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Turning down the brain to erase fearful memories

Erasing unwanted memories is still the stuff of science fiction, but Weizmann Institute scientists have now managed to erase one type of memory in mice.  they succeeded in shutting down a neuronal mechanism by which memories of fear are formed in the mouse brain. After the procedure, the mice resumed their earlier fearless behavior, “forgetting”…

Potential new treatment to treat and stop progression of cystic fibrosis

Researchers from the George Washington University (GW), the University of Perugia, and the University of Rome have discovered a potential new drug to treat and stop the progression of cystic fibrosis. Thymosin α1 (Tα1) is a novel therapeutic single molecule-based therapy that not only corrects genetic and tissue defects, but also significantly reduces inflammation seen…

New approach makes cells resistant to HIV

Scientists at The Scripps Research Institute (TSRI) have found a way to tether HIV-fighting antibodies to immune cells, creating a cell population resistant to the virus. Their experiments under lab conditions show that these resistant cells can quickly replace diseased cells, potentially curing the disease in a person with HIV. The researchers, led by study…

NASA’s MAVEN reveals Mars has metal in its atmosphere

Mars has electrically charged metal atoms (ions) high in its atmosphere, according to new results from NASA’s MAVEN spacecraft. The metal ions can reveal previously invisible activity in the mysterious electrically charged upper atmosphere (ionosphere) of Mars. “MAVEN has made the first direct detection of the permanent presence of metal ions in the ionosphere of…

Neuroscientists identify brain circuit necessary for memory formation

When we visit a friend or go to the beach, our brain stores a short-term memory of the experience in a part of the brain called the hippocampus. Those memories are later “consolidated” — that is, transferred to another part of the brain for longer-term storage. A new MIT study of the neural circuits that…

Transcription factor expression tied to medial amygdala neuronal ID, sex-specific response

Neurons derived from two different types of precursor cells that later develop into neurons in the medial amygdala — one of the interconnected structures in the brain involved in emotion, motivation and memory — help to program innate reproductive and aggressive behaviors into the brain, research led by Children’s National Health System indicates. Helps to…

Synthetic biologists engineer inflammation-sensing gut bacteria

Synthetic biologists at Rice University have engineered gut bacteria capable of sensing colitis, an inflammation of the colon, in mice. The research points the way to new experiments for studying how gut bacteria and human hosts interact at a molecular level and could eventually lead to orally ingestible bacteria for monitoring gut health and disease….

Tibet sediments reveal climate patterns from late Miocene, 6 million years ago

The Tibetan Plateau in China experiences the strongest monsoon system on Earth, with powerful winds — and accompanying intense rains in the summer months — caused by a complex system of global air circulation patterns and differences in surface temperatures between land and oceans. These extreme weather patterns make this area an ideal location for…

Where does your blood actually come from?

Scientists at Lund University in Sweden have developed a new understanding of how the first blood cells form during human development as they transition from endothelial cells to form blood cells of different types. Using a laboratory model of human stem cell development and by looking at the expression of blood cell and endothelial cell…

Dramatic stellar fireworks of star birth

1350 light years away, in the constellation of Orion (the Hunter), lies a dense and active star formation factory called the Orion Molecular Cloud 1 (OMC-1), part of the same complex as the famous Orion Nebula. Stars are born when a cloud of gas hundreds of times more massive than our Sun begins to collapse…

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