Now Playing Tracks


Great research coming from UC Davis School of Medicine in conjunction with the Shriners Hospitals for Children. 

This study was supported by the National Institutes of Health (R01NS061983, R01ES015988, R21 MH087925), the National Institutes of Health/National Institute of Child Health and Human Development Career Development Award (K12 HD001259), the National Multiple Sclerosis Society, Shriners Hospitals for Children, the California Institute for Regenerative Medicine (RT1-011071, RT1-01108, TR1-01250, CL1-00502), the Memorial Hermann Foundation (Staman Ogilvie Fund), the Bentsen Stroke Center, the Esther O’Keeffe Foundation, and the Hartwell Foundation.


'Support cells' in brain play important role in Down syndrome

Researchers from UC Davis School of Medicine and Shriners Hospitals for Children – Northern California have identified a group of cells in the brain that they say plays an important role in the abnormal neuron development in Down syndrome. After developing a new model for studying the syndrome using patient-derived stem cells, the scientists also found that applying an inexpensive antibiotic to the cells appears to correct many abnormalities in the interaction between the cells and developing neurons.

The findings, which focused on support cells in the brain called astroglial cells, appear online today in Nature Communications.

“We have developed a human cellular model for studying brain development in Down syndrome that allows us to carry out detailed physiological studies and screen possible new therapies,” said Wenbin Deng, associate professor of biochemistry and molecular medicine and principal investigator of the study. “This model is more realistic than traditional animal models because it is derived from a patient’s own cells.”

Down syndrome is the most common chromosomal cause of mild to moderate intellectual disabilities in the United States, where it occurs in one in every 691 live births. It develops when a person has three copies of the 21st chromosome instead of the normal two. While mouse models have traditionally been used in studying the genetic disorder, Deng said the animal model is inadequate because the human brain is more complicated, and much of that complexity arises from astroglia cells, the star-shaped cells that play an important role in the physical structure of the brain as well as in the transmission of nerve impulses.

“Although neurons are regarded as our ‘thinking cells,’ the astroglia have an extremely important supportive role,” said Deng. “Astroglial function is increasingly recognized as a critical factor in neuronal dysfunction in the brain, and this is the first study to show its importance in Down syndrome.”

Creating a unique human cellular model

To investigate the role of astroglia in Down syndrome, the research team took skin cells from individuals with Down syndrome and transformed them into stem cells, which are known as induced pluripotent stem cells (iPSC). The cells possess the same genetic make-up as the donor and an ability to grow into different cell types. Deng and his colleagues next induced the stem cells to develop into separate pure populations of astroglial cells and neurons. This allowed them to systematically analyze factors expressed by the astroglia and then study their effects on neuron development.

They found that a certain protein, known as S100B, is markedly increased in astroglial cells from patients with Down syndrome compared with those from healthy controls. S100B released by astroglial cells promotes harmful astroglial activation (astrogliosis) and adversely affects neurons, causing them to die at increased rates or develop in multiple dysfunctional ways.

The investigators obtained further evidence of the critical role of astroglial cells in Down syndrome by implanting the skin-cell derived astroglial cells from Down syndrome patients into mice. Those mice then developed the neuropathological phenotypes of Down syndrome, while mice implanted with Down syndrome neurons did not.

Neuroprotective effects of antibiotics

The research team also screened candidate drugs using a ‘disease-in-a-dish’ model. When they administered minocycline — a tetracycline antibiotic with anti-inflammatory properties commonly used to treat bacterial infections, acne and arthritis — many of the abnormalities in the astroglial cells were corrected and there were more healthy interactions between the astroglia and neurons compared to the control cells without the defect.

“The advent of induced pluripotent stem cell technology has created exciting new approaches to model neurodevelopmental and neurodegenerative diseases for the study of pathogenesis and for drug screening,” said David Pleasure, professor of neurology and pediatrics and a co-author of the study. “Using this technology, the study is the first to discover the critical role of astroglial cells in Down syndrome as well as identify a promising pathway for exploring how a drug such as minocycline may offer an effective way to help treat it.”

Pleasure, who is research director at Shriner’s Hospital for Children Northern California and also directs the Institute for Pediatric Regenerative Medicine, noted that considerable research interest has arisen about the use of minocycline for diseases of the central nervous system because of the increasing evidence about its neuroprotective effects. Unlike many drugs, minocycline can cross from the bloodstream into the brain so that it can act on the astroglial cells. The drug has never been tested as a treatment for Down syndrome, and both Pleasure and Deng cautioned that its safety and efficacy will require clinical trials in people with Down syndrome.

Currently, Deng’s laboratory is conducting additional preclinical studies using the human-derived stem cells from Down syndrome patients and mouse models to determine whether cellular and behavioral abnormalities can be improved with minocycline therapy and other candidate drugs.

“The abnormalities we identified occur in the early stages of Down syndrome,” said Deng. “While much more research is needed, it is exciting to consider that pharmacological intervention in these cellular processes might help slow or even prevent disease progression.”

(Image: iStockphoto)


Anonymous asked:

I am only 13 but I have many pimples andI am afraid that after puberty nothing will change.. do you think there's still hope for me? (I am a girl)


Guess what? Between the ages of 11 and 30 (between 9 and 28 in females), 85% of people develop acne to the point where it causes stress in their lives. That’s not even counting people who develop it but somehow manage to not care.

It’s more common in women than in men, though the mechanism as for why is not really agreed upon (since it appears that, in animal models at least, testosterone supplementation causes more significant dermatological problems than estrogen and progesterone). My husband still has scars from it on his face, and still gets it on his back. Hell, I still get it when I’m stressed out.


[I don’t know how well it shows up, but this is from just a year and a half ago and i had little zits all over my cheeks and big ones on my chin here, after about a year of nothing whatsoever]

Try to use drugstore products as recommended - I’ve seen a lot of relatives and friends use them once and expect results, but that’s just not how skin works. If that doesn’t help at least to some degree after a fortnight, see a dermatologist. They really do help!

If nothing else, don’t pick at your skin, and don’t pop zits - chances are that you will probably not have to deal with it by the age of 17 or 18 if you are female and not on testosterone supplementation.

and hey! be glad you’re not living in the 1800s…acne scars used to frequently be a sign of lower-class living (as many vocational diseases caused dermatological diseases which had acneform presentation) or venereal disease. These days, it just means you’re a teenager.

But, uh, good luck with that whole “being a teenager” thing. Cause it isn’t exactly the most pleasant part of life to exist within. Trust me. I’ve been there recently.

More on acne:


Study shows depression in younger women linked to higher risk of death from heart disease

An Emory University study, published June 19th in the Journal of the American Heart Association, shows women age 55 and younger are twice as likely to suffer a heart attack, die or require artery-opening procedures if they are moderately or severely depressed.

The research, funded by the National Institutes of Health and the Emory Heart & Vascular Center, also showed that women in this age group are at greater risk than men and older women to suffer from depression — possibly a “hidden” risk factor that helps explain why more women die after a heart attack.

“Women in this age group are also more likely to have depression, so this may be one of the ‘hidden’ risk factors that can help explain why women die at a disproportionately higher rate than men after a heart attack,” says study author Amit J. Shah, MD, assistant professor of epidemiology, Rollins School of Public Health (RSPH), and assistant professor of medicine (cardiology), Emory University School of Medicine (SOM).

"Although the risks and benefits of routine screening for depression are still unclear, our study suggests that young women may benefit from special consideration," says senior study author Viola Vaccarino, MD, PhD, professor and Wilton Looney Chair of Epidemiology at RSPH and professor of medicine, Emory University SOM. “Unfortunately, this group has largely been understudied before.”

Full Story »


And here we are; the digital render of yesterday’s sketch of my Sacrier Royale (and with pointy ears this time).
This is the first draft of her looks. There are some things about her design I wish to change or add, but the basic idea is there. You might see the changes in a future drawing where Alys, Vivienne and Royale will be together.

Go Team Blue!
(Damn all the blue *pathetically sobs*)

Art and Royale belong to me
Scarier/Wakfu/Dofus belong to Ankama


Bacteria Hijack Plentiful Iron Supply Source to Flourish

In an era of increasing concern about the prevalence of antibiotic-resistant illness, Case Western Reserve researchers have identified a promising new pathway to disabling disease: blocking bacteria’s access to iron in the body.

The scientists showed how bacterial siderophore, a small molecule, 
captures iron from two abundant supply sources to fan bacterial growth — as well as how the body launches a chemical counterassault against this infection process. Their findings appear in a recent edition of The Journal of Experimental Medicine.

Bacterial siderophore will be an important target for therapeutics one day because it can be modified to prevent bacteria from acquiring iron, but at the same time, it’s possible to preserve host access to iron,” said senior author Laxminarayana Devireddy, DVM, PhD, assistant professor of pathology, Case Comprehensive Cancer Center.

Funding: This work was supported by NIH R01DK081395, Case Western Reserve University startup funds to Devireddy, an American Cancer Society Research Scholar Award, and March of Dimes and American Society of Hematology career development awards.

Read more


Quick thoughts about Gein before I’ll move to taking apart the final scene from the Ogrest manga:

-considering the fact that he’s immortal, we shouldn’t ask IF we’ll see him in Wakfu, but WHEN we’ll see him in Wakfu
-someone - preasumbly Sram himself - send Gein to kill the Explorancient. In…

To Tumblr, Love Pixel Union