Dolphins use corals and sponges to self-medicate skin conditions

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BioTechniques News Aisha Al-Janabi After observing bottlenose dolphins rubbing along corals, researchers believe certain corals and sponges may have medicinal properties and have analyzed samples to find out.   Angela Ziltener is a wildlife biologist at the University of Zurich (Switzerland) and the co-lead author of a study that analyzed coral samples to learn why dolphins […]

You spin me right round: groups of malaria parasites form vortices

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BioTechniques News Aisha Al-Janabi Researchers used computer simulations to identify the mechanisms behind the rotating vortices formed by groups of Plasmodium, malaria-causing parasites. A collaboration between two research groups at Heidelberg University (Germany), led by Ulrich Schwarz and Friedrich Frischknecht, observed that collections of malaria-causing parasites form vortices that are similar to the collective movement […]

Stop: hammer time! Identifying the lethal mechanism of Clostridium septicum

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BioTechniques News Aisha Al-Janabi Bacteria that kill cells through a hammer-like mechanism may soon be stopped in their tracks.  Researchers from The Australian National University (ANU; ACT, Australia) have shed new light on a family of bacteria that cause infections such as sepsis, gangrene and tetanus. The team hope that the results of their research […]

Super-strength MRI identifies neurodegeneration in Parkinson’s disease

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BioTechniques News Aisha Al-Janabi A novel, ultra-powerful MRI scanner helps to pinpoint Parkinson’s disease and identify patients who are most likely to benefit from new treatments. Parkinson’s disease and similar conditions are associated with cognitive symptoms that are difficult to treat. In a recent publication, a research group from the University of Cambridge (UK) has […]

Infographic: Pros and cons of preclinical models of non-alcoholic steatohepatitis

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BioTechniques News Annie Coulson Non-alcoholic steatohepatitis (NASH) is a condition in which fat accumulates in the liver in people who drink little or no alcohol. Despite widespread R&D effort, no regulatory approved therapeutic drugs are available, because traditional preclinical models fail to predict the efficacy of potential drugs in humans. In this infographic, we compare […]

No rejections for new islet transplantation method

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BioTechniques News Aisha Al-Janabi A nonhuman primate preclinical study shows great potential for a new treatment of type 1 diabetes.  For those with type 1 diabetes, lifelong daily insulin treatments are the norm. However, an alternative treatment option in the form of islet transplantation is also a possibility. Islets are a group of pancreatic cells […]

Sea anemones evolved to repurpose neurons as stinging cells

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BioTechniques News Aisha Al-Janabi Researchers find that stinging cells called cnidocytes could be a beneficial model to understand the emergence of new cell types, which has been a key challenge in evolutionary biology.  Sea anemones are part of the cnidaria phylum along with jellyfish, corrals, and hydrae, and have specialized stinging cells called cnidocytes. These […]

How infections spread: the case for varied and dynamic inputs

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BioTechniques News Aisha Al-Janabi Understanding infectious disease spread is problematic, given the randomness of most outbreaks. Yet attempting to predict the transmission wave is essential for mitigating the impact. A key element in the fight against infectious diseases is computer modeling. Models enable epidemiologists to predict both where the next outbreak may occur and the […]

Depression increases the risk of cardiovascular disease

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BioTechniques News Aisha Al-Janabi Depression and stress were discovered to impact cardiovascular disease and the effectiveness of cholesterol-lowering treatment in a mouse study.  Preliminary results from the first study to use a chronic stress and depression mouse model to investigate the impacts of cholesterol-lowering treatment have provided insight into how depression and prolonged, severe stress […]

Targeting HOX genes to treat glioblastoma

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BioTechniques News Aisha Al-Janabi A new potential treatment for the devastating brain cancer, glioblastoma, is ready for patient trials.  Glioblastoma – also known as glioblastoma multiforme (GBM)– is one of the most common and devastating forms of brain cancer. A study recently published in BMC Cancer, delivers fresh hope for those with glioblastoma, which is […]

Reference map of retinal pigment epithelium cells created with AI

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BioTechniques News Georgia Bickerton Researchers identify five distinct cell subpopulations in the retinal pigment epithelium using artificial intelligence, which could explain different severities of retinal degenerative diseases. A recent study from the National Eye Institute, which is part of the NIH (both MA, USA), analyzed the shape and dimensions of retinal pigment epithelium (RPE) cells […]

Electric shocks manipulate cellular biofilm composition

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BioTechniques News Aisha Al-Janabi Researchers use electrochemical signals to stimulate the proliferation of different cells in biofilms, which controls their growth.   Biofilms are invisible communities of microscopic bacteria and can be found anywhere and everywhere there is moisture, nutrients and a surface. The ability to control biofilms would be especially valuable in areas where bacteria […]

You really do want it more: cravings hit harder during withdrawal

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BioTechniques News Aisha Al-Janabi A new study in rats finds that environmental stimuli learned during the withdrawal stage of alcohol addiction results in intensified cravings. From ‘snackable content’ on streaming platforms to profiting from gaming whales (users that spend a lot on in-app purchases), there’s plenty of money to be made in homing in on […]

How effective are Killer T cells against COVID-19?

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BioTechniques News Tristan Free An artificial intelligence-based platform allows researchers to uncover the secrets behind adaptive immunity and killer T cells. Researchers from CellChorus (CA, USA) recently published results from a study, which uses time-lapse imaging microscopy in nanowell girds (TIMING) to distinguish the behavior of cytotoxic T cells and assess cell-mediated response to COVID-19 […]

Is salt the key to accurate breast cancer diagnosis?

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BioTechniques News Georgia Bickerton A new sodium MRI technique could be used for breast cancer diagnosis and monitoring. Breast cancer is the leading cause of cancer-related death in women worldwide. An accurate diagnosis and close monitoring of tumors is vital to ensure that patients receive the best possible care. Researchers from the University of York […]

Ta-dA! New mitochondrial gene editing development achieves A–G base conversion

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BioTechniques News Aisha Al-Janabi Scientists use a single strand DNA-targeting protein for A–G base conversion, in a significant mitochondrial gene-editing technological breakthrough. There is an unfortunate probability that somewhere in the world today someone will walk up to someone else and, in a bemusing display of unwarranted confidence, assure them that, were they to reorder […]

Protein identified allowing Sclerotinia sclerotiorum to destroy crops

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BioTechniques News Georgia Bickerton Researchers have identified the protein that allows white mold stem rot to bypass plants’ defenses, which could lead to more precise control strategies against the pathogen.   Sclerotinia sclerotiorum (S. sclerotiorum) is a fungus that causes white mold stem rot in more than 600 plant species and can overcome plants’ natural defense […]

Understanding the disease trajectory of Long COVID

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BioTechniques News Aisha Al-Janabi UCLA researchers reveal that 30% of people treated for COVID-19 developed Long COVID and link factors correlated to the likelihood of developing the syndrome. Researchers from the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA; CA, USA) set out to discover the proportion of people treated for COVID-19 who developed Post-Acute Sequelae of […]