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NIH Research Matters

November 24, 2014

Illustration of a child and puzzle pieces

Gene Disruptions Associated with Autism Risk

Researchers identified mutations in 107 genes that may contribute to the risk for autism spectrum disorder. The findings may help lead to potential therapies.

An illustration of a man, showing the liver.

New Drug for Common Liver Disease Assessed

An experimental drug showed promising results and potential problems in treating a common liver disease. The drugís long-term effects still need to be assessed.

Small mitochondria.

Targeting Parkinsonís Disease Pathways

By blocking mitochondria division, scientists were able to restore function in mouse models of Parkinsonís disease. These preliminary findings suggest a strategy to slow or halt the disease.

November 10, 2014

Training staff in West Africa enter data in computer.

Computer Models Can Help Guide Ebola Response

Computer model projections provide insight into the dynamics of the Ebola outbreak. Such models can help guide more effective control efforts.

Chloroviruses (red) on an algal cell.

Algal Virus Infects, Affects Humans

While studying cognitive function in healthy adults, researchers discovered DNA from an algal virus in throat samples. The virus was associated with subtle cognitive changes.

Mouse heart tissue.

Immune Cells in Heart Help it Mend

The hearts of mice have resident macrophages, a type of immune cell, that play a key role in recovery from damage. The findings suggest novel treatment strategies for heart failure.

November 3, 2014

Woman and her son, who was diagnosed with a rare genetic disorder.

Clinical Exome Sequencing Detects Disease-Causing Glitches

In some patients with suspected genetic conditions, a fast, powerful technique called whole-exome sequencing provided a molecular diagnosis.

Structure of the HIV surface spike protein.

The Structure and Dynamics of HIV Surface Spikes

Scientists illuminated the movement and complete structure of the spikes that the HIV virus uses to bind cells. The findings will help guide efforts to develop vaccines and treatments.

 Beta-amyloid plaque in a 3-D gel culture.

Human Cells Model Alzheimerís Disease

Researchers designed a cell culture system that reproduce key features of Alzheimer’s disease. The system may aid in drug development and the study of other neurodegenerative disorders.

October 20, 2014

Doctor speaking with female patient.

Targeting Health Risks in Early Stages of Schizophrenia

Certain heart-related risk factors are present early in people diagnosed with schizophrenia spectrum disorders. The findings highlight early treatment opportunities.

Transmission electron micrograph of H7N9 virus

Progress Toward an H7N9 Avian Flu Vaccine

An experimental vaccine against H7N9 avian influenza prompted substantial immune responses in 59% of volunteers. The approach could lead to improved flu vaccines.

Human stem cell-derived beta cells.

Developing Insulin-Producing Cells to Treat Diabetes

Researchers transformed human stem cells into pancreatic beta cells that produce insulin and respond to glucose. The finding could lead to new therapies to treat diabetes.

October 6, 2014

Pregnant woman touching her belly and sitting at her desk.

More Knowledge Reduces Prenatal Testing

Pregnant women given computer-based information about prenatal screening were more likely to skip testing, especially invasive tests—even when the tests were free.


Diet Affects Autoinflammatory Disease Via Gut Microbes

A study in mice revealed how diet-induced changes to intestinal bacteria can influence autoinflammatory disease. The results could guide new approaches to these diseases.

Mutant AGT and peroxisomes together in a cell treated with DECA.

Compound Fixes Problem Seen in Rare Kidney Disease

In a proof-of-principle study, scientists identified a compound that can correct a cellular defect that causes a rare kidney disease.

September 29, 2014


How Genes Affect Facial Development

A zebrafish study shed light on how the structure of the face forms. Problems with equivalent genes in people can cause facial defects and other developmental issues.

The fibrin mesh of a blood clot.

Microgel Particles Boost Blood Clotting

Researchers developed microgel particles that mimic platelets and help form blood clots. The approach could lead to new treatments for uncontrolled bleeding.


Method Can Target Specific Microbes

Scientists designed a way to target and destroy specific DNA sequences in microbes. The approach might one day be used against pathogenic bacteria resistant to multiple antibiotics.

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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 November 24, 2014

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