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NIH Research Matters

July 2009 Archive

July 27, 2009

Image of long, glowing flatworms.

Scientists Decode Genomes of Deadly Parasitic Flatworms

Scientists have sequenced the complete genomes of 2 flatworms that cause schistosomiasis, a devastating tropical disease. The accomplishment provides an invaluable resource for developing new tools to treat the disease.

Photo of a dachshund.

Gene Insertion Underlies Origin of Dogs With Short Legs

A single evolutionary event is responsible for the short, curved legs that characterize certain dog breeds, according to a new study. The unexpected discovery provides clues about how physical differences may arise within species and suggests new approaches to understanding a form of human dwarfism.

Cluster of round rotavirus particles.

Rotavirus Vaccines Shift Course of Diarrhea-Causing Disease

New vaccines can prevent or temper epidemics of a leading childhood diarrhea-causing disease, help protect the unvaccinated and raise the age at which the infection first appears in children, researchers reported.

July 13, 2009

Electron micrograph image of an influenza virus.

New Insights Into Novel H1N1

This spring, a new influenza, or flu, virus began causing illness in people around the world. Originally called “swine flu” because it's a descendant of viruses that have long infected pigs, the virus is now called “novel H1N1.” Several new studies have revealed where the virus came from and given insight into how dangerous it might become.

Molecular model of DNA.

Common Gene Variants Implicated in Schizophrenia

Three international research teams have detected many tiny and common gene variations that together could account for at least one-third of the genetic risk for schizophrenia. Although none of these variants alone significantly boosts the chances of developing schizophrenia, in combination they seem to exert a powerful effect on disease risk.

Illustation of an alcohol molecule bound to a protein.

Alcohol's Site of Action Revealed

People have used alcohol for thousands of years for its pleasant and intoxicating effects. A new study finally provides an explanation for how it produces these effects in the brain. The breakthrough could lead to new treatments for alcohol abuse and dependence.

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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.

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This page last reviewed on December 3, 2012

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