Categories
Genetics

Antisense Therapy Explained: How Blocking mRNA Can Treat Genetic Disorders

Antisense therapy has proven to be effective at treating previously untreated genetic disorders including Duchenne muscular dystrophy and familial hypercholesterolemia. The therapy has also demonstrated promising results in Phase III clinical trials for amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS). What is antisense therapy, and how are antisense oligonucleotides used to treat genetic disorders? Background Genetic Disorders and […]

Categories
Cardiology

Neural Network Outperforms Physicians at Predicting Cardiac Arrest Risk

Intro A study published by researchers from Johns Hopkins University highlights new artificial intelligence tools that could help physicians preemptively identify cardiac arrest in patients with the use of artificial intelligence. This new technology could change the way healthcare professionals approach preventative cardiac care, potentially saving patients from fatal outcomes. Background Cardiac arrest is one […]

Categories
Commentary Genetics

Dog Behavior Unrelated to Breed? Researchers Respond to Controversy, Misleading Media Coverage

Introduction A recent dog genomics study from UMass Chan School of Medicine researchers claims to challenge popular breed stereotypes, concluding that dog breed is a poor predictor of individual behavior. According to the study, which was the feature article in the April 29 issue of Science, just 9% of variation in dog behavior can be […]

Categories
COVID-19

CRISPR Test Detects All Variants of COVID-19, Could Run on Mobile Phones

During the pandemic, laboratories across the world worked hard to improve current diagnostic testing methods. The main method, quantitative polymerase chain reaction (qPCR) turns a small quantity of DNA into a larger amount and uses fluorescent dyes to indicate the presence or absence of viral genetic material. However, this method falls short in the following […]

Categories
Neurology

Social Media Use During Pandemic Linked to Increased Tic Severity in Adolescents with Tourette’s

A study being conducted at the University of Florida is investigating a correlation between the use of social media during the COVID-19 pandemic and a change in tic severity for adolescents with Tourette syndrome. Background Tourette syndrome is a type of tic syndrome often present at a young age even as early as 2 years […]

Categories
Neuroscience

Mouse Study: Follicle-Stimulating Hormone Is a Key Instigator of Alzheimer’s Disease

A study published in Nature reports that Follicle-Stimulating Hormone (FSH) may be a key instigator of Alzheimer’s disease (AD). Treatment including gene therapy and anti-FSH antibodies reversed and prevented AD-related pathologies in mice. Background Alzheimer’s disease (AD) is the 7th leading annual cause of death in the United States and is typically caused by an […]

Categories
Immunotherapy Public Health

How Bacteriophages Could Save Humanity from Antibiotic Resistance

“Thanks to penicillin… he will come home!” pronounced a Life magazine advertisement published in 1944. At this time, penicillin, the first true antibiotic drug, had just been discovered and made commercially available. Antibiotics are drugs that prevent or treat bacterial infections. Before the advent of penicillin, the leading causes for death were bacterial infections resulting […]

Categories
Pharmacology

Clascoterone, First Novel Acne Therapy in 38 Years, Treats Acne By Blocking Facial Androgen Receptors

In 1982, the FDA approved isotretinoin (Accutane), a Vitamin A derivative, for use in patients with acne. No new methods of acne medication had been approved from 1982 until the approval of topical clascoterone in August 2020, almost 40 years later. Topical clascoterone is a cream that is applied directly to the skin of areas […]

Categories
Neuroscience

Transparent Zebrafish Study Reveals How Sleep Repairs Damaged Neuronal DNA

Using transparent zebrafish, Israeli researchers were able to confirm neuronal DNA repair as a function of sleep, also identifying a protein that triggers both DNA repair and sleep. Background The functions of sleep, though widely researched, have largely remained a mystery. It is known that sleep influences cognition, benefitting learning and memory, but proposed physiological […]

Categories
Neuroscience

New Stem Cell Mechanism Behind Down Syndrome Discovered, Paves Way for Treatment

A team of researchers from MIT’s Alana Down Syndrome Center published results in Cell Stem Cell that pointed to a mechanistic link between Down syndrome (DS) and genome-wide transcriptional disruption. The team, led by Hiruy Meharena, revealed that senescence (the state when cells stop dividing) may play an important role in the progression of down […]