New assay detects marker of metastatic cancers, infection, trauma and neurological disease

Scientists at the Walter Reed Army Institute for Research demonstrated the potential of a novel blood test for cathepsin B, a well-studied protein important to brain development and function, as an indicator for a range of disease states. Cathepsin B plays an important role in the body, regulating the metabolism, immune responses, degradation of improperly…

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No batteries? No sweat! Wearable biofuel cells now produce electricity from lactate

It cannot be denied that, over the past few decades, the miniaturization of electronic devices has taken huge strides. Today, after pocket-size smartphones that could put old desktop computers to shame and a plethora of options for wireless connectivity, there is a particular type of device whose development has been steadily advancing: wearable biosensors. These…

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Researchers streamline molecular assembly line to design, test drug compounds

Researchers from North Carolina State University have found a way to fine-tune the molecular assembly line that creates antibiotics via engineered biosynthesis. The work could allow scientists to improve existing antibiotics as well as design new drug candidates quickly and efficiently. Bacteria – such as E. coli – harness biosynthesis to create molecules that are…

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Psychedelic experience may not be required for psilocybin’s antidepressant-like benefits

University of Maryland School of Medicine (UMSOM) researchers have shown that psilocybin–the active chemical in “magic mushrooms”– still works its antidepressant-like actions, at least in mice, even when the psychedelic experience is blocked. The new findings suggest that psychedelic drugs work in multiple ways in the brain and it may be possible to deliver the…

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Closer to human — Mouse model more accurately reproduces fatty liver disease

Human non-alcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD) is a little-understood condition that significantly increases the risk of inflammation, fibrosis and liver cancer and ultimately requires liver transplant. “NAFLD has been difficult to study mainly because we had no good animal model,” said corresponding author Dr. Karl-Dimiter Bissig, who was at Baylor during the development of this…

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