first_imgMay 11 2018Belgium Hospital Hosts Successful World-first ProcedureJohnson & Johnson Medical Devices Companies announced today that Biosense Webster, a worldwide leader in the diagnosis and treatment of heart arrhythmias, has enrolled and treated the first patient in its QDOT AF Study. The study will evaluate the delivery of high power, short duration ablation with QDOT MICRO, a novel radiofrequency (RF) ablation catheter for the treatment of paroxysmal atrial fibrillation (AF). The first AF patient was treated at OLV Hospital in Aalst, Belgium, one of eight centers in Europe part of the study that will be enrolling up to 50 patients.AF is fast becoming one of the world’s most significant health issues – affecting 14 million people across Europe, the Middle East and Africa, as well as placing a critical burden on healthcare systems with up to 2.5% of total healthcare expenditure associated with the disease.Related StoriesDePuy Synthes launches nerve assessment platform for spine proceduresJohnson & Johnson Medical acquires EIT to enhance interbody implant portfolioBiosense Webster treats first patient in U.S. IDE study of HELIOSTAR RF Balloon Ablation CatheterQDOT MICRO is a next generation catheter designed to treat AF in a catheter ablation procedure. In what will be a world-first, it delivers 90 watts of RF power in a four-second temperature-controlled catheter ablation session. Its optimized temperature control and micro-electrode technology is designed to provide more efficient and consistent lesion creation with advanced diagnostics, while simplifying the technique and reducing total ablation time.“The concept of high power short duration ablation is novel and a potentially groundbreaking advancement for the industry,” said Tom De Potter, MD, FEHRA, Associate Director, Cardiovascular Center Department of Cardiology, Electrophysiology Section at OLV Hospital. “The new modality could result in improvements in clinical outcomes and procedural efficiencies and I look forward to further investigation.” Dr De Potter performed the first QDOT MICRO procedure, and is one of the study clinical investigators.QDOT MICRO, which is only available for investigational use in Europe, is a steerable multi-electrode catheter with a deflectable tip designed to facilitate electrophysiological mapping of the heart and to transmit RF current to the catheter tip electrode for ablation purposes. In addition to force-sensing technology, the catheter incorporates six thermocouple temperature sensors and three micro electrodes embedded in its tip.“For over 20 years Biosense Webster has pioneered the development of atrial fibrillation treatment” explains Gabriele Fischetto (Vice President of Johnson & Johnson Cardiovascular Specialty Solutions in EMEA). “QDOT MICRO continues our commitment to deliver solutions that help clinicians heal more hearts and has the potential to increase the standard of treatment for paroxysmal atrial fibrillation”. Source:https://www.biosensewebster.com/last_img read more

first_imgMay 11 2018Queen’s University Belfast researchers at the Centre for Cancer Research and Cell Biology (CCRCB) alongside local company Fusion Antibodies plc have secured a prestigious Medical Research Council (MRC) award to develop a new antibody drug for the treatment of pancreatic cancer.Globally pancreatic cancer is still one of the most difficult cancers to treat, and new treatments are urgently required.Recent statistics from Cancer Research UK shows that in the UK alone, almost 10,000 new cases are detected annually and the outlook for patients is much poorer than those suffering other cancers.Related StoriesTrends in colonoscopy rates not aligned with increase in early onset colorectal cancerEmbrace your natural skin tone to prevent skin cancer, say expertsSugary drinks linked to cancer finds studyQueen’s researchers are addressing this gap by designing an antibody that specifically targets the surface of the cancer cells.Professor Dan Longley, Chair of Molecular Oncology at the Centre for Cancer Reserach Cell Biology (CCRCB) explains that, “this approach, called immunotherapy, has been heralded as a game-changing approach for other cancers such as skin melanomas, but new innovations are required to treat pancreatic cancer and this is the focus of our current work.”To create these antibodies the Queen’s team will work with therapeutic antibody development specialists Fusion Antibodies plc to develop these prototype molecules.Explaining the concept behind this new award, Professor Chris Scott, Chair of Pharmaceutical Biosciences at CCRCB at Queen’s University describes, “Pancreatic cancer is the 6th most common cause of cancer death in the UK.”Our aim is to develop a new antibody drug that will re-arm and trigger the patients’ own immune systems to combat the disease. This exciting project is very much in line with the research ethos of Queen’s University, which is centered on Global Challenges. With this discovery, we hope to change the lives of people across the world who are diagnosed with pancreatic cancer.”Dr Paul Kerr, Chief Executive at Fusion Antibodies said, “We are delighted to use our expertise in drug development and antibody engineering to collaborate with Queen’s University to generate new drug candidates for pancreatic cancer.” Source:https://www.qub.ac.uk/last_img read more

first_imgJul 24 2018The National Institute on Aging Genetics of Alzheimer’s Disease Data Storage Site (NIAGADS) will begin making large-scale DNA sequence data available to investigators. The goal is to make Alzheimer’s disease-relevant genetic data available to as many investigators as possible to accelerate research. The data will be processed by the Genomic Center for Alzheimer’s Disease (GCAD) at the Perelman School of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania and all sequence and phenotype data will be integrated from different sources, in a process called harmonization, so that investigators can immediately begin analyses.NIAGADS and GCAD are part of the Penn Neurodegeneration Genomics Center (PNGC), which is a national focal point for Alzheimer’s disease genetics research. PNGC, NIAGADS, and GCAD are directed by Gerard Schellenberg, PhD, a professor of Pathology and Laboratory Medicine, and Li-San Wang PhD, an associate professor of Pathology and Laboratory Medicine.”Genetic findings for Alzheimer’s disease are critical for identifying targets for therapeutic development,” Wang said. “Making these data available is particularly important since there is currently no treatment available that prevents or alters the course of this common and devastating disease.”The information being made available is whole-genome sequence data for 5,000 subjects, including Alzheimer’s cases and cognitively normal controls from people of European, African American, and Caribbean Hispanic descent. Within a year, data from an additional 20,000 subjects will become available. This effort is part of the Alzheimer’s Disease Sequencing Project (ADSP), a National Institute on Aging (NIA) initiative to fully sequence the DNA of as many as 25,000 individuals, including those with Alzheimer’s and healthy controls. All sequence and accompanying phenotype data will be harmonized to maximize the utility of data for analyses.Related StoriesLiving a healthy lifestyle may help offset genetic risk of dementiaHealthy lifestyle lowers dementia risk despite genetic predispositionFungal infection study identifies specific genetic vulnerability among Hmong peopleNIAGADS will distribute large data files for sophisticated analyses, which is required for full use of this DNA sequence resource and other resources. Currently, these large datasets are not available through other sites, including the previously used repository called the database of Genotypes and Phenotypes (dbGaP), which no longer accepts certain large sequence files.NIAGADS is set up with appropriate security to protect confidential data and to distribute these large datasets to qualified investigators. “This large scale sequencing project has stepped up to provide a cloud-based alternative to depositing data in dbGaP for sharing large DNA sequence files,” Schellenberg said.This NIAGADS and PNGC announcement is in conjunction with the Alzheimer’s Association International Conference, which is taking place on July 22-26, 2018, in Chicago. Penn researchers are also presenting posters on the new database’s contacts and access.”The genetics data from this immense ethnically diverse population will help identify genetic risk and protective factors for Alzheimer’s disease,” said Eliezer Masliah, MD, director of the Division of Neuroscience at the NIA. “The release of this data is a critical step in the treatment and prevention of this devastating disease.” “We feel this is a major advance in making genetic data available to the research community to maximize sharing for gene and drug discovery,” Wang said.The NIAGADS portal for large sequence data sharing is undergoing beta-testing with a limited number of investigators. Qualified access is expected to begin in approximately one month .Source: https://www.pennmedicine.org/news/news-releases/2018/july/largest-genetic-database-on-alzheimers-disease-now-reopen-for-businesslast_img read more

first_imgJul 26 2018Many city drinking water systems add softening agents to keep plumbing free of pipe-clogging mineral buildup. According to new research, these additives may amplify the risk of pathogen release into drinking water by weakening the grip that bacteria – like those responsible for Legionnaires’ disease – have on pipe interiors.Biofilms, which are similar to the films that grow on the glass of fish tanks, are present in almost all plumbing systems and anchor themselves to mineral scale buildups in pipes. They are teeming with harmless microbial life and incidents of waterborne illness are rare.”The groundwater that supplies many cities may be high in magnesium and calcium,” said Helen Nguyen, a professor of civil engineering and co-author of the study. “When combined with other elements, they can form thick deposits of mineral scale that clog up engineered water systems. Because of this, water treatment plants add chemicals called polyphosphates to dissolve the minerals to keep the scale buildup under control.”A recent study by co-author and civil and environmental engineering professor Wen-Tso Liu has shown that even with the addition of antimicrobial agents by water companies, the bacteria that grow on the mineral scale can reproduce to harmful levels in supplies that stagnate within indoor plumbing.In a new study published in the journal Biofilms and Microbiomes, a team of University of Illinois engineers shows that the addition of anti-scalant chemicals cause the biofilms to grow thicker and become softer.The team measured the thickness and stiffness of lab-grown biofilms using magnetomotive optical coherence elastography – a tool used to measure the strength of cancer tissues. The analytical method, developed by Stephen Boppart, a professor of electrical and computer engineering and study co-author, allowed the team to quantify the effect that polyphosphate has on the strength of biofilms.To reproduce what happens in engineered plumbing systems, the team used PVC pipe and groundwater from the Champaign-Urbana area source to grow biofilms. They set up multiple scenarios with and without added polyphosphates. All scenarios produced biofilms, but the system that used polyphosphates grew a much thicker and softer biofilms than the others, the researchers said.Related StoriesNew methods to recognize antimicrobial resistant bacteria and how they workResearch sheds light on sun-induced DNA damage and repairTAU’s new Translational Medical Research Center acquires MILabs’ VECTor PET/SPECT/CT”Increased biofilm thickness means more bacteria, and the softening increases the chance that pieces will detach and foul the water supply under normal flow pressure,” Nguyen said. “Tap water is regulated by the Environmental Protection Agency up to the property line, not the tap. So, in buildings where water has been stagnating for a while, this could become a public health issue.”A problem, according to researchers, is that some sort of anti-scalant chemical is required to maintain adequate water flow through pipes. “Of course, one solution could be to replace pipes once they become clogged with mineral buildup,” Nguyen said. “But that would be a very expensive endeavor for public utilities and property owners in a country as large as the United States.”Nguyen believes that the most affordable and realistic solution will come through a better understanding of water chemistry, not by trying to kill all microbes, ripping out pipes or changing regulations.”Before this work, we did not have a good understanding of the relationship between the water chemistry and microbiome that exists in plumbing. This work has given us initial insight and tools to help determine what chemicals will work best and at what concentration,” Nguyen said.The team is moving ahead with related studies that look at ways to help physically remove biofilms while pipes remain in place and others that look at the effects of anti-corrosive chemicals on biofilms and water quality.”We will not be able to control how long a drinking water user will allow water to stagnate, but we can work to understand how the chemicals we add to our water interact with biofilms.” Source:https://news.illinois.edu/view/6367/675371last_img read more

first_img Source:http://www.ucsd.edu Aug 14 2018The more scientists explore so-called “junk” DNA, the less the label seems to fit.Only an estimated two percent of the human genome encodes for functional proteins that carry out normal biological processes. The remaining approximately 98 percent–the “junk DNA”–has for many years been considered a useless artifact. Some junk DNA has been shown to be transcribed into RNA molecules that support cellular functions, including transfer RNAs (tRNAS) and microRNAs (miRNAs), while the remaining noncoding RNA has continued to be considered nonfunctional “junk” RNA.Previous work by researchers at the University of California San Diego in Assistant Professor Shannon Lauberth’s lab uncovered several thousand enhancer RNAs (eRNAs) that are robustly produced in colon cancer cells in response to chronic immune signaling. eRNAs are a recently identified class of noncoding RNAs and their identification has begged the interesting question of whether they are functional in the cell. Now, members of the Lauberth team have revealed that eRNAs play a significant role in cancer dissemination.Related StoriesNew research links “broken heart syndrome” to cancerStudy reveals link between inflammatory diet and colorectal cancer riskHow cell-free DNA can be targeted to prevent spread of tumorsPublishing their results in Nature Structural and Molecular Biology, UC San Diego graduate student Homa Rahnamoun, Lauberth and their colleagues found that eRNAs have a direct role in the activation of genes that are important for tumor development. This eRNA role is facilitated by the ability of the eRNAs to directly interact with BRD4, a protein known as a cancer disseminator. BRD4 has been recognized as a promising target in cancer and several small molecules developed to act against BRD4 are under active clinical investigations.”Our findings reveal that eRNAs are key regulators of cancer by acting to reinforce BRD4 binding and keep it anchored on DNA, which keeps the tumor-promoting genes turned on at high levels,” said Lauberth. “Interestingly, when we deplete several of these eRNAs, we can significantly reduce the expression of the tumor-promoting genes that the eRNAs and BRD4 are co-regulating.”Now that we see that eRNAs impact BRD4 function, we have to rethink the way that we therapeutically target BRD4, Lauberth says.”Taken together, our findings are consistent with the emerging notion that eRNAs are functional molecules, rather than merely reflections of enhancer activation or simply transcriptional noise… So this is going to transform the way that we think about ‘junk RNA’ and the regulation of gene expression in the context of the human cell.”Future studies in the Lauberth lab will explore mechanisms of eRNA synthesis and function in gene regulation and the methods necessary to target eRNAs in order to halt their cancer-promoting mechanisms.last_img read more

first_imgAug 21 2018A new study in Biological Psychiatry: Cognitive Neuroscience and Neuroimaging examines the neural mechanisms underlying compulsive alcohol useHeavy alcohol drinkers attempt to acquire alcohol despite the threat of a negative consequence more so than light drinkers, a study in Biological Psychiatry: Cognitive Neuroscience and Neuroimaging has found, and this behavior is associated with unique activation of brain circuitry in heavy drinkers.The findings provide evidence for a “compulsivity circuit” that may drive alcohol-seeking behavior that is resistant to negative consequences, revealing potential targets for treatments to reduce compulsive alcohol use in heavy drinkers.Related StoriesRomantic relationships can alter the impact of genetic influences on alcohol outcomesRecreational cannabis legalization could impact alcohol industry, research showsStudy highlights secondhand effects of drinkingFirst author Erica Grodin, PhD, and colleagues designed a task to assess compulsive behavior of heavy and light drinkers. In contrast to habits—which drive behavior automatically even when it’s no longer rewarding—compulsive behavior continues despite negative consequences. In the task, participants could risk receiving a painful electric shock to earn points for alcohol or food.Heavy drinkers tried to earn alcohol despite the risk for shock, whereas light drinkers tended to not take the risk. Both groups were willing to seek alcohol and food rewards when there was no threat of a shock.”This study is important because it is the first study to investigate compulsive alcohol seeking in a heavy drinking population,” said Dr. Grodin, adding that previous studies have used animal models to try to understand this behavior.Brain imaging conducted during the task revealed that heavy drinkers had more activity in brain regions associated with decision-making under conflict—the anterior insula and prefrontal cortex—and with habit and reward—the striatum. Imaging also revealed functional connections between two brain regions that were stronger in people with stronger compulsivity.”This study highlights the complex rewiring that takes place in the heavy drinkers brain. Circuitry associated with conflict, risk and aversion become associated with those that process rewarding experiences, and this is associated with increased risky choice behavior when alcohol is a possible reward,” said Cameron Carter, MD, Editor of Biological Psychiatry: Cognitive Neuroscience and Neuroimaging. Source:https://www.elsevier.com/last_img read more

first_imgReviewed by James Ives, M.Psych. (Editor)Sep 24 2018The lab of Leonard Zon, MD, at Boston Children’s Hospital has long been interested in making blood stem cells in quantity for therapeutic purposes. Looking for a way to test for their presence in zebrafish, their go-to research model, they turned to the MYB gene, a marker of blood stem cells. To spot the cells, Joseph Mandelbaum, a PhD candidate in the lab, attached a green fluorescent tag to MYB, easily visible in transparent zebrafish embryos.”It was a real workhorse line for us,” says Zon, who directs the Stem Cell Research Program at Boston Children’s.The line has also proved valuable for discovering cancer drugs. In addition to being a marker of blood stem cells, MYB is an oncogene.About five years ago, Zon was at a cancer meeting and serendipitously met Jeff Kaufman, who was also interested in MYB. Kaufman was excited to hear about Zon’s fluorescing MYB zebrafish, which reproduce quickly, can be studied at scale and are surprisingly similar to humans genetically. He asked if Zon had ever heard of adenoid cystic carcinoma — and a collaboration was born.Targeting a cancer driverKaufman had founded the Adenoid Cystic Carcinoma Research Foundation with his wife, Marnie, in 2005, after she felt a lump under her jawline and was diagnosed with the rare, often deadly malignancy. (ACC usually starts in the salivary glands, but can also appear in the larynx, trachea, lacrimal gland, breast and vulva.) Finding very little ongoing research on ACC, the Foundation began creating tissue repositories and funding studies.”What we’ve learned over 12 to 13 years is that MYB is the main driver of ACC,” Kaufman says. He asked Zon, “Do you think you could shut off the MYB gene by giving chemicals to your zebrafish?”Zon and his colleagues agreed to try, with the Foundation providing grant support. Their findings, reported last week in the Journal of Experimental Medicine, have laid the groundwork for a clinical trial in patients with ACC at the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute. More broadly, they suggest the power of zebrafish as a tool for cancer drug discovery.Turning off the greenDespite more than 30 phase II clinical trials since 1985, there is no standard chemotherapy or drug regimen for ACC. About half of all patients develop metastatic disease, and no drug therapy has been shown to prolong overall or progression-free survival.Zon, Mandelbaum and colleagues set up a high-throughput drug screening system. They loaded tiny zebrafish blastomeres — very early embryos consisting of just a few cells — into 384-well plates. Each embryo’s MYB genes were tagged with green fluorescent protein. The team then systematically exposed the blastomeres to 3,840 small molecules. Using an automated cell imaging system, they looked to see if any chemical would “shut off the green.”Related StoriesStudy: Nearly a quarter of low-risk thyroid cancer patients receive more treatment than necessaryNew protein target for deadly ovarian cancerSugary drinks linked to cancer finds study”We could have done the screen in whole embryos, but the cell culture system was so much faster,” says Zon. “We were able to do a screen in six months, versus what might’ve taken one and a half years with whole embryos.”In the end, 22 chemicals shut off MYB, of which retinoic acid or derivatives of retinoic acid were the most potent. Retinoic acid, best known as acne treatment, is a derivative of vitamin A.Slowing tumor growthThe team further validated retinoic acid’s efficacy in human tumor cells. Since no one has been able to create a viable ACC cell line, the team turned to a human myeloid leukemia line, which also expresses MYB at high levels. Retinoic acid not only downregulated MYB, but did so within just one hour.Finally, through the Foundation, the team collaborated with South Texas Accelerated Research Therapeutics (START) to test retinoic acid in “primagraft” models — live mice bearing tumors derived from actual ACC patients. They showed that retinoic acid (specifically, a preparation called ATRA) slowed tumor growth.”With the tumor, the gas pedal is all the way down,” says Zon. “When you give retinoic acid, it takes the foot off the pedal.”Finally, the team worked out how retinoic acid works. In ACC, a chromosome rearrangement brings MYB adjacent to another gene, NFIB, which has an “enhancer” region. The genes bind together and NFIB’s enhancer causes MYB to get stuck “on,” so more and more of the oncogene is made in the cell. But Zon’s group found that when the cell’s retinoic acid receptors are triggered by retinoic acid, they bind to the NFIB enhancer and shut down most MYB production.”Len’s work is incredibly exciting, because this is really the first drug that appears to directly target MYB, and we really haven’t had any drug that has effectively done that before,” says Kaufman. “Through our preclinical drug screening program and mouse models of ACC, we have screened over 100 anticancer agents, and we’ve very seldom seen a drug as active as retinoic acid.”Clinical trial on deckMandelbaum and Zon, part of the Division of Hematology/Oncology at Boston Children’s and Dana-Farber, presented the study results at a meeting of Dana-Farber head and neck oncologists. They were equally excited. “We’re all in agreement to do a clinical trial,” says Zon. Source:https://vector.childrenshospital.org/2018/09/zebrafish-reveal-potential-cancer-treatments/last_img read more

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Required fields are indicated by an asterisk (*) Sign up for our daily newsletter Get more great content like this delivered right to you! Countrycenter_img Exposure to very low levels of ionizing radiation is common—medical procedures, air travel, and industrial processes expose people to such radiation every day. But the health implications of these very low doses are not well understood. A bipartisan bill passed 7 January by the U.S. House of Representatives seeks to alter that landscape by revitalizing an existing Department of Energy (DOE) low-dose radiation research program.The bill—motivated in part by concerns raised by the Fukushima nuclear disaster in Japan—calls for a study by the National Academies and would require DOE to produce a 5-year research plan. But it doesn’t provide any new funding, and so far the bill doesn’t have a champion in the Senate, which will also to have to pass the legislation in order for it to become law.Still, supporters of the DOE program, which has seen its funding and visibility decline since it was first created in the late 1990s, are pleased by the House move. “Unfortunately, this program has not been a priority at DOE over recent years and has seen systematic de-emphasis,” said Representative Lamar Smith (R–TX), the chair of the House Science, Space, and Technology Committee, in statement before the House’s voice vote on the bill. It will, he said, ensure “the continuance and enhancement of this important research program.” The nuclear energy industry also welcomed the move. “Given the pervasiveness of nuclear technologies in our modern world … it just makes sense that we better understand the health effects of low doses of radiation,” said the Washington, D.C.–based Nuclear Energy Institute, the industry’s main trade group, in a statement.The human health effects of low-dose radiation have long been a puzzle. “We know that high doses of radiation cause cancer,” says biophysicist David Brenner, director of Columbia University’s Center for Radiological Research, “but as you go down lower and lower in dose it becomes less and less clear what’s happening.” Detecting slight increases in cancer risk, for instance, is difficult. Some scientists have proposed that there is a threshold level, below which exposure to radiation is not dangerous, but there is no consensus on whether such a threshold exists, or what the safe exposure level would be, Brenner says.Radiobiologist William Morgan, director of radiation biology and biophysics at Pacific Northwest National Laboratory in Richland, Washington, says that researchers are split between multiple theories about low-dose radiation—some say it is good for you, others say it has no effect, and the rest think it’s terrible for you. “Herein lies the confusion in the low-dose radiation field,” he says.Congress aimed to help answer such questions in creating DOE’s low-dose radiation research program in 1999. In particular, researchers and policymakers say solid science is necessary to set appropriate exposure regulations for radiation workers, nuclear power infrastructure, and evacuation plans in the event of a nuclear accident or terrorist attack. But the program’s funding has generally declined over the years; low-dose research sits within a larger DOE funding pool that has gone from a high of some $28 million in the mid-2000s to less than $16 million in recent years.The 2011 Fukushima accident helped revive low-dose concerns, however, and in 2013 eight prominent researchers in the field, including Brenner and Morgan, wrote to White House science adviser John Holdren asking for a National Academies report on the issue. They also gave presentations to the House Energy Committee. The efforts, Brenner says, were inspired in part by a 2009 road map for systematic low-dose radiation research produced by the European Commission and experts from Europe’s low-dose radiation research community.The result was the Low-Dose Radiation Research Act of 2015 (H.R. 35), backed by both Democrats and Republicans. It initially passed the House last year, but the Senate took no action, meaning the legislation died in December at the end of the 113th Congress. (The leading sponsor of that version was Representative Paul Broun [R–GA], who is no longer in office after losing in a U.S. Senate primary.)Last week, voting on the noncontroversial bill was one of the first bits of business conducted by the newly seated 114th Congress. This time, the lead sponsor was Representative Randy Hultgren (R–IL), a member of the science committee who represents a district that includes DOE’s Fermi National Accelerator Laboratory. It again passed on a voice vote.“While there is little doubt that there is a threshold above which humans should avoid exposure to radiation, this legislation will ensure that the Department of Energy’s Office of Science prioritizes the research necessary to understand what that level actually is,” Hultgren said in a speech made on the House floor before the vote.The bill defines a low radiation dose as an exposure of less than 100 millisieverts. For comparison, a person living in the United States receives an average annual dose of about 6 millisieverts, half of which comes from natural background sources. A chest x-ray contributes a dose of about 0.1 millisieverts, and a full-body CT scan about 10 millisieverts.The National Academies report required by the bill would follow in the footsteps of the 2009 European Commission report. Lawmakers want it to outline the current status of research, address remaining challenges and scientific goals, and recommend a long-term research agenda. The bill says the report should consider the cost-benefit effectiveness of the proposed research. DOE would then produce a 5-year research plan that responds to the findings of the study. The bill does not authorize any additional funding for DOE, meaning the agency would have to use existing funds unless congressional appropriators say otherwise.The House bill’s supporters are now looking for senators willing to take up the cause. “We are optimistic” about getting the bill approved by the Senate, a Hultgren press aide wrote ScienceInsider in an e-mail. The White House has taken no position on the bill.Correction, 11:33am, 1/12/2015: The article misstated the designations of the current and past Congress. Those numbers have been corrected.last_img read more

first_img Click to view the privacy policy. Required fields are indicated by an asterisk (*) SHERLOCK differs from the CRISPR-Cas9 system in fundamental ways. It uses an RNA guide that gloms onto RNA, not DNA, and an enzyme called Cas13a cuts the genetic material. Once Cas13a snips the target, it starts indiscriminately cutting any RNA it encounters. A team lead by bioengineer James Collins and CRISPR genome-editing pioneer Feng Zhang, both from the Broad Institute in Cambridge, Massachusetts, has now shown that these “collateral” cuts can form the basis for the SHERLOCK diagnostic. “Nature has a lot of very amazing tools,” Zhang says. The researchers demonstrate that SHERLOCK can detect viral and bacterial infections, cancer mutations found at low frequencies, and subtle DNA sequence variations known as single nucleotide polymorphisms that are linked to other diseases. (SHERLOCK, a somewhat strained acronym coined by the team, stands for specific high sensitivity enzymatic reporter unlocking.)To exploit SHERLOCK for detecting small amounts of virus, the researchers spiked samples containing Zika or dengue virus with so-called fluorescent reporter RNA. When this RNA is cut, it effectively shoots off fluorescent flares. The team then unleashed Cas13a connected to a bit of RNA that targeted genetic sequences from either Zika or dengue. Once Cas13a found and sliced even a few viral sequences, it subsequently snipped the fluorescent reporters and created a detectable signal indicating the presence of the virus, the team reports today in Science.The researchers jiggered the system to also make it work on DNA targets—including cancer mutations in human genomes—by using enzymes that convert them to RNA. “It works great for both types of nucleic acid,” says Broad bioengineer and first author Jonathan Gootenberg, stressing that the real advantage of Cas13a is that it has the collateral activity and can trigger the fluorescent reporter.“There are exciting opportunities to use such systems for diagnostics in the future,” says Jennifer Doudna, a structural biologist at the University of California (UC), Berkeley, who helped lead a team that first showed in 2012 how CRISPR-Cas9 could edit DNA. (UC is in a pitched patent battle with the Broad over those initial discoveries.) In 2011, Doudna co-founded a company to focus on creating diagnostics with CRISPR—it was awarded a patent for this—but it now mainly pursues genome engineering. A study Doudna co-authored that appeared last year in Nature described how Cas13 could be used as a sensitive detection system with a fluorescent RNA reporter, but it did not go into the detail of the new work. “It’s gratifying to see that this new paper builds on our core idea of using [Cas13] to detect transcripts, and that our results were so helpful to their engineering efforts,” she says.The detection sensitivity of the new CRISPR-Cas13a system for specific genetic material is 1 million times better than the most commonly used diagnostic technique, which detects proteins and is known in shorthand as ELISA. It’s also 1000 times more sensitive than a CRISPR-based Zika virus diagnostic the Collins lab described last year in a Cell paper. SHERLOCK not only makes it easier to find infections or cancer mutations that less sensitive diagnostics can miss, says Collins, but the remarkable attomolar detection ability means the test works far more quickly, too.A SHERLOCK diagnostic that puts the needed chemicals on a piece of glass fiber paper can be quickly designed for most any RNA or DNA target, made rugged enough for field use, and could cost as little as 61 cents per test, say the study’s authors. This could greatly help during outbreaks of new infectious diseases, which often occur in poor countries and are difficult to accurately diagnose.Collins says the Broad is now “aggressively exploring” how to commercialize SHERLOCK and may launch a startup company. But before a diagnostic comes to market, it must pass muster at regulatory agencies such as the U.S. Food and Drug Administration. Far to the right side of the decimal point—beyond milli, micro, nano, pico, and femto—lives the atto, the metric prefix representing 10-18. Slap it in front of a unit of concentration, such as molar, and it means that something exists in an extraordinarily small amount—think one part per quintillion. That’s the realm of SHERLOCK, a new diagnostic system that can detect attomolar levels of viruses in a sample and also distinguish Zika from its close relative, dengue. This exquisitely sensitive and specific tool promises to help detect diseases that other diagnostics miss, and it’s simple and cheap to use. Sexier still, it exploits a variation of CRISPR, the genome-editing method that has become the rage in biology.“It’s very nice work and very well done,” says Erik Sontheimer, an RNA specialist who did early CRISPR work and is at the University of Massachusetts Medical School in Worcester. Harvard University’s George Church, who co-founded a CRISPR therapeutics company with one of SHERLOCK’s inventors but is not involved with this work, sums up his reaction in one word: “Wow.”Scientists recognized as early as 2010 that they might be able to transform CRISPR into a virus detection device. But earlier efforts at making a viral detector became overshadowed by CRISPR’s wild success at editing genomes. In those CRISPR applications, scientists fashion a short strip of RNA that guides a DNA-cutting enzyme called Cas9 to precise locations anywhere in a genome. The CRISPR-Cas9 scissors can cripple genes or make way for labs to add new DNA at the point of the cut, which has launched a billion-dollar industry searching for new medicines and improved crops—and sparked serious ethical debates about the potential to enhance humans. The Cas13a enzyme causes collateral RNA damage that is the heart of a new diagnostic system, SHERLOCK, that can detect minute quantities of virus and much more. Broad Institute New CRISPR tool can detect tiny amounts of virusescenter_img By Jon CohenApr. 13, 2017 , 2:00 PM Email Sign up for our daily newsletter Get more great content like this delivered right to you! Country Country * Afghanistan Aland Islands Albania Algeria Andorra Angola Anguilla Antarctica Antigua and Barbuda Argentina Armenia Aruba Australia Austria Azerbaijan Bahamas Bahrain Bangladesh Barbados Belarus Belgium Belize Benin Bermuda Bhutan Bolivia, Plurinational State of Bonaire, Sint Eustatius and Saba Bosnia and Herzegovina Botswana Bouvet Island Brazil British Indian Ocean Territory Brunei Darussalam Bulgaria Burkina Faso Burundi Cambodia Cameroon Canada Cape Verde Cayman Islands Central African Republic Chad Chile China Christmas Island Cocos (Keeling) Islands Colombia Comoros Congo Congo, the Democratic Republic of the Cook Islands Costa Rica Cote d’Ivoire Croatia Cuba Curaçao Cyprus Czech Republic Denmark Djibouti Dominica Dominican Republic Ecuador Egypt El Salvador Equatorial Guinea Eritrea Estonia Ethiopia Falkland Islands (Malvinas) Faroe Islands Fiji Finland France French Guiana French Polynesia French Southern Territories Gabon Gambia Georgia Germany Ghana Gibraltar Greece Greenland Grenada Guadeloupe Guatemala Guernsey Guinea Guinea-Bissau Guyana Haiti Heard Island and McDonald Islands Holy See (Vatican City State) Honduras Hungary Iceland India Indonesia Iran, Islamic Republic of Iraq Ireland Isle of Man Israel Italy Jamaica Japan Jersey Jordan Kazakhstan Kenya Kiribati Korea, Democratic People’s Republic of Korea, Republic of Kuwait Kyrgyzstan Lao People’s Democratic Republic Latvia Lebanon Lesotho Liberia Libyan Arab Jamahiriya Liechtenstein Lithuania Luxembourg Macao Macedonia, the former Yugoslav Republic of Madagascar Malawi Malaysia Maldives Mali Malta Martinique Mauritania Mauritius Mayotte Mexico Moldova, Republic of Monaco Mongolia Montenegro Montserrat Morocco Mozambique Myanmar Namibia Nauru Nepal Netherlands New Caledonia New Zealand Nicaragua Niger Nigeria Niue Norfolk Island Norway Oman Pakistan Palestine Panama Papua New Guinea Paraguay Peru Philippines Pitcairn Poland Portugal Qatar Reunion Romania Russian Federation Rwanda Saint Barthélemy Saint Helena, Ascension and Tristan da Cunha Saint Kitts and Nevis Saint Lucia Saint Martin (French part) Saint Pierre and Miquelon Saint Vincent and the Grenadines Samoa San Marino Sao Tome and Principe Saudi Arabia Senegal Serbia Seychelles Sierra Leone Singapore Sint Maarten (Dutch part) Slovakia Slovenia Solomon Islands Somalia South Africa South Georgia and the South Sandwich Islands South Sudan Spain Sri Lanka Sudan Suriname Svalbard and Jan Mayen Swaziland Sweden Switzerland Syrian Arab Republic Taiwan Tajikistan Tanzania, United Republic of Thailand Timor-Leste Togo Tokelau Tonga Trinidad and Tobago Tunisia Turkey Turkmenistan Turks and Caicos Islands Tuvalu Uganda Ukraine United Arab Emirates United Kingdom United States Uruguay Uzbekistan Vanuatu Venezuela, Bolivarian Republic of Vietnam Virgin Islands, British Wallis and Futuna Western Sahara Yemen Zambia Zimbabwelast_img read more

first_img Sign up for our daily newsletter Get more great content like this delivered right to you! Country (GRAPH) J. YOU/SCIENCE; (DATA) EUROPEAN COMMISSION Europe’s science spending set for another big boost Email Science on the rise The European Union’s average annual research spending would continue to grow under the commission’s proposal for Horizon Europe. The company that developed HELIOtube, an inflatable solar heat collector, received funding under Horizon 2020. The European Commission plans to give innovation a bigger boost in Horizon Europe. Click to view the privacy policy. Required fields are indicated by an asterisk (*) On 7 June, the European Commission will lay out detailed plans for one of the biggest single research programs on the planet. Called Horizon Europe, the program could be worth €97.6 billion between 2021 and 2027, up from about €77 billion for the current 7-year program, Horizon 2020. Its influence, however, will go beyond size.Europe’s research programs provide stable funding for 7 years, some of it up for grabs for researchers around the world. And although they represent less than 10% of the total research money available in the European Union, the continuous growth of the EU science budget in the past decades, at the expense of agriculture and regional development, is a clear signal that it sees research and innovation as the future drivers of its economy.Next week’s proposals are unlikely to contain major surprises, because the commission has unveiled its main ideas over the past months, in particular its overall 7-year budget plan, issued on 2 May. Although Horizon Europe will keep Horizon 2020’s main features, the commission has laid the groundwork for several novelties, including a new agency to tackle the continent’s perennial innovation problem and a big, separate push on collaborative defense research. But contentious negotiations lie ahead. The United Kingdom is negotiating the terms of its impending exit from the European Union, and some member states want to tighten budgets. Meanwhile, research advocates want more generous spending, noting the low application success rates in Horizon 2020—a frustrating 11.9% so far. HELIOVIS AG Like previous programs, Horizon Europe will have three main “pillars”; next week’s plan will detail how much money could go to each. The first component, called Open Science, will provide funding for projects “driven by researchers themselves,” as the commission puts it, through the well-liked basic research grants of the European Research Council (ERC) in Brussels and the Marie Skłodowska-Curie fellowships for doctoral programs, postdocs, and staff exchanges. This part of the program is largely unchanged from Horizon 2020.The second pillar, Global Challenges, will set so-called missions addressing issues “that worry us daily such as the fight against cancer, clean mobility, and plastic-free oceans,” says a commission fact sheet. The “missions” are meant to be flexible, as priorities change, and they appear to have a sharper focus than the “societal challenges” named in a comparable pillar of Horizon 2020, including energy and food security.The third part of Horizon Europe, called Open Innovation, addresses an old problem: Europe’s shortage of successful innovative businesses, despite its world-class science. At the moment, EU science funding for businesses largely goes through sizable public-private partnerships involving big firms, for example in the fields of aeronautics and pharmaceuticals. Now, EU research commissioner Carlos Moedas is launching a new project, the European Innovation Council (EIC), to encourage startup companies and “breakthrough technologies.”The commission says EIC will differ from the European Institute of Innovation and Technology (EIT) in Budapest, set up in 2008. EIT—the pet project of former commission President José Manuel Barroso—brings together businesses, research centers, and universities in six pan-European “Innovation Communities.” Some observers say EIC’s creation signals that EIT didn’t quite deliver and is being marginalized. By Tania RabesandratanaMay. 31, 2018 , 1:00 PM Country * Afghanistan Aland Islands Albania Algeria Andorra Angola Anguilla Antarctica Antigua and Barbuda Argentina Armenia Aruba Australia Austria Azerbaijan Bahamas Bahrain Bangladesh Barbados Belarus Belgium Belize Benin Bermuda Bhutan Bolivia, Plurinational State of Bonaire, Sint Eustatius and Saba Bosnia and Herzegovina Botswana Bouvet Island Brazil British Indian Ocean Territory Brunei Darussalam Bulgaria Burkina Faso Burundi Cambodia Cameroon Canada Cape Verde Cayman Islands Central African Republic Chad Chile China Christmas Island Cocos (Keeling) Islands Colombia Comoros Congo Congo, the Democratic Republic of the Cook Islands Costa Rica Cote d’Ivoire Croatia Cuba Curaçao Cyprus Czech Republic Denmark Djibouti Dominica Dominican Republic Ecuador Egypt El Salvador Equatorial Guinea Eritrea Estonia Ethiopia Falkland Islands (Malvinas) Faroe Islands Fiji Finland France French Guiana French Polynesia French Southern Territories Gabon Gambia Georgia Germany Ghana Gibraltar Greece Greenland Grenada Guadeloupe Guatemala Guernsey Guinea Guinea-Bissau Guyana Haiti Heard Island and McDonald Islands Holy See (Vatican City State) Honduras Hungary Iceland India Indonesia Iran, Islamic Republic of Iraq Ireland Isle of Man Israel Italy Jamaica Japan Jersey Jordan Kazakhstan Kenya Kiribati Korea, Democratic People’s Republic of Korea, Republic of Kuwait Kyrgyzstan Lao People’s Democratic Republic Latvia Lebanon Lesotho Liberia Libyan Arab Jamahiriya Liechtenstein Lithuania Luxembourg Macao Macedonia, the former Yugoslav Republic of Madagascar Malawi Malaysia Maldives Mali Malta Martinique Mauritania Mauritius Mayotte Mexico Moldova, Republic of Monaco Mongolia Montenegro Montserrat Morocco Mozambique Myanmar Namibia Nauru Nepal Netherlands New Caledonia New Zealand Nicaragua Niger Nigeria Niue Norfolk Island Norway Oman Pakistan Palestine Panama Papua New Guinea Paraguay Peru Philippines Pitcairn Poland Portugal Qatar Reunion Romania Russian Federation Rwanda Saint Barthélemy Saint Helena, Ascension and Tristan da Cunha Saint Kitts and Nevis Saint Lucia Saint Martin (French part) Saint Pierre and Miquelon Saint Vincent and the Grenadines Samoa San Marino Sao Tome and Principe Saudi Arabia Senegal Serbia Seychelles Sierra Leone Singapore Sint Maarten (Dutch part) Slovakia Slovenia Solomon Islands Somalia South Africa South Georgia and the South Sandwich Islands South Sudan Spain Sri Lanka Sudan Suriname Svalbard and Jan Mayen Swaziland Sweden Switzerland Syrian Arab Republic Taiwan Tajikistan Tanzania, United Republic of Thailand Timor-Leste Togo Tokelau Tonga Trinidad and Tobago Tunisia Turkey Turkmenistan Turks and Caicos Islands Tuvalu Uganda Ukraine United Arab Emirates United Kingdom United States Uruguay Uzbekistan Vanuatu Venezuela, Bolivarian Republic of Vietnam Virgin Islands, British Wallis and Futuna Western Sahara Yemen Zambia Zimbabwe EIC will use the ingredients that made ERC successful: focusing on individual entrepreneurs rather than big cross-border teams, letting ideas emerge from the bottom up, and keeping grants and procedures simple. Its success “will depend on putting the right evaluation system into place,” says Austrian sociologist and former ERC President Helga Nowotny. “It takes excellence to recognize excellence.” But many universities are upset that the current pilot program for EIC, worth €2.7 billion for 3 years, didn’t include them in its group of advisers. “Next to CEOs and entrepreneurs, there is also room for researchers,” says Kurt Deketelaere, secretary-general of the League of European Research Universities in Leuven, Belgium. He adds that there are more pressing barriers to innovation than a lack of funding, noting that the European Union’s 28 member states “have 28 different schemes for taxation, intellectual property, bankruptcy.”In addition to Horizon Europe, the commission has proposed another bold move for research: setting aside €4.1 billion over 7 years as a separate budget line for defense research, up from just €90 million under an ongoing 3-year pilot program. Member states have long been lukewarm about cooperation in this secretive area, where national interests prevail. But in times of growing “geopolitical instability,” as the commission puts it, some member states seem more willing to pool resources.Yet some 700 scientists have signed a petition against any EU funding of military research; others worry the plan could come at the expense of nonmilitary science. “We will oppose anything that could take funding away from Horizon Europe’s civilian research,” says Maud Evrard, head of policy at Science Europe in Brussels, a group of national science funding agencies and research organizations.The commission’s €97.6 billion opening bid represents a 27% increase from the previous 7-year period—or even a 46% rise if compared to Horizon 2020 without the share of the United Kingdom, which is leaving the European Union in March 2019. But with some member states keen to tighten the European Union’s purse strings, Horizon Europe’s budget is likely to go down in coming negotiations with the European Parliament and EU member states. As a result, both Evrard and Deketelaere say they are disappointed that the commission didn’t aim higher.Negotiations for such programs can easily stretch to at least 18 months, but the commission wants to make as much progress as possible before elections to renew the European Parliament—which usually is very supportive of research—in May 2019. That will give the United Kingdom a chance to help shape the 7-year plan before it loses its seats in Parliament and the European Council. “We need to make the most of these channels whilst we can,” Jessica Cole, head of policy at the Russell Group, a London-based group of 24 leading U.K. universities, wrote in a blog post on 4 May.The United Kingdom has made clear that it wants to keep taking part in EU research programs after it leaves the bloc. This will require buying its way in through a bilateral association agreement, as other, smaller, non-EU countries such as Norway and Israel do. Other non-EU countries will be following the negotiations closely. Under Moedas’s mantra of “Open Science, Open Innovation, Open to the World,” the commission is likely to lift restrictions and make it easier for countries outside Europe and its immediate neighborhood to buy a stake in the research flagship—a sign that Europe’s horizons are widening further.last_img read more

first_img By Elizabeth PennisiJan. 6, 2019 , 5:30 PM Sign up for our daily newsletter Get more great content like this delivered right to you! Country TAMPA, FLORIDA—People break into a run to speed up; sea stars bounce. Until now, researchers thought these marine invertebrates simply crawled along the rocks and sea bottom. But researchers have now discovered this movement is not peculiar at all: At least five species of sea stars bounce when startled or hungry, suggesting this behavior is widespread, they reported here today at the annual meeting of the Society for Integrative and Comparative Biology.Sea stars never move very fast, but bouncing is akin to a plodding human breaking into a full-tilt sprint, the researchers discovered. The animals rely on scores of tiny hydraulic “feet” that stick out underneath them. Usually, fluid fills and empties the podia at random to slide the starfish forward. For bouncing, the podia get in sync, with each third of them all filling at one time while the rest are swinging forward. To get a sense of how this is done, imagine having three legs and trying to run. One leg steps forward and the other two push to slide forward to keep up and the sea star moves much, much faster, with podia involved in one of every three steps.The first starfish studied, Protoreaster nodosus, is a little sluggish, as its podia almost completely empty between bounces, causing the sea star to collapse onto the group, so it takes more energy to bounce. But podia in another, Luidia clathrata, stay stiffer, for a quicker recovery and faster bouncing, the team reports. That species is five times faster than the Protoreaster. Click to view the privacy policy. Required fields are indicated by an asterisk (*) Though even Luidia still can’t bounce fast enough to get away from a hungry fish, it may be able to out-bounce predatory snails and cannibalistic sea stars or chase down a slow-moving clam for dinner.center_img Watch this sea star bounce to get around Email Country * Afghanistan Aland Islands Albania Algeria Andorra Angola Anguilla Antarctica Antigua and Barbuda Argentina Armenia Aruba Australia Austria Azerbaijan Bahamas Bahrain Bangladesh Barbados Belarus Belgium Belize Benin Bermuda Bhutan Bolivia, Plurinational State of Bonaire, Sint Eustatius and Saba Bosnia and Herzegovina Botswana Bouvet Island Brazil British Indian Ocean Territory Brunei Darussalam Bulgaria Burkina Faso Burundi Cambodia Cameroon Canada Cape Verde Cayman Islands Central African Republic Chad Chile China Christmas Island Cocos (Keeling) Islands Colombia Comoros Congo Congo, the Democratic Republic of the Cook Islands Costa Rica Cote d’Ivoire Croatia Cuba Curaçao Cyprus Czech Republic Denmark Djibouti Dominica Dominican Republic Ecuador Egypt El Salvador Equatorial Guinea Eritrea Estonia Ethiopia Falkland Islands (Malvinas) Faroe Islands Fiji Finland France French Guiana French Polynesia French Southern Territories Gabon Gambia Georgia Germany Ghana Gibraltar Greece Greenland Grenada Guadeloupe Guatemala Guernsey Guinea Guinea-Bissau Guyana Haiti Heard Island and McDonald Islands Holy See (Vatican City State) Honduras Hungary Iceland India Indonesia Iran, Islamic Republic of Iraq Ireland Isle of Man Israel Italy Jamaica Japan Jersey Jordan Kazakhstan Kenya Kiribati Korea, Democratic People’s Republic of Korea, Republic of Kuwait Kyrgyzstan Lao People’s Democratic Republic Latvia Lebanon Lesotho Liberia Libyan Arab Jamahiriya Liechtenstein Lithuania Luxembourg Macao Macedonia, the former Yugoslav Republic of Madagascar Malawi Malaysia Maldives Mali Malta Martinique Mauritania Mauritius Mayotte Mexico Moldova, Republic of Monaco Mongolia Montenegro Montserrat Morocco Mozambique Myanmar Namibia Nauru Nepal Netherlands New Caledonia New Zealand Nicaragua Niger Nigeria Niue Norfolk Island Norway Oman Pakistan Palestine Panama Papua New Guinea Paraguay Peru Philippines Pitcairn Poland Portugal Qatar Reunion Romania Russian Federation Rwanda Saint Barthélemy Saint Helena, Ascension and Tristan da Cunha Saint Kitts and Nevis Saint Lucia Saint Martin (French part) Saint Pierre and Miquelon Saint Vincent and the Grenadines Samoa San Marino Sao Tome and Principe Saudi Arabia Senegal Serbia Seychelles Sierra Leone Singapore Sint Maarten (Dutch part) Slovakia Slovenia Solomon Islands Somalia South Africa South Georgia and the South Sandwich Islands South Sudan Spain Sri Lanka Sudan Suriname Svalbard and Jan Mayen Swaziland Sweden Switzerland Syrian Arab Republic Taiwan Tajikistan Tanzania, United Republic of Thailand Timor-Leste Togo Tokelau Tonga Trinidad and Tobago Tunisia Turkey Turkmenistan Turks and Caicos Islands Tuvalu Uganda Ukraine United Arab Emirates United Kingdom United States Uruguay Uzbekistan Vanuatu Venezuela, Bolivarian Republic of Vietnam Virgin Islands, British Wallis and Futuna Western Sahara Yemen Zambia Zimbabwelast_img read more

first_imgBut there may have been problems with some of this earlier research. Last year’s Nature study, for example, looked for new neurons in 59 samples of human brain tissue, some of which came from brain banks where samples are often immersed in the fixative paraformaldehyde for months or even years. Over time, paraformaldehyde forms bonds between the components that make up neurons, turning the cells into a gel, says neuroscientist María Llorens-Martín of the Severo Ochoa Molecular Biology Center in Madrid. This makes it difficult for fluorescent antibodies to bind to the doublecortin (DCX) protein, which many scientists consider the “gold standard” marker of immature neurons, she says.The number of cells that test positive for DCX in brain tissue declines sharply after just 48 hours in a paraformaldehyde bath, Llorens-Martín and her colleagues report today in Nature Medicine. After 6 months, detecting new neurons “is almost impossible,” she says.When the researchers used a shorter fixation time—24 hours—to preserve donated brain tissue from 13 deceased adults, ranging in age from 43 to 87, they found tens of thousands of DCX-positive cells in the dentate gyrus, a curled sliver of tissue within the hippocampus that encodes memories of events. Under a microscope, the neurons had hallmarks of youth, Llorens-Martín says: smooth and plump, with simple, undeveloped branches.In the sample from the youngest donor, who died at 43, the team found roughly 42,000 immature neurons per square millimeter of brain tissue. From the youngest to oldest donors, the number of apparent new neurons decreased by 30%—a trend that fits with previous studies in humans showing that adult neurogenesis declines with age. The team also showed that people with Alzheimer’s disease had 30% fewer immature neurons than healthy donors of the same age, and the more advanced the dementia, the fewer such cells.Some scientists remain skeptical, including the authors of last year’s Nature paper. “While this study contains valuable data, we did not find the evidence for ongoing production of new neurons in the adult human hippocampus convincing,” says Shawn Sorrells, a neuroscientist at the University of Pittsburgh in Pennsylvania who co-authored the 2018 paper. One critique hinges on the DCX stain, which Sorrells says isn’t an adequate measure of young neurons because the DCX protein is also expressed in mature cells. That suggests the “new” neurons the team found were actually present since childhood, he says. The new study also found no evidence of pools of stem cells that could supply fresh neurons, he notes. What’s more, Sorrells says two of the brain samples he and his colleagues looked at were only fixed for 5 hours, yet they still couldn’t find evidence of young neurons in the hippocampus.Llorens-Martín says her team used multiple other proteins associated with neuronal development to confirm that the DCX-positive cells were actually young, and were “very strict,” in their criteria for identifying young neurons.Heather Cameron, a neuroscientist at the National Institute of Mental Health in Bethesda, Maryland, remains persuaded by the new work. Based on the “beauty of the data” in the new study, “I think we can all move forward pretty confidently in the knowledge that what we see in animals will be applicable in humans, she says. “Will this settle the debate? I’m not sure. Should it? Yes.” By Emily UnderwoodMar. 25, 2019 , 12:00 PM Country * Afghanistan Aland Islands Albania Algeria Andorra Angola Anguilla Antarctica Antigua and Barbuda Argentina Armenia Aruba Australia Austria Azerbaijan Bahamas Bahrain Bangladesh Barbados Belarus Belgium Belize Benin Bermuda Bhutan Bolivia, Plurinational State of Bonaire, Sint Eustatius and Saba Bosnia and Herzegovina Botswana Bouvet Island Brazil British Indian Ocean Territory Brunei Darussalam Bulgaria Burkina Faso Burundi Cambodia Cameroon Canada Cape Verde Cayman Islands Central African Republic Chad Chile China Christmas Island Cocos (Keeling) Islands Colombia Comoros Congo Congo, the Democratic Republic of the Cook Islands Costa Rica Cote d’Ivoire Croatia Cuba Curaçao Cyprus Czech Republic Denmark Djibouti Dominica Dominican Republic Ecuador Egypt El Salvador Equatorial Guinea Eritrea Estonia Ethiopia Falkland Islands (Malvinas) Faroe Islands Fiji Finland France French Guiana French Polynesia French Southern Territories Gabon Gambia Georgia Germany Ghana Gibraltar Greece Greenland Grenada Guadeloupe Guatemala Guernsey Guinea Guinea-Bissau Guyana Haiti Heard Island and McDonald Islands Holy See (Vatican City State) Honduras Hungary Iceland India Indonesia Iran, Islamic Republic of Iraq Ireland Isle of Man Israel Italy Jamaica Japan Jersey Jordan Kazakhstan Kenya Kiribati Korea, Democratic People’s Republic of Korea, Republic of Kuwait Kyrgyzstan Lao People’s Democratic Republic Latvia Lebanon Lesotho Liberia Libyan Arab Jamahiriya Liechtenstein Lithuania Luxembourg Macao Macedonia, the former Yugoslav Republic of Madagascar Malawi Malaysia Maldives Mali Malta Martinique Mauritania Mauritius Mayotte Mexico Moldova, Republic of Monaco Mongolia Montenegro Montserrat Morocco Mozambique Myanmar Namibia Nauru Nepal Netherlands New Caledonia New Zealand Nicaragua Niger Nigeria Niue Norfolk Island Norway Oman Pakistan Palestine Panama Papua New Guinea Paraguay Peru Philippines Pitcairn Poland Portugal Qatar Reunion Romania Russian Federation Rwanda Saint Barthélemy Saint Helena, Ascension and Tristan da Cunha Saint Kitts and Nevis Saint Lucia Saint Martin (French part) Saint Pierre and Miquelon Saint Vincent and the Grenadines Samoa San Marino Sao Tome and Principe Saudi Arabia Senegal Serbia Seychelles Sierra Leone Singapore Sint Maarten (Dutch part) Slovakia Slovenia Solomon Islands Somalia South Africa South Georgia and the South Sandwich Islands South Sudan Spain Sri Lanka Sudan Suriname Svalbard and Jan Mayen Swaziland Sweden Switzerland Syrian Arab Republic Taiwan Tajikistan Tanzania, United Republic of Thailand Timor-Leste Togo Tokelau Tonga Trinidad and Tobago Tunisia Turkey Turkmenistan Turks and Caicos Islands Tuvalu Uganda Ukraine United Arab Emirates United Kingdom United States Uruguay Uzbekistan Vanuatu Venezuela, Bolivarian Republic of Vietnam Virgin Islands, British Wallis and Futuna Western Sahara Yemen Zambia Zimbabwe Young neurons glow red in this brain tissue from a 68-year-old. One of the thorniest debates in neuroscience is whether people can make new neurons after their brains stop developing in adolescence—a process known as neurogenesis. Now, a new study finds that even people long past middle age can make fresh brain cells, and that past studies that failed to spot these newcomers may have used flawed methods.The work “provides clear, definitive evidence that neurogenesis persists throughout life,” says Paul Frankland, a neuroscientist at the Hospital for Sick Children in Toronto, Canada. “For me, this puts the issue to bed.”Researchers have long hoped that neurogenesis could help treat brain disorders like depression and Alzheimer’s disease. But last year, a study in Nature reported that the process peters out by adolescence, contradicting previous work that had found newborn neurons in older people using a variety of methods. The finding was deflating for neuroscientists like Frankland, who studies adult neurogenesis in the rodent hippocampus, a brain region involved in learning and memory. It “raised questions about the relevance of our work,” he says. Emailcenter_img New neurons for life? Old people can still make fresh brain cells, study finds Click to view the privacy policy. Required fields are indicated by an asterisk (*) LlorensLab Sign up for our daily newsletter Get more great content like this delivered right to you! Countrylast_img read more

first_imgThe street names of Hollywood have become as famous as the movies the community is known for. While Mulholland Drive was immortalized in 2001 as the location of a surreal mystery thriller by David Lynch, the actual Drive played host to its own saga of debauchery and nightmares. In the 1970s Mulholland Drive became associated with not one, not two, but three legendary Tinseltown hellraisers: Jack Nicholson, Warren Beatty and Marlon Brando. The street was actually renamed “Bad Boy Drive” in their somewhat dubious honor.Mulholland Drive signpost.All were famous for a catalog of outrageous exploits, but the men themselves were arguably very different. Nicholson reportedly ran an open house, bought with the proceeds from the drug-fueled yet generation-defining road movie Easy Rider (1969).In a 2009 article for the Express, promoting author Richard Sellers’ book Bad Boy Drive, Nicholson’s unusual approach to housewarming was revealed, where he “spent three months walking around completely naked from dawn till sunset whether he had visitors or not.”Jack Nicholson signing autographs at a ceremony for Dennis Hopper to receive a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame. Photo by Angela George CC BY-SA 3.0The laid-back star had no shortage of callers, drawn to the secluded nature of the property. It was “Tucked away in a private canyon” and soon became “the epicentre of the era’s drug-soaked social scene… its owner has described it as a ‘goofy little tiny mountain cabin.’”However, the decadent vibe turned dark during a visit by director Roman Polanski in 1977. Polanski brought with him an underage model and the result was a situation where he fled the United States, following charges of rape.Roman Polanski in Paris at the lunch of the César awards nominees. Photo by Georges Biard CC BY-SA 3.0On a lighter note, Marlon Brando was known to drop by for a snack or two. It was something he found difficult in his own place, owing to the lock he’d placed on his own fridge. Brando had to be forcibly separated from food and constantly battled his cravings. When Jack went out for a stroll, Marlon went in for a bite.Marlon Brando. Photo Lou Wolf49 -Flickr CC BY-SA 2.0Unlike Nicholson with his welcoming hideaway, Brando lived in what was described as a “fortress, protected by vicious dogs and armed guards.” It was probably appropriate, as the house saw some violent behavior over the years. As with Nicholson and Beatty, Brando was a womanizer, but his romantic inclinations would sometimes produce disastrous consequences. His relationship with actress Rita Moreno being a case in point.Rita Moreno, 1963. Photo by Jac. de Nijs / Anefo – Nationaal Archief CC BY-SA 3.0 nlA 2017 Vanity Fair article quoted Moreno, who talked about her dramatic association with the master method actor. She said that “meeting him that first day sent my body temperature skyrocketing as though I had been dropped into a very hot bath… He broke my heart and came close to crushing my very spirit with his physical infidelities and, worse, with his emotional betrayals.”Cruising at night in Los Angeles it can get confusing which way to go at some of these intersections.Brando was already cheating on his first wife Anna Kashfi. When he decided to move on from Moreno however, he got more than he bargained for. The devastated actress “tried to kill herself on his doorstep,” according to the Express.Even worse was to come in the shape of a tragic homicide at the house involving two of Brando’s children, Christian and Cheyenne. Believing Cheyenne was being abused by fiancé Dag Drollet, Christian shot and killed him in 1990. The bride to be was reportedly suffering from mental health issues, and Christian claimed what happened was an accident. He received a five year sentence for manslaughter.Jack Nicholson Mulholland Drive Estate – a modest 4 BR 3 BA 3303 square foot home. He is known to jump from the second floor balcony directly into the pool, and loves to smack golf balls into the canyon below. Photo by Philip Ramey/Corbis via Getty ImagesWhereas Nicholson was comfortable in his unconventional domestic environment and Brando put up walls to keep people out, Warren Beatty was less of a homebird. He’d resided in hotels before heading to Mulholland Drive. The Express mentions that he “moved to number 13671 in the mid-Seventies to be near his pal Nicholson.”Scenes from the movie Bonnie and Clyde with Warren Beatty and Faye Dunaway. Produced by Warner Brothers Studios. Getty ImagesThere are serial seducers and then there’s Warren Beatty. Biography.com states he “has been linked to numerous co-stars and other celebrities. He had a romance with Natalie Wood, whom he’d met while filming Splendor in the Grass.” That ended when Beatty skipped dinner with Wood to have a 3 day romp with an employee of the restaurant they were in.Biography writes he has “created a lasting legacy for his many dalliances with his leading ladies and other high-profile women.” His eventual settling down with Annette Bening, coupled with Brando’s passing, has left Nicholson the last of the so-called Bad Boy trio.Read another story from us: Glitz, Glamour and Debauchery – Inside the Legendary Chateau MarmontMulholland Drive is a less exciting place now. But listen carefully and you may hear the echoes of former triumphs and tragedies, generated by these three extraordinary individuals.last_img read more

first_imgShareTweetSharePinWhen Dominica News Online published the letter to Bella several weeks ago about a woman wanting her own biological child but without a father, it caught the attention of thousands of readers.What we didn’t know is that someone would actually seriously volunteer to be that person.Well since publication, there is someone who remains adamant that he wants to be the man to impregnate that woman.At first, we, at DNO, thought he was just joking. However, the constant contact on social media and WhatsApp convinced us that he is in fact, serious.In a recent message sent to DNO, he reiterates, “this is something i said that I can do to help someone conceive & have a Child if a woman would ask me to.”The man, who did not give us his name, said that person must be able to take care of the child financially and he will not have anything to do with the matter once the mother is alive.However, he said if the mother dies, he would want to take responsibility for his child.He is also requesting to have blood tests done to ensure they are both in good health.Admin: As a rule, we do not publish the identities of contributors to Dear Bella. However, if the young lady who wrote the letter still feels the same way and she contacts us again, we will facilitate contact between her and the man who has made the offer.last_img read more

first_imgPioneer Days Parade Photo by Diana HutchisonThe Town of Snowflake held its annual Pioneer Days celebration last weekend. The parade is one of the highlights of the annual event with parade entries from local businesses, various LDS Church wards and local residents. July 24, 2018center_img RelatedSubscribe or log in to read the rest of this content. Bottom Adlast_img

first_imgAreas for improvement noted by WUSD board By L. Parsons         During the meeting of the Winslow Unified School District (WUSD) Governing Board last week, members discussed their strengths and weaknesses as defined by themselves. The evaluation is an annual assessment ofSubscribe or log in to read the rest of this content. Bottom Ad December 10, 2018last_img

first_imgTHE LE Corbusier Centre commemorated three years of the induction of the Capitol Complex in the UNESCO world heritage sites on Wednesday. The Complexe du Capitole houses the Assembly, the Secretariat, the Punjab and Haryana High Court, the Open Hand monument and the Shadow Tower.S D Sharma, a young architect working with Corbusier in those days, gave the keynote address and emphasised the importance of design, detailing and execution in building this complex. He dwelt on the bureaucratic and sometimes political hassles faced by the team of Maxwell Fry and Pierre Jeanneret in implementing the vision of Le Corbusier. “It’s P L Verma, the first chief engineer of Chandigarh who needs a special mention; he said that he won’t move from his office till team Corbusier comes to Chandigarh,’’ he said.He recounted how Verma accompanied by his structural engineer, Mahender Raj, found hindrances in executing the ministers’ block in the Secretariat. When they mentioned it to Corbusier, they were told it is probably not possible for the Indian skill set. The drawings were sent to France and that is when Corbusier corrected himself, saying that he probably underestimated the Indians and went ahead with the modifications. Sharma also read out a letter by Maxwell Fry to the Secretary of Chandigarh on how Corbusier had a magnificent vision for Chandigarh and how collaborative efforts can be made to see it materialise. Ayodhya dispute: Mediation to continue till July 31, SC hearing likely from August 2 Chandrayaan-2 gets new launch date days after being called off Three years of UNESCO tag for Capitol Complex celebrated The Complexe du Capitole houses the Assembly, the Secretariat, the Punjab and Haryana High Court, the Open Hand monument and the Shadow Tower. (File)Written by Nagina Bains Top News Published: July 18, 2019 9:22:00 am The backdrop at the event, a sketch of two clasped hands by Corbusier, gave the ideal impetus to the idea of architecture and engineering being synonymous in building the modern age.Later, Mukesh Anand, UT Chief Engineer, gave a detailed presentation of the phase I and II of restoration works which will be completed by 2021 for which the CBRI Roorkee has been tasked with the brief to only recreate the original and no substitutes. He mentioned that exposed concrete facades required outstanding skill and effort.Sarabjit Sandhu, a retired chief architect and student of the maiden batch of Chandigarh college of architecture, recalled his meeting with Le Corbusier as a student and said, “it’s a school of thought which has been embedded in us.’’The evening ended with a quote by Corbusier, “Chandigarh salutes in silence its makers, those marvels of mind and their courage of conviction and unclenching will to absorb.” Advertising P Rajagopal, Saravana Bhavan founder sentenced to life for murder, dies Advertising Post Comment(s)last_img read more

first_img After Masood Azhar blacklisting, ICJ verdict in Kulbhushan case isolates Pakistan By Express News Service |Gandhinagar | Published: July 17, 2019 5:32:15 am Nalsarovar is a serene marshland with shallow waters that is spread over 120 sq km, about 60 km away from Ahmedabad. A paradise for migratory birds, Nalsarovar was declared a Ramsar site in 2012. It is a wetland site designated to be of international importance under the Ramsar Convention. The state government in a written response to a question posed by Congress MLA from Viramgam, Lakhabhai Bharwad, stated there were 300 islands spread across the water body that forms a part of the Nalsarovar bird sanctuary as on May 31, 2019. Of these, seven have been illegally encroached. In the last two years, legal notices have been issued to the sarpanches of those villages that have encroached upon six of the islands, stated the government in response to supplementary questions.Encroachments have been removed from one of the seven affected islands, the government added. In 2016, the Comptroller and Auditor General of India (CAG) had slammed the state government for the “rampant poaching” at the bird sanctuary. Nalsarovar bird sanctuary: Seven islands encroached Encroachments have been removed from one of the seven affected islands, the government said. (Express: Javed Raja)Seven islands that are a part of the protected Nalsarovar Bird Sanctuary located near Ahmedabad are facing human encroachment, the state government told the Assembly Tuesday during the Question Hour. Jharkhand court drops ‘donate Quran’ condition for bail to Ranchi woman over offensive post Advertising ‘Truth, justice have prevailed’: PM Modi on Kulbhushan Jadhav verdict Top News Post Comment(s)last_img read more

first_img Source:https://nyulangone.org/ Reviewed by James Ives, M.Psych. (Editor)Apr 23 2019Researchers have defined the roles of various cells in the bone marrow that are thought to control the fate of the nearly half million blood cells that develop there each day.Scientists at NYU School of Medicine behind the new work say little had been known about the fraction of cells examined in the study, the “microenvironment” that makes up less than 1 percent of the marrow mass in most mammals. Such cells are thought to influence whether early stem cells mature into different types of other cells, such as red or white blood cells.Reporting in the journal Nature online in April, the study authors describe how they used a combined imaging-mapping tool to track the genetic function one by one of 17,374 mouse bone marrow cells. Having first taken steps to exclude all blood cell types as well as mature fat cells commonly occurring in marrow, they were able to focus on the remaining, elusive cell types in the marrow microenvironment.Within this microenvironment, the researchers identified nine types of cells and even more subtypes. Most were identified as cells that line blood vessels (i.e., vascular endothelial cells) or stem cells (mesenchymal cells) that make up bone (osteoblasts).Still, the function of other rare cells types remained unknown. To better understand them, the team treated these remaining cells with chemotherapy to try to mimic the stress faced by such tissues after injury or with disease.Among the stress-induced changes was that one set of stem cells (also mesenchymal), which typically develop into osteoblasts or muscle cells, in this instance only turned into fat cells (adipocytes). Researchers say this genetic reprogramming, whose turnabout they plan to study further, possibly explains why the phenomenon of excess marrow fat is seen in leukemia patients receiving chemotherapy.Another study finding was that levels of a signaling protein, vascular Notch ligand delta-like 4 (Dll4), dropped significantly after chemotherapy, causing a shift in a tiny subset of blood stem cells sensitive to these signals.The shift revealed this population of vascular cells as being responsible under normal circumstances for triggering most of the production of the two major white blood cell types, T cells and B cells, in bone marrow. Researchers believe this is an important advance in anatomical understanding of essential elements in blood cell production (hematopoiesis).Related StoriesInjectable hydrogel offers double punch against bone infectionsResearchers examine strains between bone and graft from animal modelsStudy reveals dual effects of new osteoporosis therapy on bone tissue”Our study represents the first detailed assessment of the bone marrow microenvironment, revealing the critical role of subsets of cells involved in cancer chemotherapy and immune cell production,” says study senior investigator Iannis Aifantis, PhD, professor and chair of the Department of Pathology at NYU Langone Health and its Perlmutter Cancer Center. “Until now, scientists have often had to rely on observing only the effects of blood cell group actions. These technical advances allow us to get at the underlying processes that cause those effects to happen in real time.”For the study, researchers used a highly specialized method for tracking gene activity called single-cell RNA sequencing (scRNA-Seq), and tagged single cells with a fluorescent dye to pinpoint their actions, with each cell distinct from similar cells. Prior to this advance in recent years, Aifantis says, scientists were only able to isolate the action of groups of cells in the bone marrow microenvironment, making it much harder to analyze each type or link it to a specific disease.”Our results show how single-cell tracking and analysis can expose the roles of each cell and cell type, not just in orchestrating blood cell production, but also in triggering and propelling other blood-related disease processes in the body, such as leukemia,” says study co-lead investigator Anastasia Tikhonova, PhD, a postdoctoral fellow at NYU Langone.She says the team next plans to evaluate the effects of other sources of stress — aging, blood cancers, and blood infections — on blood cell production and immune function, and what happens both inside and outside of the bone marrow.”By investing heavily in high-performance computing infrastructure, NYU School of Medicine has empowered our team’s computational scientist, Igor Dolgalev, to better understand organs, tissues, and cells by sifting through millions of data points in new ways,” says co-lead study investigator Aristotelis Tsirigos, PhD, director of NYU Langone’s Applied Bioinformatics Laboratories. “The wealth of information generated by the combination of genetic and data-driven technologies gave us an unprecedented view of the environment within bone marrow during health, and when stressed by disease.”last_img read more

first_imgReviewed by James Ives, M.Psych. (Editor)Apr 26 2019Indian women are younger and leaner than Swedish women when they develop gestational diabetes, a new study from Lund University shows. The researchers also found a gene that increases the risk of gestational diabetes in Swedish women, but which, on the contrary, turned out to have a protective effect in Indian women.Gestational diabetes is characterized by impaired insulin production and insulin secretion during pregnancy. The prevalence differs between different populations and can partly be explained by lifestyle and genes. The purpose of the study was therefore to investigate the differences between pregnant women in India and Scandinavia.”Individuals with Asian origin have two to seven times greater risk of developing the disease compared to Europeans,” says Geeti Aurora, a physician in the Indian state of Punjab, and researcher at the Lund University Diabetes Centre who conducted the study in India.The study includes 507 Swedish women from Malmö and 4,018 Indian women from the state of Punjab. The results have subsequently been replicated in cohorts with 398 women from Finland and 780 from Norway. The diagnosis criteria in Sweden is10 mmol/l after a two hours glucose tolerance test. To be consistent across all studies, they used the same criteria in all the studies and therefore ended up with a total of 5703 study participants from all studies of whom 274 had gestational diabetes.It is the largest study to date comparing gestational diabetes in Europeans and non-Europeans and the first study to compare the incidence of gestational diabetes in India with Sweden.Related StoriesUTHealth researchers investigate how to reduce stress-driven alcohol useDiet and physical exercise do not reduce risk of gestational diabetesIntermittent fasting may protect against type 2 diabetesThe result shows that the incidence of gestational diabetes was higher in Indian women than in Swedish women. Indian women are on average ten years younger when they develop the disease, they are also leaner and more insulin sensitive.”That Indian women seem to develop gestational diabetes already at a lower BMI even though they are insulin sensitive could indicate a more serious defect in insulin secretion,” says Rashmi Prasad, researcher at Lund University’s Diabetes Center, who led the study.The researchers examined 85 previously known risk genes for gestational diabetes and type 2 diabetes. One of them could be linked to gestational diabetes in Indian women but not in Swedish. On the contrary, another gene, CRY2, which is of importance to the circadian rhythm, was found to have a protective effect in Indian women but is associated with increased risk in Swedish women.”It is interesting that the same gene has the opposite effect in the Indian and Swedish population and the question is whether it can be related to the shifting seasons in Scandinavia which don’t occur in India”, says Rashmi Prasad.India with its 1.3 billion inhabitants has great genetic differences. People from northern India share similar genetics with individuals from the Middle East, Central Asia, and to some extent Europe, while India’s southern population belongs to a more proprietary genetically defined group. The country has the highest number of people with type 2 diabetes in the world and the number is increasing dramatically. Source:https://www.lunduniversity.lu.se/article/gestational-diabetes-in-india-and-swedenlast_img read more