Tag Archives: Alzheimer’s disease

Researchers Pinpoint Protein at Heart of ALS Communication Breakdown

MRI of ALS patient. Image courtesy Frank Gaillard.

No cure exists for Lou Gehrig’s disease, a fatal neuromuscular illness affecting tens of thousands of Americans. But scientists may have found how a key protein helps drive its degenerative progress.

Read/listen to my full story at KJZZ’s Arizona Science Desk:
UA, Barrow Researchers Explain ALS Key Protein Breakdown

Mitochondria-Linked Genetic Changes Might Give Early Hint of Alzheimer’s Disease

Diagram of a mitochondrion, courtesy of Arizona State University.

Long before they develop neurofibrillary tangles or beta-amyloid plaques, brains with Alzheimer’s disease begin experiencing problems in their cells’ power plants — the mitochondria — that hinder their ability to make energy for cells.

Declines in gene expression related to mitochondria can occur in subjects as young as their early 30s.

Read/listen to my full story at KJZZ’s Arizona Science Desk:
Arizona Researchers Say Genetic Changes Could Help Spot Alzheimer’s Disease Early

Molecular biologists bring gamers into the ‘fold’

The Foldit computer program
Image courtesy University of Washington

Playing video games isn’t exactly rocket science but, thanks to a crowdsourcing computer game developed by University of Washington researchers, it can be molecular biology – and can offer hope to sufferers of tough-to-crack diseases such as Alzheimer’s, cancer and HIV.

Like John Henry versus the steam hammer or Garry Kasparov versus Deep Blue, Foldit players show that humans still have a thing or two to teach machines; unlike Henry, who died, or Kasparov, who lost in a rematch, protein-folding gamers still have an edge over the brute-force number crunching of supercomputers.

Has a Video Game Cured HIV?