Tissue damage due to Multiple Sclerosis (MS) is reduced and lifespan lengthened in mouse models of the disease when a naturally occurring fibrous protein called fibrin is depleted from the body, according to researchers at the University of California, San Diego (UCSD) School of Medicine.
The study, reported online the week of April 19, 2004 in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, identifies fibrin as a potential target for therapeutic intervention in the disease, which affects an estimated one million people worldwide.
However, the research team cautions that fibrin plays an important role in blood clotting and systemic fibrin depletion could have adverse effects in a chronic disease such as MS. Therefore, additional research is needed to specifically target fibrin in the nervous system, without affecting its ability as a blood clotting protein.
Sue Pondrom | EurekAlert!
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Scientists at the Max Planck Institute for Polymer Research (MPI-P) in Mainz (Germany) together with scientists from Dresden, Leipzig, Sofia (Bulgaria) and Madrid (Spain) have now developed and characterized a novel, metal-organic material which displays electrical properties mimicking those of highly crystalline silicon. The material which can easily be fabricated at room temperature could serve as a replacement for expensive conventional inorganic materials used in optoelectronics.
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