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Research Highlights

Showcase of NIBIB-Supported Research: 2012

Novel Breast CT Scanner Enhances Ability to Discern Tumors: Jan 15, 2013
An NIBIB grantee has developed a dedicated breast CT scanner that allows the breast to be imaged in three dimensions and could help radiologists detect hard-to-find tumors. The scanner uses a radiation dose comparable to standard x-ray mammography and doesn’t require compression of the breast. With support from NIBIB, John Boone, PhD, and his research team at University of California, Davis, are now adding new imaging capabilities to the dedicated breast CT scanner previously developed with NIBIB funding.

Reawakening Spinal Cord Circuits Shows Promise for the Paralyzed: April 30, 2012
After three decades of research in animals, scientists have tested a new therapy for paralysis in a person with spinal cord injury. The therapy is based on the notion that the spinal cord controls walking even when communication with the brain is cut off. Electrical impulses transmitted through a small device implanted in the patient’s back engage the spinal cord circuits so they can register the sensation of feet touching the ground and respond to it. With physical training, the circuitry eventually re-learns how to stand and step.

Harnessing Plant Viruses for Cancer Imaging and Therapy: February 29, 2012
Prostate cancer is the most common cancer and the second leading cause of cancer-related death in men. Successful treatment of prostate cancer relies in part on its early and accurate detection. Conventional prostate imaging approaches including ultrasound, computed tomography (CT), and magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) are not sensitive enough to detect very small tumors in the prostate or signs that the disease has metastasized (spread). A new class of agents known as viral nanoparticles offers the opportunity to improve detection of small lumps of cancer cells.

A Tale of Two Livers – Developing an Innovative Drug Screening Tool: January 15, 2012
New drugs are always tested in animals before they are tried in people. However, due to differences in the way that animals and people process drugs in the liver, animal models cannot predict dangerous drug side effects that are unique to humans. To tackle this problem, researchers at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) engineered a new mouse model that harbors a tiny human liver. The mouse can be used to study drug safety and efficacy, drug-drug interactions, and human diseases such as hepatitis C.

Last Updated On 01/15/2013