With almost one billion people lacking access to clean, safe drinking water, scientists are reporting development and successful initial tests of an inexpensive new filtering technology that kills up to 98 percent of disease-causing bacteria in wate…
Police should hand out more traffic tickets. While Robert Tibshirani, PhD, won’t win any popularity contests with that sentiment, the Stanford School of Medicine researcher and his colleagues at the University of Toronto report in a paper being published in the June 28 issue of The Lancet that vigilant traffic law enforcement may reduce fatal car crashes.
Scientists have finally laid hands on the first member of a recalcitrant group of proteins called the Wnts two decades after their discovery. Important regulators of animal development, these proteins were suspected to have a role in keeping stem cells in their youthful, undifferentiated state – a suspicion that has proven correct, according to research carried out in two laboratories at Stanford University Medical Center. The ability to isolate Wnt proteins could help researchers grow some types of stem cells for use in bone marrow transplants or other therapies.
A population of Jewish people known as the Ashkenazi Jews have an unusually high risk of several genetic diseases, and up until now, no one has understood why. Was it random chance that made mutations so common or did evolution play a role in keeping mutations around? The answer to this question, said researchers at Stanford University Medical Center, appears to be chance. Their findings appear in the March online issue of the American Journal of Human Genetics and in the journal’s April print edition.
Researchers have found that a recently discovered gene regulates HDL (high density lipoproteins) cholesterol, also known as “good” cholesterol. The study, published in the February issue of the Journal of Clinical Investigation, could lead to new therapies for heart disease, said lead author Thomas Quertermous, MD. “This is a significant and unexpected finding, and the gene is going to be a real target for the prevention and treatment of heart disease,” said Quertermous, the William G. Irwin Professor and chief of cardiovascular medicine at Stanford University School of Medicine. “This type of thing doesn’t happen every day.”
Stanford researchers have developed a technique that could cut the risks associated with gene therapy. Traditionally, gene therapy involves sneaking a snippet of genes into a person’s DNA via a virus messenger. But the result is the new sequence gets randomly placed within the patient’s existing genes, sometimes triggering other illnesses, such as leukemia. The new technique eliminates the need for a virus delivery system and places the genes in precise locations.