Since the onset of the pandemic, researchers and clinicians have been trying to determine why COVID-19 is more severe in some people. It’s not unusual for underlying medical conditions to complicate respiratory infections, and COVID-19 is no exception. Scientists have also found that some genetic variants can predispose people to serious COVID-19 cases as well.… Continue reading The Genetics Underlying Susceptibility to Severe COVID-19
Geneticists have sought to understand the impact of genetic mutations, and what drives and maintains changes in DNA. Researchers have now reconstructed the evolution of a set of genes, and the mutations that occurred in those sequences over time. One might assume that the same mutation would have a similar effect, whether it happens in… Continue reading The Effect of a Genetic Mutation Can Change Over Time, and Evolution
Bacteria live all around us, even in us. Though some bacterial pathogens can cause dangerous infections, many of those microbes are harmless. Sometimes, the same strain of bacteria can lead to very different outcomes. Staphylococcus aureus is one example; it can live harmlessly in the respiratory tracts of many people. But for others, staph can… Continue reading Why Staph Infections are Only Severe for Some
Researchers have recently identified several proteins that circulate in the blood and are thought to cause migraine headaches. These proteins are also associated with Alzheimer’s disease, and it may be possible to find existing medications that will work as therapeutics for the disorder, based on this new data. This research has been reported in Nature… Continue reading Proteins That Seem to Cause Migraines are Found
Scientists have learned a lot about individual genes, especially those that are connected to human disease. And while we know a bit about gene networks and biochemical pathways, it’s difficult to step back and get a look at the bigger picture of gene expression across an entire organism. But scientists have been changing that with… Continue reading Single-Cell Atlas Reveals Gene Activity Across Human Tissues
Mental illness has become increasingly common. The number of people with anxiety and depression, specifically, has steadily increased. The COVID-19 pandemic only made this worse, leading to a roughly 25% increase in the number of anxiety and depression cases. To complicate matters, many people diagnosed with a mental health disorder are often diagnosed with others… Continue reading Multiple Mental Health Diagnoses are Increasingly Common. Why?
There is debate about exactly what makes a diet healthy, but most experts can agree on some things, like the importance of fiber. Fiber isn’t like other carbohydrates that break down into sugars; insoluble fibers pass through the gut and help keep us regular, while soluble fibers can maintain healthy levels of cholesterol and glucose.… Continue reading A High-Fiber Diet Lowers Antibiotic Resistance in Gut Microbes
A gene therapy has been able to inhibit neuropathic pain with no detectable side effects in mice with spinal cord and peripheral nerve injuries. The corresponding study was published in Molecular Therapy. Neuropathy involves damage or dysfunction in nerves and typically results in chronic or debilitating numbness, tingling, muscle weakness, and pain. Currently, there are… Continue reading Gene Therapy Shows Promise for Neuropathic Pain
Using cutting-edge technologies, researchers have shown how mutations in a gene called Transcription Factor 4 (TCF4) can lead to neurological disease. TCF4 has been associated with a variety of neuropsychiatric issues including autism spectrum disorders and schizophrenia. Scientists used miniature models of the human brain called organoids to study the impact of mutations in the… Continue reading Can Gene Therapy Treat Psychiatric Disorders?
The bacterium Acinetobacter baumannii is harmless to most people. But it also causes many hospital-acquired infections in vulnerable people, and there are few antibiotics that can effectively eliminate the multi-drug resistant strains of this microbe. A. baumannii is known to be able to easily acquire drug-resistance. When critically ill patients become infected with A. baumannii,… Continue reading How A Dangerous Microbe Can Survive for Months Without Water