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NIH Research Matters

August 2010 Archive

August 30, 2010

Photo of an exhausted man.

Viruses Found in Chronic Fatigue Syndrome Patients

New research supports the idea that viruses may play a role in chronic fatigue syndrome (CFS), a debilitating disease that affects millions of people nationwide.

Photo of a man's knee.

Both Real and “Sham” Acupuncture Relieve Knee Pain

In a new study, researchers found that both traditional acupuncture and simulated acupuncture lessened the pain of knee osteoarthritis. Their evidence suggests that it may not be the acupuncture itself, but something about patients’ expectations and their interactions with acupuncturists, that helps reduce pain.

Image of a brain scan.

Array of Childhood Brain Disorders Linked

Mutations in a single gene can cause several types of developmental brain abnormalities that experts have traditionally considered different disorders, researchers report.

August 23, 2010

Photo of a man.

Alzheimer’s Disease Signature Seen in Spinal Fluid

Levels of 2 proteins in cerebrospinal fluid could potentially be used to identify people with Alzheimer's disease before they show clinical symptoms, according to a new study. The finding could open new opportunities for developing Alzheimer’s therapies.

Image of a gloved hand holding a test tube.

Kabuki Syndrome Gene Identified

Scientists discovered genetic variants that account for most cases of Kabuki syndrome, a rare disorder that causes multiple birth defects and mental retardation. The finding validates the use of a rapid and less expensive DNA sequencing strategy called exome sequencing.

Illustration of a red laser beam targeting the heart of an avian embryo.

Pulsed Light Paces the Heart

Researchers found that pulses of laser light can control the heartbeat of an avian embryo and essentially serve as a noninvasive pacemaker. The new technique may aid the study of the developing heart and might also be explored as a tool for pacing the adult heart.

August 16, 2010

Illustration of the inside of a man's chest.

Dozens of Genetic Variants Linked to Blood Lipid Levels

Scientists have uncovered the largest set of genetic variants linked to blood lipid levels, which can contribute to heart disease. The findings could lead to more targeted therapies and a better understanding of how heredity can affect cardiovascular health.

Photos of a porous scaffold with and without a thin layer of new cartilage.

Coaxing the Body's Cells to Repair Damaged Joints

Scientists have developed a technique that leads to the successful regrowth of damaged leg joints in rabbits. The accomplishment shows that it’s possible to lure the body's own cells to injured regions and generate new tissues, such as cartilage and bone. The finding could point the way toward joint renewal in humans.

Photo of a woman.

Medication Quickly Lifts Bipolar Depression Symptoms

People with treatment-resistant bipolar disorder were relieved from the symptoms of depression in as little as 40 minutes after an intravenous dose of the anesthetic medication ketamine. The potential for side effects makes ketamine impractical for standard use, but similar compounds may have potential as rapid and effective medications for depression, including bipolar depression.

August 2, 2010

Scanning electron micrograph of a trypanosome parasite.

Gene Tied to Kidney Disease, Sleeping Sickness in African Americans

Variants of a single gene may help protect against a sometimes-deadly parasite infection, but at the same time raise the risk for kidney disease in African Americans. The finding may eventually lead to better treatments for both conditions.

Photo of a boy playing a piano.

Brain Circuits Start and Stop the Action

Scientists identified the neural circuits in mice that signal the start and stop of an action sequence. The finding may advance the understanding of movement disorders and open new avenues of research for their treatment and prevention.

Microscope image of numerous round cells.

Some Stem Cells Find it Hard to Forget

Scientists have discovered why induced pluripotent stem cells—which many hope will replace the need for embryonic stem cells one day—don’t always function as well as the embryonic variety. The researchers also developed ways to get around the problem.

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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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