Shiny SEQUIN: New Technique Counts Synapses Over Large Brain Volumes

RESEARCH NEWS 2020-06-01 Research News Synapses are central in Alzheimer’s disease, but they are hard to study. The microscopic techniques that offer a glimpse at these tiny structures require expensive equipment and laborious ultra-sectioning of brain tissue, and cover only very ...

Molecular Transport Vehicle Shuttles Therapies into Brain

RESEARCH NEWS 2020-05-29 Research News Researchers have devised a new way to sneak therapeutic cargo across the blood-brain barrier. Into the constant region of a human IgG1 antibody, they slid a domain that latches onto receptors that carry transferrin into the brain. On the ...

Paper Alert: CryoEM Structures of α-Synuclein Published

RESEARCH NEWS 2020-05-27 Research News In the May 27 Nature, scientists publish the first-ever cryo-electron microscopy of α-synuclein fibrils. With resolution down to the atomic level, the analysis revealed two types of asymmetric fibril, each comprising two different ...

Massive Proteomics Studies Peg Glial Metabolism, Myelination, to AD

RESEARCH NEWS 2020-05-23 Research News RNA sequencing studies of postmortem human brain samples have generated massive datasets implicating all manner of biological functions in Alzheimer’s disease. But how do these findings translate to proteins—where the biological rubber meets ...

The Air We Breathe—How Might Pollution Hurt the Brain?

RESEARCH NEWS 2020-05-23 Research News Part 2 of 2 For decades, studies of pulmonary and vascular systems dominated the air-pollution-research landscape. Researchers paid scant attention to the brain, which they considered safely ensconced behind the blood-brain barrier. But the ...

Air Pollution and Dementia—Through Hazy Data, Links Emerge

RESEARCH NEWS 2020-05-22 Research News Part 1 of 2 As coronavirus lockdowns have led to noticeably clearer skies above many metropolitan areas, people are beginning to wonder anew about the effects of air pollution. Traffic and industrial exhaust have long been linked to ...

Widely Used Tau Seeding Assay Challenged

RESEARCH NEWS 2020-05-22 Research News Many research groups study tau misfolding and propagation using in vitro models, but interpreting findings from artificial systems can be dicey. In a preprint on bioRxiv, researchers led by Eckhard Mandelkow at the German Center for ...

Gut Microbes: The Difference Between Life and Death in C9ORF72 Mice

RESEARCH NEWS 2020-05-15 Research News When Kevin Eggan of Harvard University decided to raise some C9ORF72-deficient mice down the road at MIT’s Broad Institute, he had little inkling of the can of worms—or microbes—that he was about to open. At Harvard, the C9-deficient mice ...

Could Tau PET Replace Amyloid Biomarkers as a Diagnostic for AD?

RESEARCH NEWS 2020-05-15 Research News The particular type of tangle found in Alzheimer’s is unique to this disease, making tau PET a highly specific marker. In the May 11 JAMA Neurology, researchers led by Oskar Hansson at Skåne University Hospital in Malmö, Sweden, reinforce ...

Mouse Brain Mapped in 3D, at High Resolution

RESEARCH NEWS 2020-05-13 Research News Behold the mouse brain, in glorious new detail. In the May 14 Cell, researchers led by Julie Harris and Lydia Ng at the Allen Institute for Brain Science in Seattle debut the third iteration of the Allen Mouse Brain atlas. Called the Common ...

Even Without Amyloid, ApoE4 Weakens Blood-Brain Barrier, Cognition

RESEARCH NEWS 2020-05-09 Research News ApoE4 weakens the blood-brain barrier in the hippocampus, and in this way takes its toll on cognition, according to a study published April 29 in Nature. Researchers led by Berislav Zlokovic of the University of Southern California in Los ...

Herpes Simplex Virus Triggers Amyloidosis in 3D Neural Cultures

RESEARCH NEWS 2020-05-08 Research News Looking for a way to model the human brain in a dish? Consider using a gel-filled silk sponge as a three-dimensional scaffold to mimic the vaunted organ’s architecture. That, at least, is the approach published by David Kaplan at Tufts ...

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