NIH Research Matters
August 2008 Archive
August 25, 2008
Tiny parasites that cause the tropical disease leishmaniasis may take advantage of the bodyís initial defenses by hiding and surviving inside the fast-acting immune cells sent to devour them, according to a new study. The research provides a new view of the earliest stages of Leishmania major infection, which begins with a bite from an infected sand fly.
Eliminating a protein called furin from immune cells in mice can lead to development of autoimmune disease, a new study reports. The finding sheds light on the molecular processes that trigger autoimmunity. The research may also have implications for developing drugs to increase immune responses in treating cancer, infectious disease and other disorders.
A new study has found that daily high-dose injections of vitamin C significantly reduce tumor growth in mice.
August 11, 2008
Since West Nile virus (WNV) first appeared in the United States a decade ago, itís become a seasonal epidemic, flaring up in the summer and continuing into the fall. Unfortunately, our understanding of the virus on a molecular level has been limited. A new study has now identified over 300 human proteins involved in WNV infection, exposing numerous potential antiviral targets.
Researchers have come up with a new way to monitor cancer using a special microchip that isolates tumor cells from the patient's blood. The breakthrough could help doctors adjust to changes in tumors and personalize their patients' treatments.
Researchers have identified 2 drugs that, in mice, seem to confer many of the healthful benefits of long-term exercise, giving them more fat-burning muscle and better endurance. The scientists say their findings might eventually lead to better treatments for certain muscle disorders, frailty, obesity and other conditions in which exercise is known to be helpful but not always practical.
August 4, 2008
Three new studies by international research teams provide the most complete picture to date of the genetic glitches that may contribute to schizophrenia. The studies confirm what recent smaller studies have hinted: that rare and diverse variations, at multiple locations in a personís genome, raise the risk of schizophrenia.
A promising new drug therapy for people with diabetes who have abnormal swelling in the eye—a condition called diabetic macular edema—proved less effective than traditional laser treatments in a new study. Laser therapy was not only more effective than corticosteroids, but also had far fewer side effects.
By building an extensive computer network of molecular relationships, researchers have been able to uncover links to diseases they never before suspected.
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About NIH Research Matters
Harrison Wein, Ph.D., Editor
Vicki Contie, Assistant Editor
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.