Heart :: Gene, stem cell therapy only needs to be 50 percent effective to create a healthy heart

Heart disease is the leading cause of death in the United States and greatly affects the quality and length of life for individuals with specific forms of muscular dystrophy. Recent discoveries have demonstrated that gene and/or stem cell therapy could help a variety of organs in the body, but until now scientists have been unsure whether the heart could benefit from these treatments.

Resilience :: Ability to handle stress, depression linked to brain mechanism

Results of a new study may one day help scientists learn how to enhance a naturally occurring mechanism in the brain that promotes resilience to psychological stress. Researchers funded by the National Institutes of Health’s National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH) found that, in a mouse model, the ability to adapt to stress is driven by a distinctly different molecular mechanism than is the tendency to be overwhelmed by stress. The researchers mapped out the mechanisms – components of which also are present in the human brain – that govern both kinds of responses.

Gene :: Genes that extend life and protect against cancer identified

A person is 100 times more likely to get cancer at age 65 than at age 35. But new research reported Oct. 14 in the journal Nature Genetics identifies naturally occurring processes that allow many genes to both slow aging and protect against cancer in the much-studied C. elegans roundworm.

Schizophrenia :: How schizophrenia develops, major clues discovered

Schizophrenia may occur, in part, because of a problem in an intermittent on/off switch for a gene involved in making a key chemical messenger in the brain, scientists have found in a study of human brain tissue. The researchers found that the gene is turned on at increasingly high rates during normal development of the prefrontal cortex, the part of the brain involved in higher functions like thinking and decision-making — but that this normal increase may not occur in people with schizophrenia.

Drug :: Computational modeling could improve antibody drugs

Scientists have developed computational models that could improve the effectiveness of drugs based on antibodies. By calculating which molecular changes would cause the antibodies to bind more tightly to their targets, the models already have helped create a new version of an anticancer drug.

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