How having too much or too little of CHRNA7 can lead to neuropsychiatric disorders

How having too much or too little of CHRNA7 can lead to neuropsychiatric disorders

Studying the genetic code allows researchers to know whether some patients with neuropsychiatric disorders either have extra copies of the CHRNA7 gene or are missing copies. However, little was known about the functional consequences of this genetic imbalance in brain cells. “For several years we have been studying patients with these conditions in different ways … Continue reading

Analyzing cryo-electron tomography images just got faster

Analyzing cryo-electron tomography images just got faster

Researchers use cryo-electron tomography to visualize macromolecules frozen in action and details of structures inside of cells. This method provides 100 times better resolution than the best light microscope; this information cannot be obtained by any other current method. “However, the need for about one man-week of effort to manually annotate all of the 3-D … Continue reading

This two-step approach can expedite finding answers to complex genetic conditions

This two-step approach can expedite finding answers to complex genetic conditions

To function normally, the human brain requires the right amount of a number of proteins, including MeCP2. Having twice the normal amount of MeCP2, the result of having an extra copy of the gene MECP2, causes severe neurological disorders that include intellectual disability, autism spectrum disorders, motor dysfunction and other medical complications. “Animal models that … Continue reading

More than an anticoagulant; heparin also promotes appetite in mice

More than an anticoagulant; heparin also promotes appetite in mice

Naturally-produced heparin is well-known for its role as an anticoagulant. Heparin is also widely used as a medication to prevent blood clotting. “In addition to its role as an anticoagulant, naturally-produced heparin has been known to affect other biological functions. In this study, we are among the first groups to investigated heparin’s potential role in … Continue reading