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NIH Research Matters

January 26, 2015

Brown fat.

Drug Activates Brown Fat and Increases Metabolism

A drug approved to treat overactive bladder can stimulate brown fat and increase energy expenditure in men. The results suggest a strategy for treating obesity and related diseases.

Researcher swabbing skin.

Skin Microbes and the Immune Response

Research in mice shows how certain skin microbes help the immune system protect against pathogens. The findings may lead to a better understanding of various skin disorders.

 A mast cell.

Researchers Link Protein to Drug Allergies

Scientists identified a protein in human immune cells responsible for certain drug-induced allergic reactions. Blocking the protein might lessen the side effects of many medications.

January 12, 2015

Older man talking to doctor

Benzodiazepine Often Used in Older People Despite Risks

An analysis of prescription patterns suggests the need for strategies to reduce the use of benzodiazepines—a class of sedative and anti-anxiety medications—in older adults.

Illustration of the body’s nervous system.

Immune System Reset May Halt Multiple Sclerosis Progression

Three-year results from a clinical trial suggest that depleting and then re-establishing the immune system can alleviate a type of early-stage multiple sclerosis.

Hydrogen sulfide molecules.

Pathways Underlying the Benefits of Calorie Restriction

A mouse study revealed that some of the health benefits of calorie restriction are due to increased production of the gas hydrogen sulfide. The finding could have potential clinical applications.

December 22, 2014

Human stem cell-derived beta cells.

2014 Research Highlights

This week, a special recap of scientific findings published in 2014 by NIH-supported investigators.

December 15, 2014

Woman getting a vaccine.

Ebola Vaccine Prompts Immune Response

An experimental vaccine to prevent Ebola virus disease was well-tolerated and produced immune system responses in all 20 healthy adults who received it.

Sleeping baby lying on his back.

Unsafe Infant Bedding Use Still Common

Despite recommendations against the practice, many infants are still placed to sleep with bedding that increases the risk of suffocation and sudden infant death syndrome.


Drug Improves Function in Rats with Spinal Cord Injuries

Researchers developed a drug that allows spinal cord neurons to grow after injury, improving movement and bladder function. The approach may lead to treatments for paralysis and other conditions.

December 8, 2014

Mouse and DNA sequences.

Comparing the Mouse and Human Genomes

Results from an international genomics effort will help scientists better understand how and when mouse models can best be used to study human biology and disease.

A blood clot.

Gene Therapy Used to Treat Hemophilia

Experimental gene therapy improved symptoms for as long as 4 years in men with severe hemophilia. The study shows the potential for gene therapy to treat this and other disorders.

Damaged DNA

Structural Snapshots of Damaged DNA

Researchers revealed how nucleotides damaged by oxidative stress block DNA repair mechanisms. The cell death triggered by this process is thought to play a role in many diseases.

November 24, 2014

Illustration of a child and puzzle pieces

Gene Disruptions Associated with Autism Risk

Researchers identified mutations in 107 genes that may contribute to the risk for autism spectrum disorder. The findings may help lead to potential therapies.

An illustration of a man, showing the liver.

New Drug for Common Liver Disease Assessed

An experimental drug showed promising results and potential problems in treating a common liver disease. The drug’s long-term effects still need to be assessed.

Small mitochondria.

Targeting Parkinson’s Disease Pathways

By blocking mitochondria division, scientists were able to restore function in mouse models of Parkinson’s disease. These preliminary findings suggest a strategy to slow or halt the disease.

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About NIH Research Matters

Editor: Harrison Wein, Ph.D.
Assistant Editors: Vicki Contie, Carol Torgan, Ph.D.

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.

ISSN 2375-9593

Research News from NIH and Grantees

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This page last reviewed on January 26, 2015

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