Brain cells that suppress drug cravings may be the secret to better addiction medicines

For the nearly 20 million U.S. adults who are addicted to drugs or alcohol, no effective medical treatment exists—despite plentiful scientific knowledge surrounding the factors that trigger relapse. It’s a quandary that prompted a research quest for Nobuyoshi Suto, Ph.D., of Scripps Research’s Department of Neuroscience. Rather than continue to Continue Reading

Mysterious vaping illness characterized by fat-laden cells in the lung

Doctors have identified a previously unrecognized characteristic of the vaping-related respiratory illness that has been emerging in clusters across the U.S. in recent months. Within the lungs of these patients are large immune cells containing numerous oily droplets, called lipid-laden macrophages. The finding may allow doctors to definitively diagnose the Continue Reading

Creation of new brain cells plays an underappreciated role in Alzheimer’s disease

Much of the research on the underlying causes of Alzheimer’s disease focuses on amyloid beta (Aß), a protein that accumulates in the brain as the disease progresses. Excess Aß proteins form clumps or “plaques” that disrupt communication between brain cells and trigger inflammation, eventually leading to widespread loss of neurons Continue Reading

Brain stem cells have a good memory

The cerebral cortex acts as the control centre of our cognitive processes. During embryogenesis, dozens of types of neurons with distinct functions come together to form the circuits that drive our thoughts and actions. These neurons are generated by progenitor cells, which produce them one after the other in a Continue Reading

Interactions discovered in cells insulating nerve pathways

Schwann cells form a protective sheath around nerve fibres and ensure that nerve impulses are transmitted rapidly. If these cells are missing or damaged, severe neurological diseases may occur as a result. Researchers at Friedrich-Alexander-Universität Erlangen-Nürnberg (FAU) have succeeded in demonstrating a complex interaction within Schwann cells which plays an Continue Reading

New technique isolates placental cells for non-invasive genetic testing

Brown University researchers have developed a simple method for isolating placental cells from cervical swabs. The technique, described in the journal Scientific Reports, could aid in developing less invasive ways of diagnosing genetic disorders in developing fetuses. The technique isolates trophoblast cells—placental cells that carry the complete fetal genome—by taking Continue Reading

Memory T cells shelter in bone marrow, boosting immunity in mice with restricted diets

Even when taking in fewer calories and nutrients, humans and other mammals usually remain protected against infectious diseases they have already encountered. This may be because memory T cells, which are located throughout the body and required to maintain immune responses to infectious agents, according to scientists at the National Continue Reading

Insight into cells’ ‘self-eating’ process could pave the way for new dementia treatments

Cells regularly go through a process called autophagy—literally translated as ‘self-eating’ – which helps to destroy bacteria and viruses after infection. When it works, this process counteracts neurodegenerative conditions such as dementia and Huntington’s Disease, by getting rid of unwanted proteins and their resultant harm to cells. But when autophagy Continue Reading

Mini-kidneys grown from stem cells provide new insights into kidney disease and potential therapies

An international team of researchers led by Nanyang Technological University, Singapore (NTU Singapore) has grown ‘miniature kidneys’ in the laboratory that could be used to better understand how kidney diseases develop in individual patients. The mini kidneys, known as kidney organoids, were grown outside the body from skin cells derived Continue Reading