisticated ”electronic skin” that adheres non-invasively to human skin, conforms well to contours, and provides a detailed temperature map of any surface of the body.

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National Robotics Initiative invests $38 million in next-generation robotics

October 25, 2013 8:53 am | News | Comments

The National Science Foundation, in partnership with the National Institutes of Health, U.S. Department of Agriculture and NASA, has announced new investments totaling approximately $38 million for the development and use of robots that cooperatively work with people to enhance individual human capabilities, performance and safety.

Single gene change increases mouse lifespan by 20%

August 29, 2013 4:50 pm | News | Comments

By lowering the expression of a single gene, researchers at the National Institutes of Health have extended the average lifespan of a group of mice by about 20%—the equivalent of raising the average human lifespan by 16 years. The research team targeted a gene called mTOR, which is involved in metabolism and energy balance, and may be connected with the increased lifespan associated with caloric restriction.

3-D images show flame retardants can mimic estrogens

August 19, 2013 10:22 am | News | Comments

By determining the 3-D structure of proteins at the atomic level, researchers at the National Institutes of Health have discovered how some commonly used flame retardants, called brominated flame retardants (BFRs), can mimic estrogen hormones and possibly disrupt the body’s endocrine system. BFRs are chemicals added or applied to materials to slow or prevent the start or growth of fire.

NIH commits $24 million annually for Big Data Centers of Excellence

July 24, 2013 12:28 pm | News | Comments

The National Institutes of Health (NIH) will fund up to $24 million per year for four years to establish six to eight investigator-initiated Big Data to Knowledge Centers of Excellence. The centers will improve the ability of the research community to use increasingly large and complex data sets through the development and distribution of innovative approaches, methods, software and tools for data sharing.

NIH funds new grants exploring use of genome sequencing in patient care

July 24, 2013 12:21 pm | News | Comments

The National Institutes of Health has awarded four grants for up to four years to multidisciplinary research teams to explore the use of genome sequencing in medical care. The awards total approximately $6.7 million in the first year and, if funding remains available, approximately $27 million in total.

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Weapons testing data determines brain makes new neurons into adulthood

June 10, 2013 8:36 am | News | Comments

Using data derived from nuclear weapons testing of the 1950s and '60s, Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory scientists have found that a small portion of the human brain involved in memory makes new neurons well into adulthood. The research may have profound impacts on human behavior and mental health.

Study uses Botox to find new wrinkle in brain communication

May 2, 2013 2:36 pm | News | Comments

National Institutes of Health researchers have used the popular anti-wrinkle agent Botox to discover a new and important role for a group of molecules that nerve cells use to quickly send messages. This novel role for the molecules, called SNARES, may be a missing piece that scientists have been searching for to fully understand how brain cells communicate under normal and disease conditions.

New look at cell membrane reveals surprising organization

January 28, 2013 3:22 pm | News | Comments

Sight would dramatically alter a blind man's understanding of an elephant, according to the old story. Now, a look directly at a cell surface is changing our understanding of cell membrane organization. Using a completely new approach to imaging cell membranes, a study by researchers from the University of Illinois, Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory, and the National Institutes of Health revealed some surprising relationships among molecules within cell membranes.

In-sync brain waves hold memory of objects just seen

November 5, 2012 11:38 am | News | Comments

The brain holds in mind what has just been seen by synchronizing brain waves in a working memory circuit, an animal study supported by the National Institutes of Health suggests. The more in-sync such electrical signals of neurons were in two key hubs of the circuit, the more those cells held the short-term memory of a just-seen object.

NIH grant to advance brain surgery robot development

October 19, 2012 1:00 pm | News | Comments

A research team from the University of Maryland has been awarded a $2 million grant from the National Institutes of Health (NIH) to continue developing a small robot that could one day be a huge aid to neurosurgeons in removing difficult-to-reach brain tumors.

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Gene sleuths stop superbug that killed six

August 27, 2012 3:36 am | by Lauran Neergaard, AP Medical Writer | News | Comments

Over six frightening months, a deadly germ untreatable by most antibiotics spread in the nation's leading research hospital. Scientists at the National Institutes of Health locked down patients, cleaned with bleach, even ripped out plumbing—and still the germ persisted. It took gene detectives teasing apart the bacteria's DNA to solve the germ's wily spread, a CSI-like saga with lessons for hospitals everywhere as they struggle to contain the growing threat of superbugs.

DARPA, NIH to fund 'human body-on-a-chip' research

July 25, 2012 3:24 am | News | Comments

Researchers in the Department of Biological Engineering at Massachusetts Institute of Technology will receive up to $32 million over the next five years from the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency and the National Institutes of Health to develop a technology platform that will mimic human physiological systems in the laboratory, using an array of integrated, interchangeable engineered human tissue constructs.

Microscope looks into cells of living fish

May 16, 2012 6:32 am | News | Comments

Microscopes provide valuable insights in the structure and dynamics of cells, in particular when the latter remain in their natural environment. This is difficult to do, but a team of researchers in Germany and the U.S. have now developed a new method to visualize cell structures of an eighth of a micrometer in size in living fish larvae.

Findings awaken age-old anesthesia question

March 22, 2012 7:01 am | News | Comments

Why does inhaling anesthetics cause unconsciousness? New insights into this century-and-a-half-old question may spring from research performed at NIST. Scientists from NIST and the National Institutes of Health have found hints that anesthesia may affect the organization of fat molecules, or lipids, in a cell's outer membrane—potentially altering the ability to send signals along nerve cell membranes.

Brain imaging study finds evidence of basis for caregiving impulse

March 16, 2012 5:12 am | News | Comments

Distinct patterns of activity—which may indicate a predisposition to care for infants—appear in the brains of adults who view an image of an infant face—even when the child is not theirs, according to a study by researchers at the National Institutes of Health and in Germany, Italy, and Japan.

Big, bad bacterium is an 'iron pirate'

February 21, 2012 3:53 am | News | Comments

Life inside the human body sometimes looks like life on the high seas in the 1960s, when pirates hijacked foreign vessels in search of precious metals. For Neisseria bacteria, which can cause gonorrhea and meningitis, the booty is not gold or silver but plain old iron. Until recently, scientists did not understand how these bacterial snatch iron from healthy human cells, where a protein called transferrin bind the metal in a molecular bear hug.

‘Bubblegram’ imaging reveals inner working of viruses

January 12, 2012 10:49 am | News | Comments

Despite cryo-electron microscopy’s ability to resolve viruses, scientists have been unable to clearly visualize structures inside of viruses because radiation is used to image them. Reserachers at the National Institutes of Health invented a new technique that turns this radiation into an imaging asset.

Nobel history illustrates gap in grants to young scientists

January 11, 2012 3:28 am | News | Comments

A new study by Rice University's Baker Institute for Public Policy illustrates a disconnect between government funding of biomedical research by young investigators and a novel standard by which to judge it: The Nobel Prize.

NIH grant to help MRI scientist seek answers about manganese toxicity

December 1, 2011 8:57 am | News | Comments

People exposed to manganese in occupational settings such as welding may not see signs for years that the element is toxic to their nervous systems, but new medical imaging techniques being developed and tested by a Purdue University professor could help reveal toxicity before symptoms appear that indicate irreversible brain damage.

Ultrathin flexible brain implant offers unique look at seizures

November 14, 2011 3:58 am | News | Comments

Researchers funded by the National Institutes of Health have developed a flexible brain implant that could one day be used to treat epileptic seizures. In animal studies, the researchers used the device—a type of electrode array that conforms to the brain's surface—to take an unprecedented look at the brain activity underlying seizures.

Antibody library project could unlock mysteries of human gene function

November 1, 2011 11:10 am | News | Comments

A National Institutes of Health (NIH) grant to Los Alamos National Laboratory  Bioscience Division could help unravel the gnarly secrets of how many human genes function. With the new NIH Common Fund grant of more than $4 million, researchers led by Andrew Bradbury aim to develop an automated pipeline to generate antibodies against human gene products, without using animals.

NIH acquires LLNL's bioAMS instrument

October 6, 2011 6:25 am | News | Comments

Researchers at Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory recently received $3 million from the National Institutes of Health to acquire a new biomedical accelerator mass spectrometry (bioAMS) instrument. The instrument will provide faster analysis for medical and other biological research.

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