Zika, the latest mosquito-borne virus to emerge in the Americas, is rapidly becoming a public health crisis. In Brazil, it is suspected in a sharp increase in microcephaly (a birth defect that results in newborns with smaller than normal head size), leading to anxiety amongst expecting mothers and a travel advisory from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Traditionally, the virus has been fairly benign, causing a rash and a fever that is usually non-life threatening. Professor Albert Ko, chair of the Department of Epidemiology of Microbial Diseases at the Yale School of Public Health, has been working with colleagues in Brazil for months to understand if the virus has changed and what is causing the birth defects in newborns. (more…)
Tag Archives: diseases
AUSTIN, Texas — Your brain transmits information about your current location and memories of past locations over the same neural pathways using different frequencies of a rhythmic electrical activity called gamma waves, report neuroscientists at The University of Texas at Austin.
The research, published in the journal Neuron on April 17, may provide insight into the cognitive and memory disruptions seen in diseases such as schizophrenia and Alzheimer’s, in which gamma waves are disturbed. (more…)
Michigan State University researchers have uncovered a genetic deficiency in males that can trigger the development of one of the most common types of liver cancer and forms of diabetes.
The research, published in the online issue of Cancer Cell, found that when the NCOA5 gene, present in both men and women, was altered in male mice to a deficient level, a spontaneous reaction occurred producing cells that can lead to hepatocellular carcinoma, a type of liver cancer found to be two-to-four times more prevalent in men than women. (more…)
Using IBM’s Crowdsourced Supercomputer, Harvard Rates Solar Energy Potential of 2.3 Million New Compounds
White House Applauds Citizen Science, Big Data Initiative
CAMBRIDGE, MA – 24 Jun 2013: The search for more versatile and less expensive materials for solar energy received a boost today as Harvard launched a free database that catalogues the suitability of 2.3 million organic, carbon compounds for converting sunlight into electricity.
Harvard’s Clean Energy project — which screened the molecules using World Community Grid, an IBM-managed virtual supercomputer that harnesses the surplus computer power donated by volunteers — is believed to be the most extensive investigation of quantum chemicals ever performed. (more…)
UCLA researchers have discovered a type of cell that is the “missing link” between bone marrow stem cells and all the cells of the human immune system, a finding that will lead to a greater understanding of how a healthy immune system is produced and how disease can lead to poor immune function.
The research was done using human bone marrow, which contains all the stem cells that produce blood during post-natal life. (more…)
*Berkeley Lab Researchers Identify Structure of Key Control Element Behind Protein Misfolding That Can Lead to Disease*
The gold standard for nanotechnology is nature’s own proteins. These biomolecular nanomachines – macromolecules forged from peptide chains of amino acids – are able to fold themselves into a dazzling multitude of shapes and forms that enable them to carry out an equally dazzling multitude of functions fundamental to life. As important as protein folding is to virtually all biological systems, the mechanisms behind this process have remained a mystery. The fog, however, is being lifted.
A team of researchers with the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE)’s Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (Berkeley Lab), using the exceptionally bright and powerful x-ray beams of the Advanced Light Source, have determined the crystal structure of a critical control element within chaperonin, the protein complex responsible for the correct folding of other proteins. The incorrect or “misfolding” of proteins has been linked to many diseases, including Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s and some forms of cancer. (more…)
AUSTIN, TX — A new form of proteins discovered by researchers at The University of Texas at Austin could drastically improve treatments for cancer and other diseases, as well as overcome some of the largest challenges in therapeutics: delivering drugs to patients safely, easily and more effectively.
The protein formulation strategy, discovered by chemical engineering faculty members and students in the Cockrell School of Engineering, is unprecedented and offers a new and universal approach to drug delivery — one that could revolutionize treatment of cancer, arthritis and infectious disease. (more…)
EAST LANSING, Mich. — A receptor found on blood platelets whose importance as a potential pharmaceutical target has long been questioned may in fact be fruitful in drug testing, according to new research from Michigan State University chemists.
A team led by Dana Spence of MSU’s Department of Chemistry has revealed a way to isolate and test the receptor known as P2X1. By creating a new, simple method to study it after blood is drawn, the team has unlocked a potential new drug target for many diseases that impact red blood cells, such as diabetes, hypertension and cystic fibrosis. (more…)