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A Revelation About DREADDs: A New Neuroscience Technique with Promise for Clinical Psychiatric Treatment

A Revelation About DREADDs: A New Neuroscience Technique with Promise for Clinical Psychiatric Treatment

Posted by  | Perspectives in Research, Recently Published

In an essay I published last year for the Lasker Essay Contest (and republished in our blog), I described optogenetics and chemogenetics, two technologies recently developed for basic neuroscience research that have the potential to improve the way we treat psychiatric illness. The major drawback to drugs currently prescribed for diseases such as depression, PTSD,(...)

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Smarter Antimalarial Use: Altering Drug Duration to Improve Efficacy

Smarter Antimalarial Use: Altering Drug Duration to Improve Efficacy

Posted by  | Perspectives in Research, Recently Published

Fighting malaria is getting harder, with rising rates of drug resistance and drug tolerance making it more difficult for doctors to effectively cure patients. Drug resistance is distinct from drug tolerance, in that a resistant microbe can survive even high doses of a particular drug, while tolerant microbes are able to replicate in the drug’s(...)

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Ecstasy and Agony: Accepting MDMA-Assisted Psychotherapy as a Breakthrough PTSD Treatment

Ecstasy and Agony: Accepting MDMA-Assisted Psychotherapy as a Breakthrough PTSD Treatment

Posted by  | Perspectives in Research, Recently Published

For the majority of the population, MDMA, or ecstasy, is simply an illegal drug, its use exclusive to underground dance clubs and its abuse the purview of the police. However, a small group of psychopharmacological researchers and advocates have been touting this compound as the next major frontline treatment for a variety of troubling psychological(...)

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CRISPR Gene Editing in Human Embryos Performed for the First Time Ever in the U.S.

CRISPR Gene Editing in Human Embryos Performed for the First Time Ever in the U.S.

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For the first time ever, scientists in the United States have performed gene editing experiments using CRISPR-Cas9 in humans. CRISPR-Cas9 is a bacterial DNA editing system that researchers have harnessed to change the specific sequence of DNA, with precision down to a single letter of the DNA code. Many pilot studies have been done in(...)

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First Approval of Cancer Immunotherapy Based on Genetic Marker

First Approval of Cancer Immunotherapy Based on Genetic Marker

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Immunotherapy is rapidly becoming one of the cornerstones of treatment for several types of cancers, and pembrolizumab, a well-known humanized antibody against the checkpoint inhibitor programmed death 1 (PD-1), is again in the spotlight for new expanded use based on patient's genetic differences. In a first of its kind, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration(...)

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Human Cord Blood Improves Memory in Old Mice – Surge of Interest in the “Fountain of Youth”

Human Cord Blood Improves Memory in Old Mice – Surge of Interest in the “Fountain of Youth”

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Is parabiosis the new fountain of youth? Parabiosis, meaning “living beside,” is a 150-year-old surgical technique that unites the blood vessels of two living animals. One of the earliest accounts of parabiosis comes from the mid-1800s when a French zoologist, Paul Bert, attached the circulatory systems of two animals and demonstrated that fluid injected into(...)

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A Brighter Image: Peeking Into the Macaque Brain

A Brighter Image: Peeking Into the Macaque Brain

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Each Tuesday, I read the New York Times science section over a cup of coffee and a protein bar. Last week’s article, “Hunched over his microscope, he sketched the secrets of how the brain worked,” exhibits the father of neuroscience, Ramon y Cajal’s, 19th century drawings and elucidations of the neuronal interconnectivity that wires our(...)

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