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06/14/2018 10:06 AM
Sleep problems are influenced by our genes – but this doesn't mean they can't be fixed
Some people struggle greatly with sleeplessness, whereas others appear to be able to nod off effortlessly, regardless of the circumstances. Perhaps the most obvious explanation for differences between us in terms of our sleep is the environmental challenges that we face. An unrelenting stint at work, relationship difficulties or receiving bad news are just some of the many life challenges that can lead to sleepless nights.
06/08/2018 07:40 AM
Gene therapy for myotubular myopathy—early signs of success
Parents cherish developmental milestones, from a newborn's grip of an offered finger; to an infant's holding her head up the first time; to rolling over, creeping, and crawling; then to standing, cruising, and finally walking. Even kicking during a diaper change or yowling requires muscle strength and coordination. But a boy with X-linked myotubular myopathy (MTM) is so weak that even breathing is a huge struggle. If a baby survives the initial hospital stay, care at home becomes a full-time job and is only supportive, delaying the inevitable. That grim picture may be changing.
06/07/2018 10:00 AM
Researchers address sleep problems in Parkinson's disease
A team of researchers at VIB and KU Leuven has uncovered why people with a hereditary form of Parkinson's disease suffer from sleep disturbances. The molecular mechanisms uncovered in fruit flies and human stem cells also point to candidate targets for the development of new treatments.
06/06/2018 08:42 AM
Identifying a subgroup of heart failure patients could lead to improved care
For more than six decades, oxidative stress has been linked to heart failure, a progressive weakening of the heart muscle that can lead to death. While antioxidant supplements such as vitamin C, vitamin B and beta-carotene have been widely used in heart failure, they often prove ineffective.
06/06/2018 07:44 AM
Fake organs guide the way for 'impossible' cancer surgery
Anthony Camnetar remembers the first time he was told that he had von Hippel-Lindau syndrome, a rare genetic disorder. He was 12 years old and his mother, who had just picked him up from school, broke the news through tears realizing the health challenges her son would face for the rest of his life.
06/01/2018 08:20 AM
Immigration agents X-raying migrants to determine age isn't just illegal, it's a misuse of science
A teenager's father is murdered in Somalia, and the boy travels to the United States seeking asylum. Another teen's father and brother are murdered by extremist groups in Afghanistan and he too makes his way to the U.S. to seek asylum. Since both are minors, federal law decrees that they must be held separately from adults under the oversight of the Office of Refugee Resettlement (ORR).
05/31/2018 05:20 AM
Do we need to worry about Nipah virus?
A recent outbreak in India of Nipah virus encephalitis, an often-lethal viral disease with no cure, has set off international alarms over the virus's potential to become the next threat to global health.
05/29/2018 07:30 AM
Two teams independently come up with a way to avert CRS in CAR T-cell therapies
Two teams of researchers, one working in the U.S., the other in Italy, have come up with new ways to avert cytokine release syndrome (CRS) in leukemia patients who undergo CAR T-cell therapies. In the first, the researchers working at the Sloan Kettering Cancer Center in New York developed a mouse model to replicate the conditions under which CRS develops. They were able to isolate a key molecule involved in the syndrome and then found a drug that blocks it. The second team developed a different mouse model and found the same molecule involved. But instead of blocking it, they genetically modified the T-cells to prevent CRS from arising in the first place. Both have published their results in the journal Nature Medicine. Cliona Rooney and Tim Sauer with Baylor College offer a News & Views piece on the work done by the two teams in the same journal issue.
05/28/2018 04:00 PM
Bioethicists suggest ethical considerations for forensic use of genetic data
Despite the popularity of online genealogy services, it is unclear whether users understand that their genetic information is available for forensic purposes. Bioethicists from the National Institutes of Health (NIH) suggest a framework for ethical discussions about how and when genealogy data should be used for crime-solving. Their paper is published in Annals of Internal Medicine.
05/16/2018 08:30 AM
GABA, GABA, GABA, what does it actually do in the brain?
Gamma-Aminobutyric acid (GABA) is the primary inhibitory neurotransmitter in the brain. It is the control knob of all control knobs. But why GABA? What, if anything, might be so special about the molecule?
05/02/2018 08:30 AM
How to analyze your genome; Part I—Mitochondrial DNA
Genome analysis today is basically blind. It typically proceeds by randomly inspecting a smattering of possible variants that are only loosely associated with some disease or physical trait. Unless you already have a major health problem, this kind of narrowly focused crapshoot is not likely to be a game changer for you.
05/02/2018 04:46 AM
New leads on treating dementia and Alzheimer's
A new study by scientists in Australia and the US provides an explanation for why clinical trials of drugs targeting proteins in the brain that were thought to cause dementia and Alzheimer's have failed. The study has opened the way for potential new treatments with existing drugs.
05/01/2018 09:07 AM
Frozen embryo transfer versus fresh embryo transfer: What's riskier?
Large for gestational age babies and congenital heart defects (CHD) are just two of several risks needing further examination in the emerging field of assisted reproductive technology, according to the editors of a special issue on in-vitro fertilization in Birth Defects Research. The special issue just published by the Teratology Society with John Wiley & Sons, focuses on continued research regarding several aspects of the in-vitro fertilization (IVF) procedure that clearly call for more answers surrounding safety outcomes for the resulting children.
04/30/2018 06:59 AM
Going 'haywire' is bad news for MND sufferers
Increased energy – or metabolic use – in patients with motor neurone disease (MND) has been linked to faster disease progression and reduced lifespan, according to University of Queensland researchers.
04/27/2018 08:20 AM
Experimental drug extends survival in progeria
A report from a clinical trial for a drug to treat the rapid-aging disorder progeria, published in this week's Journal of the American Medical Association, offers hope for families with the ultra-rare genetic condition.