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Photo of Ankara Jain in his lab
Ankur Jain Explores RNA Aggregations in Neurodegenerative Disease
The MIT biologist studies how RNA molecules self-assemble and the role these accumulations may play in diseases such as ALS and Huntington’s.
Ankur Jain Explores RNA Aggregations in Neurodegenerative Disease
Ankur Jain Explores RNA Aggregations in Neurodegenerative Disease

The MIT biologist studies how RNA molecules self-assemble and the role these accumulations may play in diseases such as ALS and Huntington’s.

The MIT biologist studies how RNA molecules self-assemble and the role these accumulations may play in diseases such as ALS and Huntington’s.

ALS
A 3D rendering of a neuron
Independent FDA Advisory Panel Recommends Approving ALS Drug
Amanda Heidt | Sep 8, 2022 | 4 min read
The group’s 7-2 ruling in favor of the therapeutic represents a shift from previous deliberations, in which data on its effectiveness was deemed insufficient.
LAKSAMEE CAVE
Clinton Cave Investigates How Brain Cells Communicate
Andy Carstens | Sep 1, 2022 | 3 min read
The Middlebury College neuroscientist explores enzymes that affect brain cell development and neurodegeneration.
Motor neurons, undergoing degeneration in ALS
Mutant T Cells That Drive Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS) Progression May React To a Brain Antigen
Nele Haelterman, PhD | 4 min read
Scientists discovered a possibly autoreactive T cell population that forecasts and supports disease progression.
A conceptual 3D illustration of motor neurons degrading
Canada Approves Experimental ALS Therapy
Andy Carstens | Jun 14, 2022 | 3 min read
The country’s provisional go-ahead could increase pressure already being exerted on the US Food and Drug Administration to approve the therapy.
Electrode array, with needle-like electrodes facing upward
Brain Implant Allows Completely Paralyzed Patient to Communicate
Natalia Mesa, PhD | Mar 24, 2022 | 4 min read
The patient, who has ALS, is able to communicate in complete sentences by deliberately altering his brain’s activity.
Breaking Down Barriers
The Scientist’s Creative Services Team | 1 min read
Looking at the future of neurodegeneration research!
An artist's rendition of an RNA molecule in light blue on a dark blue background
Same RNA Acts in Neurodegeneration and Cancer
Abby Olena, PhD | Oct 29, 2021 | 3 min read
The long noncoding RNA MINCR, implicated in ALS and Alzheimer’s disease as well as several types of cancer, appears to function differently when present at high versus low levels.
An illustration of a yeast cell (right) and a human neuron (left) showing the processes/features that are similar in the two
Infographic: Modeling Neurodegenerative Diseases with Yeast
Mahlon Collins | Oct 1, 2021 | 3 min read
Conservation of structures and functions between single-celled fungi and human cells allow researchers to probe the brain.
Photographs of the October 2021 issue's contributors
Contributors
The Scientist Staff | Oct 1, 2021 | 3 min read
Meet some of the people featured in the October 2021 issue of The Scientist.
Scanning electron micrograph (SEM) of the unicellular yeast Saccharomyces cerevisiae, known as Baker's or Brewer's yeast.
Yeast Models Provide New Insights into Neurodegenerative Diseases
Mahlon Collins | Oct 1, 2021 | 10+ min read
The single-celled fungus allows researchers to study Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s, ALS and other brain diseases with unparalleled speed and scale.
New Drug Combo for ALS Slows Decline in Small Clinical Study
Jef Akst | Sep 3, 2020 | 3 min read
After six months, patients with fast-progressing amyotrophic lateral sclerosis who had received the experimental treatment had less loss of function than those who received a placebo.
Symptoms in ALS Mouse Model Improve with CRISPR Base Editing
Abby Olena, PhD | Apr 10, 2020 | 4 min read
Researchers slowed disease progression in the mice by injecting two different viral vectors, each containing one part of the DNA encoding the Cas9 protein, to edit the causative gene.
“Hero” Proteins May Shield Other Proteins from Harm
Emma Yasinski | Mar 19, 2020 | 3 min read
Flexible proteins appear to protect molecules from becoming denatured in extreme conditions such as heat and from clumping up, as happens in some neurodegenerative diseases.
Those We Lost in 2019
Ashley Yeager | Dec 30, 2019 | 6 min read
The scientific community said goodbye to Sydney Brenner, Paul Greengard, Patricia Bath, and a number of other leading researchers this year.
Commensal Bacterium Reduces ALS Symptoms in Mice
Jef Akst | Jul 24, 2019 | 2 min read
Boosting the levels of Akkermansia muciniphila in mouse guts slowed the progression of an ALS-like disease, while two other microbiome members were associated with more severe symptoms.
rahul desikan als amyotrophic lateral sclerosis
Neuroscientist Rahul Desikan Dies
Kerry Grens | Jul 19, 2019 | 2 min read
He developed an MRI-based map of the human cortex, discovered genetic risk factors for neurodegenerative diseases, and wrote about his struggles with ALS.
Infographic: Human Endogenous Retroviruses and Disease
Katarina Zimmer | Jan 1, 2019 | 3 min read
Human endogenous retroviruses that colonized vertebrate DNA millions of years ago have long been dismissed as junk DNA, but researchers now know that they may play important roles in cancer, neurodegeneration, and other ailments.
Can Viruses in the Genome Cause Disease?
Katarina Zimmer | Jan 1, 2019 | 10+ min read
Clinical trials that target human endogenous retroviruses to treat multiple sclerosis, ALS, and other ailments are underway, but many questions remain about how these sequences may disrupt our biology.
Those We Lost in 2018
Ashley Yeager | Dec 26, 2018 | 10+ min read
The scientific community said goodbye to a number of leading researchers this year.
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