A study on how bed bug's can survive genetic inbreeding was presented at the annual meeting of the American Society of Tropical Medicine and Hygiene (ASTMH). The study offers new insights into the rapidly growing problem of bed bugs across the U.S. and worldwide. In the U.S., in the 1950s the common bed bug (Cimex lectularius) almost entirely disappeared. However, over the past decade they have made an enormous comeback. These stubborn blood-sucking bugs have developed a resistance to the insecticides (pyrethroids), which used to be extremely effective in controlling them. In addition, the researchers at ASTMA offered to ways to control infestations in homes and apartment buildings: including new information on chemical compounds involved in attracting and repelling these insects, as well as a new method for preventing resistance to insecticide.
Using genetic techniques, investigators at Weill Cornell Medical College have managed to successfully repaired cleft lips in mice embryos specially engineered for the investigation of cleft palate and cleft lip. This novel breakthrough might reveal how to prevent or treat the condition in humans. Cleft lip and cleft palate are one of the most prevalent birth defects. Treatment for these defects involves multiple surgeries, orthodontics as well as speech therapy. So far, very few pre-clinical techniques have allowed scientists to investigate the molecular causes of these defects. In particular, there have been insufficient animal models that precisely reflect the contribution of multiple genes to these congenital defects in humans. In a recent study published in the journal Developmental Cell, the first multigenic mouse model of cleft lip with or without cleft palate was reported by Dr.
A long non-coding RNA (lncRNA) regulates programmed cell death during one of the final stages of red blood cell differentiation, according to Whitehead Institute researchers. This is the first time a lncRNA has been found to play a role in red blood cell development and the first time a lncRNA has been shown to affect programmed cell death. "Programmed cell death, or apoptosis, is very important, particularly in the hematopoietic (blood forming) system, where inhibition of cell death leads to leukemias, " says Whitehead Institute Founding Member Harvey Lodish, who is also a professor of biology and a professor of bioengineering at MIT. "We know a lot about the genes and proteins that regulate apoptosis, but this is the first example of a non-coding RNA that plays a role in blood cells.
A new study has shown previously unseen details of an anthrax bacteriophage - a virus that infects anthrax bacteria - revealing for the first time how it infects its host, and providing an initial blueprint for how the phage might someday be modified into a tool for the detection and destruction of anthrax and other potential bioterror agents. The bacteriophage, known as Bacillus anthracis spore-binding phage 8a (or SBP8a, for short), is too small to be seen with a conventional light microscope. To create a portrait of the virus, researchers employed cryo-electron tomography, using an electron microscope to image a flash-frozen sample from many different viewing angles. With the help of computers, the scientists then recombined these views to produce three-dimensional renderings of the phage.
The current medical understanding that lungs are completely formed by the age of 3 years has now been challenged by researchers at the University of Leicester in a groundbreaking discovery. The international study of the growth and development of lungs, funded by the Wellcome Trust and published in the American Journal of Respiratory and Critical Care Medicine, was a collaboration of researchers from the Department of Infection, Immunity and Inflammation, University of Leicester, the Department of Physics and Astronomy, University of Nottingham, and the University of Bern. For the first time, researchers presented a theory based on evidence that new air sacs (alveoli) are formed constantly. Until now, the majority of medical publications have taught that the development of alveoli starts approximately during the 6th months of pregnancy, and continue to increase in number until the age of about 3 years.