Patients with cystic fibrosis show wide variability both in terms of the inflammatory burden of the lung and in their response to inhaled glucorticoids. As such, the effectiveness of this therapy in patients with cystic fibrosis remains uncertain. However, previous research has suggested that specific subgroups of patients may benefit from treatment with inhaled glucocorticoids.
In several inflammatory diseases, variations in sensitivity to glucocorticoids have been found to be associated with single nucleotide polymorphisms in the glucocorticoid receptor gene. So, a team from Hôpital Trousseau, Assistance Publique Hôpitaux de Paris, Inserm and Université Pierre et Marie Curie (all based in Paris, France) set out to investigate the effect of four polymorphisms (TthIII, ER22/23EK, N363S and BclI) in the glucocorticoid receptor gene on disease progression in 255 young people with cystic fibrosis.
The BclI glucocorticoid receptor gene polymorphism was found to be significantly associated with a decline in lung function, as measured by the forced expiratory volume in 1 second and the forced vital capacity. The deterioration in lung function was more pronounced in patients with the BclI GG genotype than in those with the CG and CC genotypes.
The authors write: "The association of BclI polymorphism and lung disease progression in cystic fibrosis gives support to the concept that specific subgroups of patients with cystic fibrosis may benefit from the use of glucocorticoids preferably by the inhaled route. If true, this should allow discriminatory prescribing which is of tremendous importance."
Investigators may unlock mystery of how staph cells dodge the body's immune system
22.09.2017 | Cedars-Sinai Medical Center
Monitoring the heart's mitochondria to predict cardiac arrest?
21.09.2017 | Boston Children's Hospital
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.
A warming planet
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.
The researchers report online in Nature (Schmidt et al., 2017. Axonal synapse sorting in medial entorhinal cortex, DOI: 10.1038/nature24005) that synapses in...
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!
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...
19.09.2017 | Event News
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22.09.2017 | Physics and Astronomy