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Implantable 'artificial pancreas' could help diabetes patients control their blood sugar

July 2, 2015 8:48 am | by ACS | News | Comments

Scientists are reporting the development of an implantable "artificial pancreas" that continuously measures a person's blood sugar, or glucose, level and can automatically release insulin as needed.

Major step for implantable drug-delivery device

June 29, 2015 8:56 am | by Rob Matheson, MIT News Office | News | Comments

An implantable, microchip-based device may soon replace the injections and pills now needed to...

Delivering drugs to the right place

June 26, 2015 6:37 am | by Julie Cohen, Univ. of California, Santa Barbara | News | Comments

For the 12 million people worldwide who suffer from polycystic kidney disease (PKD), an...

Re-energizing antibiotics in the war against infections

June 24, 2015 5:00 pm | by Kat J. McAlpine, Wyss Institute for Biologically Inspired Engineering | Videos | Comments

Antibiotics are the mainstay in the treatment of bacterial infections, and together with...

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Pinpointing the Onset of Metastasis

June 24, 2015 1:43 pm | by Lindsay Hock, Editor | Articles | Comments

Within the oncology community, a debate is raging about two controversial topics. The first is overdiagnosis. According to a recent report in The Wall Street Journal, some leading cancer experts say that zealous screening is finding ever-smaller abnormalities that are being labeled cancer or precancer with little or no justification.

Medication may stop drug and alcohol addiction

June 23, 2015 8:47 am | by Marc Airhart, Univ. of Texas at Austin | News | Comments

Researchers at The Univ. of Texas at Austin have successfully stopped cocaine and alcohol addiction in experiments using a drug already approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration to treat high blood pressure. If the treatment is proven effective in humans, it would be the first of its kind—one that could help prevent relapses by erasing the unconscious memories that underlie addiction.

How anthrax spores grow in cultured human tissues

June 23, 2015 8:37 am | by Greg Koller, Pacific Northwest National Laboratory | News | Comments

Cultured human lung cells infected with a benign version of anthrax spores have yielded insights into how anthrax grows and spreads in exposed people. The study, published in the Journal of Applied Microbiology, will help provide credible data for human health related to anthrax exposure and help officials better understand risks related to a potential anthrax attack.

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How to wipe out polio and prevent its re-emergence

June 22, 2015 7:45 am | by Jim Erickson, Univ. of Michigan | News | Comments

Public health officials stand poised to eliminate polio from the planet. But a new study shows that the job won't be over when the last case of the horrible paralytic disease is recorded. Using disease-transmission models, a Univ. of Michigan team has demonstrated that silent transmission of poliovirus could continue for more than three years with no reported cases.

New model to study HIV latency in brain cells

June 19, 2015 12:45 pm | by Helmholtz Zentrum Muchen | News | Comments

Over 35 million people worldwide are currently infected by HIV. Antiviral therapies can keep the virus from multiplying. However, no drug can cure infection so far, because various cell types continue to carry the virus in a latent, quiescent, state. Scientists have now established a model for latent HIV infection of brain cells. The researchers used this model to identify various compounds that affect latency of the virus in the brain.

Brain receptor found to affect cocaine addiction

June 19, 2015 7:47 am | by Cathy Wilde, Univ. at Buffalo | News | Comments

Researchers at the Univ. at Buffalo have discovered a previously unknown neural pathway that can regulate changes made in the brain due to cocaine use, providing new insight into the molecular basis of cocaine addiction.

Recalling happier memories can reverse depression

June 19, 2015 7:28 am | by Anne Trafton, MIT News Office | News | Comments

Massachusetts Institute of Technology neuroscientists have shown that they can cure the symptoms of depression in mice by artificially reactivating happy memories that were formed before the onset of depression. The findings offer a possible explanation for the success of psychotherapies in which depression patients are encouraged to recall pleasant experiences.

Liquid Gold

June 18, 2015 12:30 pm | by George Karlin-Neumann, the Digital Biology Center at Bio-Rad Laboratories | Articles | Comments

Blood is the great aggregator of the body’s physiology. Many tumors slough off fragments of DNA into the bloodstream, which can be detected with a minimally invasive blood draw using advanced DNA tests—also known as a liquid biopsy. One of the challenges preventing liquid biopsy from becoming a clinical reality has been reliably finding the cancerous DNA in the vast sea of healthy DNA.

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Researchers successfully target Achilles heel of MERS virus

June 17, 2015 7:49 am | by Elizabeth K. Gardner, Purdue Univ. | News | Comments

A Purdue Univ.-led team of researchers studying the Middle East Respiratory Syndrome, or MERS, have found molecules that shut down the activity of an essential enzyme in the virus and could lead the way to better treatments for those infected.

Dendritic cells of elite controllers able to recognize, mount defense against HIV

June 11, 2015 3:39 pm | News | Comments

Investigators from Massachusetts General Hospital (MGH) and the Ragon Institute of MGH, MIT and Harvard have added another piece to the puzzle of how a small group of individuals known as elite controllers are able to control HIV infection without drug treatment.  

Gene variants linked to MS disrupt key regulator of inflammation

June 11, 2015 10:49 am | by Bill Hathaway, Yale Univ. | News | Comments

With genetic roots of many autoimmune diseases pinpointed, scientists are zeroing in on the variety of molecular mechanisms triggered by these harmful variants. A team led by Yale School of Medicine researchers has implicated a central regulator of inflammation as a cause of many cases of multiple sclerosis (MS), as well as ulcerative colitis.

Synthetic immune organ produces antibodies

June 11, 2015 9:32 am | by Anne Ju, Cornell Univ. | News | Comments

Cornell Univ. engineers have created a functional, synthetic immune organ that produces antibodies and can be controlled in the lab, completely separate from a living organism. The engineered organ has implications for everything from rapid production of immune therapies to new frontiers in cancer or infectious disease research.

Common antibiotic may be the answer to multidrug-resistant bacterial infections

June 11, 2015 7:44 am | by Heather Buschman, Univ. of California, San Diego | News | Comments

Contrary to current medical dogma, researchers at Univ. of California, San Diego report the common antibiotic azithromycin kills many multidrug-resistant bacteria very effectively. The researchers believe the finding could prompt an immediate review of the current standard of care for patients with certain so-called “superbug” infections.

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Injectable electronics hold promise for basic neuroscience, treatment of neuro-degenerative diseases

June 9, 2015 9:45 am | News | Comments

It's a notion that might be pulled from the pages of science-fiction novel — electronic devices that can be injected directly into the brain, or other body parts, and treat everything from neuro-degenerative disorders to paralysis. It sounds unlikely, until you visit Charles Lieber's lab.

Microscope technique could speed identification of deadly bacteria

June 8, 2015 9:32 am | by The Optical Society | News | Comments

A new way of rapidly identifying bacteria, which requires a slight modification to a simple microscope, may change the way doctors approach treatment for patients who develop potentially deadly infections and may also help the food industry screen against contamination with harmful pathogens, according to researchers at the Korea Advanced Institute of Science and Technology (KAIST).

Past failures pave way for promising Alzheimer’s treatments

June 5, 2015 7:43 am | by American Chemical Society | News | Comments

Since 2002, close to 300 drug candidates to treat Alzheimer’s have run into clinical dead ends. But now, having learned from those failures, researchers are testing—and retesting—a batch of the most promising compounds designed to slow the disease’s progression. An article in Chemical & Engineering News describes what made this possible and what lies ahead.

Hyperbaric hope for fibromyalgia sufferers

June 3, 2015 8:10 am | by Mike Williams, Rice Univ. | News | Comments

Women who suffer from fibromyalgia benefit from a treatment regimen in a hyperbaric oxygen chamber, according to researchers at Rice Univ. and institutes in Israel. A clinical trial involving women diagnosed with fibromyalgia showed the painful condition improved in every one of the 48 who completed two months of hyperbaric oxygen therapy.

Chemists weigh intact virus mixture with mass spectrometer

June 3, 2015 7:41 am | by Jocelyn Duffy, Carnegie Mellon Univ. | News | Comments

Carnegie Mellon Univ. chemists have separated and weighed virus particles using mass spectrometry (MS). This is the first time that researchers successfully used matrix-assisted laser desorption ionization MS to analyze a mixture of intact virus particles.

Yeast protein network could provide insights into obesity

June 1, 2015 11:20 am | by Ker Than, Caltech | News | Comments

A team of biologists and a mathematician have identified and characterized a network composed of 94 proteins that work together to regulate fat storage in yeast. The findings, detailed in PLOS Computational Biology, suggest that yeast could serve as a valuable test organism for studying human obesity.

Adolescent brain develops differently in bipolar disorder

May 29, 2015 12:43 pm | by Bill Hathaway, Yale Univ. | News | Comments

In adolescents with bipolar disorder, key areas of the brain that help regulate emotions develop differently, a new study by Yale Univ. School of Medicine researchers shows. In brain areas that regulate emotions, adolescents with bipolar disorder lose larger-than-anticipated volumes of gray matter, or neurons, and show no increase in white matter connections, which is a hallmark of normal adolescent brain development.

How Hep C survives immune system attacks

May 27, 2015 9:48 am | by John Toon, Georgia Institute of Technology | News | Comments

Warring armies use a variety of tactics as they struggle to gain the upper hand. Among their tricks is to attack with a decoy force that occupies the defenders while an unseen force launches a separate attack that the defenders fail to notice. A study published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences suggests that the Hepatitis C virus may employ similar tactics to distract the body's natural defenses.

New way to prevent diabetes-associated blindness

May 26, 2015 8:04 am | by Shawna Williams, Johns Hopkins Univ. | News | Comments

Reporting on their study with lab-grown human cells, researchers at The Johns Hopkins Univ. and the Univ. of Maryland say that blocking a second blood vessel growth protein, along with one that is already well-known, could offer a new way to treat and prevent a blinding eye disease caused by diabetes.

Anti-stroke drug effective treatment for middle-ear infections

May 21, 2015 3:13 pm | by LaTina Emerson, Georgia State Univ. | News | Comments

An existing anti-stroke drug is an effective treatment for middle-ear infections, showing the ability to suppress mucus overproduction, improve bacterial clearance and reduce hearing loss, according to researchers at Georgia State Univ. and the Univ. of Rochester. The findings could result in a novel, non-antibiotic treatment for otitis media, or middle-ear infection, possibly through topical drug delivery.

Experimental Ebola treatment boosts survival in mice

May 21, 2015 8:25 am | by American Chemical Society | News | Comments

The number of new Ebola cases is tapering off, but the search for new treatments continues. Now, one research team has found potential drug candidates that successfully treated up to 90% of mice exposed to the Ebola virus. They report their findings in ACS Infectious Diseases.

Cancer drugs may hold key to treating Down syndrome

May 20, 2015 7:51 am | by Ian Demsky, Univ. of Michigan | Videos | Comments

A class of FDA-approved cancer drugs may be able to prevent problems with brain cell development associated with disorders including Down syndrome and Fragile X syndrome, researchers at the Univ. of Michigan Life Sciences Institute have found. The researchers' proof-of-concept study using fruit fly models of brain dysfunction was published in eLife.

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