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image: The Cytokine Cycle

The Cytokine Cycle

By | September 1, 2011

The initiating cause of Alzheimer’s disease is still unknown. However, from our studies it’s clear that many types of neuronal damage—­­from traumatic brain injury, to epilepsy, infection, or genetic predisposition—­can activate brain immune cells—microglia and astrocytes-- promoting them to produce IL-1 and S100 inflammatory cytokines.

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image: Battling Malaria in Africa

Battling Malaria in Africa

By | August 1, 2011

When general practitioner John Lusingu returned to his native Tanzania to do research on malaria, he was met with a total lack of science infrastructure. 

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image: Helpful Bacterial Metabolites

Helpful Bacterial Metabolites

By | August 1, 2011

While gut microbiota appear to have both positive and negative impacts on our  health, in the guts of healthy, lean individuals, the good outweighs the bad.  

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image: Harmful Bacterial Metabolites

Harmful Bacterial Metabolites

By | August 1, 2011

Gut bacteria that feed on healthy food appear to amplify the nutritional benefits of those foods. However, they also appear to amplify the undesirable effects of unhealthy food. 

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image: The Right Sort

The Right Sort

By | August 1, 2011

Isolating specific cell types from a mass of plant or animal tissue is laborious and tricky. 

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image: Repainting Ancient Birds

Repainting Ancient Birds

By | July 1, 2011

Using synchrotron rapid scanning X-ray fluorescence to map the distribution of trace metals in avian fossils over 120 million-year-old, researchers reconstruct the pigment patterns of their feathers—revealing some of the extinct birds' long-lost colors.

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image: OPSINS: Tools of the trade

OPSINS: Tools of the trade

By | July 1, 2011

The optogenetic toolset is composed of genetically encoded molecules that, when targeted to specific neurons in the brain, enable the electrical activity of those neurons to be driven or silenced by light. 

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image: Meet the Crystal Smasher

Meet the Crystal Smasher

By | July 1, 2011

Take a tour of the Linac Coherent Light Source (LCLS), whose ultra-powerful X-ray beam is being used to solve the structures of proteins that are notoriously hard to crystallize.

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image: Optogenetics: A Light Switch for Neurons

Optogenetics: A Light Switch for Neurons

By | July 1, 2011

This animation illustrates optogenetics—a radical new technology for controlling brain activity with light. 

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image: Smashing Crystals

Smashing Crystals

July 1, 2011

A powerful new X-ray–generating laser is imaging smaller crystals than ever before.

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