News

Microbiome research project IDs 'good' bacteria that combat obesity

Scientists have been exploring the role of the microbiome--that vast population of bacteria that inhabits the human body, which outnumber cells by 10 to 1--in promoting or debilitating our health. And now researchers say they have identified one family of bacteria, the Christensenellaceae, that appears to play a big role in keeping us lean.

Scripps project identifies new targets to fight addiction

A Scripps effort aimed at better understanding the brain chemistry involved in addiction has uncovered neurons that play a dual role in two key brain systems involved in producing a drug high as well as stress from withdrawal.

Cardiovascular investigator pinpoints a new drug target in heart disease

A protein known as the ryanodine receptor is responsible for providing a steady supply of calcium needed to keep the human heart pumping efficiently. And a researcher at the University of Cardiff says he's identified a genetic defect that disrupts the heart's normal rhythm and eventually leads to lethal heart failure.

Structural modeling at Scripps points to better Ebola drug cocktails

One of the drug cocktails now in preclinical development for Ebola, ZMapp, has been used for a small group of emergency cases. And now two Scripps investigators have come up with a 3-D model to show where its three antibodies stick to the virus, pointing to new and better therapies as well as informing work on other such cocktail therapies.

Knocking out a pair of genes may help prevent a relapse of leukemia

Working around the notion that cancer-causing mutations on receptors found in bone marrow stem cells could explain why some patients grow resistant to currently used leukemia drugs, researchers at the Indiana University School of Medicine say they've been successful in testing a new approach to fighting the disease.

Brown fat fingers a new target for metabolic disorders, including diabetes

Brown fat is once again providing clues in how to treat metabolic disorders like diabetes. A group of investigators at the University of Michigan followed up on earlier studies that have examined the role of brown fat in burning calories. Their work led them to NRG4, a hormone secreted by brown fat that may play a role as a messenger with the liver in regulating the conversion of sugar into fat, according to the university.

Genetic trigger to rare type of epilepsy found at Scripps

Investigators at Scripps Translational Science Institute say they have identified the genetic trigger for a rare and potentially lethal form of epilepsy.

Small human study will test a new approach to fighting diabetes

After years of lab work and animal studies, investigators at the University of Alabama in Birmingham will use a grant from the JDRF to determine if the blood pressure medicine verapamil can safeguard the pancreatic beta cells needed to produce insulin, pointing to a new approach in treating Type 1 diabetes.

Swiss team at ETH spotlights potential of a new antibiotic found in nature

Investigators in Switzerland have discovered a protein found in nature that may serve as a solid target for developers interested in creating stable new antibiotics.

Harvard investigators prep an animal study of CRISPR Cas tech for HIV

Investigators at Harvard say that they have successfully used CRISPR Cas gene-editing tools to come up with a new approach in curing HIV, a lethal virus that has claimed millions of lives over recent decades. And they're prepping for animal studies now to see if they can provide some preclinical proof-of-concept data to back up their lab experiment.

Research team points to Sestrin 3 as a potential new target in diabetes

Investigators at Indiana University School of Medicine have added some fresh preclinical evidence to suggest that the protein Sestrin 3 could one day play a role in treating or preventing Type 2 diabetes.

Genentech R&D team fixes a flawed approach to Alzheimer's

Roche never publicly described what went wrong with its early-stage BACE drug for Alzheimer's when it killed the program. But a new study from the pharma giant's Genentech unit outlines the potential threat one of their BACE efforts posed to patients--and how they've managed to adjust for it in animal studies that may well open the door to new human trials.

HIV hideout theory may not hold up

Investigators at Yerkes National Primate Research Center at Emory University may have found new evidence that dispels the theory that macrophages, a type of white blood cell, may harbor HIV for long periods of time, acting as a reservoir.

Three-drug combo kills Ewing sarcoma in mice

A new triple-drug combination therapy tested in mice may provide a new treatment avenue for Ewing sarcoma, a rare bone cancer that primarily affects children and adolescents.

Potential target for triple-negative breast cancer found

Investigators have hit on a potential target for triple-negative breast cancer, a disease that is notoriously impervious to some of the most effective therapies available for breast cancer and has attracted significant interest from drug developers.

Mouse model shows genetics plays a role in Ebola severity

An individual's genetic makeup may be the difference between life and death in patients exposed to the deadly ebolavirus, according to new research.

3D stomach tissue grown from human stem cells

Using human pluripotent stem cells, scientists at Cincinnati Children's Hospital Medical Center have grown functional 3D human stomach tissue for the first time.

Drug combo causes lung cancer cells to self-destruct

U.K. researchers have hit upon a drug combination that appears to combat lung cancer by triggering self-destruction in tumor cells.

Gut bacterium in mosquitoes could combat malaria, dengue

A bacterium found in the gut of an Aedes mosquito may have therapeutic applications for malaria and dengue, two diseases transmitted by these mosquitoes.

Brain cells reprogrammed from skin cells offer treatment hope for Huntington's

Using a new cell programming method, researchers at Washington University in St. Louis have converted human skin cells directly into a type of brain cell that is damaged by Huntington's disease.