Monthly Archives: October 2016

Vitamin Could Help Treat Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy

Duchenne is the most common and severe form of muscular dystrophy. Because of this genetic disease, one out of every 3,500 children spends their 12th birthday in a wheelchair. This disorder progressively leads to general paralysis, and most patients die of respiratory failure. The disease is caused by a genetic mutation that prevents a protein required to keep muscle cells intact from being produced. While most research focuses on repairing the defective gene, researchers at EPFL have come up with a different strategy. As part of their work on nutrition and aging, they discovered that large doses of a vitamin called nicotinamide riboside were remarkably effective in countering the progress of the disease in animals. Their work has been published in Science Translational Medicine.

All-female hybrid fish species “uses” males for better genetics

A hybrid species of all-female fish in the north Pacific Ocean may have survived for an uncharacteristically long period of time by switching mating species. Some species are comprised of…

MIT launches new venture for world-changing entrepreneurs

MIT President L. Rafael Reif announced the creation of The Engine, a new kind of enterprise designed to support startup companies working on scientific and technological innovation with the potential for transformative societal impact.

Novel Target for Diabetes Drug Identified as Ion Exchanger

A research team led by Nagoya University has now identified a novel potential target, a protein that mediates the exchange of sodium and hydrogen ions, using the model nematode Caenorhabditis elegans. The study was reported in the Journal of Biological Chemistry.

Alumnus’s startup seeks more precise screening for prostate cancer

The discovery in question described a new way to identify cancerous prostate cells. The inventor, David Jarrard, a professor of urology at the UW–Madison School of Medicine and Public Health, had found eight telltale molecular structures on genes during a decades-long quest to detect prostate cancer in men while it was still treatable.

Finding patterns in corrupted data

Data analysis — and particularly big-data analysis — is often a matter of fitting data to some sort of mathematical model. The most familiar example of this might be linear regression, which finds a line that approximates a distribution of data points. But fitting data to probability distributions, such as the familiar bell curve, is just as common.