Research News

NIH researchers rescue photoreceptors, prevent blindness in animal models of retinal degeneration

  • Posted on: 17 January 2019
  • By: Shalini.Sharma

Using a novel patient-specific stem cell-based therapy, researchers at the National Eye Institute (NEI) prevented blindness in animal models of geographic atrophy, the advanced "dry" form of age-related macular degeneration (AMD), which is a leading cause of vision loss among people age 65 and older. The protocols established by the animal study, published January 16 in Science Translational Medicine (STM), set the stage for a first-in-human clinical trial testing the therapy in people with geographic atrophy, for which there is currently no treatment.

NIH study implicates hyperactive immune system in aging brain disorders

  • Posted on: 8 January 2019
  • By: Shalini.Sharma

In a study of fruit flies, NIH scientists suggested that the body’s immune system may play a critical role in the damage caused by aging brain disorders. The results are based on experiments in which the researchers altered the activity of Cdk5, a gene that preclinical studies have suggested is important for early brain development and may be involved in neurodegenerative diseases, such as ALS, Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s disease.

2,000 human brains yield clues to how genes raise risk for mental illnesses: Study

  • Posted on: 20 December 2018
  • By: Shalini.Sharma

It’s one thing to detect sites in the genome associated with mental disorders; it’s quite another to discover the biological mechanisms by which these changes in DNA work in the human brain to boost risk. In their first concerted effort to tackle the latter, 15 collaborating research teams of the National Institutes of Health-funded PsychENCODE Consortium(link is external) leveraged statistical power gained from a large sample of about 2000 postmortem human brains.

Now indigestibe capsules can be controlled using Bluetooth

  • Posted on: 18 December 2018
  • By: PharmaTutor News

Researchers at MIT, Draper, and Brigham and Women’s Hospital have designed an ingestible capsule that can be controlled using Bluetooth wireless technology. The capsule, which can be customized to deliver drugs, sense environmental conditions, or both, can reside in the stomach for at least a month, transmitting information and responding to instructions from a user’s smartphone.

NIH scientists find that breast cancer protection from pregnancy starts decades later

  • Posted on: 18 December 2018
  • By: Shalini.Sharma

In general, women who have had children have a lower risk of breast cancer compared to women who have never given birth. However, new research has found that moms don’t experience this breast cancer protection until many years later and may face elevated risk for more than 20 years after their last pregnancy.

Researchers design technology that sees nerve cells fire: NIH

  • Posted on: 14 December 2018
  • By: Shalini.Sharma

Researchers at Stanford University, Palo Alto, California, have created a noninvasive technology that detects when nerve cells fire based on changes in shape. The method could be used to observe nerve activity in light-accessible parts of the body, such as the eye, which would allow physicians to quantitatively monitor visual function at the cellular level. The study was published in the journal Light: Science and Applications. The work was funded by the National Eye Institute, part of the National Institutes of Health.

Elevated hormone flags liver problems in mice with methylmalonic academia: study

  • Posted on: 7 December 2018
  • By: Shalini.Sharma

Researchers have discovered that a hormone, fibroblast growth factor 21 (FGF21), is extremely elevated in mice with liver disease that mimics the same condition in patients with methylmalonic academia  (MMA), a serious genomic disorder. Based on this finding, medical teams treating patients with MMA will be able to measure FGF21 levels to predict how severely patients’ livers are affected and when to refer patients for liver transplants. The findings also might shed light on more common disorders such as fatty liver disease, obesity and diabetes by uncovering similarities in how MMA and these disorders affect energy metabolism and, more specifically, the function of mitochondria, the cells’ energy powerhouses. The study, conducted by researchers at the National Human Genome Research Institute (NHGRI), part of the National Institutes of Health, was published Dec. 6 in JCI Insight.

Low-income, rural kids at higher risk for second- or third-hand smoke exposure: study

  • Posted on: 7 December 2018
  • By: Shalini.Sharma

Infants and toddlers in low-income, rural areas may be at higher risk for second- and third-hand smoke than previously reported, according to a study supported by the National Institutes of Health. Approximately 15 percent of children in the study tested positive for cotinine, a byproduct formed when the body breaks down nicotine, at levels comparable to those of adult smokers. About 63 percent of children in the study had detectable levels of cotinine, suggesting widespread exposure to smoke. The study appears in Nicotine & Tobacco Research.

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