Katherine Franz, an assistant chemistry professor at Duke University, says the key to battling neurological diseases like Parkinson's and Alzheimer's diseases may lie in binding up iron and then separating the good from the bad.
Her approach, with graduate student Louise Charkoudian, is to formulate sensitive chemical sentinels they call "pro-chelators." Those are metal-binding agents wrapped in chemical "cages" so they can enter the brain and wait in reserve until they encounter a site of potential damage.
Such a site contains both iron and the molecule hydrogen peroxide. The reaction between these two players -- known as a "Fenton reaction" -- can lead to the production of a highly reactive oxygen-containing chemical group called a hydroxyl radical, Franz said.
The research group of Prof. Dr. Magdalena Götz at the Institute of Stem Cell Research of the GSF – National Research Centre for Environment and Health, and the Ludwig Maximilians University, Munich, has achieved an additional step for the potential replacement of damaged brain cells after injury or disease: functional nerve cells can be generated from astroglia, a type of supportive cells in the brain by means of special regulator proteins.
The majority of cells in the human brain are not nerve cells but star-shaped glia cells, the “astroglia”. "Glia means 'glue'," explains Götz. "As befits their name, until now these cells have been regarded merely as a kind of 'putty' keeping the nerve cells together."
The “world’s fattest mice” can overeat without developing insulin resistance or diabetes thanks to a glut of adiponectin, a hormone that controls sensitivity to insulin, and a lack of leptin, a hormone that curbs appetite - a dichotomy that helps explain why not all obese people are diabetic, a UT Southwestern Medical Center researcher has found.
Consuming excess calories usually spurs insulin resistance and diabetes, but the new findings demonstrate how mice can store excess calories in fat tissue instead of in liver, heart or muscle tissue – places where excess fat can lead to inflammation, diabetes and heart disease. The mice get morbidly obese, but are insulin-sensitive with normal blood-glucose levels.
Analysis of the chemical make up of two asteroids in the outer asteroid belt has thrown the classification system for these small bodies, which orbit between Mars and Jupiter, into disorder.
Dr Rene Duffard, said, “We appear to have detected basalt on the surface of these asteroids, which is very unusual for this part of the asteroid belt. We do not know whether we have discovered two basaltic asteroids with a very particular and previously unseen mineralogical composition or two objects of non basaltic nature that have to be included in a totally new taxonomic class.”
The presence of basalt means that the asteroid must have melted partially at some time in the past, which implies that it was once part of a larger body which had internal heating processes.
A nanoparticle drug delivery system designed for brain tumor therapy has shown promising tumor cell selectivity in a novel cell culture model devised by University of Nottingham scientists.
Therapy for brain cancers is particularly difficult for a number of reasons, including getting sufficient drug to the tumor and selectivity of drug action. “We are working on a number of new therapeutic approaches using nanoparticle drug delivery systems explained Dr Martin Garnett, Associate Professor of drug delivery at the School of Pharmacy, however, understanding and developing these systems requires suitable models for their evaluation.”
The nanoparticles used in this study were prepared from a novel biodegradable polymer poly(glycerol adipate).
Images taken by Cassini’s Magnetospheric Imaging Instrument (MIMI) show that Saturn’s ring current is a warped disc that balloons out of the equatorial plane on the planet’s dayside and remains a thin disk that rises above the plane at larger distances on the nightside.
Dr Stamatios “Tom” Krimigis, the Principal Investigator for the instrument said, “Ring currents surround planets sort of like the brim of a hat. Uniquely in Saturn’s case, that brim has been crushed at the front and tipped up at the back, so it’s pretty bent out of shape!”
The presence of a ring current around Saturn was first suggested in the early 1980s following magnetic anomalies observed by the Pioneer 11 and Voyager 1 and 2 spacecraft. Ring currents are also found around Earth and Jupiter.