Liver cells are versatile workhorses, synthesizing key proteins while clearing toxins from the body. But these homebodies rarely survive outside the liver, making them challenging to study. Asli Unal, a graduate student in Jennifer West’s lab, is building synthetic homes for picky liver cells.
Each day, tens of thousands of patients on waiting lists across the United States await a simple phone call: one that says a match has been found and an organ is available for transplant. Despite a growing demand for donors, organ shortages continue to hinder many patients’ chances in receiving their potentially life-saving call.
A two-month investigation into the sudden deaths of four aye-ayes at the Duke Lemur Center has left just one plausible explanation -- avocados.
Lemur Center officials believe that a natural toxin found in avocados the animals ate the previous day set off damage to their heart muscles, resulting in death within 36 hours on Oct. 25 and 26. A fifth animal fell ill, but is now recovering.
DURHAM, N.C. -- Two Duke Health research teams will participate in a new, $170 million national initiative to delve into the intricacies of how exercise improves health and prevents disease.
Our spines don’t start out as bone. In the embryos of vertebrates, the spine begins as a rod with a core of fluid-filled sacks. This structure is called the “notochord” and provides a flexible scaffold for the trunk and a mold for the spine.
The fortified Toyota Land Cruiser slipped and bounced in the muddy hollows of the rain-drenched Mongolian steppe. The driver, a native Mongolian man named Inka who spoke little English, slowly engineered the vehicle along what just two days earlier was a dusty pair of dirt tracks.
In the back seat of the Cruiser, Duke master of science in global health students Laura Pulscher and Thomas Moore braced themselves during the ride as best they could, relaxing when Inka stopped the vehicle to ask a goat herder for directions.
When it comes to bright colors and bold patterns, the fashion industry can’t hold a candle to butterflies.
Their wings come in a dizzying array of designs and hues, from the iridescent blue bands of the morpho butterfly and the red dots of the ruby-spotted swallowtail, to the orange, black and white warning colors of the monarch.
It takes a well-trained eye to spot an irregular heartbeat in the peaks and valleys of an electrocardiogram. The same goes for identifying an extinct ape from a single fossilized tooth, or telling an original van Gogh from a fake.
But in recent years, applied mathematician Ingrid Daubechies has been training computers to churn through ECG tracings, high-resolution scans of fossils, paintings and other complex digital data and work things out automatically.
Some pathogenic bacteria -- including strains that cause diseases like tuberculosis and leprosy -- get their daily dose of iron by swiping the essential nutrient from their host. To enact the heist, these bacteria spit out molecules called siderophores, shown here in light orange, that grab iron, shuttle it back to the bacterial membrane, and dole out the precise amount to keep the bacteria strong and healthy.
The green ring of cells lining this fruit fly’s digestive tract normally lie dormant, but after injury they spring into action, growing and copying their DNA to help the fly’s gut heal. To repair damage, organs either make new cells to replace those that were lost, or enlarge the cells that remain.