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ANN ARBOR--Free radicals cause cell damage and death, aging and disease, and scientists have sought new ways to repel them for years.

Now, a new University of Michigan study outlines the discovery of a protein that acts as a powerful protectant against free radicals. Ironically, the protein is activated by excessive free radicals. Human mutations of the gene for this protein are previously known to cause a rare, neurodegenerative disease.

Lysosomes, which comprise the cell's recycling center, are crucial for cleaning up injured and dying parts of the cells, said lead researcher Haoxing Xu, U-M associate professor of molecular, cellular and developmental biology.


There has been plenty of criticism about academic clinical trial reporting mandated by government funding and now a new paper analyzing four companies finds that the private sector is better about it, though results vary.

In JAMA, Isabelle Boutron, M.D., Ph.D., of Paris Descartes University, Paris, and colleagues investigated the proportion of randomized clinical trials (RCTs) registered at ClinicalTrials.gov that were listed at the Clinical Study Data Request website, where companies voluntarily list studies for which data can be requested.


Nerves in the central nervous system of adult mammals do not usually regenerate when injured. The granule cell, a nerve cell located in the cerebellum, is different. When its fibres, called parallel fibres, are cut, rapid regeneration ensues and junctions with other neurons called "synapses" are rebuilt. The precise mechanism for this was unclear.

Researchers at Hokkaido University in Japan, together with colleagues from Sapporo Medical University School of Medicine and Niigata University, investigated the effect of a specific glutamate receptor, called GluD2, on parallel fibre regeneration.


Saijo, Hiroshima, Japan - Biologists at Hiroshima University, located in the historic sake brewing town of Saijo, have identified the genetic mutation that could ruin the brew of one particular type of yeast responsible for high-quality sake. The research was part of an academic-government-industry collaboration involving the National Institute of Brewing (Japan), the Asahi Sake Brewing Company (Niigata), the Brewing Society of Japan, The University of Tokyo, The University of Pennsylvania, and Iwate University.