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Latest Stanford Scientists Stories

2011-03-09 16:32:53

Stimulation of a distinct brain circuit that lies within a brain structure typically associated with fearfulness produces the opposite effect: Its activity, instead of triggering or increasing anxiety, counters it. That's the finding in a paper by Stanford University School of Medicine researchers to be published online March 9 in Nature. In the study, Karl Deisseroth, MD, PhD, and his colleagues employed a mouse model to show that stimulating activity exclusively in this circuit enhances...

2010-11-12 01:44:11

One protein single-handedly controls the growth of blood vessels into the developing brains of mice embryos, according to researchers at the Stanford University School of Medicine. Understanding how the protein, a cellular receptor, functions could help clinicians battle brain tumors and stroke by choking off or supplementing vital blood-vessel development, and may enhance the delivery of drugs across the blood-brain barrier. "The strength and specificity of this receptor's effects indicate...

2010-09-27 14:04:40

Researchers at Stanford University were able to use light to induce normal patterns of muscle contraction, in a study involving bioengineered mice whose nerve-cell surfaces are coated with special light-sensitive proteins. The new approach allows scientists to more accurately reproduce muscle firing order, making it a valuable research tool. The investigators, from Stanford's Schools of Medicine and of Engineering, also believe this technique could someday spawn practical applications, from...

2010-07-01 15:12:58

Scientists at the Stanford University School of Medicine have identified a cancer-initiating cell in human melanomas. The finding is significant because the existence of such a cell in the aggressive skin cancer has been a source of debate. It may also explain why current immunotherapies are largely unsuccessful in preventing disease recurrence in human patients. "These cells lack the traditional melanoma cell surface markers targeted by these treatments," said post-doctoral fellow Alexander...

2008-10-08 12:00:11

A family of cancer-fighting molecules helps blood stem cells in mice decide when and how to divide, say researchers at the Stanford University School of Medicine. Blocking the molecules' function spurs the normally resting cells to begin proliferating strangely -- making too much of one kind of cell and not enough of another. Many types of human blood cancers involve a similar disruption in the expression of that same family of molecules. The blood stem cells' misguided enthusiasm also...

2008-09-11 15:00:11

Marauding molecules cause the tissue damage that underlies heart attacks, sunburn, Alzheimer's and hangovers. But scientists at the Stanford University School of Medicine say they may have found ways to combat the carnage after discovering an important cog in the body's molecular detoxification machinery. The culprit molecules are oxygen byproducts called free radicals. These highly unstable molecules start chain reactions of cellular damage -- an escalating storm that ravages healthy...

2008-08-26 15:00:17

Scientists at the Stanford University School of Medicine are shedding light on how type-1 diabetes begins. Doctors have known the disease is caused by an autoimmune attack on the pancreas, but the exact trigger of the attack has been unclear. Now, a new study in mice implicates the immune signal interferon-alpha as an early culprit in a chain of events that upend sugar metabolism and make patients dependent on lifelong insulin injections. "We never considered that interferon-alpha...


Word of the Day
omphalos
  • The navel or umbilicus.
  • In Greek archaeology: A central boss, as on a shield, a bowl, etc.
  • A sacred stone in the temple of Apollo at Delphi, believed by the Greeks to mark the 'navel' or exact center-point of the earth.
'Omphalos' comes from the ancient Greek.
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