An artist's rendition of an RNA molecule in light blue on a dark blue background
Same RNA Acts in Neurodegeneration and Cancer
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.
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Same RNA Acts in Neurodegeneration and Cancer
Same RNA Acts in Neurodegeneration and Cancer

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.

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.

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amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS)
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
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
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
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
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 | Apr 10, 2020
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
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.
Commensal Bacterium Reduces ALS Symptoms in Mice
Jef Akst | Jul 24, 2019
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
He developed an MRI-based map of the human cortex, discovered genetic risk factors for neurodegenerative diseases, and wrote about his struggles with ALS.
Renowned Physicist Stephen Hawking Dies
Ashley Yeager | Mar 14, 2018
Famed for his work on black holes and cosmology, he also survived decades with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis.
CRISPR Proves Promising for Treating ALS in Mice
Katarina Zimmer | Dec 20, 2017
The gene-editing tool was effective in disabling a defective gene responsible for some forms of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis. 
Image of the Day: When Cells Stop Cleaning
The Scientist Staff | Sep 12, 2017
By stifling autophagy in the motor neurons of a mouse model of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), scientists stem later-stage disease progression.
Second-Ever ALS Drug Approved
Jef Akst | May 8, 2017
Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis patients in the U.S. now have an option besides riluzole, which was approved by the FDA more than two decades ago and only extends life by two or three months.
Additional #IceBucketChallenge Payoffs
Jef Akst | Jul 28, 2016
Researchers identify a new ALS-associated gene thanks to funds generated by the social media challenge that went viral in summer 2014.
Book Review: Personal Trials
Arthur L. Caplan | Mar 22, 2016
At first blush, do-it-yourself clinical trials seem pointless and reckless. But a deeper truth pervades the research and the patients who drive it forward.
Endogenous Retrovirus Active in ALS
Jef Akst | Sep 30, 2015
Researchers uncover evidence that a retrovirus embedded within the human genome may play a role in the pathology of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis
#IceBucketChallenge Payoff
Jef Akst | Aug 20, 2015
A year after the viral ALS awareness campaign raised millions, researchers say they have something to show for the influx of funds.
FDA Calls for Data on ALS Drug
Jef Akst | Apr 21, 2015
In the midst of a debate about an experimental drug’s early approval, the US Food and Drug Administration requests that full trial results be released.
Beneficial Stats
Aimee Swartz | Mar 1, 2015
Statisticians who normally crunch numbers to forecast trends in the food-service industry turn their attention to bettering treatment of ALS.