1. To stent or not? » A large randomized trial demonstrates that arterial stenting is as effective and safe as surgical intervention in treating narrowing (stenosis) of the carotid arteries, challenging previous work that showed stents were more risky.
2. Drug helps, not hurts, lung disease » Patients with acute respiratory distress syndrome using a neuromuscular blocker are more likely than those on a placebo to survive 90 days, and show no increase in muscle weakness—a common concern among doctors.
3. Piezos for pain » A family of proteins, called Piezos, may be a component of mechanically activated ion channels, which make possible several senses, such as hearing, touch, and pain sensation.
4. New function for noncoding RNAs » Long noncoding RNAs, previously known to silence expression of certain genes, also play a role in gene activation.
5. Proficient pluripotency » Researchers created synthetic mRNAs, chemically modified to prevent innate-immune-system activation and more efficiently reprogram human cells to pluripotency—a significant advance in induced pluripotent stem cell technology.
6. Details of cell division » A complex of proteins crucial for the alignment and separation of chromosomes in dividing cells is directed to the centromeres by the phosphorylating actions of a specific kinase, revealing an important mechanism of cell division that has long escaped scientists.
7. Better nuclei isolation » Researchers streamlined a method for tagging nuclei from specific cell types in plants, and purifying them to measure gene expression and chromatin modification across a variety of tissue types.
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