A new wildfire smoke emissions model

A new breed of drones that can navigate without GPS

New research helps reduce number of algae blooms that form annually

Thyroid hormone therapy heals lung fibrosis in animal study

A novel insight into the development of pulmonary fibrosis and could lead to alternative treatment for this serious condition has been provided by the researchers at Yale University. A type of lung disease, pulmonary fibrosis causes scarring of the lungs, which impairs breathing. One form of this lethal illness, idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis (IPF), is steadily increasing in the United States and leads to death within three to five years of diagnosis in half of the patients. Using profiles of all the genes expressed in the lungs, the Yale-led team of investigators identified a gene that was increased in the lungs of people with IPF; this gene also activates the thyroid hormone.

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Engineering insights into brain implants

Patients suffering from brain diseases like Parkinson's and Alzheimer's have more treatment options than ever before, thanks to medical advances in the use of brain implants. In spite of these innovations, implants present a major drawback for patients: the scar tissue that forms around the implant severely limits function. Researchers at Michigan State University uncovered insights that may provide valuable design improvements for future devices. They uncovered information about the complexities of interactions between brain implants and the cells in which they interface. As it turns out, the supporting cells have a more important role in determining device function than previously thought.

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1 day ago

A new immunotherapy improves MS symptoms

According to the WHO, Multiple sclerosis (lat. Sclerosis multiplex) is the most common primary neurological disorder of young adults. The disease may affect various parts of the central nervous system (CNS), including the spinal cord, brainstem, cerebellum, cerebrum, and optic nerves, but the peripheral nerves are not affected. However, a world-first clinical trial of a new cellular immunotherapy for multiple sclerosis (MS) has improved symptoms and quality of life for the majority of patients. The treatment targets the Epstein-Barr virus (EBV), and is based on a theory formulated by the University of Queensland and Royal Brisbane and Women’s Hospital (RBWH) researcher Professor Michael Pender. The trial was funded by MS Queensland, MS Research Australia, Perpetual Trustee Company Ltd and private donations.

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2 days ago

A new way to fight cancer and more other diseases

Treating a Rare Genetic Disorder That Causes Colon Cancer

Synthetic biology yields new approach to gene therapy

A new way to prevent immune response to gene therapy in mice

A novel study that gives researchers hope that they may have solved a big problem plaguing gene therapy: the prospect of an autoimmune attack, has been conducted by Stanford team. They have demonstrated that gene therapy can be effective without causing a dangerous side effect common to all gene therapy: an autoimmune reaction to the normal protein, which the patient’s immune system is encountering for the first time. The researchers showed this in a mouse model that accurately recapitulates Duchenne muscular dystrophy. One in every 5,000 boys is born with this crippling disease, which leaves patients wheelchair-bound by mid-adolescence and is typically fatal by young adulthood. It stems from a genetic defect that deprives skeletal and cardiac muscles of a working version of a protein called dystrophin.

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2 days ago

New study explores the role cannabis plays in treating Parkinson's, Alzheimer's

Michigan State University researcher Norbert Kaminski has begun a yearlong, preclinical study exploring cannabis compounds and their ability to slow the progress of Parkinson’s (lat. Parkinson scriptor morbus), Alzheimer’s (lat. morbus Alzheimerianus) and other diseases of the brain. He will study the safety and effectiveness of these compounds by testing human white blood cells and evaluating the effects the compounds have on the immune system. These compounds have the potential to decrease the inflammatory response that occurs in brain tissue that’s associated with diseases like Parkinson’s. By inhibiting the inflammatory process and slowing the migration of white blood cells across the blood-brain barrier, the researchers hope to slow the neurodegenerative processes of these diseases.

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3 days ago

Magnetic gene in fish may someday help those with epilepsy, Parkinson's

An aquarium fish that senses the Earth’s magnetic field as it swims could help unlock how the human brain works and how diseases such as Parkinson’s and other neurological disorders function, according to Michigan State University researchers. They are the first to discover a navigational gene in glass catfish called the electromagnetic-perceptive gene, or EPG, that responds to certain magnetic waves. They’ve already developed a way to use it to control movement in mice. The implications of the federally funded study have the potential to revolutionize treatments for humans and help those who suffer from tremors related to Parkinson’s (lat. Parkinson scriptor morbus) and seizures associated with epilepsy (lat. epilepsia).

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3 days ago

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