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NIH Research Matters

March 2012 Archive

March 26, 2012

Photo of a woman looking at a package of meat at the grocery store

Risk in Red Meat?

A new study adds to the evidence that eating red meat on a regular basis may shorten your lifespan. The findings suggest that meat eaters might help improve their health by substituting other foods for some of the red meat they eat.

Photo of cat-like fossa.

Carnivores Lack Taste for Sweets

Some meat-eating mammals have lost their ability to taste sweetness, and those that swallow their food whole may lack bitter and savory tastes. The new findings suggest that unneeded taste receptors might be lost through evolution.

Microscope image showing a two-colored pattern in an acorn worm embryo.

Worms Yield Insights into Brain Development

Acorn worm embryos don't have anything resembling a human brain. But a new study in these worms found ancient evolutionary origins for our own complex central nervous system and brain.

March 19, 2012

Photo of a pill box.

Organ Transplants Without Life-Long Drugs

A new method allowed kidney recipients to eventually stop taking harsh immune-suppressing drugs even though they'd received mismatched organs. The accomplishment may lead to more options for organ transplants.

Photo of a gorilla

Gorilla Genome Yields Surprises

Researchers have completed a draft sequence of the gorilla genome. Their analysis reveals that people may be more closely related to gorillas than we realized.

Photo of a person in an MRI machine

Nanocomplexes Label Cells for MRI Tracking

Nanocomplexes can be used to label transplanted cells so they can be tracked by MRI, according to a new study. In the future, the technique might be used to monitor whether transplanted immune or stem cells reach their targets.

March 12, 2012

Photo of a pill box.

Early Epigenetic Effects in Alzheimer's Disease

Repression of certain gene activity in the brain appears to be an early event affecting people with Alzheimer's disease, a new study found. In mouse models of Alzheimer's disease, this blockade and its effects on memory were treatable.

Photo of a woman in a mine

Diesel Exhaust and Lung Cancer Deaths in Miners

In a study of miners, scientists found that heavy exposure to diesel exhaust increased the risk of death from lung cancer. The risk might also extend to other people exposed to high diesel exhaust levels.

Microscope image showing chains of long, thin bacterial cells.

How Sulfa Drugs Work

Researchers have finally found out how sulfa drugs—the first class of antibiotics ever discovered—work at the molecular level. The finding offers insights into designing more effective antibiotics.

March 5, 2012

Microscope image of an oocyte.

Egg-Producing Stem Cells Found in Women

Researchers have isolated egg-producing stem cells from the ovaries of women and observed these cells giving rise to young egg cells, or oocytes. The finding may point the way toward improved treatments for female infertility.

Photo of an older man talking to his doctor.

Colonoscopies Prevent Colon Cancer Deaths

Removing polyps during colonoscopy can not only prevent colorectal cancer, but also reduce deaths from the disease for years, according to a new study.

Illustration of a bacterium delivering a lethal injection to another cell.

Bacteria’s Contracting Syringe Machine

Some bacteria, such as those that cause cholera, use a special system to inject toxins into the cells of host organisms and other bacteria. A new study has revealed how this syringe-like injection system works at a molecular level.

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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

This page last reviewed on December 3, 2012

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