A genetically engineered mighty mouse is helping Medical College of Georgia researchers find the best way for young people to build bone and avoid osteoporosis.
"We are interested in kids; we want to know how to maximize their bone during peak periods of growth while they still can," says Dr. Mark Hamrick, bone biologist. "One of the best predictors of who is going to get osteoporosis and who is not is how much bone you have at sexual maturity. So we want to know what people can do from zero to age 18 that really is going to pack that bone on." These mighty mice, with up to 70 percent more muscle mass than a regular mouse and essentially no body fat, and a $1 million grant from the National Institutes of Health are helping Dr. Hamrick answer that question. The mice lack the myostatin gene, a negative regulator of muscle mass. "Lots of genes control muscle development," says Dr. Hamrick. "This one is pretty significant in terms of not letting muscles get too big."
Myostatin is expressed at highest levels during development, when the embryo is growing, to ensure that muscles dont overgrow, Dr. Hamrick says. The level expressed changes naturally over the course of life. "Its still expressed as children grow and is present in very low levels in adults," he says. "Its suggested that you might get rises in myostatin levels with aging, which is associated with a loss of muscle mass that typically accompanies increased age. " Some muscle-wasting diseases as well as space flight and extended bed rest also are associated with increased myostatin levels. Numerous products claim to help adults build muscle by turning off this powerful muscle regulator produced by muscle cells, Dr. Hamrick says. But the only product scientifically proven to block myostatin is a monoclonal antibody now under study for its potential to treat muscular dystrophy, he says.
Toni Baker | EurekAlert!
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Our brains house extremely complex neuronal circuits, whose detailed structures are still largely unknown. This is especially true for the so-called cerebral cortex of mammals, where among other things vision, thoughts or spatial orientation are being computed. Here the rules by which nerve cells are connected to each other are only partly understood. A team of scientists around Moritz Helmstaedter at the Frankfiurt Max Planck Institute for Brain Research and Helene Schmidt (Humboldt University in Berlin) have now discovered a surprisingly precise nerve cell connectivity pattern in the part of the cerebral cortex that is responsible for orienting the individual animal or human in space.
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Whispering gallery mode (WGM) resonators are used to make tiny micro-lasers, sensors, switches, routers and other devices. These tiny structures rely on a...
Using ultrafast flashes of laser and x-ray radiation, scientists at the Max Planck Institute of Quantum Optics (Garching, Germany) took snapshots of the briefest electron motion inside a solid material to date. The electron motion lasted only 750 billionths of the billionth of a second before it fainted, setting a new record of human capability to capture ultrafast processes inside solids!
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For the first time, physicists have successfully imaged spiral magnetic ordering in a multiferroic material. These materials are considered highly promising candidates for future data storage media. The researchers were able to prove their findings using unique quantum sensors that were developed at Basel University and that can analyze electromagnetic fields on the nanometer scale. The results – obtained by scientists from the University of Basel’s Department of Physics, the Swiss Nanoscience Institute, the University of Montpellier and several laboratories from University Paris-Saclay – were recently published in the journal Nature.
Multiferroics are materials that simultaneously react to electric and magnetic fields. These two properties are rarely found together, and their combined...
MBM ScienceBridge GmbH successfully negotiated a license agreement between University Medical Center Göttingen (UMG) and the biotech company Tissue Systems Holding GmbH about commercial use of a multi-well tissue plate for automated and reliable tissue engineering & drug testing.
MBM ScienceBridge GmbH successfully negotiated a license agreement between University Medical Center Göttingen (UMG) and the biotech company Tissue Systems...
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