Developmental biology, the study of the processes through which organisms grow and develop, is an area of biomedical research where modal organisms - ranging from the slime mold Dictyostelium discoideum to the chicken - play a crucial role, and one that has been honoured with several Nobel Prizes in recent years. For example, the 1995 … Continue reading How nerve cells reach their niche.
Multiple sclerosis (MS) is one of the most common diseases of the central nervous system – the brain and spinal cord - affecting about one person in every thousand in the USA. It is an inflammatory condition, where the immune system attacks the myelin sheath that surrounds the axons of nerve cells. Myelin is a … Continue reading From the bench and the bedside; how animal research is taming Multiple Sclerosis
There's an interesting story on the BBC website about new research on nerve cell regeneration after spinal cord damage in mice, work undertaken by a team led by Dr. Zhigang He of the F.M. Kirby Neurobiology Center at Children's Hospital Boston. Those of you who follow developments on the field of spinal cord repair may … Continue reading Of mice and mTOR: Can damaged spinal cords be taught to repair themselves?
One of the things that often strikes me when reading about medical advances or clinical trials is how variable the reporting of basic and applied research, including animal research, that underpins the clinical research is. In some cases it is discussed in some depth, but far too often it is either skimmed over or not … Continue reading Finding animal research in medical news
Back in October I wrote about how animal research has enabled the development of brain cooling as a treatment to reduce brain damage in babies who had suffered oxygen starvation during birth. This is a problem that affects tens of thousands of babies every year, and frequently results in death or long-term disability. Brain cooling … Continue reading A Noble cause: Protecting babies brains with Xenon
Chances are that you have either suffered from migraine yourself or have a family member or close friend who have, after all about 1 in 8 of us will suffer from migraine at some stage in our lifetime, and some sufferers experience repeated debilitating episodes over many years . While headache on one side of … Continue reading Understanding migraines: The blind leading the…err…rats