In this first issue of April, Industry Watch is bringing our readers news of the positive impact a digitized smart surveillance system has had on bringing down malaria case numbers in Mangaluru, India – an area in which malaria is endemic. In neuroscience, this week we’re covering a saliva test for rapid diagnosis of concussion, new targets for pain drugs, and the use of muscular stress signals to protect the brain and retina from aging. There’s also research updates concerning NAFLD, oncology, and tuberculosis.
NAFLD: Putting the Spotlight on a Hidden Public Health Challenge
“Non-alcoholic fatty liver disease [NAFLD] is an illness many of us have never heard of but it is much more common than cirrhosis and far more baffling.” These are the words of author Bill Bryson in his book The Body and he is right. It seems implausible that an illness which affects an estimated 2 billion people globally, causes a substantial burden of ill health, and has wide ranging social and economic implications, still remains as obscure as NAFLD is today.
Concussions in Sport Could be Rapidly Diagnosed Using Saliva
Concussion is now recognized as the most common injury in many contact sports, such as rugby and American football. But while it’s possible to recover from a concussion, multiple head injuries or improperly treated ones can lead to long-term problems.
CAR Macrophages Tackle Challenges in Solid Cancer Treatment
The advent of chimeric antigen receptor T cell technology has revolutionized the treatment of blood, or “liquid,” cancers. But solid tumors have largely resisted this type of immunotherapy. To overcome this obstacle, some researchers have started adding CARs to immune cells other than T cells.
How a Map of Cell Signaling Networks Could Identify New Targets for Pain Drugs
Researchers developing drugs for pain disorders have been studying "nociceptive neurons" that are responsible for detecting environmental changes such as injury and translating them into pain signals to the brain. But pain signaling involves far more complex networking beyond these sensory cells.
Signals from Muscle Protect from Dementia
How do different parts of the body communicate? Scientists at St. Jude are studying how signals sent from skeletal muscle affect the brain.The team studied fruit flies and cutting-edge brain cell models called organoids. They focused on the signals muscles send when stressed. The researchers found that stress signals rely on an enzyme called Amyrel amylase and its product, the disaccharide maltose.