At the Institut Curie, CNRS and Inserm researchers have shown that cysteamine, which is already used to treat a rare disease called cystinosis, prevents the death of neurons in Huntington’s disease. Like Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s, Huntington’s disease, is characterized by the abnormal death of neurons.
A protein that “releases” BDNF The nuclei in these two neuronal cells appear blue. The cell on the right has been treated with cysteamine, and so neuroprotective BDNF is progressively secreted from the Golgi apparatus, which appears yellow, and spreads around the nucleus within the cytoplasm. This reorganization results in better release of neuroprotective BDNF. © S. Humbert-F. Saudou/Institut Curie
A protein that “releases” BDNF BDNF (green) and clathrin (red), a marker of BDNF-containing vesicles, are abundant in the Golgi apparatus of neurons. © S. Humbert-F. Saudou/Institut Curie
Cysteamine raises neuronal levels of BDNF protein, a trophic factor which is depleted in Huntington’s disease, and by assaying BDNF in the blood it is possible to evaluate the effect of treatment. If other studies confirm these results, cysteamine could soon be used to treat Huntington’s disease, and BDNF could serve as a biomarker of its efficacy.
Huntington’s disease is a rare (1 in 10 000 people) neurological condition whose onset occurs between the ages of 35 and 50. The most striking symptoms are involuntary abnormal movements of the limbs, head and neck. These are accompanied by mental symptoms (anxiety, irritability, depression) and intellectual deterioration leading to dementia. Death occurs 15 to 20 years after disease onset as a result of complications (pulmonary embolism, pneumonia, other infection).
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Astronomers from Bonn and Tautenburg in Thuringia (Germany) used the 100-m radio telescope at Effelsberg to observe several galaxy clusters. At the edges of these large accumulations of dark matter, stellar systems (galaxies), hot gas, and charged particles, they found magnetic fields that are exceptionally ordered over distances of many million light years. This makes them the most extended magnetic fields in the universe known so far.
The results will be published on March 22 in the journal „Astronomy & Astrophysics“.
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Researchers at the Goethe University Frankfurt, together with partners from the University of Tübingen in Germany and Queen Mary University as well as Francis Crick Institute from London (UK) have developed a novel technology to decipher the secret ubiquitin code.
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Silicon nanosheets are thin, two-dimensional layers with exceptional optoelectronic properties very similar to those of graphene. Albeit, the nanosheets are less stable. Now researchers at the Technical University of Munich (TUM) have, for the first time ever, produced a composite material combining silicon nanosheets and a polymer that is both UV-resistant and easy to process. This brings the scientists a significant step closer to industrial applications like flexible displays and photosensors.
Silicon nanosheets are thin, two-dimensional layers with exceptional optoelectronic properties very similar to those of graphene. Albeit, the nanosheets are...
Enzymes behave differently in a test tube compared with the molecular scrum of a living cell. Chemists from the University of Basel have now been able to simulate these confined natural conditions in artificial vesicles for the first time. As reported in the academic journal Small, the results are offering better insight into the development of nanoreactors and artificial organelles.
Enzymes behave differently in a test tube compared with the molecular scrum of a living cell. Chemists from the University of Basel have now been able to...
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