Restoring cellular energy signals may treat mitochondrial diseases in humans

Restoring cellular energy signals may treat mitochondrial diseases in humans

Rooted in malfunctions in the tiny power plants that energize our cells, mitochondrial disorders are notoriously complex and variable, with few effective treatments. Now, novel findings in microscopic worms may hold great promise for children and adults with mitochondrial disorders. By using existing human drugs to improve metabolism and restore shortened lifespans in these laboratory animals, scientists have set the stage for human clinical trials of possible innovative therapies for mitochondrial disease.

Paternal sperm may hold clues to autism

In a small study, Johns Hopkins researchers found that DNA from the sperm of men whose children had early signs of autism shows distinct patterns of regulatory tags that could contribute to the condition. A detailed report of their findings will be published online in the International Journal of Epidemiology on April 15.

Muscle regeneration after traumatic injury without need for donor tissue

Loss of muscle volume is a common and often debilitating outcome of traumatic orthopedic injury, resulting in muscle weakness and suboptimal limb function. A new therapeutic approach in which small pieces of autologous muscle can be expanded in a collagen hydrogel and used to regenerate functional muscle at the sight of injury, instead of relying on a donor muscle graft, would be especially beneficial for repairing large areas of muscle loss. A study demonstrating the feasibility of using autologous minced tissue grafts for muscle regeneration is published in BioResearch Open Access.

Yanomami : Remote Amazonian tribe is world's most microbially diverse

The most diverse collection of bodily bacteria discovered in humans has been among an isolated tribe of Yanomami Indians in the remote Amazonian jungles of southern Venezuela - they have a microbiome 40 percent more diverse than people living in industrialized countries.

Phthalate DEHP undermines female fertility in mice

Two studies in mice add to the evidence that the phthalate DEHP, a plasticizing agent used in auto upholstery, baby toys, building materials and many other consumer products, can undermine female reproductive health, in part by disrupting the growth and function of the ovaries.

Physical fitness reduces disease risk, even among smokers

Cardiorespiratory fitness is associated with reduced metabolic syndrome risk among smokers, according to researchers from The University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston (UTHealth) School of Public Health. The study was published today in the American Journal of Preventive Medicine.

Smoking is estimated to cause 443,000 deaths each year in the United States, primarily from cancer, cardiovascular diseases and respiratory disease, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Genetics overlap between cardiovascular risk factors and Alzheimer's disease

An international team of scientists, led by researchers at University of California, San Diego School of Medicine, have found genetic overlap between Alzheimer's disease (AD) and two significant cardiovascular disease risk factors: high levels of inflammatory C-reactive protein (CRP) and plasma lipids or fats. The findings, based upon genome-wide association studies involving hundreds of thousands of individuals, suggest the two cardiovascular phenotypes play a role in AD risk - and perhaps offer a new avenue for potentially delaying disease progression.

Playing a wind instrument linked to lower risk of sleep apnea

A new study has found that wind instrument players have a reduced risk of developing obstructive sleep apnea.

Obesity associated with prostate cancer risk in African-American men

Obesity was associated with an increased risk for prostate cancer in African American men and that risk grew by nearly four times as body-mass index (BMI) increased, according to a new study. African American men have the highest incidence of prostate cancer of any racial or ethnic group in the United States, as well as the highest rates of aggressive disease and prostate cancer death. These elevated risks likely arise from both social and biologic factors. The associations of obesity with prostate cancer risk are complex.

Scientists discover "LEM" protein boosts immunity to viruses and cancer

Scientists have discovered a protein that plays a central role in promoting immunity to viruses and cancer, opening the door to new therapies.

Experiments in mice and human cells have shown that the protein promotes the proliferation of cytotoxic T cells, which kill cancer cells and cells infected with viruses. The discovery was unexpected because the new protein had no known function and doesn't resemble any other protein.