Under the Microscope
Nov. 23, 2011

As researchers drive new product innovations, they inspire — and are aided by — sophisticated instruments
R&D Magazine
Materials research provides the spark for new product development. To achieve these discoveries, materials research scientists rely on specialized instruments to drive their experiments and analysis. The scientists are exploring a range of disciplines, including tribology, corrosion prevention and biotechnology. However, the most prevalent sector is nanomaterials. Innovation is happening on many materials fronts. However, different forms of carbon, including diamond films, graphene and carbon nanotubes are the focus of many materials research laboratories.More

New neurons reduce drug-seeking behavior
Nature's News Blog
Research shows that increasing the brain's ability to generate new neurons decreases drug-seeking behaviors in rodents. The implication is that therapies that boost neurogenesis may one day help drug addicts on the long road to recovery.More

Histologists, professionals within the Allied Health Sciences
In a recent issue of the Journal of Histotechnology, available online for members and subscribers, there is an invited guest editorial from the NSH Board of Directors. Dr. Karen Burg, editor of the JOH, introduces the position of NSH and the Board of Directors related to the profession of Histotechnology and the intregal part of patient healthcare and translational research practitioners provide.More

Is weight loss an early warning sign of Alzheimer's?
According to a new study, non-overweight individuals in their late 60s, 70s, and early 80s who have no outward symptoms of Alzheimer's are more likely than their heavier peers to have biomarkers of the disease. This finding raises the possibility that weight loss or a low body mass index later in life may be an early warning sign of mental decline, the researchers say.More

Chemists cram 2 million nanorods into single cancer cell
Chemists have found a way to load more than 2 million tiny gold particles called nanorods into a single cancer cell. The breakthrough could speed development of cancer treatments that would use nanorods like tiny heating elements to cook tumors from the inside.More

Probiotic protects intestine from radiation injury
Scientists have shown that taking a probiotic before radiation therapy can protect the intestine from damage — at least in mice. The new study suggests that taking a probiotic also may help cancer patients avoid intestinal injury, a common problem in patients receiving radiation therapy for abdominal cancers.More

Scientists harness the power of electricity in the brain
R&D Magazine
A paralyzed patient may someday be able to "think" a foot into flexing or a leg into moving, using technology that harnesses the power of electricity in the brain, and scientists are now one big step closer. Researchers have developed technology that for the first time allows doctors and scientists to noninvasively isolate and measure electrical brain activity in moving people.More

Troponin T measurements by high-sensitivity vs. conventional assays for risk stratification in acute dyspnea
Clinical Chemistry
Cardiac troponin T measured by a high-sensitivity assay recently proved to be of prognostic value in several populations. The hs-cTnT assay may also improve risk stratification in acute dyspnea. Researchers prospectively studied the prognostic value of hs-cTnT in 678 consecutive patients presenting to the emergency department with acute dyspnea.More

Uncovering a key player in metastasis
Bioscience Technology
A new paper shows that platelets give off chemical signals that induce tumor cells to become more invasive and plant themselves in new locations. The findings may help researchers develop drugs that could prevent cancers from spreading, if they are diagnosed before metastasis occurs.More

Stem cell therapy meets economic realities of drug development
PharmTech Talk Blog
Geron recent announcement that it's discontinuing its clinical trial evaluating the use of embryonic stem cells for the treatment of spinal cord injury was a disappointment to those who follow the field of regenerative medicine, writes Amy Ritter, a blogger who covers the pharmaceutical and biotechnology industries. And the culprit? A lack of funding due to the economy.More

Blood type shown to affect stroke risk
The Associated Press via CBS News
A new study suggests that the risk for stroke is tied to blood type, with men and women with type AB and women with type B facing greater risk than people with type O. The research doesn't prove the link. But it fits with other studies that have tied A, B, and AB to heart attack and to blood clots in the legs. And type O has been linked to a heightened risk for bleeding, which implies less chance of the clots that are responsible for most strokes.More

FDA panel: Expand approval of pneumococcal vaccine
Internal Medicine News Digital Network
The majority of a Food and Drug Administration advisory panel supported expanding the approval of the pneumococcal 13-valent conjugate vaccine approved in 2010 for infants and children for use in adults aged 50 and older, based on studies using surrogate end points of effectiveness. The FDA's Vaccines and Related Biological Products Advisory Committee voted 14 to 1 that the immunogenicity data on the vaccine supported its effectiveness in preventing pneumococcal disease.More

Nanomedicine: Good or bad?
Laboratory Equipment
Is the emerging field of nanomedicine a reason to celebrate or does it portend the release of dangerous nanoparticles, nanorobots or nanoelectronic devices that will wreak havoc in the body? A study of more than 500 studies on the topic concludes that neither scenario is likely.More

Unraveling how a mutation can lead to psychiatric illness
MIT News
Studies have shown that disrupted in schizophrenia-1 mutations can lead to altered brain structure and impaired cognition, but it was unknown exactly how this occurs. A new study shows that DISC1 mutations impair a specific signaling pathway in neurons that is critical for normal brain development.More

Q-and-A: Circulating cancer cells and their clinical applications
Clinical Chemistry
Current research on circulating tumor cells is focusing on the identification of novel diagnostic and therapeutic biomarkers produced by these cells. CTCs are promising as novel tumor biomarkers because they are well-defined targets for understanding tumor biology and tumor cell dissemination that can open new avenues for the early detection of metastasis and its successful treatment. In this article, four leading scientists and clinicians discuss CTCs and their diagnostic potential.More