Research

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Flexibility is at the heart of human intelligence

Flexibility is at the heart of human intelligence
  Centuries of study have yielded many theories about how the brain gives rise to human intelligence. Some neuroscientists think intelligence springs from a single region or neural network. Others argue that metabolism or the efficiency with which brain cells make use of essential resources are key.
21st November 2017

Genome editing improves T-cells to attack cancer

Genome editing improves T-cells to attack cancer
Researchers at Cardiff University have found a way to boost the cancer-destroying ability of the immune system’s T-cells, offering new hope in the fight against a wide range of cancers. Using CRISPR genome editing, the team took the genetic engineering of killer T-cells one step further by removing their non-cancer specific receptors and replacing them with ones that would recognise specific cancer cells and destroy them.
21st November 2017

Hibernating squirrels inspire alternative stroke treatments

Hibernating squirrels inspire alternative stroke treatments
In the fight against brain damage caused by stroke, researchers have turned to an unlikely source of inspiration: hibernating ground squirrels. While the animals' brains experience dramatically reduced blood flow during hibernation, just like human patients after a certain type of stroke, the squirrels emerge from their extended naps suffering no ill effects.
20th November 2017


Paving the way to safer drugs through dissociation of side effects

Paving the way to safer drugs through dissociation of side effects
Opioid pain relievers can be extremely effective in relieving pain, but can carry a high risk of addiction and ultimately overdose when breathing is suppressed and stops. Scientists have discovered a way to separate these two effects - pain relief and breathing - opening a window of opportunity to make effective pain medications without the risk of respiratory failure. The research, published in Cell, was funded by the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA), part of the National Institutes of Health.
20th November 2017

Soft biological tissue deforms differently under tension

Soft biological tissue deforms differently under tension
  Engineers at ETH Zurich have discovered that soft biological tissue deforms very differently under tension than previously assumed. Their findings are already being put to use in medical research projects.
20th November 2017

Gut microbes can protect against high blood pressure

Gut microbes can protect against high blood pressure
Microbes living in your gut may help protect against the effects of a high-salt diet, according to a new study from MIT. The MIT team, working with researchers in Germany, found that in both mice and humans, a high-salt diet shrinks the population of a certain type of beneficial bacteria. As a result, pro-inflammatory immune cells called Th-17 cells grow in number. These immune cells have been linked with high blood pressure, although the exact mechanism of how they contribute to hypertension is not yet known.
16th November 2017

Modified blood stem cells reverse diabetes in mice

Modified blood stem cells reverse diabetes in mice
Researchers at Boston Children's Hospital have successfully reversed type 1 diabetes in a mouse model by infusing blood stem cells pre-treated to produce more of a protein called PD-L1, which is deficient in mice (and people) with type 1 diabetes. The cells curbed the autoimmune reaction in cells from both mice and humans and reversed hyperglycemia in diabetic mice. Findings were published in Science Translational Medicine.
16th November 2017

Tiny liver tumours created in a dish for the first time

Tiny liver tumours created in a dish for the first time
Scientists have created mini biological models of human primary liver cancers, known as organoids, in the lab for the first time. In a paper published in Nature Medicine, the tiny laboratory models of tumours were used to identify a new drug that could potentially treat certain types of liver cancer. Primary liver cancer is the second most lethal cancer worldwide.
16th November 2017

Research links heading a football to CTE

Research links heading a football to CTE
A documentary aired on the BBC last night (12th November), has explored the link between heading a football and the onset of chronic traumatic encephalopathy (CTE), a type of dementia associated with repeated blows to the head and recurrent episodes of concussion.
13th November 2017

Nanoparticles limit inflammation by distracting the immune system

Nanoparticles limit inflammation by distracting the immune system
A finding suggests that an injection of nanoparticles may be able to help fight the immune system when it goes haywire, researchers at the University of Michigan have shown. The nanoparticles divert immune cells that cause inflammation away from an injury site. Inflammation is a double-edged sword. When it works, it helps the body heal and fights off infections. But sometimes, the immune system overreacts.
13th November 2017


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