Chemists at The University of Texas at Austin have created a molecule that's so good at tangling itself inside the double helix of a DNA sequence that it can stay there for up to 16 days before the DNA liberates itself, much longer than any other molecule reported. The invention could be the basis for drugs that target rogue DNA directly.
At the most basic level, the immune system must distinguish self from non-self. But the system is far from foolproof and cancer exploits its weaknesses. In a new study a researcher at Arizona State University's Biodesign Institute examines how CD8 T cells—critical weapons in the body's defensive arsenal—are regulated when they transition from a "tolerant" state to an defensive state and back.
In a recent study, participants played a video game in which they learned the locations of stores in a virtual city. The study showed that they recalled the locations better also received a painless boost from tiny electrodes buried deep inside their brains. The finding may have uses in treating Alzheimer’s disease.
A team of University of Arkansas researchers has created a new, "green" method for developing medicines. The researchers used energy from an ordinary 13-W compact fluorescent light bulb to create an organic molecule that may be useful in the treatment of Alzheimer’s and other brain diseases.
2011 brought two of the deadliest bacterial outbreaks the world has seen during the last 25 years. The two epidemics accounted for more than 4,200 cases of infectious disease and 80 deaths. Software developed at Georgia Tech was used to help characterize the bacteria that caused each outbreak.
Biologists have found new evidence of why mice, people and other vertebrate animals carry thousands of varieties of genes to make immune-system proteins named MHCs—even though some of those genes make vertebrate animals susceptible to infections and to autoimmune diseases.
Using some of the most powerful nuclear magnetic resonance equipment available, researchers at the University of California, Davis, are making discoveries about the shape and structure of biological molecules—potentially leading to new ways to treat or prevent diseases such as breast cancer and Alzheimer’s disease.
Research suggests a pricey new treatment for prostate cancer called proton therapy might have more side effects than traditional radiation does. Hospitals are rushing to build proton centers, and nine are operating now. But a study of Medicare records revealed potential problems and no rigorous studies have been done to prove it is as safe as therapies.
Using a liquid laser, University of Michigan researchers have developed a better way to detect the slight genetic mutations that might predispose a person to a particular type of cancer or other diseases. The work could advance understanding of the genetic basis of diseases.
The pharmaceutical industry won approval to market a record number of new drugs for rare diseases last year, as a combination of scientific innovation and business opportunity spurred new treatments for diseases long-ignored by drug companies. Many of these so-called orphan drugs offer extra patent protections and faster government approval.
Two women who are legally blind from two different incurable conditions appeared to gain some vision after receiving an experimental treatment using embryonic stem cells. Experts caution that discussion of clinical treatment is premature at this stage.
A new University of Michigan computer model of disease transmission in space and time can predict cholera outbreaks in Bangladesh up to 11 months in advance, providing an early warning system that could help public health officials there.
Scientists from the Florida campus of The Scripps Research Institute have identified a compound that can help repair a specific type of defect in RNA. The methods in the new study could accelerate the development of therapeutics to treat a variety of incurable diseases such as Huntington's disease, spinocerebellar ataxia, and Kennedy disease.
Agent-based computer models use fine-scale data from actual movements of individuals obtained by detailed video recordings, global positioning systems, or mobile phone tracking. Researchers say that these tools, which can help them simulate crowd movements, could also help them model the spread of infections in mass gatherings.
An elegant approach to synthesizing amphotericin B, which has been used extensively as an antifungal for more than 50 years, has allowed researchers to learn its elusive mode of action. The finding may change drug development directions and improve antifungal treatments, but there is still a downside to the drug.
Modified probiotics, the beneficial bacteria touted for their role in digestive health, could one day decrease the risk of Listeria infection in people with susceptible immune systems, according to Purdue University research.
As mosquito-borne viral diseases spread around the globe, scientists at Virginia Tech are working to understand the mosquito's immune system and how the viral pathogens that cause these diseases are able to overcome it to be transmitted to human and animal hosts.
Known for her poetry, letters, love affair, and marriage to Robert Browning, Elizabeth Barrett Browning also left a legacy of unanswered questions about her life-long chronic illness. Now, a Penn State University anthropologist, with the aid of her daughter, may have unraveled the mystery.
A new study has identified a gene mutation that researchers estimate dates back to 11,600 B.C., making it the second oldest human disease mutation yet discovered. Researchers say that although the mutation, which causes a rare vitamin deficiency, is found in vastly different ethnic populations, it originated in a single, prehistoric individual and was passed down to that individual's descendents.
A technique that lets researchers monitor single cancer cells in real time as they float in liquid could help doctors study the breakaway tumor cells that cause cancer growth, or metastasis. The approach uses magnets to rotate cancer cells in a way that lets their spinning speed reveal their shape and status.
Single-celled bacteria coordinate attacks by sending each other coded messages. Until now, the diversity of these codes was thought to be extremely limited. But recent research has revealed communication by a previously undescribed signal type. Stranger still is an apparent cypher-breaking system that some plants have evolved in response.
In what's being called a landmark study, researchers used gene therapy to successfully treat six patients with severe hemophilia, a blood-clotting disorder. The six men each received a single, 20-minute infusion of healthy genetic material delivered by a virus found in monkeys. Four of the patients were able to stop conventional blood-clotting treatments altogether.
Normally used to spot where people live, satellite images of nighttime lights can help keep tabs on the diseases festering among them, too, according to new research. Princeton University-led researchers report that nighttime-lights imagery presents a new tool for pinpointing disease hotspots in developing nations by revealing the population boom that typically coincides with seasonal epidemics.
In Denmark, mushrooms have primarily been used in food preparation or as intoxicants. But until. Dr. Ming Chen, an expert in traditional Chinese medicine, came along, nobody had discovered than a certain type of toxic mushroom was actually effective and selective against cancer cells.
Initial results from an ongoing clinical trial, the first designed to examine the utility of whole-genome sequencing for breast cancer, indicate activation of targets not previously associated with so-called triple negative disease, which represent about 20% of breast cancers that do not respond to traditional therapies.