Scientists at Emory University School of Medicine were able to enhance significantly the re-growth of damaged peripheral nerves in mice by treating them with enzymes that counteracted a growth-blocking mechanism. The research offers the potential for improving functional recovery after peripheral nerve injuries. The Emory scientists were led by Arthur English, PhD, professor of cell biology, with faculty colleagues Robert McKeon, PhD and Erica Werner, PhD and former Emory student M.L. Groves. Results of the research will be presented at the annual meeting of the Society for Neuroscience on November 8 in New Orleans.
Peripheral nerves extend from the spinal cord to targets in the periphery such as muscle and skin. Individual peripheral nerves contain thousands of individual fibers, called axons, which project to specific targets. When a peripheral nerve is damaged, axons between the injury site and muscle or skin degenerate and function is lost. Although peripheral nerve axons are capable of regenerating after such injuries, in humans this regeneration is modest at best and there currently is no effective clinical treatment.
One reason peripheral nerves do not regenerate well is the presence of growth inhibitory substances, called proteoglycans, within the environment of the damaged nerve. In an effort to improve the ability of axons to regenerate, the Emory scientists attempted to modify this inhibitory environment following peripheral nerve injury in mice. They treated the peripheral portion of severed nerves with each of three enzymes that degrade specific types of proteoglycans.
Holly Korschun | EurekAlert!
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For the first time, physicists at the University of Basel have succeeded in measuring the magnetic properties of atomically thin van der Waals materials on the nanoscale. They used diamond quantum sensors to determine the strength of the magnetization of individual atomic layers of the material chromium triiodide. In addition, they found a long-sought explanation for the unusual magnetic properties of the material. The journal Science has published the findings.
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Researchers led by Francesca Ferlaino from the University of Innsbruck and the Austrian Academy of Sciences report in Physical Review X on the observation of supersolid behavior in dipolar quantum gases of erbium and dysprosium. In the dysprosium gas these properties are unprecedentedly long-lived. This sets the stage for future investigations into the nature of this exotic phase of matter.
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