Harvard Stem Cell Institute researchers have identified the earliest master human heart stem cell from human embryonic stem cells - ISL1+ progenitors - that give rise to a family of cells that form the essential portions of the human heart.
The discovery, by a group led by Kenneth Chien, is particularly important because the cells were found in regions of the heart known as hot spots for congenital heart disease.
Following the disbandment of the STEP trial to test the efficacy of the Merck HIV-1 vaccine candidate in 2007, the leading explanation for why the vaccine was ineffective - and may have even increased susceptibility to acquiring the virus - centered on the hypothesis that high levels of baseline Ad5-specific neutralizing antibodies may have increased HIV-1 acquisition among the study subjects who received the vaccine by increasing Ad5-specific CD4+ T-cells that were susceptible to HIV-1 infection.
A team of Massachusetts General Hospital physicians has developed a new general anesthetic that may be safer for critically ill patients. They describe preclinical studies of the drug called MOC-etomidate - a chemically altered version of an exiting anesthetic - which does not cause the sudden drop in blood pressure seen with most anesthetics or prolonged suppression of adrenal gland activity, a problem with the original version of the drug.
A new multi-site study by UCLA and RAND Corp. researchers and colleagues has found that 7 percent of fifth-graders and their families have experienced homelessness at some point in their lives and that the occurrence is even higher
An international research consortium has discovered that many common genetic variants contribute to a person's risk of schizophrenia and explain at least a third of the risk of inheriting the disease, providing the first molecular evidence that this form of genetic variation is involved in schizophrenia. The researchers also found that many of these DNA variations also are involved in bipolar disorder but not in several non-psychiatric diseases. The findings represent a new way of thinking about the genetics of psychiatric diseases, which seem to involve not only rare variants but also a significant number of common ones as well.
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Liz Di Bernardo