Body

In research made possible when COVID-19 sidelined other research projects, scientists at Johns Hopkins Medicine meticulously counted brain cells in fruit flies and three species of mosquitos, revealing a number that would surprise many people outside the science world.

The insects' tiny brains, on average, have about 200,000 neurons and other cells, they say. By comparison, a human brain has 86 billion neurons, and a rodent brain contains about 12 billion. The figure probably represents a "floor" for the number needed to perform the bugs' complex behaviors.

Tokyo, Japan - Oxygen is crucial to many forms of life. Its delivery to the organs and tissues of the body through the process of respiration is vital for most biological processes. Now, researchers at Tokyo Medical and Dental University (TMDU) have shown that oxygen can be delivered through the wall of the intestine to compensate for the reduced availability of oxygen within the body that occurs in lung diseases that cause respiratory failure.

After the p53 tumour suppressor gene, the genes most frequently found mutated in cancer are those encoding two proteins of the SWI/SNF chromatin remodelling complex. This complex's function is to "accommodate" the histones that cover the DNA of the chromosomes so that the processes of transcription, DNA repair and replication or chromosome segregation can occur, as appropriate.

A new analysis of the effects of SARS-CoV-2, the virus causing the current pandemic, on the human body has provided novel insights into the nature of resilience and how we deal with stressful situations. Using COVID-19 as an example, the findings provide a new framework that may be central to managing this disease, minimise the likelihood of ferocious viral outbreaks in the future and deal with other major stresses.

University of Alberta scientists have identified a receptor in cells that could be key to preventing permanent hearing loss in childhood cancer survivors who are being treated with the drug cisplatin. The researchers believe by inhibiting the receptor, they may be able to eliminate toxic side-effects from the drug that cause the hearing loss.

Boston - While overall emergency department visits have decreased during the pandemic, nonfatal opioid overdose visits have more than doubled. However, few patients who overdosed on opioids had received a prescription for naloxone, a medication designed to block the effects of opioids on the brain and rapidly reverse opioid overdose.

A groundbreaking study led by engineering and medical researchers at the University of Minnesota Twin Cities shows how engineered immune cells used in new cancer therapies can overcome physical barriers to allow a patient's own immune system to fight tumors. The research could improve cancer therapies in the future for millions of people worldwide.

The research is published in Nature Communications, a peer-reviewed, open access, scientific journal published by Nature Research.

May 14, 2021 - Two years ago, the Veterans Affairs healthcare system (VA) began rolling out a new benefit, enabling Veterans to receive urgent care from a network of community providers - rather than visiting a VA emergency department or clinic.

A team led by researchers at Weill Cornell Medicine and Children's National Hospital has developed a unique pre-clinical model that enables the study of long-term HIV infection, and the testing of new therapies aimed at curing the disease.

May 14, 2021 - Two thirds of all pediatric spinal fractures, especially in the adolescent population, occur in motor vehicle accidents (MVAs) where seatbelts are not utilized, reports a study in Spine.

What if you could predict which cells might become cancerous? Breast tissue changes dramatically throughout a woman's life, so finding markers for sudden changes that can lead to cancer is especially difficult. Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory (CSHL) Associate Professor Camila dos Santos and her team identified and cataloged thousands of normal human and mouse breast cell types. The new catalog redefines healthy breast tissue so that when something goes awry, scientists can pinpoint its origin.

Any breast cell could become cancerous. Dos Santos says:

BIRMINGHAM, Ala. - In a large-animal study, researchers have shown that heart attack recovery is aided by injection of heart muscle cells derived from human induced pluripotent stem cell line, or hiPSCs, that overexpress cyclin D2. This research, published in the journal Circulation, used a pig model of heart attacks, which more closely resembles the human heart in size and physiology, and thus has higher clinical relevance to human disease, compared to studies in mice.

Hamilton, ON (May 15, 2021) - A simple surgery saves patients with heart arrhythmia from often-lethal strokes, says a large international study led by McMaster University.

Researchers found that removing the left atrial appendage -- an unused, finger-like tissue that can trap blood in the heart chamber and increase the risk of clots -- cuts the risk of strokes by more than one-third in patients with atrial fibrillation.

Researchers at Rutgers Robert Wood Johnson Medical School are reporting the first instance of COVID-19 triggering a rare recurrence of potentially serious blood clots in people's arms.

The discovery, published in the journal Viruses, improves the understanding of how inflammation caused by COVID-19 can lead to upper extremity blood clots and how best to treat them. The case study is part of a larger Rutgers study of 1,000 hospitalized patients diagnosed with COVID-19 who were admitted and discharged between March and May 2020.

Australian researchers have documented the diversity of cells in the human breast, explaining the relationship between healthy breast cells and breast cancer cells.

The research, which relied on expertise spanning from breast cancer biology through to bioinformatics, measured gene expression in single cells taken from healthy women and cancerous breast tissue, including tissue carrying a faulty BRCA1 gene. This enabled the researchers to create an 'RNA atlas' that details the different cells found in these tissues.