Advances in CNS drug development

Advances in CNS drug development

The global prevalence of diseases affecting the central nervous system (CNS) demands the development of efficacious therapies for these unmet needs. However, drug development for CNS diseases is complicated by a limited ability to measure whether a drug candidate is accessing and affecting the human brain, particularly in early-stage human trials. Research by Dr Eugenii (Ilan) Rabiner and his colleagues: Dr […]

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Fruit flies help shed light on drug discovery for ALS

Fruit flies help shed light on drug discovery for ALS

Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) is a devastating and incurable neurodegenerative disease that affects people in adulthood. It leads to the death of neurons involved in muscle control, eventually affecting almost all facets of the body, including walking, swallowing and breathing. Drs Nancy Bonini and Leeanne McGurk at the University of Pennsylvania are using fruit flies, mammalian cellular systems like neurons, […]

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In-situ monitoring of microbial circuitry

In-situ monitoring of microbial circuitry

Microbial metabolisms are valuable tools in industrial biotechnology. The ability to monitor and measure the productivity of microbes is essential, but many standard techniques are limited by issues of labour- and time-intensity. With funding from the Department of Energy’s Bioenergy Technologies Office, Office of Science, and Environmental Management Program as well as the Department of Defense’s Defense Threat Reduction agency. Dr Charles (Chuck) […]

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The acidic brine lakes of Chile: A surprising microbial community

The acidic brine lakes of Chile: A surprising microbial community

  The Andean salt flats of Chile are well known for their vast natural beauty. Interspersed within their white salt-crusts, small lakes, springs and creeks can be found alongside the unique microbial communities that inhabit them. Drs Cecilia Demergasso and Guillermo Chong along with a multidisciplinary research team from the Universidad Católica del Norte of Chile, are currently investigating the […]

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Machine metaphors: Ethical and philosophical challenges in synthetic biology

The emerging field of synthetic biology faces a growing need for conceptual clarification and ethical deliberation. Dr Joachim Boldt from the University of Freiburg has analysed the use of machine metaphors in describing biological systems, and how language affects the approaches we have towards synthetic biology research. In addition to oversimplifying biological systems, machine metaphors can create new biosafety risks and […]

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Extracellular vesicle DNA: A promising cancer biomarker

Lung cancer patients could one day receive faster, cheaper and more accurate diagnoses thanks to extracellular vesicle DNA found in liquid biopsies. These were the findings of a research team led by Professors Kye Young Lee and Jae Young Hur of Konkuk University’s School of Medicine. Their work offers an alternative to invasive tissue biopsies which are currently used to detect […]

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The biology of ageing

Biology of ageing Dr Nan-ping Weng Research Outreach

What causes ageing? Is it inevitable? Could it be slowed or even reversed? Humans have wanted to know the answer to these questions ever since we became aware of our own mortality. Despite the tremendous advances that have been made in our scientific understanding over the past century, ageing remains one of the greatest mysteries in biological science. But scientists, […]

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Pathogenic microorganisms targeted by complex cellular communications

wnt5a signalling research outreach

When the human body is challenged by infection, the defences of the immune system are called into action. Dr Malini Sen of the Indian Institute of Chemical Biology is leading research into the role of a protein called Wnt5a in defending against invading pathogenic microorganisms. Wnt5a is found in macrophages, large white blood cells that form one of the first lines of defence […]

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Better and stronger potatoes using hybrid breeding

Solynta research outreach

Potato is a hugely important crop worldwide, being eaten across the world and across cultures. Increased crop productivity and strength will help cater for the increasing global population, and also serve to reduce famine in challenging and impoverished environments. The potato breeding company Solynta in The Netherlands has successfully produced a hybrid breeding program for potatoes which will allow the rapid selection and […]

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Guinea pig as a model to study the carotid body-mediated chronic intermittent hypoxia effects

chronic intermittent hypoxia research outreach

The ability to sense and respond to changes in oxygen is essential for survival. Dr Ángela Gómez-Niño and Dr Asuncion Rocher along with their research team at Valladolid University aim to better understand the physiology and pathophysiology of oxygen sensitivity. In particular, the team employ the use of the guinea pig as a model to explore the mechanisms that mediate […]

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