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Friday, November 20, 2015

Brain Research Bacterial protein can help convert stem cells into neurons ♦ Yin and yang of serotonin neurons in mood regulation ♦ Nanocarriers may carry new hope for brain cancer therapy

Nanocarriers may carry new hope for brain cancer therapy A new family of nanocarriers, called '3HM,' has been developed and meets all the size and stability requirements for effectively delivering therapeutic drugs to the brain for the treatment of a deadly form of cancer known as glioblastoma multiforme.
Yin and yang of serotonin neurons in mood regulation Low levels of serotonin in the brain are known to play a role in depression and anxiety, and it is customary to treat these disorders with medications that increase the amount of this neurotransmitter. It appears that neighboring serotonin-producing brainstem regions exert different and sometimes opposing effects on behavior.
Bacterial protein can help convert stem cells into neurons As the recipe book for turning stem cells into other types of cells keeps growing larger, the search for the perfect, therapeutically relevant blend of differentiation factors is revealing some interesting biology. A protein in E. coli bacteria combined with small molecules can act synergistically to push pluripotent cells into functional neurons.
How exercise may energize brain cell function: As we age or develop neurodegenerative diseases such as Alzheimer's, our brain cells may not produce sufficient energy to remain fully functional. Researchers have discovered that an enzyme called SIRT3 that is located in mitochondria — the cell's powerhouse — may protect mice brains against the kinds of stresses believed to contribute to energy loss. Furthermore, mice that ran on a wheel increased their levels of this protective enzyme.

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