Biohacking

New Hope for Millions Who Suffer from Ringing in the Ears

In the largest clinical trial of its kind, researchers have shown that combining sound with electrical stimulation of the tongue can significantly reduce tinnitus, commonly described as a ‘ringing in the ears’. The team found that the therapeutic effects can last for up to 1-year post-treatment. Since tinnitus affects nearly 10-15% of the entire population, the findings could benefit millions of people worldwide.

Simple Sugar in Human Breast Milk Can Benefit Multiple Sclerosis Patients

Researchers at the UCI School of Medicine were able to identify the effects of a simple sugar, N-acetylglucosamine, found in breast milk in relation to myelination in multiple sclerosis (MS) patients. Myelination is an increase in the fatty cover surrounding neural processes and fibers that can increase the efficiency of transmission in the brain. Demyelination in multiple sclerosis can lead to neurodegeneration.

Molecules SS-31 and NMN Synergistically Improve Aged Heart Function

Scientists from the University of Washington found that molecules SS-31 and nicotinamide mononucleotide (NMN) improved cardiac function in aged mice to levels similar in young mice. The team saw different aspects of cardiac function improved and combining the two drugs facilitated a synergistic improvement in overall heart function.

NAD+ Regulating Enzyme Keeps Cells Replicating Under Stress

Accumulation of senescent cells can be induced by excessive stress or replication of cells and reduces the ability of tissues to function and regenerate in aged organisms. Recent studies from the Nara Institute of Science and Technology have shown that genetically modified mouse cells with artificial activation of a nicotinamide adenine dinucleotide (NAD+) regulating enzyme known as Nampt possess resistance against stress-induced premature senescence.

New Method for Early Detection of Alzheimer’s Disease

Scientists from Washington State University have developed a method to detect the biomarkers for Alzheimer’s disease that is 10 times more sensitive than current blood testing technology.

New Test Capable of Targeting and Capturing the Most Lethal Cells in Fatal Brain Cancer

A new test developed by bioengineers at John Hopkins University can accurately pinpoint, capture, and analyze the deadliest cells in the most common and aggressive condition known as glioblastoma. The test is also able to accurately predict which patients have the least or most aggressive glioblastoma. The method could lead to the discovery of new therapeutics to prevent or slow the cancer’s spread.

World’s First Wasp Genome Project Completed

New Zealand researchers have sequenced the genome of three wasps, two of which are invasive in New Zealand. The research paves the way for new methods of control for these significant pests.

Scientists Identify Compound that Stimulates Muscle Cells

Muscles grow stronger the more they are used, thanks to a series of chemical signals inside muscle cells. Researchers from the University of California, Los Angeles have identified a compound, called AMBMP, that can reproduce the effect of exercise in muscle cells in mice.

Fast Method of Isolating Tumor-Targeting T Cells

A new technique developed by Scripps Research Institute offers a new platform that could propel personalized cancer treatments that have been hindered due to challenges of isolating the most useful immune cells in patients

New Vaccine Could Halt Alzheimer’s Disease Progression

The immune system’s capacity to deploy a well-regulated defense against foreign substances weakens with age, making vaccine less effective in people over the age of 65. Researchers from the University of South Florida Health have focused on overcoming complications, in those with impaired immunity, that interfere with development of a therapeutic Alzheimer’s vaccine.

Lethal Lung Damage from the Flu Stopped With a Natural Human Protein

In mouse studies, all untreated animals given a lethal dose of influenza died within days. All but one of the infected mice treated with the experimental therapy, a large dose of the protein MG53, survived, remained energetic, and kept their weight — despite having high levels of the flu virus in their lungs.

Mapping Brain Circuits in Real Time

Researchers from the California Institute of Technology have developed a new approach to allow researchers to track the activity of all the neurons that make up a particular brain circuit, in real time.

Newly Discovered Cell Could Reverse Nerve Damage

Scientists have discovered a new type of immune cell that could save dying nerve cells and reverse damage done to nerve fibers. The newly discovered cell, called granulocyte, could help those suffering from strokes, spine injuries, and neurological diseases such as multiple sclerosis and Lou Gehrig’s disease.

Model Could Improve Design of Vaccines & Immunotherapies

Researchers at the Pritzker School of Molecular Engineering at the University of Chicago have discovered a general property for understanding how immune cells sense and respond to microbial signals. Their results led to a more effective cancer immunotherapy in mice and has the potential to lead to more effective vaccines for viruses.

Scientists use machine learning to identify potential drug treatments for TB

Machine learning and deep learning has gained traction not only in the computational world, but also in biotechnology as scientists are now using algorithms to make predictions on drug interactions based on given data. Researchers at MIT and Harvard were able to identify potential new drugs that can target a protein in tuberculosis responsible for its survival.

Brain Implant Allows Humans to Operate Computers with Their Thoughts

The device, dubbed a “stentrode,” was implanted into the brains of two men with neuromuscular disorders, which then allowed them to operate computers using their thoughts. The system also makes real-world used of brain-computer interfaces (BCIs) more feasible.

Painless Mist Repairs and Rejuvenates Skin Without Needles or Creams

Two MIT graduates, Madhavi Gavini and Rathi Srinivas, developed an innovative device capable of delivering skincare actives such as vitamin C, retinol, collagen, and peptides by penetrating the skin with a fast-moving mist. A substitute for needles and creams, the contactless “droplette” is designed for at-home use and may revolutionize how medication and other sought-after nutrients reach the body.

Psychedelic Treatment Relieves Major Depression

Johns Hopkins Medicine researchers reported that two doses of the psychedelic substance psilocybin, given with supportive psychotherapy, produced rapid and large reductions in depressive symptoms in adults with major depression. The compound psilocybin, found in so-called magic mushrooms, produces hallucinations and profound changes in consciousness over the span of a few hours after ingestion.

Scientists Successfully Regenerate Optic Nerve Cells in Mice

Once nerve fibers mature, they lose their ability to regenerate after injury or disease, therefore, damage to full-grown nerve cells can cause irreversible and life-altering consequences. The new experiments demonstrated how the activation of part of a nerve cell’s regenerative machinery, a protein known as protrudin, could stimulate nerves in the eye to regrow after injury. “What we’ve seen is the strongest regeneration of any technique we’ve used before,” said ophthalmologist Keith Martin from the University of Melbourne in Australia.

Replenishing NAD+ Levels Reduces Defects in Patient Cells with Frayed Chromosome Ends

A research team from the National Institute on Aging discovered that cells from patients a bone marrow failure syndrome known as dyskeratosis congenita and mice with critically short telomeres have lower NAD+ levels, leading to defects in enzyme-related signaling networks vital to mitochondrial health. The team demonstrated that NAD+ can be replenished with nicotinamide riboside (NR), which improves the defects seen in cells from patients with dyskeratosis congenita and mice with short telomeres.

Scientists Discover Key Protein that Protects the Blood’s “‘Fountain of Youth”

Scientists from the University of Edinburgh and Queen Mary University of London have discovered a protein that supports the production of healthy blood cells throughout life by regulating the body’s inflammatory response. The study is the first to reveal a protein playing a crucial role in protecting the blood’s stem cells from premature aging. The protein, called YTHDF2, protects stem cells from damage when the body is fighting an infection and allows them to continue functioning properly throughout life.

Scientists Use Lasers to Reprogram the Brain

Neuroscientists at University College London have used laser beams to “switch on” neurons in mice, providing a deeper understanding into the hidden workings of memory and demonstrating how memories underpin the brain’s inner GPS. UCL scientists believe the findings could eventually help develop new therapies for conditions such as Alzheimer’s disease and dementia, which affect memory.

Solving the Mystery of Cellular Energy Generation

In a recent study from the University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine, researchers reported that a cellular transporter known as SLC25A51 determines the entry of an essential cellular coenzyme, nicotinamide adenine mononucleotide (NAD+), into the power plant of cells, the mitochondria. NAD+ plays a crucial role in cellular metabolism in the mitochondria, where it converts nutrients to chemical energy for the cell.

Study Shows a Novel Function of Enzymes that Play a Key Role In Cellular Aging

High levels of oxidants in the body are shown to be harmful to cells and at times can lead to apoptosis. However, a recent study by researchers from Chalmers University of Technology in Sweden revealed that low levels of oxidants were able to slow down cellular aging.