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THE BIOWORLD BIOME: Our Habitat for All Things Science

LINKS TO PARP, SIRTUINS

Stem cells are something like the body's fountain of youth, enabling tissues to repair and regenerate themselves. The thing is, though, that fountain of youth is aging along with the rest of the body. >"When we age, our stem cells don't keep up," Johan Auwerx told BioWorld Today. "But," he added, "you can remedy that."

STRUCTURAL BIOLOGY

HONG KONG – Elucidation of the molecular structure of nonstructural protein 1 (NS1) from the Zika virus by Chinese Academy of Sciences (CAS) researchers shows that NS1 is involved in viral pathogenesis, a finding that could lead to new diagnostic technologies and treatments, including for related pathogens such as dengue and West Nile viruses.

STRAIGHT TO THE TOP

HONG KONG – Researchers at the National Institute for Physiological Sciences (NIPS) in Okazaki, Japan, have identified events in the primary sensory (S1) cortex of the brain that contribute to sustained mechanical allodynia and may represent a new therapeutic target for pain relief, they reported in the April 11, 2016, edition of the Journal of Clinical Investigation.

REACH AND GRASP

Scientists have restored voluntary control of hand motion to a quadriplegic patient. By using a computer that recorded neural activity from an intracranial electrode array and translating those signals into electrical stimulation at a second array, this one on the patient Ian Burkhart’s forearm, they enabled the individual to execute a series of complex motions involving different hand muscle groups.

LEARNING FROM LIZARDS

HONG KONG — A new system developed by Australian scientists for generating induced multipotent stem (iMS) cells could result in stem cell therapies for regenerating any human tissue becoming available in the near future, with clinical trials slated to begin in orthopedic patients as early as next year, if the new technique first proves safe and effective in mice.

THE ONES THAT GOT AWAY

Resilience, the ability to thrive in spite of adversity, has long been a well-studied concept in psychological science. Now, a team of researchers has argued that the concept of resilience can apply to genetic diseases as well.

ANOTHER ROLE FOR LINCRNAS

Researchers have tied low levels of a long noncoding RNA (lncRNA or lincRNA) to an increased susceptibility for celiac disease, an immune response to the wheat protein gluten that damages the small intestine. The findings give new insights into celiac disease, as well as into the world of genomewide association studies (GWAS) and noncoding RNAs.

COMBINATION CAUTIONS

As Janssen Biotech Inc. and Tesaro Inc. announced a licensing deal for the experimental prostate cancer drug, PARP inhibitor niraparib, researchers reported on unexpected effects of androgen deprivation therapy, which continues to be the mainstay of prostate cancer treatment.

WHEN SKIN DEEP IS GOOD ENOUGH

HONG KONG — Japanese scientists from the Riken Center for Developmental Biology (CDB) have for the first time successfully grown complex skin tissue complete with hair follicles and oil-secreting sebaceous glands using reprogrammed induced pluripotent stem (iPS) cells. They then transplanted it into living mice, paving the way for growing functional skin grafts for use in regenerative medicine.

Cast Your Vote

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