Saturday , October 21 2017

Biology

Yale Study Shows Gut Bacteria Aggressively Protect Their Territory

A newly published study from Yale University details how human gut bacteria take on many tasks crucial to health. Bacterially speaking, it gets very crowded in the human gut, with trillions of cells jostling for a position to carry out a host of specialized and often crucial tasks. A new Yale study, published the week of March 7 in the ... Read More »

Neuroscientists Discover a Behavioral State Gene That May be Linked to Autism

In a newly published study, neuroscientists from MIT reeval a gene that plays a critical role in controlling the switch between alternative behavioral states – which for humans include hunger and fullness, or sleep and wakefulness. This gene, which the researchers dubbed vps-50, helps to regulate neuropeptides — tiny proteins that carry messages between neurons or from neurons to other ... Read More »

Scientists Discover 520 Million-Year-Old Fossilized Nervous System

Complete specimen of Chengjiangocaris kunmingensis from the early Cambrian Xiaoshiba biota of South China. Credit: Jie Yang (more below) Researchers from the University of Cambridge have discovered a 520 million-year-old fossilized nervous system is the most complete and best example found to date. Researchers have found one of the oldest and most detailed fossils of the central nervous system yet ... Read More »

Yale Researchers Identify Gene That Regulates the Growth of Melanoma

Microscopic view of malignant melanoma. (Image by Marcus Bosenberg) New research from Yale University identifies a gene in melanoma that can dramatically affect the growth of the disease. The findings, published in the journal Cell Reports, provide new insight into how melanoma grows and identifies a new target for treatment of melanoma and other cancers. Enzymes that chemically modify DNA, ... Read More »

MIT Researchers Identify Cells That Represent Feelings of Isolation

In this image of the dorsal raphe nucleus, dopamine neurons are labeled in green, red, or both (appearing yellow). In a newly published study, MIT neuroscientists reveal how they identified a brain region that represents the feelings of loneliness. Humans, like all social animals, have a fundamental need for contact with others. This deeply ingrained instinct helps us to survive; ... Read More »

Yale Scientists Reveal Underlying Cause of Myeloma

Scientists from the Yale Cancer Center have identified what causes a third of all myelomas, a type of cancer affecting plasma cells. The findings, published February 10 in the New England Journal of Medicine, could fundamentally change the way this cancer and others are treated. Multiple myeloma is a cancer involving the growth of plasma cells, which are immune cells ... Read More »

Was Frozen Mammoth or Giant Ground Sloth Served for Dinner?

A famous dinner for scientists in the 1950s supposedly served meat from a woolly mammoth that was discovered frozen in the arctic. Yale scientists obtained a preserved sample of the meat, which DNA analysis proves is actually from a modern green sea turtle. The green sea turtle is an endangered species, so the flesh sample from the early 1950s has ... Read More »

Scientists Characterize Nerve Cells That Detect Motion by Light Changes

Clarity in the cellular thicket. Four classes of nerve cell (Tm9, 4, 1 and 2) are instrumental in calculating directionally selective signals in T5 neurons (yellow). Credit: MPI of Neurobiology In a newly published study, neurobiologists from the Max Planck Institute reveal that (in fruit flies) four classes of nerve cell are involved in calculating directionally selective signals. The ability ... Read More »

Biologists Extend Lifespan in Mice by 35 Percent

A team of biologists from the Mayo Clinic have shown that senescent cells – cells that no longer divide and accumulate with age – negatively impact health and shorten lifespan by as much as 35 percent in normal mice. The results, which appear today in Nature, demonstrate that clearance of senescent cells delays tumor formation, preserves tissue and organ function, ... Read More »

Life-Extending Hormone FGF21 Also Protests Against the Loss of Immune Function

New research from Yale University shows that the hormone FGF21, which extends lifespan in mice by 40%, protects against the loss of immune function that comes with age. Published online in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences on January 11, the study’s findings have future implications for improving immune function in the elderly, for obesity, and for illnesses ... Read More »