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.

Shape detection at fault

The deep cracking faults that lie within the Earth’s crust are significant geologic surfaces for oil exploration and earthquake prediction. A team from KAUST developed an algorithm that smoothly detects faults and other three-dimensional (3-D) surfaces with high computational efficiency even amid noisy and cluttered data sets.

Yam P. Siwakoti to be awarded as Green Talent in Germany

The Green Talents Award held under the patronage of the German Research Minister Professor Johanna Wanka is recognizing young talented researchers for the eighth time and providing a platform to share their innovative and creative ideas which aim to answer pressing sustainability and environmental protection questions of our time. The Nepalese Yam P. Siwakoti, having obtained a PhD in Power Electronics and with a research focus on application of power electronics for renewable and sustainable power generation and management, was among this year’s winners.

Smart cancer therapies: teaching the body’s own T-cells to attack the tumors

Working with colleague David Beebe, another UW–Madison professor of biomedical engineering, and Christian Capitini, an assistant professor of pediatrics at UW–Madison, Saha aims to develop improved methods for making CAR T-cells, and to test their efficacy against a broad array of tumor types.

How the African clawed frog got an extra pair of genes: Whole genome sequence reveals evolutionary history of Xenopus laevis

The African clawed frog’s ancestor inherited one set of chromosomes each from two different species and doubled its whole genome some 18 million years ago, according to an international research consortium led by Japanese and American scientists who sequenced the entire genome of the Xenopus laevis for the first time. Scientists hope that the finding will help our understanding of vertebrate evolution, as the vertebrate genome doubled twice 500 million years ago.

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