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Making gene therapy delivery safer and more efficient

EurekAlert! - Mié, 10/17/2018 - 22:00
Viral vectors used to deliver gene therapies undergo spontaneous changes during manufacturing which affects their structure and function. As gene therapy approaches become more common for treating disease, managing consistency of the molecular makeup of the virus particles that deliver genes is a key concern in manufacturing on a larger scale.

Smallest life forms have smallest working CRISPR system

EurekAlert! - Mié, 10/17/2018 - 22:00
Bacteria and Archaea have developed many types of CRISPR-Cas systems to protect themselves from viruses. A search through metagenomic databases of microbes, many of them uncultivatable, unearthed the genes of the smallest known working Cas complex, Cas14, from the genome of a DPANN Archaea, a group of microbes with the smallest known geomes. Cas14 is being incorporated into a CRISPR diagnostic called DETECTR.

Working lands play a key role in protecting biodiversity

EurekAlert! - Mié, 10/17/2018 - 22:00
Diversifying working lands -- including farmland, rangeland and forests -- may be key to preserving biodiversity in the face of climate change, says a new review paper published this week in Science by biologists at the University of California, Berkeley. These changes could extend the habitat of critters like bats, but also much larger creatures like bears, elk and other wildlife, outside the boundaries of protected areas, while creating more sustainable, and potentially more productive, working lands.

Nurse-led care significantly more successful in treating gout, trial reveals

EurekAlert! - Mié, 10/17/2018 - 22:00
Providing nurse-led care for people suffering with the painful, long-term condition gout could lead to an increase in the number of patients sticking to a beneficial treatment plan, a clinical trial has revealed.

Yale-led team finds missing-in-action MS genes

EurekAlert! - Mié, 10/17/2018 - 22:00
An international collaboration led by scientists at Yale has cracked a tough nut in multiple sclerosis: where are all the genes?

Media Alert: The Lancet special issue on primary health care

EurekAlert! - Mié, 10/17/2018 - 22:00
'Primary health care is in crisis... Leadership after the Astana meeting is essential to rejuvenate and revitalise all aspects of primary health care.' -- The Lancet special issue on primary health care marks 40 years since landmark Alma-Ata Declaration.

Expanding the optogenetics toolkit

EurekAlert! - Mié, 10/17/2018 - 22:00
A new molecular engineering technique has the potential to double the number of light-sensitive proteins available for studying brain circuits.

Scientists discover first high-temperature single-molecule magnet

EurekAlert! - Mié, 10/17/2018 - 22:00
A team of scientists led by Professor Richard Layfield at the University of Sussex has published breakthrough research in molecule-based magnetic information storage materials.

Treat-to-target strategy in gout management is effective

EurekAlert! - Mié, 10/17/2018 - 22:00
Gout is the most common form of inflammatory arthritis, caused by crystallization of uric acid in the joint. Rheumatologists have long recommended that patients with gout be treated with drugs to lower uric acid in their blood to prevent crystallization. Specifically, rheumatology societies around the world recommend that uric acid should be lowered to below 6mg/dL because that's below the concentration at which uric acid can crystallize. This strategy is known as 'treat-to-target.'

Breakthrough in accessing the tiny magnet within the core of a single atom

EurekAlert! - Mié, 10/17/2018 - 22:00
IBS-QNS researchers in South Korea have made a major scientific breakthrough by detecting the nuclear magnetism, or 'nuclear spin' of a single atom. In an international collaboration with IBM Research, the University of Oxford and the International Iberian Nanotechnology Laboratory, the scientists used advanced and novel techniques to measure the nuclear spin of individual atoms on surfaces for the first time.

Fentanyl test strips prove useful in preventing overdoses

EurekAlert! - Mié, 10/17/2018 - 22:00
A Brown University study found that many young adults who tried fentanyl test strips reduced overdose risk by using less, going slower or using with someone else present.

Adolescent THC exposure alters neurons/gene networks associated with psychosis risk

EurekAlert! - Mar, 10/16/2018 - 22:00
Adolescent THC exposure reduces the branching of prefrontal cortical neurons and the number of spines, which are critical for cellular communication. This adolescent exposure is also associated with a reorganization of the gene expression of specific genes that are predominantly related to neuron development, synaptic plasticity and chromatin organization (epigenetic mechanisms).

A role for circadian enhancers to prevent myocardial injury in the perioperative setting

EurekAlert! - Mar, 10/16/2018 - 22:00
The current study demonstrates a deleterious effect of midazolam administration prior to myocardial ischemia and reveals reduced circadian protein Period 2 (PER2) levels as the underlying mechanism. These findings highlight PER2 as a cardioprotective mechanism and suggest the PER2 enhancer nobiletin as preventative therapy for myocardial injury in the perioperative setting where midazolam pretreatment occurs frequently.

Researchers identify new approach for controlling dengue fever and Zika virus

EurekAlert! - Mar, 10/16/2018 - 22:00
To be able to reproduce and become effective disease carriers, mosquitoes must first attain optimal body size and nutritional status. A pair of researchers at the University of California, Riverside, have succeeded in using CRISPR-Cas9, a powerful tool for altering DNA sequences and modifying gene function, to decrease mosquito body size, moving the research one step closer to eliminating mosquitoes that carry dengue fever and Zika virus.

Arctic greening thaws permafrost, boosts runoff

EurekAlert! - Mar, 10/16/2018 - 22:00
A new collaborative study has investigated Arctic shrub-snow interactions to obtain a better understanding of the far north's tundra and vast permafrost system. Incorporating extensive in situ observations, Los Alamos National Laboratory scientists tested their theories with a novel 3D computer model and confirmed that shrubs can lead to significant degradation of the permafrost layer that has remained frozen for tens of thousands of years. These interactions are driving increases in discharges of fresh water into rivers, lakes and oceans.

Study: US tornado frequency shifting eastward from Great Plains

EurekAlert! - Mar, 10/16/2018 - 22:00
A new study finds that over the past four decades, tornado frequency has increased over a large swath of the Midwest and Southeast and decreased in portions of the central and southern Great Plains, a region traditionally associated with Tornado Alley.

Dry conditions in East Africa half a million years ago possibly shaped human evolution, study finds

EurekAlert! - Mar, 10/16/2018 - 22:00
Samples of ancient sediments from a lake basin in East Africa have revealed that arid conditions developed in the area around half a million years ago, an environmental change that could have played a major role in human evolution and influenced advances in stone technology, according to an international research team that includes geologists from Georgia State University.

First GWAS analysis of 'type 1.5 diabetes' reveals links between immune and metabolic disease

EurekAlert! - Mar, 10/16/2018 - 22:00
Scientists who performed the largest-ever genetic study of a puzzling type of adult-onset diabetes have uncovered new connections to the two major types of diabetes, offering intriguing insights into more accurate diagnosis and better treatment. Latent automimmune diabetes in adults (LADA) is a relatively common disorder that shares features of type 1 diabetes and type 2 diabetes.

Researchers propose conceptual framework to study role of exercise in multiple sclerosis

EurekAlert! - Mar, 10/16/2018 - 22:00
'Exercise is a low-cost, non-invasive modality,' noted Dr. John DeLuca, 'so we are very interested in learning more about how activity results in these improvements. Rethinking how we view exercise in the long-term management of MS and other neurological conditions is our first step. We anticipate that the PRIMERS framework will accelerate advances in treatment by integrating the contributions from neuroscience, neurophysiology, and neurorehabilitation."

How does brain structure influence performance on language tasks?

EurekAlert! - Mar, 10/16/2018 - 22:00
The architecture of each person's brain is unique, and differences may influence how quickly people can complete various cognitive tasks. But how neuroanatomy impacts performance is largely an open question. To learn more, scientists are developing a new tool -- computational models of the brain -- to simulate how the structure of the brain may impact brain activity and, ultimately, human behavior.

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