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MERS virus antibodies identified

MERS virus antibodies identified | Topics in Science | Scoop.it
Scientists have found natural human antibodies to the newly-emerging Middle East Respiratory Syndrome virus.

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More Hints That Dad's Age At Conception Helps Shape A Child's Brain

More Hints That Dad's Age At Conception Helps Shape A Child's Brain | Topics in Science | Scoop.it
A study that took many other potential influences into account found that kids born to men 45 and older were more likely than the children of younger fathers to develop autism or ADHD.
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Gold nanoparticle-based exonuclease III signal amplification for highly sensitive colorimetric detection of folate receptor - Nanoscale (RSC Publishing) DOI:10.1039/C3NR06139F

Gold nanoparticle-based exonuclease III signal amplification for highly sensitive colorimetric detection of folate receptor - Nanoscale (RSC Publishing) DOI:10.1039/C3NR06139F | Topics in Science | Scoop.it
Lina Maderazo Mullen, PhD's insight:

Folate receptor expression is elevated in many human cancers including breast, ovarian, renal, lung, colorectal and brain.  The development of a highly sensitive method of quantifying extremely low levels or changes in levels of this protein could provide a valuable early detection method for these cancers.

image from: http://www.nanowerk.com/

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Clinical Trial Suggests Way to Fight Peanut Allergy

Clinical Trial Suggests Way to Fight Peanut Allergy | Topics in Science | Scoop.it
Children given small amounts of peanut flour every day have fewer severe reactions
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ORAL IMMUNOTHERAPY: This is great news for people who suffer from peanut allergies.

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"We Will Send Robots to Read the Genomes of Alien Life Forms and Replicate Them Back on Earth"

"We Will Send Robots to Read the Genomes of Alien Life Forms and Replicate Them Back on Earth" | Topics in Science | Scoop.it
In 2010, Craig Venter, who helped map the human genome, became the first to successfully create “synthetic life,” using chemicals and inserting DNA into the cell of a bacteria —putting humankind at the threshold of the most important and exciting...
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'Digital baby' screen for sperm donors

'Digital baby' screen for sperm donors | Topics in Science | Scoop.it
A service that digitally weaves together the DNA of prospective parents to check for potential disease in thousands of "virtual babies" is set to launch in the US by December.
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Brainbow | Center for Brain Science

Brainbow | Center for Brain Science | Topics in Science | Scoop.it

http://cbs.fas.harvard.edu/science/connectome-project/brainbow#

 

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BRAINBOW

Each neuron of the brain can be fluorescently tagged with a different color.  This technique has led to many advances in the field of neuronal connectivity in the brain. Individual neurons or neuron families can be color coded depending on their protein expression patterns.

Images in this site are from J. Lichtman.

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How brains see

At the micro-scale the brain is a mess; a thick tangle of nerve cells connected at synapses. Mapping just a tiny portion of this mess, a few hundred cells, i... (Cool retina maps! RT @myScizzle: How brains see?
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Early spatial reasoning predicts later creativity and innovation, especially in STEM fields

Early spatial reasoning predicts later creativity and innovation, especially in STEM fields | Topics in Science | Scoop.it
Exceptional spatial ability at age 13 predicts creative and scholarly achievements over 30 years later, according to results from a new longitudinal study published in Psychological Science, a jour...
Lina Maderazo Mullen, PhD's insight:
Our current methods of predicting academic/educational success focus on assessment of math, reading and writing.  However, according to recent and previous studies, we may not be doing enough to identify and develop the talent of creativity and innovation!  These are the talents and skills very much needed in STEM fields in order for us to remain competitive in the current world markets (Creativity and Technical Innovation: Spatial Ability's Unique Role; Kell HJ, Lubinski D, Benbow CP, Steiger JH.; Psychol Sci. 2013 Jul 11; Why Don't We Value Spatial Intelligence? Recognizing beautiful minds that will help invent our future.  Published on March 11, 2012 by Jonathan Wai, Ph.D. in Finding the Next Einstein).  According to the authors in the current study, SPATIAL ABILITY/REASONING and the intellectual configurations it forms with mathematical and verbal reasoning tell and important story about intellectual development.  Moreover, using the current methods of predictors of academic talent (eg, the SAT), which focus only on mathematical and verbal reasoning, may miss as much as HALF of the elite performers in spatial ability.  According to the National Science Board, these top performers in spatial ability are the individuals who go far in science and technology and become important contributors to advances in these fields.  We should really do more to identify and promote the unique intelligence that is Spatial Reasoning.
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New Technique Gives Potential Hope to Spinal Cord Patients

New Technique Gives Potential Hope to Spinal Cord Patients | Topics in Science | Scoop.it
Using a novel technique to promote the regeneration of nerve cells across the site of severe spinal cord injury, researchers have restored bladder function in paralyzed adult rats, according to a s...
Lina Maderazo Mullen, PhD's insight:

Following severe spinal cord injury, one of the life-threatening results is bladder dysfunction.  Current regimen for injury victims involves a peripheral nerve graft accompanied by growth factor treatment.  This results in limited nerve re-growth because the nerves fail to exit the grafted tissue.  Previous studies demonstrated somewhat increased nerve regrowth into immediate cervical cord allowing function of the front paws and diaphragm in animal models.  Recently however, a group from the Cleveland Clinic and Case Wester Reserve Medical School (Nerve Regeneration Restores Supraspinal Control of Bladder Function after Complete Spinal Cord Injury

Yu-Shang Lee Ching-Yi Lin Hai-Hong Jiang Marc DePaul Vernon W. Lin and 

Jerry Silver) demonstrate a new technique that restores function to the body parts associated with the more caudal spinal cord, including urinary function.  This treatment involves nerve graft, acidic FGF and chondroitinase that digests scar tissue.

 
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Aspirin may fight cancer by slowing DNA damage

Aspirin may fight cancer by slowing DNA damage | Topics in Science | Scoop.it
Aspirin is known to lower risk for some cancers, and a new study points to a possible explanation, with the discovery that aspirin slows the accumulation of DNA mutations in abnormal cells in at least one pre-cancerous condition.
Lina Maderazo Mullen, PhD's insight:

Cells within a tumor are known to have a much higher rate of mutational events than normal tissue, causing these cells to grow uncontrollably over time.  A decrease in the rate of genome-wide DNA mutations in a pre-cancerous condition called Barrett's esophagus can be linked to a daily aspirin regimen.  In a study published on June 13 (http://www.plosgenetics.org/article/info%3Adoi%2F10.1371%2Fjournal.pgen.1003553;jsessionid=D521097477419142C4AF98FC81511228), researchers tracked patients for 6 to 19 years in order to compare the rates of mutations in patients with differing aspirin regimens vs patients not taking aspirin.

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Gone today, hair tomorrow? Changes in dermal papilla cell number drive hair thinning and loss. « the Node

Gone today, hair tomorrow? Changes in dermal papilla cell number drive hair thinning and loss. « the Node | Topics in Science | Scoop.it
  Over the course of a lifetime, each hair follicle makes a series of new hairs, temporarily ceasing hair production before beginning again anew.  This has focused attention on the epithelial stem cells that periodically renew the follicle and regenerate...
Lina Maderazo Mullen, PhD's insight:

The communication between epithelial and mesenchymal cell layers is a necessary component for induction of regeneration and morphogenesis.  This is no different in hair growth, a system in which the hair shaft is a product of epithelial stem cells in the hair follicle.  In a recent study in Development (http://dev.biologists.org/content/140/8/1676.abstract?sid=403b62e2-37b2-48a2-8dfc-d9a7d0c97c75), a population of specialized mesenchymal cells (dermal papilla) instruct the epithelial cells in the hair growth process.  In the current study, the dermal papilla was depleted incrementally, and researchers showed that the number of remaining dermal papilla cells correlated with the size and thickness of the hair produced.  Results of this study may reveal new approaches to preventing, reducing or reversing hair loss.

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A light switch for pain | KurzweilAI

A light switch for pain | KurzweilAI | Topics in Science | Scoop.it
Light-sensitive proteins, or opsins, are used in a Stanford study on pain control through optogenetics (credit: Stanford University) A team of Bio-X
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Cancer Uses Healing Mechanism to Spread

Cancer Uses Healing Mechanism to Spread | Topics in Science | Scoop.it
Researchers have deciphered how a network of genes allows cancer cells to “decide” when to metastasize, opening up new therapeutic avenues.
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Gene Therapy Might Grow Replacement Tissue Inside the Body

Gene Therapy Might Grow Replacement Tissue Inside the Body | Topics in Science | Scoop.it

Duke researchers use gene therapy to direct stem cells into becoming new cartilage on a synthetic scaffold even after implantation into a living body


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GEN | News Highlights:Acid Shock Converts Adult Cells to Stem Cells

GEN | News Highlights:Acid Shock Converts Adult Cells to Stem Cells | Topics in Science | Scoop.it
External stresses, such as low pH, may reprogram mammalian somatic cells, resulting in the generation of pluripotent cells.
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Salmonella Infection Mitigates Asthma

Salmonella Infection Mitigates Asthma | Topics in Science | Scoop.it
Researchers from Germany have identified the mechanism by which Salmonella infections can reduce the incidence of asthma in mice.
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Stem Cell Breakthrough in Mice Points Toward a Way to Repair Tissue in Humans

Stem Cell Breakthrough in Mice Points Toward a Way to Repair Tissue in Humans | Topics in Science | Scoop.it
Some Spanish researchers were the first to turn mature cells into stem cells inside the body itself.

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Stem Cells Engineered to Become Targeted Drug Factories | Harvard Stem Cell Institute

Stem Cells Engineered to Become Targeted Drug Factories | Harvard Stem Cell Institute | Topics in Science | Scoop.it
Lina Maderazo Mullen, PhD's insight:

"Mesenchymal stem cells have become cell therapy researchers’ tool of choice because they can evade the immune system, and thus are safe to use even if they are derived from another person." 

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Human Microbiome May Be Seeded Before Birth

Human Microbiome May Be Seeded Before Birth | Topics in Science | Scoop.it
Scientists are studying whether mothers pass microbes to their fetuses during gestation, research that could help fight some pregnancy complications.
Lina Maderazo Mullen, PhD's insight:

Scientists have 'found evidence indicating that healthy fetuses pick up bacteria in the womb. '

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New technology will improve neuron activation induced by cochlear implants

New technology will improve neuron activation induced by cochlear implants | Topics in Science | Scoop.it
Cochlear implants, electrical prosthetic devices that stimulate inner ear neurons of individuals who have lost their cochlear sensory cells, restore usable hearing to deaf patients.

 

image credit: httpwww.nidcd.nih.govhealthhearingpagescoch.aspx

 

Lina Maderazo Mullen, PhD's insight:

In people with sensorineural hearing loss (SNHL), the most common type of permanent hearing loss, the specialized hair cells within the cochlea or the nerves transmitting the signals are damaged.  There is some progress in restoring and improving the hearing in patients suffering from SNHL through cochlear implant technology.  A cochlear implant bypasses the hair cells by collecting sounds, digitizing them, and transferring them to electrodes implanted in the cochlea.  These electrodes stimulate the auditory nerve, which can then send signals to the brain, and that’s how sound is perceived.  Cochlear implants do not fully restore hearing however.  They operate by activating large groups of neurons simultaneously, resulting in a reduced sound resolution.  Our current study aims to improve and direct neural activation to more discrete populations of neurons, thus increasing the resolution of the sounds.  The methods involve attracting spiral ganglion neurites toward the implant itself using different environmental media and neurotrophic factors. 

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Naked mole rats reveal why they are immune to cancer - health - 19 June 2013 - New Scientist

Naked mole rats reveal why they are immune to cancer - health - 19 June 2013 - New Scientist | Topics in Science | Scoop.it
Heavy gloop that allows mole rats to slip through tight spaces may also protect them from cancer
Lina Maderazo Mullen, PhD's insight:

The naked mole rats do a couple of things exceptionally well.  They demonstrate substantial longevity, and they display an unusual immunity to cancer.  Researchers at the University of Rochester and their colleagues reveal a mechanism by which their resistance to cancer is mediated (http://www.nature.com/nature/journal/vaop/ncurrent/pdf/nature12234.pdf) They have shown that fibroblast cells in the naked mole rat secret an unusually high molecular weight form of Hyaluronan (HA), a component of the extracellular matrix.  Moreover, they have shown that mutations in this molecule will lead to tumor formation in animal models. Their results show that Early Contact Inhibition mediates cell growth arrest by the HA-CD44 receptor-NF2 pathway, controling tumor inhibition.  The HA in these animals has a higher mass than human or mouse HA, has a robust synthesis in the animal, and has a lower degradation rate.  Naked mole rat cells also have a higher affinity to HA than  human or mouse cells.  Understanding this mechanism may uncover novel approaches to cancer prevention in humans.

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MEDICUS | Gene Offers an Athlete’s Heart Without The Exercise

MEDICUS | Gene Offers an Athlete’s Heart Without The Exercise | Topics in Science | Scoop.it
news release from the Case Western Reserve University School of Medicine
Lina Maderazo Mullen, PhD's insight:

HEXIM1 gene was found to suppress breast cancer progression in mouse models.  These results were published last year.  Recently, the medical school research group at Case Western Reserve show that this gene also increases the density of blood vessels in the heart, a sign of heart health.  According to Dr. Watanabe, a co-author on the publication, http://cardiovascres.oxfordjournals.org/content/early/2013/04/11/cvr.cvt086.short, increasing HEXIM1 levels brought normal functioning hearts up to an athletic level.  This physical improvement may allow the heart to battle the injuries caused by cardiovasculat disease.

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Rewinding development: a step forward for stem cell research – University of Copenhagen

Rewinding development: a step forward for stem cell research – University of Copenhagen | Topics in Science | Scoop.it
Research discovery at University of Copenhagen has the potential to shed new light on placenta related disorders that can lead to problematic pregnancies and miscarriages.
Lina Maderazo Mullen, PhD's insight:

Early development of the human fetus relies on health and function of the placenta, the organ that connects the fetus to the uterine wall and mother’s blood supply.  The placenta facilitates transfer of nutrients and gases from mother to fetus, and waste from fetus back to mother for disposal.  Understanding the formation and development of the placenta, an EXTRA-embryonic tissue, will shed light on its role in avoiding miscarriages and supporting/maintaining proper development of the embryo itself.  Researchers at the Danish Stem Cell Center have discovered a method for directing embryonic stem cells toward a placental identity (Morgani et al., Totipotent Embryonic Stem Cells Arise in Ground-State Culture Conditions, Cell Reports (2013), http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.celrep.2013.04.034.)  By exposing stem cells to an environment that includes LIF (Leukemia Inhibitory Factor), embryonic stem cells were maintained in their early “regressed” stage of development. 

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