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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: Calcium and the Pancreas

Calcium and the Pancreas

By | February 1, 2012

Normal pancreatic function depends on the precise flow of calcium within and into the acinar cells of the organ. 

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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: 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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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: 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: Part Human, Part HIV

Part Human, Part HIV

By | June 3, 2011

Like other enveloped viruses, HIV exits its host cell enshrouded in the cell’s membrane, which contains membrane molecules such as the human leukocyte antigens (HLA). 

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