Stefan Heller's dream is to someday find a cure for deafness.

As a leader in stem cell-based research on the inner ear at the Stanford University School of Medicine, he's got a step-by-step plan for making this dream a reality.

It may take another decade or so, but if anyone can do it, he's the guy to place your bets on.

"Everyone asks, 'How long before we do this?'" said Heller, PhD, associate professor of otolaryngology, whose accent still bears the trace of his native Germany. "I tell them the devil is in the details."

But even at the national level, those in the research community remain hopeful that Heller's work will reap successes sooner rather than later. Heller will discuss his stem cell research during a panel discussion Feb.

Newborns with respiratory distress should be evaluated for primary ciliary dyskinesia, a rare genetic disease that has features similar to cystic fibrosis, says Thomas Ferkol, M.D., from Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis. He reports finding that about 80 percent of patients with primary ciliary dyskinesia (PCD) have a history of newborn respiratory distress.

"The diagnosis of PCD requires a high index of suspicion, but PCD must be considered in any term newborn who develops respiratory distress or persistent hypoxemia (low oxygen in the blood), especially those who have reversed internal organs or an affected sibling," says Ferkol, director of the Division of Pediatric Allergy and Pulmonary Medicine at Washington University School of Medicine and St.

Silver-bearing ore found at the settlement founded by Christopher Columbus's second expedition was not mined in the Americas, new research reveals.


Aerial view of La Isabela, the settlement established by Christopher Columbus's second expedition. Photo credit: J.M. Cruxent, Florida Museum of Natural History, University of Florida.

Ancient people living in Panama were processing and eating domesticated species of plants like maize, manioc, and arrowroot at least as far back as 7,800 years ago – much earlier than previously thought – according to new research by a University of Calgary archaeologist.

One of the most hotly debated issues in the discipline of archaeology is how and why certain human societies switched from hunting and gathering to producing their own food through agriculture. Dr.

Nothing says romance like having your bone tissue extracted to show your love. But Biojewellry in the UK is doing exactly that.

The project is seeking couples who want to donate their bone cells - a couple having their wisdom teeth removed would be ideal. Their cells will be prepared and seeded onto a bioactive scaffold. This pioneering material encourages the cells to divide and grow rapidly in a laboratory environment, so that the scaffold disappears and is replaced by living bone tissue.

The couple’s cells will be grown at Guy’s Hospital and finished bone tissue will be taken to a studio at the Royal College of Art to be used in the design of a pair of rings.

New research aimed at understanding the link between carbon dioxide emissions and climate change in boreal systems has found clear links between both Spring and Fall temperature changes and carbon uptake/loss. Dr Kevin Robert Gurney, assistant professor in the Earth & Atmospheric Science/Agronomy at Purdue University and Associate Director of the Purdue Climate Change Research Center, presented these results at the “Is a Warmer Arctic Adding Carbon Dioxide to the Atmosphere” session of American Association for the Advancement of Science meeting in San Francisco, CA on December 17th.

The research examined the variations in carbon flux from boreal ecosystems, uncovered by the “inverse” method, in relation to measurements of temperature, precipitation and climate indices.

It's the most common bacteria-related sexually transmitted disease in the United States, so researchers at The University of Texas at San Antonio's South Texas Center for Emerging Infectious Diseases (STCEID) and The University of Texas at San Antonio Health Science Center have partnered to discover a vaccine that will prevent Chlamydia.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), Chlamydia is a common sexually transmitted disease caused by the bacterium, Chlamydia trachomatis, which can damage a woman's reproductive organs. In women, symptoms are usually mild or absent. Serious complications can cause irreversible damage, including infertility, before a woman ever recognizes a problem.

Everyone hopes that one day stem cell-based regenerative medicine will help repair diseased tissue. Before then, it may be necessary to decipher the epigenetic signals that give stem cells their unique ability to self-renew and transform them into different cell types.

The hype over epigenetic research is because it opens up the possibility of reprograming cells. By manipulating epigenetic marks, cells can be transformed into other cell types without changing their DNA. It is simply a question of adding or removing the chemical tags involved.

Stem cells rely heavily on epigenetic signals. As a stem cell develops, chemical tags on the DNA or its surrounding histone proteins switch genes on or off, controlling a cell’s fate.

As evidence mounts that the body's normally protective inflammation response can drive some precancerous tissues to become fully malignant, UCSF scientists report discovering an apparent trigger to this potentially deadly process.

Typically, the "innate" immune system's Pac-Man-like white blood cells, or leukocytes, engulf and destroy invading microbes when receptors on their surface receive a signal from serum in the blood -- often an antibody produced by a B cell in the separately evolved "acquired" immune system.

A special cocoa made to retain naturally occurring compounds called flavonols may have the potential to help maintain healthy brain function and chart the course for future research that could lead to new solutions for preventing cognitive decline and dementia, according to a panel of scientists who presented new data at the annual meeting of the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS).

Several studies suggest that consumption of a special cocoa made to be rich in flavonols, a naturally occurring nutrient abundant in fresh cocoa, may improve blood vessel function.