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NIH Research Matters

April 2012 Archive

April 30, 2012

Microscope image of branched motor neurons.

Device Restores Movement to Paralyzed Limbs

Monkeys paralyzed from elbow to fingers were able to manipulate a ball with the help of an artificial connection between the brain and hand muscles. The technology might one day help paralysis victims regain muscle control.

Photo of a Chinese female doctor using a microscope in a laboratory

Insights into MRSA Epidemic

Scientists identified a gene thatís been playing a pivotal role in epidemic waves of methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) infections in Asia. The finding suggests a promising target for novel therapeutics.

Photo of a mouse sniffing another in a cage.

Compound Points to Potential Autism Therapy

An experimental compound reversed certain autism-like behaviors in mice. The research may lead to a new strategy for treating autism spectrum disorders.

April 23, 2012

X-ray of lumbar spine

Genetics of Bone Density

A new study linked 32 novel genetic regions to bone mineral density. The findings may help researchers better understand bone fracture risk. They also suggest potential drug targets for preventing or treating osteoporosis.

Photo of young girl.

Clues to Emerging Drug-Resistant Malaria

Researchers report that a first-line treatment for malaria is losing its effectiveness in parts of Asia. They've also found parts of the parasite's genome that may underlie its drug resistance.

Two rhesus macaques.

Molecular Effects of Social Stress

Social rank has broad effects on gene regulation, particularly in the immune system, according to a new study in rhesus macaques. The findings help explain how social status gets under your skin.

April 16, 2012

Photo of boy playing with toy block.

Spontaneous Mutations Raise Autism Risk

New studies reveal several genes and biological pathways that may contribute to autism spectrum disorders. Among other insights, the findings may help explain earlier evidence linking autism risk to older fathers.

Photo of older man with blazing sun.

Summer Temperature Swings Linked to Shorter Lifespan

Fluctuations in daily summer temperatures may boost the risk of death in older people with chronic diseases, according to a new study. The finding could have important implications for the nation's aging population.

Microscope image of round virus near a cell surface.

Clues to HIV Protection

A new study gives insight into the workings of the first vaccine ever reported to modestly prevent HIV infection in people.

April 9, 2012

Photo of abnormally swollen feet.

Genetics of a Tropical Foot Disease

Researchers have identified gene variants that boost the risk for a debilitating tropical foot disease. The findings help shed light on how interactions between genes and the environment influence susceptibility to disease.

Illustration showing 3D grid structure of brain connections.

Complex Brain Has Simple Grid Structure

New research revealed a wiring diagram of the brain that looks like a simple checkerboard grid. The technique may give insight into the development of disorders like epilepsy, autism and schizophrenia.

Photo of a woman looking at her reflection in a bathroom mirror and pinching her stomach fat.

Understanding Insulin Sensitivity and Diabetes

A new discovery helps explain how adipose tissue (fat) affects insulin sensitivity and results in type 2 diabetes. The finding may lead to new strategies for treating the disease.

April 2, 2012

Photo of doctors performing bypass surgery.

Bypass Surgery Shows Advantage

Older adults who received bypass surgery to open blocked coronary arteries had better long-term survival rates than those who had angioplasty. The new findings will help doctors and patients decide between these 2 treatments.

Photo of women exercising in pool

Diabetes Prevention A Good Investment

A new study found that programs to prevent or delay type 2 diabetes make sound economic sense.

3-D ribbon illustration of an opioid receptor bound to a small molecule..

Up Close With Opioid Receptors

Researchers have taken the closest-yet look at the structures of opioid receptors, which play key roles in pain relief and addiction. The findings might aid development of safer painkillers and addiction-fighting medications.

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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.

This page last reviewed on December 3, 2012

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