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Fundamentals

Betting Big on Basic Sciences

Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine leaders plan to invest $100 million over the next five years to hire new faculty and support programs aimed at unraveling the mysteries of biology. Such “basic” science discoveries underpin virtually every major medical breakthrough, say the leaders, and they have appointed structural biologist James Berger to direct the Johns Hopkins institute dedicated to this effort.

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Bacterial Cells Within Your Body

We have approximately 3 pounds of bacterial cells in our body that help with food digestion and disease prevention. But if their growth goes haywire, they can become harmful. Jie Xiao’s lab studies proteins that control bacterial division in hopes to stop pathogenic bacteria from spreading.  

aucott and solosky

John Aucott and Mark Soloski on Ticks and Lyme Disease

John Aucott and Mark Soloski partnered up with WebMD and brought together their clinical and fundamental research expertise on Lyme disease to answer questions in Reddit’s Ask Me Anything. 

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Highlights

fish retina

Image of the Month: Fish Eyes

The strange glow is caused by jellyfish proteins inserted by researchers into different cell types. The proteins light up the retina, its photoreceptors (shown in red and yellow) and stem cells called Müller glia (shown in green). Tools such as this one help scientists monitor how Müller glia react to damage in the eye. This helps them determine how the Müller glia can be harnessed to restore vision to human patients with degenerative eye diseases. Follow us.
immune system cells

Failing Immune System ‘Brakes’ Help Explain Type 1 Diabetes

Study in mice on the immune dysfunction of type 1 diabetes points toward new drug targets to treat the disease. Read more.
nano particles

A New Way of Targeting Cancer Cells?

In a “proof of concept” study, scientists have successfully delivered nano-size packets of genetic code called microRNAs to treat human brain tumors implanted in mice. Read more.
virtual hearts

Virtual Hearts to Guide Treatment for Irregular Heartbeats

Scientists have successfully performed 3D personalized virtual simulations of the heart to accurately identify where specialists should destroy cardiac tissue to stop potentially fatal irregular heartbeats in patients with scarring in the heart. Read more.
cells

Defective Pores Inside the Cell May Contribute to Alzheimer’s Disease

Researchers have found that a defect in the nuclear pore complex in animal and human Alzheimer’s disease cells is associated with aggregation of proteins in neurons. Read more.