Human gut-in-a-dish model helps define ‘leaky gut,’ and outline a pathway to treatment

Once a vague scapegoat for a variety of ills, increasing evidence suggests a condition known as “leaky gut” – in which microbes and other molecules seep out of the intestines – may be more common, and more harmful, than previously thought. Leaky gut is most often experienced by older people, patients with cancers or other … Read more

A new role for neurogenesis

The ability to create new neurons may exist as built-in protection for sensitive brain areas, according to research in mice recently published in JNeurosci. For a quarter of a century, scientists have known that the brain creates new neurons even into adulthood – a process called adult neurogenesis. The question has been: why? Adult neurogenesis occurs … Read more

Sleep deprived? Study finds losing a night of sleep may increase Alzheimer’s biomarker

A preliminary study has found that when young, healthy men were deprived of just one night of sleep, they had higher levels of tau, a biomarker for Alzheimer’s disease, in their blood than when they had a full, uninterrupted night of rest. The study is published in the January 8, 2020, online issue of Neurology®, the … Read more

Machine learning can help us understand conversations about death

Some of the most important, and difficult, conversations in healthcare are the ones that happen amid serious and life-threatening illnesses. Discussions of the treatment options and prognoses in these settings are a delicate balance for doctors and nurses who are dealing with people at their most vulnerable point and may not fully understand what the … Read more

Tracking inheritance of human mitochondrial DNA

New insight into how genetic information stored in human mitochondria is passed from one generation to the next could have important implications for genetic counseling of women planning pregnancies, according to a study by researchers at Penn State and the University of California, Berkeley. The findings are especially relevant to women carrying disease-causing mutations within … Read more

Predicting frailty, disability and death

Movement is a part of daily life that most people rarely spend time contemplating, but changes in such movements can portend disease and decline. Watch-like devices known as actimetry sensors, which can be worn on the wrist or ankle, allow researchers to collect information about a subject’s motor activity. In a study led by investigators … Read more

Living a long chimpanzee life

We humans may consider a long-lived life to be anywhere from 60 to 100 years, depending on where we live. But what about chimpanzees, one of our closest living relatives? Over the years, primatologists have reported on the life expectancies of wild chimpanzees in their native Africa, but few reports on their state in captivity … Read more

Drug target for Alzheimer’s disease has dual action

UQ researchers have discovered a potential drug target for Alzheimer’s disease — an enzyme which has effects on both the immune and nervous systems. Dr Ramón Martínez-Mármol and Professor Frédéric A. Meunier from the Queensland Brain Institute Clem Jones Centre for Ageing Dementia Research found that targeting one enzyme could combat the disease on two … Read more

Scientists discover why brown fat is good for people’s health

Rutgers and other scientists have discovered how brown fat, also known as brown adipose tissue, may help protect against obesity and diabetes. Their study in the journal Nature adds to our knowledge about the role of brown fat in human health and could lead to new medications for treating obesity and type 2 diabetes. Brown … Read more