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Regulating protein synthesis genes

May. 6, 2020—  By Suneethi Sivakumaran The human body is a complicated network of interdependent cellular processes regulated by gene-encoded proteins. Proteins maintain these processes by exerting diverse functions in different cells. Although the function of many proteins is consistent between cell types, sometimes, one protein will “moonlight” by carrying out different physiological functions in different cells....

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Preventing CDI deaths one stem cell at a time

Apr. 23, 2020—  By Sara Eaton Gastrointestinal infections often cause damage to the stem cells in the colon’s epithelium, a thin layer of tissue that covers the outside of the organ, preventing the colon from working properly. Previous research has shown that intestinal stem cells are crucial for the colon to repair itself after damage, but it...

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An ounce of prevention is worth two pounds of cure

Apr. 10, 2020—  By Sarah Glass Clocking in at two pounds, the stomach is one of the body’s heaviest internal organs and can become afflicted with one of the leading causes of cancer-related death: gastric cancer. While some teams of scientists search for enhanced treatment options, others explore its origins and how it can be prevented. The...

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Lowering the dose of key medicine can reduce stress-induced relapse

Apr. 3, 2020—By Sohini Roy Cocaine is a highly addictive stimulant that is frequently abused in the United States despite stringent regulation under the Controlled Substances Act. Cocaine use disorder, a condition characterized by repeated and compulsive use and dependence on cocaine, often results in severe physiological and psychological problems, and can even result in death through...

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Late-night meals may reduce how much fat your body burns at night

Apr. 3, 2020—By Heather Caslin Regulation of the body’s metabolism ensures that all organs receive the nutrients necessary for proper function throughout the day and into the night. However, the contribution of the daily biological clock and meal timing to this phenomenon is not well established. A recent PLOS Biology paper from the lab of Carl Johnson...

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Two is Better Than One: Combatting the Ebola Virus

Mar. 26, 2020—  By Sarah Glass Many people associate Ebola with the previous viral epidemic of the last decade, but, especially in light of the current global SARS-CoV-2 pandemic, few are aware that there is currently an active outbreak occurring in the Democratic Republic of the Congo. This deadly virus continues to wreak havoc in Africa, where...

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Study explores link between cholesterol metabolism and environmental toxicants

Mar. 23, 2020—  By Stella Child In the last two decades, scientists have found increasing evidence for the contribution of environmental factors to neurodegenerative diseases. Organic solvents, heavy metals, and air pollutants are now all categorized as neurotoxicants, substances that affect the function of the nervous system. A subset of these is a group of substances called...

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ATAC-Me attacks knowledge gap in genetics research

Mar. 17, 2020—  By Hillary Layden Most human cells contain roughly 6.5 feet of DNA, which must be tightly compacted to fit within the nucleus. Cells compact DNA by wrapping it around proteins called histones, forming a DNA-protein complex called chromatin. “Closed” chromatin is tightly compacted and cannot interact with other proteins, but it can be “opened”...

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Pancreatic islet cells distinct in mice and humans

Feb. 19, 2020—By Cassandra Awgulewitsch   Researchers in the lab of Roland Stein (Molecular Physiology & Biophysics), along with collaborators at UCSF, NC State, and UPenn, have shown distinct changes in human pancreatic islet cells throughout the course of life and the progression of type 2 diabetes. They also discovered distinct phenotypes in human islet cells compared...

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The tale of the targeted mouse

Feb. 13, 2020—By Sarah Glass   Researchers from the labs of Robert Coffey (Medicine) and Jacob Houghton (Radiology and Radiological Sciences) report in Gastroenterology the identification of two human antibodies, P1X and P2X, that can neutralize EGFR in mice. EGFR, or epidermal growth factor receptor, contributes to cancer progression by increasing the signaling of pathways related to...

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