DIR News Item
NHLBI Media Availability: 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 Media Availability: 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.
NIH and Children’s National Medical Center open new cardiac intervention suite
A new state-of-the-art facility dedicated to pediatric cardiac imaging and intervention, co-established by the National Institutes of Health and Children’s National Medical Center, was opened with a special dedication ceremony today. The new facility, located at Children’s National in Washington, D.C., is the culmination of a long collaboration combining the cardiac imaging expertise at the NIH’s National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute (NHLBI) with the renowned clinical care at Children’s National.
Benefits of quitting smoking outpace risk of modest weight gain
The improvement in cardiovascular health that results from quitting smoking far outweighs the limited risks to cardiovascular health from the modest amount of weight gained after quitting, reports a National Institutes of Health-funded community study. The study found that former smokers without diabetes had about half as much risk of developing cardiovascular disease as current smokers, and this risk level did not change when post-cessation weight gain was accounted for in the analysis.
Researchers find gene variant linked to aortic valve disease
A newly identified genetic variant doubles the risk of calcium buildup in the heart’s aortic valve. Calcium buildup is the most common cause of aortic stenosis, a narrowing of the aortic valve that can lead to heart failure, stroke, and sudden cardiac death.
Next-generation CT scanner provides better images with minimal radiation
A new computed tomography (CT) scanner substantially reduces potentially harmful radiation while still improving overall image quality. National Institutes of Health researchers, along with engineers at Toshiba Medical Systems, worked on the scanner. An analysis of data on 107 patients undergoing heart scans found that radiation exposure was reduced by as much as 95 percent compared to the range of current machines, while the resulting images showed less blurriness, reduced graininess, and greater visibility of fine details.