Tag: Mice

Engineers repurpose wasp venom as an antibiotic drug

The venom of insects such as wasps and bees is full of compounds that can kill bacteria. Unfortunately, many of these compounds are also toxic for humans, making it impossible to use them as antibiotic drugs. After performing a systematic study of the antimicrobial properties of a toxin normally found in a South American wasp,

New insights into the neural risks and benefits of marijuana use: Compounds in cannabis can impair or improve memory depending on age, disease

Research released today underscores both the dangers and the therapeutic promise of marijuana, revealing different effects across the lifespan. Marijuana exposure in the womb or during adolescence may disrupt learning and memory, damage communication between brain regions, and disturb levels of key neurotransmitters and metabolites in the brain. In Alzheimer’s disease, however, compounds found in

Link between autoimmune, heart disease explained in mice

People with autoimmune diseases such as psoriasis, lupus and rheumatoid arthritis are at high risk of developing cardiovascular disease, even though none of these conditions seem to target the cardiovascular system directly. Now, researchers at Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis believe they have begun to understand the link between the two. Researchers

Too much vitamin A may increase risk of bone fractures

Consuming too much vitamin A may decrease bone thickness, leading to weak and fracture prone bones, according to a study published in the Journal of Endocrinology. The study, undertaken in mice, found that sustained intake of vitamin A, at levels equivalent to 4.5-13 times the human recommended daily allowance (RDA), caused significant weakening of the

Cancer hijacks the microbiome to glut itself on glucose

Cancer needs energy to drive its out-of-control growth. It gets energy in the form of glucose, in fact consuming so much glucose that one method for imaging cancer simply looks for areas of extreme glucose consumption — where there is consumption, there is cancer. But how does cancer get this glucose? A University of Colorado

Making mice a tiny bit more human to study preterm birth: Research enhances ability to study biology of persistent public health problem

Preterm birth remains a global epidemic linked to a lifetime of potential health complications. It also is difficult to study in living creatures — especially the uniquely precise biology of preterm birth in humans. Researchers report in PLoS Biology successfully inserting just enough human DNA into transgenic laboratory mice that it allowed the team to

Breakthrough in designing a better Salmonella vaccine

UC Davis researchers announce in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences this week a breakthrough in understanding which cells afford optimal protection against Salmonella infection — a critical step in developing a more effective and safe vaccine against a bacterium that annually kills an estimated one million people worldwide. Professor Stephen McSorley, interim

Keeping cancer out of breath blocks drug resistance

A new combination of existing drugs shows promise that it could reduce the size of cancerous tumors much more effectively than current treatments. As cancer patients know all too well, many highly effective anti-cancer drugs don’t stay effective long. Most tumors will become drug resistant over time as their cells rapidly mutate. Chemists from The

Maternal dengue immunity protects against fetal damage in mice following Zika infection

Dengue and Zika viruses are closely related and carried by mosquitos. In infested subtropical and tropical areas, dengue transmission often precedes Zika virus (ZIKV) infection, suggesting that women who previously acquired dengue immunity may be bitten by ZIKV-carrying mosquitoes during pregnancy. Whether that mother’s prior dengue immunity would protect her unborn baby from devastating brain

Sunk cost fallacy in mice, rats and humans

The behavior of people who remain committed to a choice, even when it is clear that an alternate choice would be a better option, has been a perplexing phenomenon to psychologists and economists. For example, people will continue to wait in the slow line at a grocery store, stick out an unhealthy relationship, or refuse

Nicotine alters neurotransmission in habit-forming brain region: Nicotine reduces dorsal striatal output, which may underlie urge to smoke and make it difficult to break the habit

A study of rat brain slices published in JNeurosci demonstrates how nicotine interacts with cells that regulate the output of a brain region involved in habit formation. The research could inform efforts to help people quit smoking and avoid relapse. The addictive qualities of nicotine have been attributed to the brain’s reward system. However, recent

With gene editing, researchers cure blood disorder in fetal mice

With the combined efforts of three Yale laboratories, researchers conducted the first demonstration of site-specific gene editing in a fetus, correcting a mutation that causes a severe form of anemia. The technique, described in a paper published June 26 in Nature Communications, involves an intravenous injection of nanoparticles carrying a combination of donor DNA and