Peering into cell structures where neurodiseases emerge

Peering into cell structures where neurodiseases emerge

A latticework of tiny tubes called microtubules gives your cells their shape and also acts like a railroad track that essential proteins travel on. But if there is a glitch in the connection between train and track, diseases can occur.

Data scientists create world's first therapeutic venom database

Data scientists create world's first therapeutic venom database

NEW YORK, NY (Nov 25, 2015) --What doesn't kill you could cure you. A growing interest in the therapeutic value of animal venom has led a pair of Columbia University data scientists to create the first catalog of known animal toxins and their physiological effects on humans.

A changing season means a changing diet for bison

A changing season means a changing diet for bison

North American bison adjust their diet seasonally in order to take full advantage of the growing season when grasses become less nutritious, a new study led by researchers at the University of Colorado Boulder has discovered.

The findings, which were recently published in the journal PLOS ONE, indicate that bison are not entirely reliant on grass for their nutritional needs and can selectively expand their foraging to include woody shrubs and flowering plants during the spring and fall.

Contact with nature may mean more social cohesion, less crime

Numerous studies have demonstrated the benefits of contact with nature for human well-being. However, despite strong trends toward greater urbanization and declining green space, little is known about the social consequences of such contact. In the December issue of BioScience, an international, interdisciplinary team reports on how they used nationally representative data from the United Kingdom and stringent model testing to examine the relationships between objective measures and self-reported assessments of contact with nature, community cohesion, and local crime incidence.

Liver cell therapies closer as study reveals key to mass production

Stem cell scientists have made a key find that aids the quest to produce therapies for patients with liver damage.

They have developed a new technique for growing liver cells from stem cells that is cost-effective and could be adapted for mass production of clinical grade cells.

The process involves growing cells on defined materials - without the need for animal products - which scientists say makes therapies safer for use in people.

Queen's researchers study willingness to adopt children with special needs

KINGSTON - Queen's University researchers Philip Burge and Dianne Groll (Psychiatry) and two co-authors have just published a study regarding the attitudes and preferences of prospective adoptive parents. The study found that those who were most open to considering children with special needs had been formally seeking to adopt for some time and had completed government-required SAFE assessments and training.

Halteres, essential for flight in all flies, are needed by some to climb walls

Research from Case Western Reserve University indicates sensory organs on the backs of flies not only provide information crucial to body rotation and flight maneuvers, but are essential to some species when climbing.

The findings suggest these mallet-shaped sensory organs, called halteres, may play multiple roles in how flies behave, providing clues to how brains absorb and use multiple streams of information.

Changes in retail prices for prescription dermatologic drugs from 2009-2015

Prices among 19 brand-name prescription dermatologic drugs increased rapidly between 2009 and 2015, with prices for topical antineoplastic drugs to prevent the spread of cancer cells increasing an average of 1,240 percent, according to an article published online by JAMA Dermatology.

Landmark health reform in the United States has done little to curb the rising price of prescription drugs. Patients across the United States have little protection from health plans excluding coverage for expensive prescription drugs.

Postoperative Clostridium difficile infection in the Veterans Health Administration

The overall postoperative rate of Clostridium difficile infection (CDI), a bacterium that can cause severe diarrhea and life-threatening intestinal conditions, was 0.4 percent per year among more than 468,386 surgical procedures at the Veterans Health Administration, according to a study published online by JAMA Surgery.

CDI can be a significant complication for surgical patients. Risk factors for CDI include older age, severe coexisting illnesses, hospitalization and antibiotic use.

Structural brain connectivity as a genetic marker for schizophrenia

Schizophrenia has been considered an illness of disrupted brain connectivity since its earliest descriptions. Several studies have suggested brain white matter is affected not only in patients with schizophrenia but also in individuals at increased risk for the disease. Marc M. Bohlken, M.Sc., of University Medical Center Utrecht, the Netherlands, and coauthors investigated whether schizophrenia risk and white matter integrity share common genes. The imaging study included 70 individual twins discordant for schizophrenia (one with, one without) and 130 healthy control twins.