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NIH Research Matters

October 1, 2012

Illustration of a white blood cell (lymphocyte) in the bloodstream.

Therapy Repairs Ravaged Immune System

Gene therapy can safely restore immune function in children with severe combined immunodeficiency and allow some to stop taking painful weekly injections. The finding offers hope for those born with this rare and deadly disorder.

Photo of a child’s foot stepping onto a scale.

Early Antibiotic Use May Affect Weight

New research suggests that early-life exposure to antibiotics affects gut microbes and changes how food is metabolized. The findings may explain how antibiotics fatten farm animals and also have implications for childhood obesity.

Scanning electron micrograph of cilia.

Gene Therapy Restores Sense of Smell in Mice

Mice that were unable to smell from birth gained the ability to smell after a gene therapy treatment. The approach might one day lead to similar treatments for related human genetic disorders.

September 24, 2012

Digital illustration of DNA strands.

Finding Treasure in "Junk" DNA

A vast consortium of researchers has created a view of the human genome that extends well beyond our genes. In a related study, a systematic analysis linked regulatory regions to disease.

Photo of aspirin in a hand.

Comparing Treatments for Lacunar Stroke

Aspirin combined with clopidogrel is no better than aspirin alone for preventing stroke in people with a history of lacunar strokes, according to a new study. The combination also carries a greater risk of gastrointestinal bleeding.

MRI Shows Promise for Heart Procedures

An experimental MRI method may be as safe and swift as standard X-ray procedures for guiding surgical interventions in the heart. The finding might one day offer a radiation-free alternative to X-rays for some heart procedures.

September 17, 2012

Photo of a small portion of pasta.

Calorie Restriction May Not Extend Life

In a 23-year study, scientists found that significantly cutting calories didn't extend the lives of rhesus monkeys. The result differs from previous work that linked calorie restriction to longer life in primates.

Microscope image of round Burkitt lymphoma cells.

Study Suggests New Approaches to Burkitt Lymphoma

A new study revealed insights into how Burkitt lymphoma differs from other lymphomas. The researchers identified several cancer-related genes and pathways that could serve as targets for future treatments.

Microscope image of an artery.

New Brain Cleaning System Discovered

Scientists have discovered a system that drains waste products from the brain. The finding may reveal new ways to treat neurodegenerative disorders like Alzheimer's disease.

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.

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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 October 1, 2012

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