A team of researchers from the Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona (UAB) has cured mice with diabetes type 1 for the first time. In the experiment, the diabetic mice completely recovered from the disease after having suffered excesses of glucose in their blood. Although the mice used were transgenic, the researchers are sure that there will soon be a genic therapy based on this discovery that will cure non-transgenic mice with diabetes type 1, and which, within a few years, will also be able to cure people. The study was published in last edition of Journal of Clinical Investigation.
A research team led by Fatima Bosch, professor in the Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology at the UAB, has studied the effects of protein IGF-I on mice with diabetes type 1, i.e. the type of diabetes produced by a decrease in the number of beta cells in the pancreas, the ones which produce insulin. In order to study this effect, the researchers used mice that were genetically modified so that the beta cells in their pancreases would produce protein IGF-I, and have compared the development of diabetes type 1 in this type of mice to the evolution of the disease in control mice (without genetic modifications).
The results of the experiments clearly show that in the transgenic mice with the gene that codifies for protein IGF-I activated in beta cells, the induction of experimental diabetes leads to the replication of these cells, their programmed cellular death is counteracted (apoptosis) and the resident mother cells in the conducts of the pancreas are induced to develop insulin-producing beta cells. All these effects lead to the mice completely recovering from the disease, re-establishing absolutely normal levels of glucose in their blood.
Octavi López Coronado | alphagalileo
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Plants and algae use the enzyme Rubisco to fix carbon dioxide, removing it from the atmosphere and converting it into biomass. Algae have figured out a way to increase the efficiency of carbon fixation. They gather most of their Rubisco into a ball-shaped microcompartment called the pyrenoid, which they flood with a high local concentration of carbon dioxide. A team of scientists at Princeton University, the Carnegie Institution for Science, Stanford University and the Max Plank Institute of Biochemistry have unravelled the mysteries of how the pyrenoid is assembled. These insights can help to engineer crops that remove more carbon dioxide from the atmosphere while producing more food.
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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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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!
When x-rays shine onto solid materials or large molecules, an electron is pushed away from its original place near the nucleus of the atom, leaving a hole...
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...
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