Health & Medicine

Evolutionary arms race: A 400 million-year-old battle between HIV and ancient genes, HERC5 and HERC6

Two human genes, HERC5 and HERC6 have protective effects against HIV and other viruses. Dr Stephen D. Barr from Western University, Canada, traces the evolution of these genes throughout human history and investigates their protective effects. His work has shown that these genes are involved in an evolutionary arms race, with host defence mechanisms and the virus ever trying to […]

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Health & Medicine

MacBrainResource: Virtual access to decades-old primate brains

MacBrainResource is a vast collection of macaque brain slides and electron microscope (EM) blocks generated in the laboratories of Dr Pasko Rakic and the late Dr Patricia Goldman-Rakic. Drs Lynn Selemon and Alvaro Duque at Yale University School of Medicine are committed to making these valuable brains available to researchers both on-site and remotely via website access (macbrainresource.org). MacBrainResource represents […]

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Health & Medicine

Adipose stem cells may promote cancer progression

Adipose stem cells have been considered ideal for use in regenerative medicine due to their ‘safe and reliable’ qualities and ability to be easily and repeatedly harvested from humans. However, new research led by Dr Robert Katona of the Biological Research Centre of the Hungarian Academy of Sciences’ Institute of Genetics calls their safety into question, suggesting that the stem cells may promote […]

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Health & Medicine

A potential new treatment for brain injury

Injuries to the brain can have dire consequences, leading to debilitating symptoms and an increased risk of long-term degenerative diseases such as Alzheimer’s disease and amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS). Despite the impact these injuries have on the lives of millions, there are no good treatments or preventative therapies. Associate Professor Daniel Linseman, of the Department of Biological Sciences and the […]

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Health & Medicine

Counting the costs of ankylosing spondylitis

Ankylosing spondylitis (AS) is a chronic rheumatic disease. A debilitating condition, it has large patient and societal burdens. However, the financial impact of the disease is not fully understood. Aiming to change this are Dr Jessica Walsh from the University of Utah School of Medicine, Drs Xue Song and Gilwan Kim from IBM Watson Health, and Dr Yujin Park from Novartis […]

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Health & Medicine

The carotid body: A candidate for regaining glucose tolerance in Type 2 diabetes

Professor Silvia Conde and her team from the NOVA Medical School, NOVA University of Lisbon, have proposed a new strategy for treating metabolic diseases. Previously, they showed that an over-active homeostasis sensor called the carotid body could cause insulin resistance and disrupt glucose tolerance, common in Type 2 diabetes. In their new study, Prof Conde’s team applied a kilohertz frequency […]

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Health & Medicine

Dream team: Improving hearts and bones with vitamins D and K

Vitamins are essential nutrients our bodies require to perform important functions. Although they can be absorbed through a healthy lifestyle, many people are deficient in vitamins such as vitamin D and vitamin K. Dr Hanne van Ballegooijen and her team from Amsterdam UMC, location VUmc, work to understand the consequences of such deficiencies on human health. Future research may focus on the […]

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Health & Medicine

Plant phytochemicals. A new cancer chemopreventative?

  Dr Sanjay Gupta from Case Western Reserve University is exploring the chemopreventative properties of phytochemicals such as polyphenols and flavonoids, found in plants. The team aim to enhance our understanding of the epigenetic mechanisms that are influenced by phytochemicals resulting in cancer prevention. By manipulating gene expression, without changing the genetic code, phytochemicals can inhibit both oxidative stress and […]

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Health & Medicine

New innovations in traumatic brain injury research

Lynne Ann Barker is a pioneer in the field of traumatic brain injury (TBI). Her work aims to understand how trauma to the brain leads to changes in behaviour and cognitive ability in those affected. She has also worked to develop new experimental methods for assessing cognitive ability, including computerised simulations that incorporate real-world tasks such as cooking, with the aim of increasing the speed […]

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Health & Medicine

How data is improving driving policies for epilepsy patients

Until recently, UK epilepsy patients’ quality of life and the public’s safety rested on driving policies informed by neurologists’ ‘expert opinions’. However, Dr Laura Bonnett of the University of Liverpool and her team have found hard evidence to back up and improve these policies. By determining the risk of recurring seizures in first-time seizure patients, those on antiepileptic drug withdrawal […]

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