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image: Insulin's Role in Body and Brain

Insulin's Role in Body and Brain

By , , and | December 6, 2012

Insulin, long recognized as a primary regulator of blood glucose, is now also understood to play key roles in neuroplasticity, neuromodulation, and neurotrophism.

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image: Telomere Basics

Telomere Basics

By | May 1, 2012

Telomeres are repetitive, noncoding sequences that cap the ends of linear chromosomes. They consist of hexameric nucleotide sequences (TTAGGG in humans) repeated hundreds to thousands of times. 

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image: Designing Transition-State Inhibitors

Designing Transition-State Inhibitors

By | May 1, 2012

A transition-state mimic has the power to bind an enzyme at its tipping point as strongly as any available inhibitor and more strongly than most, preventing enzymatic activity. 

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image: Suspected Effects of Vitamin D

Suspected Effects of Vitamin D

By | March 1, 2012

Vitamin D has a variety of actions in the body. It binds to the vitamin D receptor (VDR), which then binds to the retinoid X receptor (RXR) and activates the expression of numerous genes. 

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image: Inflammation, Pain, and Resolvins

Inflammation, Pain, and Resolvins

By | January 1, 2012

Not all inflammation leads to pain. Despite widespread infection followed by fever, colds rarely cause pain. But when some cytokines and certain immune cells are active near pain-sensing nerves, they trigger receptors that convey pain sensations to the brain.

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image: Swallowing the Surgeon

Swallowing the Surgeon

By | October 1, 2011

In fewer than 15 years, nanomedicine has gone from fantasy to reality.

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image: Lost in Space

Lost in Space

By | September 1, 2011

Looking for a more realistic way to study memory, we turned to place cells­­—­a network of cells that record a rat’s memory of an environment. 

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image: Molecular Learning

Molecular Learning

By | September 1, 2011

Long-term potentiation (LTP), discovered in the 1970s, was later shown to be the molecular basis of memory. 

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image: The Seat of Memory

The Seat of Memory

By | September 1, 2011

Early on, researchers had learned that the hippocampus was the structure in the brain where long-term memories were created and stored, but it was not known whether the different cell types within this structure might be more or less susceptible to the aging process.

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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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