Patients with Parkinson's disease are treated with levodopa, which is converted into dopamine, a neurotransmitter in the brain. In a study published on Jan. 18, in the journal Nature Communications, scientists from the University of Groningen show that gut bacteria can metabolize levodopa into dopamine. As dopamine cannot cross the blood-brain barrier, this makes the medication less effective -- even in the presence of inhibitors that should prevent the conversion of levodopa.
Clostridium difficile infection (CDI) is a potentially deadly infection in the large intestine most common in people who need to take antibiotics for a long period of time, particularly in Australia's ageing population. But when doses of a new antibiotic called Ramizol were given to hamsters infected with a lethal dose of the bacteria, a significant proportion of hamsters survived the infection.
University of Otago research to better understand how bacteria and their viruses interact and evolve will enable future studies to exploit the use of bacteria and their viruses for potential biotechnology and health applications.
A study by UCLA researchers is the first to demonstrate a technique for coaxing pluripotent stem cells -- which can give rise to every cell type in the body and which can be grown indefinitely in the lab -- into becoming mature T cells capable of killing tumor cells.
Friedrich Simmel und Aurore Dupin, researchers at the Technical University of Munich (TUM), have for the first time created artificial cell assemblies that can communicate with each other. The cells, separated by fatty membranes, exchange small chemical signaling molecules to trigger more complex reactions, such as the production of RNA and other proteins.
A team of researchers have discovered the interaction between an Ebola virus protein and a protein in human cells that may be an important key to unlocking the pathway of replication of the killer disease in human hosts. Scientists at Texas Biomedical Research Institute were part of a nationwide collaborative with scientists at Gladstone Institutes, UC San Francisco and Georgia State University for a study recently published in the journal Cell.
Scientists at Rutgers and universities in Russia, Poland and England have solved a nearly 30-year mystery -- how the molecular machinery works in an enzyme that makes a potent antibiotic. The findings, which appear in the journal Molecular Cell, provide the tools to design new antibiotics, anticancer drugs and other therapeutics.
Diet and exercise regulate the accrual of bone mass, but some evidence suggests the microbiome may also play a role. Researchers at the Medical University of South Carolina examined how the gut microbiome impacts skeletal health and what happens when the system is perturbed. They showed that antibiotic disruption of the gut microbiota induced a pro-inflammatory response that led to increased osteoclast activity and suppressed bone mass accrual in the post-pubertal developing skeleton.
A study finds a surprising response to cocaine in a novel strain of mutant mice -- they failed to show hyperactivity seen in normal mice when given cocaine and didn't run around. In other tests, they still found cocaine appealing, but displayed an inability to shake the memory of cocaine's actions when the drug was no longer administered. The key change that blocks cocaine's stimulant effects in these mice is serotonin, not dopamine, which is responsible for producing a high.
Synlogic, Inc., (Nasdaq: SYBX) a clinical stage company applying synthetic biology to beneficial microbes to develop novel, living medicines, today announced the publication in Science Translational Medicine of clinical data from its Phase 1 clinical study in healthy volunteers and supporting preclinical data from its investigational Synthetic Biotic candidate, SYNB1020. The data support the continued development of SYNB1020 which is currently being evaluated in a Phase 1b/2a clinical trial in patients with cirrhosis and elevated blood ammonia.