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NIH Research Matters

February 23, 2015

Arm of a person donating blood.

Iron Supplements Hasten Recovery in Blood Donors

Daily iron supplements can improve the health of blood donors and reduce the number whose donations need to be deferred.

Human chromosomes.

Rare Immune Disease Cured by Random Genetic Event

The first person to be documented with WHIM syndrome was spontaneously cured by a cellular event normally considered catastrophic.

Thumbnail of the pathomap.

Mapping the Microbes in New York City’s Subway System

Researchers created a detailed map of bacterial diversity throughout New York City. The findings could aid surveillance of disease, bioterrorism threats, and health management.

February 9, 2015

Senior couple reading a prescription bottle.

Many at Risk for Alcohol-Medication Interactions

A large number of people may combine alcoholic beverages with prescription medications known to interact with alcohol, an analysis suggests.

Thirst neurons

Scientists Identify Thirst-Controlling Neurons

Researchers revealed one type of neuron that promotes thirst and another that suppresses it. The findings give insight into how the brain controls fluid levels in the body.

DNA and other molecules.

Containing Genetically Modified Bacteria

Bacteria were altered to make them unable to survive without a synthetic nutrient. This technique may prevent genetically modified bacteria from surviving in the wild.

February 2, 2015

Portrait of mixed race twin sisters.

Immune System Shaped by Environment More Than Genes

By analyzing twins, researchers determined that most of the variability in the immune system is due to environmental factors, rather than genes.

Illustration of a cross section of the brain.

Study Uncovers Alterations in Head and Neck Cancers

A comprehensive landscape of genomic alterations in head and neck cancers will provide important new clues for future research and treatment directions.

Brain circuit illustration.

New Brain Pathways for Old Memories

Over time, rats recall a fearful memory by a separate brain pathway than the one first used to recall it. The discovery may provide clues to improved treatments for anxiety disorders.

January 26, 2015

Brown fat.

Drug Activates Brown Fat and Increases Metabolism

A drug approved to treat overactive bladder can stimulate brown fat and increase energy expenditure in men. The results suggest a strategy for treating obesity and related diseases.

Researcher swabbing skin.

Skin Microbes and the Immune Response

Research in mice shows how certain skin microbes help the immune system protect against pathogens. The findings may lead to a better understanding of various skin disorders.

 A mast cell.

Researchers Link Protein to Drug Allergies

Scientists identified a protein in human immune cells responsible for certain drug-induced allergic reactions. Blocking the protein might lessen the side effects of many medications.

January 12, 2015

Older man talking to doctor

Benzodiazepine Often Used in Older People Despite Risks

An analysis of prescription patterns suggests the need for strategies to reduce the use of benzodiazepines—a class of sedative and anti-anxiety medications—in older adults.

Illustration of the body’s nervous system.

Immune System Reset May Halt Multiple Sclerosis Progression

Three-year results from a clinical trial suggest that depleting and then re-establishing the immune system can alleviate a type of early-stage multiple sclerosis.

Hydrogen sulfide molecules.

Pathways Underlying the Benefits of Calorie Restriction

A mouse study revealed that some of the health benefits of calorie restriction are due to increased production of the gas hydrogen sulfide. The finding could have potential clinical applications.

December 22, 2014

Human stem cell-derived beta cells.

2014 Research Highlights

This week, a special recap of scientific findings published in 2014 by NIH-supported investigators.

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About NIH Research Matters

Editor: Harrison Wein, Ph.D.
Assistant Editors: Vicki Contie, Carol Torgan, Ph.D.

NIH Research Matters is a weekly update of NIH research highlights from the Office of Communications and Public Liaison, Office of the Director, National Institutes of Health.

ISSN 2375-9593

Research News from NIH and Grantees

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This page last reviewed on February 23, 2015

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