Images showing direction of blood flow (white and red arrows) before, during and after clot formation (red X) Credit: Chris Schaffer, Nozomi Nishimura and David Kleinfeld, UCSD, PLOS Biology
A technique developed at the University of California, San Diego that precisely creates and images blood clots in the brain in real time could make it possible to understand the small strokes implicated in many forms of dementia, including Alzheimer’s disease.
The study, published this week in the early on-line edition of the journal Public Library of Science Biology, represents a collaboration between the research groups of David Kleinfeld, professor of physics at UCSD, and Patrick Lyden, professor of neurosciences at UCSD’s School of Medicine. The paper will appear in the print edition of the journal in February.
Using a laser to trigger the formation of individual blood clots in tiny arteries of the brains of anesthetized rats, the researchers were able to monitor the resulting changes in blood flow. They say that their study provides a way to understand small strokes common in elderly humans. These strokes often cause no immediate symptoms, but they are thought to contribute to dementia and may ultimately cause larger strokes.
Sherry Seethaler | EurekAlert!
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Many pathogens use certain sugar compounds from their host to help conceal themselves against the immune system. Scientists at the University of Bonn have now, in cooperation with researchers at the University of York in the United Kingdom, analyzed the dynamics of a bacterial molecule that is involved in this process. They demonstrate that the protein grabs onto the sugar molecule with a Pac Man-like chewing motion and holds it until it can be used. Their results could help design therapeutics that could make the protein poorer at grabbing and holding and hence compromise the pathogen in the host. The study has now been published in “Biophysical Journal”.
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