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NIH Research Matters

September 10, 2012

Photo of a woman getting a breast exam.

After Cancer Diagnosis, Breast Density May Not Matter

Women with breasts that look dense on a mammogram have a higher risk of developing breast cancer. But a new study found that most of these women, once diagnosed, aren't at greater risk of dying than patients with less dense breasts.

Photo of a depressed man.

Genetic Switch Involved in Depression

The activity of a single gene sets in motion some of the brain changes seen in depression, a new study revealed. The finding suggests a promising target for potential therapies.

Microscope image of capsule-shaped bacteria.

Genome Sequencing Tracks Bacterial Outbreak

Staff used genome sequencing to track a deadly outbreak of antibiotic-resistant bacteria at NIH's Clinical Center. The approach can be used to control similar outbreaks in the future.

August 27, 2012

Photo of a woman holding a crumpled tissue.

Antibodies Protect Against Range of Flu Viruses

Scientists have isolated antibodies that protect mice against a variety of deadly influenza B viruses. One also guards against influenza A. The finding points toward universal approaches to combat all influenza A and B viruses.

Confocal micrograph of green and pink patches of cells.

Implanted Heart Cells Stifle Irregular Rhythms

Heart cells derived from human stem cells can protect injured guinea pig hearts against abnormal rhythms, researchers report. Similar heart cell transplants might one day hold promise for treating damaged human hearts.

Close-up photo of a human eye.

Retinal Device Restores Sight in Mice

Researchers have developed a new prosthetic technique that can restore vision to blind mice. The approach could potentially be further developed to improve sight in blind people.

August 20, 2012

Scanning electron micrograph of Penicillium mold producing spores.

Household Molds Linked to Childhood Asthma

Three specific species of mold were more common in the homes of babies who later developed asthma. The finding highlights the importance of preventing water damage and mold growth in households with infants.

Photo of a woman looking through mail.

Distinct Brain Activity in Hoarders

A new study revealed that hoarders have unique activity in 2 specific brain regions when deciding whether to keep or discard things. The findings give insight into the biology of hoarding and may guide future treatment strategies.

Photo of 3 pregnant women.

Gut Microbes Influence Metabolism During Pregnancy

A new study shows that pregnancy alters microbe populations in the gut. The interactions with these microbes cause metabolic changes that likely help the pregnant mother and developing baby.

August 13, 2012

Confocal micrograph of colon cancer cells.

Colon and Rectal Cancers Surprisingly Similar

Researchers discovered that the major difference between most colon and rectal cancers is where they start. These and other insights from a new study may change the way we identify and treat these cancers.

Illustration of human brain and spinal cord.

Rare Immune Cell Involved in Multiple Sclerosis

A unique type of immune cell may contribute to multiple sclerosis, researchers report. The discovery helps explain the effects of one of the newest experimental therapies for the disease and could lead to improved treatments.

Scanning electron micrograph of 2 Staphylococcus epidermidis bacteria.

Bacteria on Skin Boost Immune Cell Function

The harmless bacteria that thrive on the skin can help immune cells fight disease-causing microbes, according to a new study in mice. The finding advances our understanding of skin health.

July 30, 2012

Photo of a teenager holding an egg

Hope for Beating Egg Allergy

Giving children with egg allergy small, increasing daily doses of egg powder could pave the way to letting some of them eat eggs safely, a new study finds.

Illustration of the long axon fibers of a motor neuron.

New Genetic Mutations Discovered in Families with ALS

New mutations have been linked to some cases of the fatal disorder amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), also known as Lou Gehrig's disease. The finding sheds light on how ALS can harm the structure and growth of nerve cells.

Illustration of HIV envelope protein.

HIV Protein Strikes a Fleeting Pose

NIH scientists have discovered a new intermediate structure of the HIV entry protein. This temporary shape, which occurs just before HIV infects a cell, may offer a potential target for developing an HIV vaccine.

July 23, 2012

Close-up photo of a face.

Insights into How Deaf Brain Processes Touch and Sight

People who are born deaf process touch and sight differently than those who are born with normal hearing, a new study reports. The finding supports the notion that loss of a sense, such as hearing, affects brain development.

Photo of silkworm cocoons.

Stabilizing Vaccines and Antibiotics With Silk

Researchers developed a way to use silk to store and distribute vaccines and antibiotics without having to keep them cold. The technique can lower costs and help expand the use of these lifesaving medical tools around the world.

Confocal micrograph of several cells.

Neighbors Help Cancer Cells Resist Treatment

A new study shows that surrounding cells can help tumors develop resistance to drugs. The finding may change the way researchers approach the treatment of many cancers.

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About NIH Research Matters

Harrison Wein, Ph.D., Editor
Vicki Contie, Assistant Editor

NIH Research Matters is a weekly update of NIH research highlights from the Office of Communications and Public Liaison, Office of the Director, National Institutes of Health.

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This page last reviewed on September 10, 2012

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