Archive for the ‘biotech/medical’ category

Apr 19, 2024

Large genomic study finds tri-ancestral origins for Japanese population

Posted by in categories: biotech/medical, genetics

A multi-institutional team of geneticists and genomic and genotyping specialists in Japan has sequenced the genomes of thousands of Japanese people from across the country, looking to settle the debate surrounding the ancestry of the Japanese people.

Apr 19, 2024

Powerful New Tool Ushers In New Era of Quantum Materials Research

Posted by in categories: biotech/medical, quantum physics

Professor Fabio Boschini (above) and his colleagues are at the forefront of research in quantum materials, employing time-and angle-resolved photoemission spectroscopy (TR-ARPES) to drive technological breakthroughs in industries like mining, energy, and healthcare. Their recent work, demonstrates how TR-ARPES enhances the understanding and manipulation of material properties through light-matter interaction. Credit: Fabio Boschini (INRS)

Research into quantum materials is leading to revolutionary breakthroughs and is set to propel technological progress that will transform industries such as mining, energy, transportation, and medical technology.

A technique called time-and angle-resolved photoemission spectroscopy (TR-ARPES) has emerged as a powerful tool, allowing researchers to explore the equilibrium and dynamical properties of quantum materials via light-matter interaction.

Apr 18, 2024

Understanding heart regeneration and the potential for human applications

Posted by in category: biotech/medical

“My hunch is the ancestor of all animals could regenerate its heart after an injury, and then that’s been repeatedly lost in different types of animals,” said Dr. James Gagnon. “I would like to understand why. Why would you lose this great feature that allows you to regenerate your heart after an injury?”

Can the heart physiology of zebrafish help treat human heart conditions? This is what a recent study published in Biology Open hopes to address as a team of researchers from the University of Utah compared the fish species of zebrafish and medaka since the former possesses heart regeneration capabilities while the latter does not. This study holds the potential to help researchers better understand the physiological processes responsible for fixing heart tissue after damage from a heart attack or other ailment that could lead to more advanced human treatments.

“We thought by comparing these two fish that have similar heart morphology and live in similar habitats, we could have a better chance of actually finding what the main differences are,” said Dr. Clayton Carey, a postdoctoral fellow at the University of Utah and lead author of the study.

Continue reading “Understanding heart regeneration and the potential for human applications” »

Apr 18, 2024

CBN: A Potential Neuroprotective Compound from Cannabis

Posted by in categories: biotech/medical, chemistry, neuroscience

Cannabinol (CBN) is a chemical found in cannabis that exhibits milder psychoactive properties than most cannabis chemicals, though research pertaining to its medical applications remains limited. Now, a team of researchers led by The Salk Institute for Biological Studies have published a study in Redox Biology that addresses the potential for CBN to serve as a method for neurological disorders, including traumatic brain injuries, Parkinson’s disease, and Alzheimer’s disease.

For the study, the researchers produced four CBN analogs that exhibited greater neuroprotective capabilities compared to the traditional CBN molecule and tested them on Drosophila fruit flies. In the end, the researchers discovered these CBN analogs possessed neuroprotective capabilities that surpassed traditional CBN molecules, including the treating of traumatic brain injuries. While not tested during this study, these CBN analogs could be used to also treat a myriad of neurological disorders, including Parkinson’s disease, Alzheimer’s disease, and Huntington’s disease.

“Our findings help demonstrate the therapeutic potential of CBN, as well as the scientific opportunity we have to replicate and refine its drug-like properties,” said Dr. Pamela Maher, who is a research professor in the Cellular Neurobiology Laboratory at Salk and a co-author on the study. “Could we one day give this CBN analog to football players the day before a big game, or to car accident survivors as they arrive in the hospital? We’re excited to see how effective these compounds might be in protecting the brain from further damage.”

Apr 18, 2024

A common pathway in the brain that enables addictive drugs to hijack natural reward processing identified

Posted by in categories: biotech/medical, neuroscience

Mount Sinai researchers, in collaboration with scientists at The Rockefeller University, have uncovered a mechanism in the brain that allows cocaine and morphine to take over natural reward processing systems. Published online in Science on April 18, these findings shed new light on the neural underpinnings of drug addiction and could offer new mechanistic insights to inform basic research, clinical practice, and potential therapeutic solutions.

Apr 18, 2024

Novel Schizophrenia Insights from Brain Organoids and Genes

Posted by in categories: biotech/medical, genetics, health, neuroscience

Although schizophrenia can be a very complex illness some new studies show that some major genetic factors could be the cause and then cured much easier through gene therapy.

Summary: Researchers leveraged cutting-edge technology to gain insights into schizophrenia’s neurodevelopmental origins. The researchers grew brain organoids from patients’ skin cells, finding persistent axonal disruptions in those with schizophrenia.

In another study, researchers zeroed in on a schizophrenia risk gene, CYFIP1, revealing its potential role in brain immune cells called microglia and their influence on synaptic pruning – a crucial process for brain health.

Apr 18, 2024

Rapamycin and Longevity: A Few Thoughts On Dosing

Posted by in categories: biotech/medical, life extension

What’s the optimal way to dose a longevity drug like rapamycin? Nils Osmar looks at some different studies that provide a possible answer:

It’s worth noting that mTORC2 is not directly inhibited by rapamycin under most circumstances, but can be under some. Some studies have found that after prolonged use, rapamycin can also begin inhibiting mTORC2 (see study: Alternative rapamycin treatment regimens mitigate the impact of rapamycin on glucose homeostasis and the immune system).

So taking breaks from rapamycin may also be beneficial.

Continue reading “Rapamycin and Longevity: A Few Thoughts On Dosing” »

Apr 18, 2024

3D-printed “metamaterial” is stronger than anything in nature

Posted by in categories: biotech/medical, materials

Using lasers and metal powder, Australian scientists have created a super strong, super lightweight new — but they got the idea for this sci fi-sounding creation from plants.

The challenge: Materials that are strong yet lightweight, such as carbon fiber and graphene, are used to make everything from medical implants to airships, and developing ones with ever greater “strength-to-weight ratios” is the goal of many material scientists.

In pursuit of that goal, some have turned to nature, looking for ways to replicate in metal the hollow lattice structures, like those in the Victoria water lily, that make some plants remarkably strong.

Apr 18, 2024

Brain Cells That Enhance Memory Focus and Storage Identified

Posted by in categories: biotech/medical, neuroscience

Summary: Researchers uncovered how certain brain cells enhance our ability to maintain and focus on short-term memories. Their study highlights a new type of neuron, dubbed PAC neurons, which coordinate the activity of memory-specific neurons without storing any information themselves.

These findings were derived from the brain activity recordings of epilepsy patients during memory tasks, providing novel insights into how working memory functions. Understanding these mechanisms may lead to improved treatments for disorders like Alzheimer’s and ADHD, where such cognitive functions are impaired.

Apr 17, 2024

5 Ways Artificial Intelligence Is Changing Healthcare

Posted by in categories: biotech/medical, robotics/AI

While the artificial intelligence revolution has just begun, it is transforming healthcare, speeding drug discovery, improving both diagnosis and patient communication.

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