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Fundamental differences identified between human cancers and genetically engineered mouse models of cancer
Researchers from the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center in Seattle, WA have taken a closer look at existing mouse models of cancer, specifically comparing them to human cancer samples. These genetically engineered mouse models (which usually either overexpress a cancer-causing gene - or "oncogene" - or carry a deletion for a "tumor suppressor" gene) have been extensively used to understand human cancer biology in studies of drug resistance, early detection, metastasis, and cancer prevention, as well as for the preclinical development of novel targeted therapeutics.
Pupil size adjusts when we imagine light or dark settings
It is common knowledge that our pupils adjust in size when exposed to light or dark enviornments. But new research published in the journal Psychological Science suggests that the size of our pupils also changes when we imagine these surroundings, even when our eyes are not directly exposed to light and dark.Researchers from the University of Oslo in Norway say their findings may be useful in studying the mental experiences of patients who suffer from severe neurological disorders.
Researchers investigate use of pig kidneys for human transplant
According to the National Kidney Foundation, around 96,645 patients in the US are awaiting kidney transplants as a result of kidney failure. However, less than 17,000 kidney transplantations are carried out each year due to a shortage of donors. But a new option could soon be available - in the form of pig kidneys.Researchers from the University of Florida are investigating the use of a pig kidney as a "scaffold" on which to build a human kidney by injecting it with human stem cells.
Identification of gene crucial for formation of certain brain circuitry
Using a powerful gene-hunting technique for the first time in mammalian brain cells, researchers at Johns Hopkins report they have identified a gene involved in building the circuitry that relays signals through the brain. The gene is a likely player in the aging process in the brain, the researchers say. Additionally, in demonstrating the usefulness of the new method, the discovery paves the way for faster progress toward identifying genes involved in complex mental illnesses such as autism and schizophrenia - as well as potential drugs for such conditions.
Origin of inherited gene mutation causing early-onset Alzheimer's
The age and origin of the E280A gene mutation responsible for early-onset Alzheimer's in a Colombian family with an unusually high incidence of the disease has been traced to a single founder dating from the 16th century.Kenneth S. Kosik, Harriman Professor in Neuroscience at UC Santa Barbara and co-director of the campus's Neuroscience Research Institute (NRI), conducted the study. The findings appear in the journal Alzheimer's & Dementia."Some mutations just increase your risk, but this mutation is not a risk," Kosik said.