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NIH Research Matters

August 2009 Archive

August 31, 2009

Silhouettes of people filled with DNA sequence.

Researchers Find Value in Exomes

In a pioneering effort, researchers have demonstrated the value of a new strategy for identifying relatively rare genetic variants that may cause or contribute to disease.

Photo of a retina.

Gene Therapy Shows Promise for Eye Condition

Three young adults who received gene therapy for a blinding eye condition remained healthy and maintained visual gains one year later, researchers reported. One patient also noticed a visual improvement that helped her perform daily tasks.

Section of the HIV-1 RNA genome's secondary structure.

Scientists Uncover Structure of HIV Genome

Researchers have created the first comprehensive picture of how the entire HIV genome bends and folds. The finding may point to new options for treating or blocking HIV and other viral infections.

August 17, 2009

Photo of two capuchin monkeys.

Human See, Human Do?

Imitation is the sincerest from of flattery, the old saying goes. It may also help to promote social bonds. A new study reports that monkeys prefer humans who imitate them over those who don't. Mimicry, the researchers suggest, may be an ancient behavior that sets the stage for primates to form social groups.

HIV viruses bud from an immune cell.

Why Genital Herpes Boosts the Risk of HIV Infection

Scientists have discovered why people who develop genital herpes sores are at higher risk of contracting HIV despite successful treatment of the lesions. The new insight may lead to better strategies for HIV prevention.

Image panel shows that atlastin/RHD3 deficiency causes shortening of rat neurons and short, wavy root hairs in a plant.

From Nerve Roots to Plant Roots

Sprouting. Branching. Pruning. Neuroscientists have borrowed heavily from botanists to describe the way neurons grow. A new study suggests the analogies may be more than superficial. Neurons and plant root cells may grow using a similar mechanism. The research sheds light on a group of inherited neurological disorders called hereditary spastic paraplegias (HSP).

August 3, 2009

Photo of a finger-prick test for diabetes.

Intensive Glucose Control Reduces Complications of Type 1 Diabetes

Near-normal control of glucose beginning as soon as possible after diagnosis greatly improves the long-term prognosis of type 1 diabetes, a new study found.

Photo of an arm in a blood pressure cuff.

Gene Variants Linked to Blood Pressure in African-Americans

Scientists have identified several genetic variants associated with blood pressure in African-Americans. The results of this new genome-wide study offer potential clues to treating and preventing chronic high blood pressure, or hypertension.

Computer graphic of antibodies binding to antigens.

Genetic Switch Discovered for Disease-Fighting Antibodies

Scientists have identified 2 proteins that regulate the production of antibodies that fight disease-causing viruses and other pathogens. The findings have potential applications both for vaccine development and for treating autoimmune diseases, in which the body produces antibodies that attack itself.

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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

This page last reviewed on December 3, 2012

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