A novel gene involved in human diabetes Mutations of the ONECUT1 gene disrupt the development of the pancreas
An international team under German-French leadership has revealed that genetic variations in the ONECUT1 gene are involved in a spectrum of diabetes forms by impairing the function of insulin-producing -cells of the pancreas. Researchers at Ulm University, Germany, and at Cochin Institute, Paris, France, played a leading role in the study entitled “Mutations and variants of ONECUT1 in diabetes”, which was recently published in Nature Medicine.
Circadian clocks, which regulate most of the physiological processes of living beings over a rhythm of about 24 hours, are one of the most fundamental biological mechanisms. By deciphering the cell migration mechanisms underlying the immune response, scientists have shown that the activation of the immune system is modulated according to the time of day. Indeed, the migration of immune cells from the skin to the lymph nodes oscillates over a 24-hours period. Immune function is highest in the resting phase, just before activity resumes — in the afternoon for mice, which are nocturnal animals, and early morning for humans. These results suggest that the time of day should possibly be taken into account when administering vaccines or immunotherapies against cancer, in order to increase their effectiveness.
Hundreds of connections between different human diseases have been uncovered through their shared origin in our genome by an international research team led by scientists at the Berlin Institute of Health at Charité (BIH) and the University of Cambridge, challenging the categorisation of diseases by organ, symptoms, or clinical speciality. A new study published in Science today generated data on thousands of proteins circulating in our blood and combined this with genetic data to produce a map showing how genetic differences that affect these proteins link together seemingly diverse as well as related diseases.
Scientists have developed a chemical compound that interferes with a key feature of many viruses that allows the viruses to invade human cells. The compound, called MM3122, was studied in cells and mice and holds promise as a new way to prevent infection or reduce the severity of COVID-19 if given early in the course of an infection, according to the researchers.
Neuroscientists at Technische Universität Dresden discovered a novel, non-invasive imaging-based method to investigate the visual sensory thalamus, an important structure of the human brain and point of origin of visual difficulties in diseases such as dyslexia and glaucoma. The new method could provide an in-depth understanding of visual sensory processing in both health and disease in the near future.
Scientists have created mice with a hormone profile that causes growth and metastatic spread of implanted human breast tumors. Results show that the team created a new mouse breed, called NSG-Pro, that produces levels of human prolactin similar to those in patients with metastatic estrogen receptor-positive breast cancer.
What makes pancreatic cancer so deadly is its covert and quick spread. Now, a ‚time machine‘ has shown a way to reverse the course of cancer before it spreads throughout the pancreas.
Human health risks associated with the natural environment and the human activities therein are interconnected, comprise a wide range of spatial scales and are temporally dynamic and changing. It has been recognized that the health of our natural environment and human health are inextricably linked. Our planet is changing in an unprecedented rate and new challenges emerge from climate and environmental change, globalization, urbanization, and lifestyle changes.
Classic antidepressants could help improve modern cancer treatments. They slowed the growth of pancreatic and colon cancers in mice, and when combined with immunotherapy, they even stopped the cancer growth long-term. In some cases the tumors disappeared completely, researchers at UZH and USZ have found. Their findings will now be tested in human clinical trials.
Microorganisms on a voyage of discovery: Physicists decipher movement patterns of unicellular microbes
Many microbes have only very limited freedom of movement in their natural environment. Like in a maze, they are blocked from moving in straight lines in soils or even in the human body. That means, they have to navigate through structures full of curves and edges. In the process, highly directional movement patterns can emerge, as physicists from the University of Bayreuth and Loughborough University in the UK have now discovered. In the journal PNAS, they present their findings, which could be used for the control of microrobots and the targeted delivery of medical agents in the body.
Scientists describe the structure of a key protein on the surface of the hepatitis C virus (HCV) and how it interacts with its receptor found on some human cells. The findings provide new leads for developing an HCV vaccine.
Results published in Science Immunology
In a surprising new finding in mice, researchers have discovered that many genes linked to human cancer block the body’s natural defense against malignancies.
Studies suggest that urinary bladder cancer is more likely to have a more unfavourable course in spinal cord injury patients than in non-paraplegic patients. However, many questions remain unanswered, such as the causes. A research team with the participation of the Leibniz Research Centre for Working Environment and Human Factors in Dortmund (IfADo) has therefore analysed long-term data from patients from Germany, Austria and Switzerland with spinal cord injury who were treated without permanent catheters. The team concluded that urinary bladder cancer is a late event in the long-term course of paraplegia. Follow-up must therefore be intensified as the duration of paraplegia increases.
Urea is a valuable nitrogen fertilizer which is regularly used in agriculture to fertilize large areas of arable land. However, the release of urea into the atmosphere extensively affects the environment and human health. These affects can be largely mitigated by the addition of “urease inhibitors”, which reduce gaseous ammonia losses. A team of researchers at the Technical University of Munich (TUM) has now calculated how the use of eco-efficient fertilizers can save billions in environmental and health expenditures.
HPV vaccination will reduce throat and mouth cancers, but overall impact will take 25-plus years to see
Vaccinations against human papillomavirus (HPV), a major cause of throat and back of mouth cancers, are expected to yield significant reductions in the rates of these cancers in the U.S., but will not do so until after 2045, according to a new modeling study.
To fully utilize the advances in omics technologies to achieve a more comprehensive understanding of the biological processes underlying human diseases, researchers have developed and tested MOGONET, a novel multi-omics data analysis algorithm and computational methodology. Integrating data from various omics provides a more holistic view of biological processes underlying human diseases. The creators have made MOGONET open source, free and accessible to all researchers.
International research team isolates DNA from modern human buried 7,000 years ago on the Indonesian island of Sulawesi
Non-alcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD) is the most common liver disease in western countries, with an increasing incidence worldwide. Consequences of NAFLD can also include kidney disease and kidney stones, although the mechanisms for the development of these kidney complications as a result of NAFLD have not yet been fully explained. Researchers at the Leibniz Research Centre for Working Environment and Human Factors in Dortmund (IfADo) have now published a paper on how fatty liver disease promotes the formation of kidney stones.
The 3D print of glioblastoma — the deadliest type of brain cancer — is printed from human glioblastoma tissues containing all components of the malignant tumor. Researchers say the breakthrough will enable much faster prediction of best treatments for patients, accelerate the development of new drugs and discovery of new druggable targets.
The addax is a critically endangered antelope that used to roam the Sahara Desert in large numbers, but is today restricted to a few small vulnerable populations in the wild. An international team of scientists led by the Museum für Naturkunde Berlin and the University of Potsdam sequenced DNA from historical museum specimens. Their study, published in Genes, showed that addax used to roam widely across their entire Saharan range before human disturbance drastically reduced their numbers and potentially their genetic diversity too. This work emphasises the importance of museum collections for research about the preservation of highly endangered species.
Scientists at the Leibniz Research Centre for Working Environment and Human Factors in Dortmund (IfADo) are exploring the connection between chronotype physiological processes in the human brain. The latest findings have now been published in Nature Communications. The result: Chronotypes influence human brain functions from basic physiological mechanisms to higher cognitive functions, such as perception, learning, remembering and thinking.
New research has uncovered an essential mechanism coordinating the processes of cell division and adhesion within humans. This discovery has profound potential for advancing understanding of cell adhesion signalling in cancerous tumor progression and metastasis.
New research has identified potential treatment that could improve the human immune system’s ability to search out and destroy cancer cells within the body. Scientists have identified a way to restrict the activity of a group of cells which regulate the immune system, which in turn can unleash other immune cells to attack tumours in cancer patients.
Researchers shrunk a deadly glioblastoma tumor by more than a third using a helmet generating a noninvasive oscillating magnetic field that the patient wore on his head while administering the therapy in his own home. The 53-year-old patient died from an unrelated injury about a month into the treatment, but during that short time, 31% of the tumor mass disappeared. The autopsy of his brain confirmed the rapid response to the treatment.