Radiation on deep-space mission might damage astronauts' brains | Damaged macaque hearts improve following cell transplant | Research explores pain pathways in hardy naked mole rat
October 12, 2016
FBR Smartbrief
Top Story
Radiation on deep-space mission might damage astronauts' brains
Radiation received during deep-space travel might cause permanent, untreatable brain damage, findings from a mouse study published in Scientific Reports suggest. Mice exposed to radiation that would be experienced by astronauts on a deep-space mission developed changes within and between brain cells, researchers reported.
NBC News (10/10) 
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Research Breakthroughs
Damaged macaque hearts improve following cell transplant
Stem cell-derived heart muscle cells transplanted into damaged macaque hearts improved the organs' function, according to a small study published in Nature. Researchers used stem cells from one healthy macaque, transplanting the resulting muscle cells into five monkeys with damaged hearts.
LiveScience.com (10/10) 
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Research explores pain pathways in hardy naked mole rat
Research that used rat and frog tissues to unravel the secrets of naked mole rats' resistance to pain could inform development of better pain treatments for humans, scientists say. The study zeroed in on a pain-cell receptor that operates less efficiently in naked mole rats, facilitating a balance between an adequately functioning nervous system and lower energy demands.
ScienceMag.org (10/11) 
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Gene therapy prevents formation of protein linked to Alzheimer's
Gene therapy prevents formation of protein linked to Alzheimer's.
(Sebastien Bozon/AFP/Getty Images)
Delivering the PGC1-alpha gene into the brains of mice using a modified virus prevented the formation of the amyloid-beta peptide that forms the basis of the plaques associated with Alzheimer's disease. The proof-of-concept study, published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, could pave the way for Alzheimer's interventions and should be studied further, said senior author Magdalena Sastre.
HealthDay News (10/10) 
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Study unravels mechanism behind tumor-busting abscopal effect
Targeted radiation therapy plus administration of a neutrophil stimulant augmented anti-tumor activity in mice in a study published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. In a process called the abscopal effect, radiation delivered directly to a tumor damages distal tumors, and the researchers found that neutrophils are involved in this anti-tumor immune response.
Specialty Pharmacy Times (10/6) 
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Zebrafish study shows how injured muscles repair themselves
Zebrafish study shows how injured muscles repair themselves.
A study in live zebrafish embryos and human cells showed that proteins inside injured muscle cells form a patch that closes small tears in muscle fibers such as those caused by working out. Macrophages within injured muscles later remove the patch and restore the normal cell membrane structure, researchers report. The findings, discussed in Nature Communications, might help scientists develop treatments for muscle-wasting diseases.
Genetic Engineering & Biotechnology News (10/6) 
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Silkworms produce super-strong silk after eating graphene
Scientists who coated mulberry leaves with aqueous graphene and single-walled carbon nanotubes then fed the leaves to silkworms say the creatures produced a super-strong silk that could be used in biodegradable medical implants, durable protective fabrics and environmentally responsible wearable electronics. The findings were reported in Nano Letters.
Seeker (10/11) 
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Animal Health
Anecdotal evidence suggests rapamycin may improve canine health
Anecdotes involving two dogs named Momo and Sherman suggest rapamycin may help improve dog health, but experts, including Matt Kaeberlein, co-director of the University of Washington's Dog Aging Project, say science doesn't yet support use of the drug. The agent has been shown to increase the life span of mice by up to 60%, and Kaeberlein, who has tested the drug in 16 dogs, plans to monitor the effect of the drug in 150 dogs after finding early indications it might improve heart health.
CNN (10/7) 
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