Brain region tied to social memory found
Social memory–the term to describe how people view themselves as part of larger groups–has been linked to a small region of the hippocampus, according to research published in the journal Nature.
The researchers created a transgenic mouse in which CA2 neurons could be inhibited. Once inhibited, the mice were given a series of behavioral tests. Normally when a mouse encounters another mouse they’ve never met, they spend more time investigating it. However, mice with inactivated CA2 showed no preference for a novel mouse compared to a previously met mouse. That, the researchers noted, showed a lack of social memory.
Other tests demonstrated that the mice behaved normally in other situations, such as encountering a new object. They showed a normal preference for the novel object, which indicates that they did not have a global lack of interest in novelty.
Researchers say that a better grasp of the function of CA2 could be useful to understand disorders that are characterized by problems in social behavior, such as autism, schizophrenia and bipolar disorder.
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Sourced from: ScienceDaily, Brain region essential for social memory identified
Published On: Feb 25, 2014
Scientists detect cancer in mice with simple urine test
Testing for cancer and other non-infectious diseases may become a lot easier. A team of researchers at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology have developed a new type of testing that can detect cancer and other illnesses by injecting nanoparticles to find affected tissue, and then releasing a biomarker that is carried in urine. Within minutes of the injection, peeing on paper strips can determine the diagnosis.
Reported in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, the nanoparticles mix with proteins found in tumors. These proteins produce hundreds of synthetic biomarkers easily detectable in urine. One such protein is matrix metalloproteinases (MMPs), which play a role in the migration of tumor cells.
To target MMPs, the researchers created nanoparticles coated with short protein fragments that MMPs are attracted to. So when these nanoparticles collect at a tumor site, the MMPs migrate toward them and release peptide fragments that are filtered through the kidneys and out into urine. Using paper strips that contain antibodies for capturing peptides, a line clearly appears on the strip reflecting which peptides are present. This technology is similar to that of a home pregnancy test.
A group of mice were tested using this approach and the strips successfully showed which mice had tumors and blood clots.
The researchers developed this technology with underdeveloped countries in mind, where medical testing is limited.
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Sourced from: medicalnewstoday.com, Cheap urine test for cancer steps closer
Published On: Feb 25, 2014