Immune cells usually ignored by neuroscientists appear to play an important role in determining whether an animal's sexual behavior will be more typical of a male or female.
TU Wien (Vienna) has now produced an artificial placenta model that very closely resembles the natural organ. Using a specially developed femtosecond laser-based 3D printing process, it is possible to produce customized hydrogel membranes directly within microfluidic chips, which are then populated with placenta cells. This means it is now possible to provide clarity in some vital research issues, such as the exchange of glucose between mother and child.
Elephants have evolved a way to make LIF6 (a non-functioning, or dead, gene in mammals) come back to life, and it's what makes the largest living land mammals nearly immune to cancer. In response to DNA damage, such as that caused by ultraviolet rays, the elephant version of the tumor-suppressing protein p53 prompts 'zombie' LIF6 to efficiently kill cells poised to become cancerous. The research publishes Aug. 14 in the journal Cell Reports.
New research published in the July edition of the Journal of Nutritional Biochemistry, has established a strong correlation between blood levels of omega-3s, especially docosahexaenoic acid (DHA), and better brain function in children two to six years old.
New research, published in Thorax, funded by the Cystic Fibrosis Trust has shown that babies with cystic fibrosis (CF) are born weighing less than babies without the condition, even allowing that they are more likely to be born prematurely.
A study of young children with autism spectrum disorder published in JNeurosci reveals altered brain waves compared to typically developing children during a motor control task. The non-invasive neuroimaging technique used in this study could be employed to detect autism symptoms as early as infancy.
By revealing the structure of proteins that enable sperm and egg to fuse to form zygotes in plant and protozoan species, the new study may aid in discovering the fusion process for humans, which remains a mystery.
Newborn granule cells show high excitability that disappears as the cells mature. Little has been known about the mechanisms that create low excitability in mature cells or how excitability of the newborn granule cells changes over time. Now University of Alabama at Birmingham researchers have described key roles for G protein-mediated signaling and the late maturation of an ion channel during the differentiation of granule cells. Their study is published in The Journal of Neuroscience.
Congestive heart failure is a terminal disease that affects nearly 6 million Americans. Yet its management is limited to symptomatic treatments because the causal mechanisms of congestive heart failure are not known. Researchers have now described an underlying mechanism that reprograms the hearts of patients with ischemic cardiomyopathy, a process that differs from patients with other forms of heart failure. This points the way toward future personalized care.
In a study of over 50 transcription factors, Tbx6 alone was able to stimulate mesoderm formation in laboratory-grown stem cells, and could cause those stem cells to become cardiovascular or musculoskeletal cells; the University of Tsukuba-led research team found that this essential role of Tbx6 in mesoderm and cardiovascular specification is conserved from lower organisms to mammals. This research report validated a new direct reprogramming-based approach that may enhance future regenerative medicine research.