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Measurement of Cholesterol Function Might Provide Link to Heart Attack Risk in Patients with Psoriasis
Scientists now report a new way to assess cholesterol that shows promise for evaluating the increased heart attack risk observed in patients with psoriasis, a common inflammatory skin disease. The new technique measures the function of high-density lipoprotein (HDL), known as “good” cholesterol, rather than HDL cholesterol concentration. The study, conducted by researchers from the National Heart Lung and Blood Institute at the National Institutes of Health (NIH), could broaden the use of the technique. The study appears in the online issue of the European Heart Journal.
High-resolution 3D images reveal the muscle mitochondrial power grid
A new study overturns longstanding scientific ideas regarding how energy is distributed within muscles for powering movement. Scientists are reporting the first clear evidence that muscle cells distribute energy primarily by the rapid conduction of electrical charges through a vast, interconnected network of mitochondria—the cell’s “powerhouse”—in a way that resembles the wire grid that distributes power throughout a city. The study offers an unprecedented, detailed look at the distribution system that rapidly provides energy throughout the cell where it is needed for muscle contraction.
Largest Study of Gene Mutations in Aplastic Anemia May Help Optimize Treatment
Scientists have identified a group of genetic mutations in patients with aplastic anemia, which likely will help doctors optimize treatment for this rare and deadly blood condition. The study, appearing in the New England Journal of Medicine, could lead to tailor-made treatment plans for aplastic anemia patients as part of the emerging precision medicine movement. It is the largest study of its kind to examine gene mutations in aplastic anemia, the scientists note.
Scientists develop method of producing large quantities of selectively labeled RNA molecules
Study opens door to new opportunities in medicine and research
WHAT: Scientists have developed an efficient method of producing substantial quantities of RNA molecules with selectively labeled regions, paving the way for more advanced research and medical applications. RNA — DNA's lesser-known partner molecule — plays a significant role not only in genetic activities but in many other biological functions like enzymatic processes. It also is an important research, medical diagnostic, and therapeutic tool.
New Form of Interleukin-2 Could Be Fine-Tuned to Fight Disease
WHAT: Scientists are reporting development of a new way to modify interleukin-2 (IL-2), a substance known as a cytokine that plays key roles in regulating immune system responses, in order to fine-tune its actions. Harnessing the action of IL-2 in a controllable fashion is of clinical interest with potential benefit in a range of situations, including transplantation and autoimmune disease.
NHLBI Researchers Discover Never-Before-Seen Mode of Viral Transmission
WHAT: NHLBI-funded researchers have discovered a novel means by which viruses spread between cells: multiple polioviruses, a type of enterovirus, travel together within a membrane-enclosed sac, arriving together at a cell they then infect. This finding revises a central tenet of virology that viruses behave as independent infectious agents.
NIH recruits three Lasker Clinical Research Scholars
The National Institutes of Health has selected three researchers as new Lasker Clinical Research Scholars as part of a joint initiative with the Albert and Mary Lasker Foundation to nurture the next generation of great clinical scientists.
Researchers find reason why many vein grafts fail
National Institutes of Health researchers have identified a biological pathway that contributes to the high rate of vein graft failure following bypass surgery. Using mouse models of bypass surgery, they showed that excess signaling via the Transforming Growth Factor Beta (TGF-Beta) family causes the inner walls of the vein become too thick, slowing down or sometimes even blocking the blood flow that the graft was intended to restore.
NHLBI investigator among three NIH scientists elected to Institute of Medicine
Three scientists at the National Institutes of Health have been elected members of the Institute of Medicine. Election to the IOM is considered one of the highest honors in the fields of health and medicine and recognizes individuals who have demonstrated outstanding professional achievement and commitment to service.
Single gene change increases mouse lifespan by 20 percent
By lowering the expression of a single gene, researchers at the National Institutes of Health have extended the average lifespan of a group of mice by about 20 percent. The research team targeted a gene called mTOR, which is involved in metabolism and energy balance, and may be connected with the increased lifespan associated with caloric restriction.