PHILADELPHIA — A research study from the Farber Institute for Neurosciences and the Department of Neuroscience at Thomas Jefferson University determines bone marrow stromal stem cells may aid in stroke recovery. The results can be found in Cell T…
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Virologists at Jefferson Medical College may have discovered a new way by which HIV, the AIDS virus, can evade both anti-viral drugs and vaccines. Researchers had reported last summer that a protein called CEM15 is a natural inhibitor of HIV, acting as a brake on HIV’s replication. They also showed that an HIV-encoded protein, Vif, or Virion infectivity factor, counteracts CEM15. Vif, in effect, is a shield to protect HIV from a host cell’s defenses.
A special breathing technology may help spare healthy lung, heart and liver tissue from the effects of radiation during treatment for early stage breast cancer. Kolby Sidhu, M.D., an instructor in radiation oncology at Jefferson Medical College of Thomas Jefferson University in Philadelphia, leads a clinical trial examining the effectiveness of the Active Breathing Coordinator (ABC), a device that is aimed at helping patients to hold their breath in a consistent manner while receiving radiation. This inhalation in turn increases the separation between the breast tissue and the heart, reducing the heart’s exposure to radiation during treatment.
Biologists have shown for the first time in the laboratory that they can convert some adult human neural stem cells to brain cells that can produce dopamine, the brain chemical missing in Parkinson’s disease. If the researchers can better understand the process and harness this ability, the work may someday lead to new strategies in treating neurodegenerative diseases such as Parkinson’s.
Researchers have found evidence in animals that the young, adolescent brain may be more sensitive to addictive drugs such as cocaine and amphetamines than either the adult or newborn. The work may help someday lead to a better understanding of how the adolescent human brain adapts to such drugs, and provide clues into changes in the brain that occur during drug addiction.
Medical researchers have successfully reversed the progression of Parkinson’s disease in rats through the use of gene therapy. By adding a gene for a single enzyme, they were able to reprogram brain circuits and halt the deterioration of dopamine-producing brain cells, one of the key problems in the disease. The lack of dopamine is what leads the the tell-tale shaking and muscle twitches of Parkinson’s patients.