The muscle cells of a zebrafish heart, called cardiomyocytes and colored red in this image, are able to re-grow after an injury, something cell biologist Ken Poss and cardiologist Ravi Karra would like to teach human heart cells to do. This image comes from 2015 paper in PNAS, in which their team identified a gene transcription factor that is key to the regeneration program activated in cardiomyocytes after an injury.
When identical twins take different paths in life, researchers take notice. And when foresighted and tenacious researchers have collected data on those twins, tracking measurements from birth through adolescence, the dataset serves as a treasure trove for geneticists and social scientists.
DURHAM, N.C. -- Active surveillance could be a viable alternative to surgery and radiation for select patients with ductal carcinoma in situ, or DCIS, according to a mathematical model developed by researchers at Duke University.
The watch-and-wait approach shows particular relevance to older women and those with additional serious health problems.
Is falling apart inevitable as we get older? Not for tiny aquatic animals called hydra, says a team led by Duke University aging researcher James Vaupel. Unlike us, hydra continue to survive and reproduce well into old age, the researchers find. The results are part of an eight-year study of more than 2,000 individuals at the Max Planck Institute for Demographic Research.
Neurons from the retina of a rat form new branching sites and potential new connections with their neighbors (shown in yellow) under the influence of three large proteins isolated from cells of the human umbilical cord. These thrombospondin proteins come from the umbilical cells themselves, not cord blood. The lab of Cagla Eroglu in cell biology and neurobiology believes the molecules may have potential for treating degenerative eye diseases. Image credit: Sehwon Koh.
Only a few sessions of binge drinking during adolescence can knock out neurons (shown in blue arch) in the hippocampus, the brain’s memory core. New research in mice has also shown that teen binges can send astrocytes (shown in green) awry later in adulthood, potentially impairing the brain’s ability to form new synapses and heal itself from injury. In this split image, a normal mouse brain appears at left. On the right, a brain with stressed astrocytes after binges that would be the equivalent of a 0.15 blood alcohol level in humans.
To thrive in the high-temperature environment of a human host, the pathogenic fungus Cryptococcus neoformans depends largely on the Ras1 protein. Connie Nichols, a research scientist in the Andrew Alspaugh lab in Molecular Genetics and Microbiology fused fluorescent proteins from jellyfish to Ras1 (red) and to a protein that helps it survive on the cell membrane called Pfa4 (green). Yellow spots indicate the two proteins are joined.
DURHAM, N.C. – Scientists at Duke Medicine are using transparent fish to watch in real time as Cryptococcal meningitis takes over the brain. The resulting images are worthy of a sci-fi movie teaser, but could be valuable in disrupting the real, crippling brain infection that kills more than 600,000 people worldwide each year.