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THE BIOWORLD BIOME: Our Habitat for All Things Science

Type II diabetes has long been known as a risk factor in the eventual development of Alzheimer's disease. But prior research efforts to correlate blood glucose levels and Alzheimer's brain pathology have proved fruitless. Now, NIH researchers have published a study that finds a correlation between glucose levels in the brain, the associated cellular metabolic activity, and the severity of Alzheimer's disease pathology and symptoms.

Researchers at Duke-National University of Singapore (Duke-NUS) Medical School have discovered for the first time that interleukin-11 (IL-11) may be an important therapeutic target for cardiovascular (CV) fibrotic diseases, including heart and renal failure, they reported in the Nov. 13, 2017, edition of Nature.

Swine fever

Therapeutic administration of interleukin-10 (IL-10) into the cerebrospinal fluid through intrathecal gene therapy caused fatal meningitis in swine, an unexpected toxicity that had not been seen in multiple rodent experiments.

Neuroscience 2017

WASHINGTON – "There is nothing more beautiful than 20/20 hindsight," Huda Zoghbi told the audience at the 2017 Annual Meeting of the Society for Neuroscience.

Neuroscience 2017

WASHINGTON – "In the 21st century, there is not a single cure for a single neurodegenerative disease. Not one. . . . There are no therapeutics. There is no strategy. There is bupkes in the 21st century."

Building neuronal roads

The creation of a new microdevice that allows generation of three-dimensional (3-D) axonal structures from human stem cell-derived neurons should facilitate future studies on axon development and allow drug screening for diseases including amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), a new study has found.

Treating aging rats with an experimental compound that prevented neuronal cell death protected the animals from both depressive symptoms that are often the first symptom of Alzheimer’s disease, and the memory decline that follows. The compound did not, however, affect the amyloid beta (a-beta) plaques, tau phosphorylation and inflammation.

The first 3-D map has been produced of the scaffold of a molecule called SgK223, which is now known to play a critical role in the development and spread of aggressive breast, colon and pancreatic cancers. The Australian researchers who compiled the map are looking at ways of targeting parts of the molecular scaffold molecule that are critical for its function.

A lot of effort has been expended on understanding what determines the efficacy of checkpoint blockade. Much of that effort has been focused on the tumor and the immune system – reasonably enough, since those are the direct combatants in the tumor-immune face-off.

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