Tag: Mice

Gene mutation enhances cognitive flexibility in mice, study suggests

Researchers at the National Institutes of Health have discovered in mice what they believe is the first known genetic mutation to improve cognitive flexibility—the ability to adapt to changing situations. The gene, KCND2, codes for a protein that regulates potassium channels, which control electrical signals that travel along neurons. The electrical signals stimulate chemical messengers

In mice, alcohol dependence results in brain-wide remodeling of functional architecture

Employing advanced technologies that allow whole brain imaging at single-cell resolution, researchers at University of California San Diego School of Medicine report that in an alcohol-dependent mouse model, the rodent brain’s functional architecture is substantially remodeled. But when deprived of alcohol, the mice displayed increased coordinated brain activity and reduced modularity compared to nondrinker or

High fat diet impairs new neuron creation in female mice

A high fat diet limits the birth and growth of new neurons in adult female, but not male, mice, according to new research published in eNeuro. Further research could inspire metabolism-based preventions and treatments for brain disorders. Metabolic disorders like obesity and type 2 diabetes are associated with an increased risk for brain disorders ranging

The diet-microbiome connection in inflammatory bowel disease

Much remains mysterious about the factors influencing human inflammatory bowel disease (IBD), but one aspect that has emerged as a key contributor is the gut microbiome, the collection of microorganisms dwelling in the intestines. Diet is known to profoundly affect this microbial community, and special diets have been used as therapies for intestinal disorders including

New pharmaceutical target reverses osteoporosis in mice

Biomedical engineers at Duke University have discovered a pharmaceutical target that, when activated, can reverse bone degradation caused by osteoporosis in mouse models of the disease. “The most widely used drugs currently approved by the FDA to treat osteoporosis can prevent further bone loss, but they don’t help rebuild the bone,” said Shyni Varghese, professor

Research advances to better target debilitating effects of cachexia syndrome: Cachexia research advances better target debilitating effects of cancer-related wasting syndrome

A study published in Cell Reports Aug. 6 describes the generation of a new mouse model developed at Hollings Cancer Center that could lead to a better understanding of the cachexia syndrome. This wasting condition, characterized by excessive weight loss, has one of the highest incidence in pancreatic cancer patients. Denis Guttridge, Ph.D., Hollings Cancer

Take two E. coli and call me in the morning: Synthetic bacterial memory circuits enable microbial diagnostics for sensing biomolecules in the gut

Millions of people take capsules of probiotics with the goal of improving their digestion, but what if those bacteria were also able to detect diseases in the gut and indicate when something is awry? New research from the Wyss Institute at Harvard University and Harvard Medical School (HMS) has created an effective, non-invasive way to

How inhaled fungal spores cause fatal meningitis

Pathogenic fungal spores capitalize on host immune cells to escape the lung and gain access to the brain to cause fatal disease in mice, according to a study published June 27 in the open-access journal PLOS Pathogens by Christina Hull of the University of Wisconsin-Madison, and colleagues. These insights into the interactions between pathogenic fungal

Blocking protein curbs memory loss in old mice

Impeding VCAM1, a protein that tethers circulating immune cells to blood vessel walls, enabled old mice to perform as well on memory and learning tests as young mice, a Stanford study found. Mice aren’t people, but like us they become forgetful in old age. In a study published online May 13 in Nature Medicine, old

Common food additive found to affect gut microbiota: Titanium dioxide nanoparticles E171 may impact human health

University of Sydney research provides new evidence that nanoparticles, which are present in many food items, may have a substantial and harmful influence on human health. The study investigated the health impacts of food additive E171 (titanium dioxide nanoparticles) which is commonly used in high quantities in foods and some medicines as a whitening agent.

Neurons that encode sweetness identified in mice

Researchers from the National Institute for Physiological Sciences in Japan have identified the neurons responsible for relaying sweet taste signals to the gustatory thalamus and cortex in mice. While the peripheral taste system has been extensively investigated, relatively little is known about the contribution of CNS gustatory neurons in the sensation of taste. In this

Rheumatoid arthritis drug diminishes Zika birth defects in mice

In experiments with pregnant mice infected with the Zika virus, Johns Hopkins Medicine researchers report they have successfully used a long-standing immunosuppressive drug to diminish the rate of fetal deaths and birth defects in the mice’s offspring. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration-approved medicine, anakinra, once commonly used to treat rheumatoid arthritis and other autoimmune