Volume 8 Issue 80
Published - 14:00 UTC 08:00 EST 21-Mar-2006 
Next Update - 14:00 UTC 08:00 EST 22-Mar-2006

Editor: Susan K. Boyer, RN
Vidyya.
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Aggression-related gene weakens brain's impulse control circuits

A version of a gene previously linked to impulsive violence appears to weaken brain circuits that regulate impulses, emotional memory and thinking in humans, researchers at the National Institutes of Health's (NIH) National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH) have found. Brain scans revealed that people with this version especially males tended to have relatively smaller emotion-related brain structures, a hyperactive alarm center and under-active impulse control circuitry. The study identifies neural mechanisms by which this gene likely contributes to risk for violent and impulsive behavior through effects on the developing brain. more  

Innovative approach affords Binghamton University researchers clearer view of autism

Using new technology and a unique approach, Binghamton University researchers are hoping to help children with autism spectrum disorders (ASD) deal with their most common and problematic areas of deficit - social and life skills. more

New tools developed for studying neurodegenerative brain disorders

Penn State researchers have created an elegantly simple model of an axon--the extension of a neuron that communicates with other neurons--and have used this model to reproduce a change in the axon's shape that is characteristic of neurodegenerative disorders such as Alzheimer's and Parkinson's diseases. This achievement is the first of its kind in a highly simplified biophysical model system. The model provides a novel avenue for investigating the specific mechanisms that contribute to complex brain diseases. It also provides a means of discovering new kinds of drugs for the treatment of these disorders. The research will be described in a paper to be published in the 4 April 2006 issue of the Proceedings of the National Academy of Science. more  

Researchers seek answers to combat TB epidemic

Most Americans think of tuberculosis as a disease of the past, but with HIV and drug-resistant strains fueling epidemics in India and Africa, TB kills someone every six seconds across the world. Now University of Florida and Indian scientists suspect they are on the path to solving a piece of the puzzle. The researchers are studying a protective protein they believe may boost bacteria-battling defenses, protecting against TB and giving infected patients an easier recovery. more

Cheaper and simpler keyhole surgery  

Endoscopic surgery brings many advantages for patients but is very difficult for the surgeon. Working at the Academic Medical Centre in Amsterdam, Joris Jaspers has developed two instruments which make this approach easier and also cheaper than with existing surgical robotics. Jaspers is awarded his doctorate on Wednesday 22 March at Delft University of Technology. more

Scientists one step closer to cancer vaccine  

Scientists at Karolinska Institutet in Sweden have helped to identify a molecule that can be used as a vaccination agent against growing cancer tumours. Although the results are so far based on animal experiments, they point to new methods of treating metastases. more

UC Davis study with mice links thimerosal with immune system dysfunction

A team of cell biologists, toxicologists and molecular bioscientists at UC Davis has published a study connecting thimerosal with disruptions in antigen-presenting cells known as dendritic cells obtained from mice. The study provides the first evidence that dendritic cells show unprecedented sensitivity to thimerosal, resulting in fundamental changes in the immune system's ability to respond to external factors. The study was published online today and will be available in the July print edition of Environmental Health Perspectives, the peer-reviewed scientific publication of the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences. more

 

Cheaper and simpler keyhole surgery