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December 5, 2016

NIH researchers identify new genetic links to body fat distribution

WHAT: Researchers at the National Institutes of Health have identified seven new areas of the genome linked to body fat distribution—a finding that could offer new insights into the biologic mechanisms that influence a person’s risk for diabetes, heart disease and stroke.

November 18, 2016

NIH researchers uncover how protein helps body ward off bacterial skin infections

A protein known to promote allergic diseases in people helps the body defend against Staphylococcus aureus, a leading cause of bacterial skin infections in the United States, according to a study appearing in the November 18 issue of Science Immunology.

The study authors from the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute (NHLBI) say the finding offers insights that could be used to help improve treatments for staph-related infections, including the potentially deadly methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus, commonly known as MRSA.

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December 5, 2016 : Nature Chemical Biology

Researchers have developed a technique to see how drugs interact with individual cells, a finding that could help improve the drug development process, according to a study in Nature Chemical Biology. The National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute supported the research, which used polarized microscopy technology to look at cells.

December 5, 2016 : Medical Xpress

While chemotherapy and radiation therapy kill cancer cells, they can also damage blood-forming stem cells in the bone marrow and slow recovery in people with cancer.  Now, in a pair of new studies conducted in mice, researchers are reporting the identification of two genetic factors that appear to control blood-forming stem cells and might lead to improvements in cancer therapy.  In one study, scientists found that a gene called Grb10 appears to hinder the regenerative property of stem cells.  In another study, scientists found that a protein called DKK1 boosted the ability of stem cells to regenerate. Together, these two studies could provide a way manipulate these factors to help regenerate stem cells and improve cancer therapy. The study on Grb10 appeared in Cell Reports and the study on DKK1 appeared in Nature Medicine. NHLBI partly funded both studies.