Researchers at the University of California, Davis, recently investigated levels of methylmercury in a small sampling of commercial dog foods and found good news for dog owners. Of the 24 diets tested, only three were positive for low concentrations of total mercury, and only one of those contained detectable methylmercury.
Synthetic biologists have added high-precision analog-to-digital signal processing to the genetic circuitry of living cells. The research, described online today in the journal Science, dramatically expands the chemical, physical and environmental cues engineers can use to prompt programmed responses from engineered organisms.
In a study published online April 18 in Neuron, researchers found that general anesthesia induces unconsciousness by hijacking the neural circuitry that makes us fall sleep. They traced this neural circuitry back to a cluster of cells at the base of the brain responsible for churning out hormones to regulate bodily functions, mood, and sleep. The finding could lead to better drugs capable of putting people to sleep with fewer side effects.
Study finds drug could have new applications in non-diabetics.
The brain is more resilient than previously thought. In a groundbreaking experiment published in this week's issue of Nature, neuroscientists created an artificial circulation system that successfully restored some functions and structures in pig brains. The result challenges the notion that mammalian brains are fully and irreversibly damaged by a lack of oxygen.
A low-tech problem troubles the high-tech world of digital pathology imaging: There are no reliable standards for the quality of digitized tissue slides comprising the source material for computers reading and analyzing vast numbers of images. Poor-quality slides get mixed in with accurate slides, potentially confusing a computer program trying to learn what a cancerous cell looks like. Researchers from Case Western Reserve University are trying to fix this, sharing an open-source quality control standard.
In 2000, measles was declared to be eliminated in the United States. Today, the US and many other countries are experiencing outbreaks of measles because of declines in measles vaccine coverage. Without renewed focus on vaccination efforts, the disease may rebound in full force, according to a commentary in NEJM by infectious diseases experts at the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases and Penn State University College of Medicine's Milton S. Hershey Medical Center.
University of Oregon neuroscientists report that two areas of the mouse brain combine representations of what is heard and anticipated, guiding behavior that leads mice to the best reward.
New North Carolina State University research shows that key proteins known for their ability to prevent viral infections by inducing cell death can also block certain bacterial infections without triggering the death of the host cells.
In a proof-of-principle study in mice, scientists at Johns Hopkins Medicine report the creation of a specialized gel that acts like a lymph node to successfully activate and multiply cancer-fighting immune system T-cells. The work puts scientists a step closer, they say, to injecting such artificial lymph nodes into people and sparking T-cells to fight disease.