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I am Intramural Blog

NIH Heart Surgery Artifacts – Aortic Valve Bypass Assembly

Tuesday, February 7, 2017

Sometimes as a museum curator, I come across a box in the collection with a vague marking and full of bits and pieces of … something. One of the coolest things is finding out what that something was and who created it. This photo shows pieces from the NIH lab of Dr. Stanley Sarnoff, dating from 1954-1962.

Find and Replace: DNA Editing Tool Shows Gene Therapy Promise

Thursday, January 26, 2017

This image represents an infection-fighting cell called a neutrophil. In this artist’s rendering, the DNA of a cell is being “edited” with a pen-like tool to help restore its ability to fight bacterial invaders.

For gene therapy research, the perennial challenge has been devising a reliable way to insert safely a working copy of a gene into relevant cells that can take over for a faulty one. But with the recent discovery of powerful gene editing tools, the landscape of opportunity is starting to change. Instead of threading the needle through the cell membrane with a bulky gene, researchers are starting to design ways to apply these tools in the nucleus—to edit out the disease-causing error in a gene and allow it to work correctly.

Biomedical Innovation at NIH — Then and Now

Tuesday, January 10, 2017

Display titled "Then and Now" that shows progressive stages of various biomedical technologies

To paraphrase President Obama from his guest editorial in the November issue of Wired magazine, there’s never been a better time to be alive. One NIH institute leading us into the future is the National Institute of Biomedical Imaging and Bioengineering (NIBIB), which supports avant-garde investigators at the nexus of engineering and the physical and life sciences with innovations that improve global health.

Developing Methods to Study the Brain's Visual System in Action

Friday, January 6, 2017

How does the brain know that what we’re looking at is standing still or moving? Dr. Robert H. Wurtz developed methods for studying the visual system, a technique now widely used for the study of higher brain functions, to find the answer to that question.

NIH researchers identify heritable brain connections linked to ADHD

Tuesday, November 29, 2016

Illustration of the brain connectome in ADHD

In a new study of families affected by Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD), National Institutes of Health (NIH) Intramural researchers have identified different connections in the brain that children may inherit from their parents and are linked to the disorder.

Simplifying HIV Treatment: A Surprising New Lead

Tuesday, November 15, 2016

The surprising results of an animal study are raising hopes for a far simpler treatment regimen for people infected with the AIDS-causing human immunodeficiency virus (HIV). Currently, HIV-infected individuals can live a near normal life span if, every day, they take a complex combination of drugs called antiretroviral therapy (ART). The bad news is if they stop ART, the small amounts of HIV that still lurk in their bodies can bounce back and infect key immune cells, called CD4 T cells, resulting in life-threatening suppression of their immune systems.

Challenges to Training Artificial Intelligence with Medical Imaging Data

Tuesday, November 1, 2016

If you were going to train an artificial intelligence (AI) system to understand and accurately diagnose medical images, what kind of information do you think would be most effective: lots of general image data, or small amounts of specific data?

Mitochondrial DNA Replication and Inheritance

Thursday, October 13, 2016

Dr. Hong Xu's team’s expertise in mitochondrial DNA genetics, along with a strong mitochondrial biology research group in the IRP, allowed them to solve the fundamental biological question of how organisms are able to stop the accumulation of mitochondrial DNA mutations from being passed on to future generations.

Morning Sickness Associated with Lower Miscarriage Risk

Wednesday, October 5, 2016

Stock photo of a woman resting on her bed in her bedroom while appearing nauseous.

During the first trimester of pregnancy, many women experience what’s commonly known as “morning sickness.” As distressing as this nausea and vomiting can be, a team of NIH researchers has gathered some of the most convincing evidence to date that such symptoms may actually be a sign of something very positive: a lower risk of miscarriage.

Untangling Alzheimer’s Disease — Searching for Biomarkers in Exosomes

Thursday, September 29, 2016

What if we could diagnose risk for Alzheimer’s before symptoms appeared? To address the challenge, in the Laboratory of Neurosciences at the IRP, Dr. Maja Mustapic searches for Alzheimer’s biomarkers using liquid biopsies.

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