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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 […]

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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 […]

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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 […]

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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 […]

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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 […]

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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 […]

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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 […]

Categories
Cardiology Immunotherapy

CAR T Cells Produced by mRNA Injection Reduce Cardiac Fibrosis, Restore Function to Heart

Researchers at the University of Pennsylvania’s Perelman School of Medicine have published a method to treat cardiac fibrosis using an mRNA injection that enables an individual’s own CAR T cells to fight the disease. Background Cardiac fibrosis is a medical condition caused by many different types of heart disease that can lead to scarring and […]

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COVID-19 Immunology

As Antibodies Wane in Quantity and Efficacy, T Cells Remain Effective Against Omicron

Background As the Omicron variant of COVID-19 becomes increasingly dominant among skyrocketing cases, including in vaccinated individuals, concerns of the variant’s immune escape abilities have grown. Vaccines provoke important responses in the immune system to prevent disease, including creation of T cells and antibodies specific to the pathogen they introduce. In the case of mRNA […]