Skip to main content
 

In the News

Research advances from the National Institutes of Health (NIH) Intramural Research Program (IRP) often make headlines. Read the news releases that describe our most recent findings:

Thursday, May 18, 2017

Findings reveal new, developmental role for proteins that typically combat ancient viruses.

A protein called ZFP568 regulates an important fetal growth hormone called insulin-like growth factor 2 (Igf2), according to a mouse study led by researchers at the National Institutes of Health. The study is one of the first to show that KRAB-zinc finger proteins, which are well-known for silencing viral genes left over from ancient infections, can also play an essential role in fetal and placental development.

Thursday, May 18, 2017

A new study shows that the number of women in the United States living with distant metastatic breast cancer (MBC), the most severe form of the disease, is growing. This is likely due to the aging of the U.S. population and improvements in treatment. Researchers came to this finding by estimating the number of U.S. women living with MBC, or breast cancer that has spread to distant sites in the body, including women who were initially diagnosed with metastatic disease, and those who developed MBC after an initial diagnosis at an earlier stage.

Wednesday, May 17, 2017

Nearly 32 million adults in the United States (13 percent of the U.S. population aged 18 and older) consumed more than twice the number of drinks considered binge drinking on at least one occasion, according to a 2013 survey that asked about past-year drinking. This higher level of drinking is associated with increased health and safety risks. A report of the findings is online in the American Journal of Preventive Medicine. The study was conducted by researchers at the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism (NIAAA), part of the National Institutes of Health.

Wednesday, May 10, 2017

HIV appears to enlist the aid of nano-sized structures released by infected cells to infect new cells, according to a study by researchers at the National Institutes of Health. Known as extracellular vesicles (EVs), these bubble-like structures are made by many kinds of cells and, under most circumstances, are thought to ferry molecules from one cell to another, providing a means of communication. NIH scientists discovered that cells infected with HIV appear to produce EVs that manipulate prospective host cells to pass infection to other cells. The study appears in Scientific Reports.

Wednesday, May 10, 2017

The National Institutes of Health has selected 42 talented and diverse students, representing 35 U.S.-accredited universities, for the sixth class of its Medical Research Scholars Program (MRSP). The MRSP received a record number of applications during the 2017-2018 application cycle. The 42 selected participants consist of 39 medical, two dental, and one veterinary student; 48 percent are female and eight individuals are from underrepresented minority groups. There are five second year, 35 third, and two fourth year students in the class; six of the 42 have had previous NIH research experience. The accepted scholars begin their MRSP fellowship in July/August of this year. 

Tuesday, May 2, 2017

A team of scientists led by researchers from the National Institutes of Health has identified an enzyme that could help in the continuous battle against mid-life obesity and fitness loss. The discovery in mice could upend current notions about why people gain weight as they age, and could one day lead to more effective weight-loss medications.

Thursday, April 27, 2017

NIH rat study suggests amitriptyline temporarily inhibits the blood-brain barrier, allowing drugs to enter the brain

New research from the National Institutes of Health found that pairing the antidepressant amitriptyline with drugs designed to treat central nervous system diseases, enhances drug delivery to the brain by inhibiting the blood-brain barrier in rats. The blood-brain barrier serves as a natural, protective boundary, preventing most drugs from entering the brain. The research, performed in rats, appeared online April 27 in the Journal of Cerebral Blood Flow and Metabolism.

Tuesday, April 18, 2017

Two newly identified mechanisms may lead to better understanding of disease, new treatments.

A team of scientists from the National Institutes of Health has discovered biological mechanisms that appear to prevent damage to the heart muscle’s “power grid,” the network of mitochondrial circuits that provide energy to cells. One of those mechanisms, the researchers found, acts much like a circuit breaker, allowing energy to continue moving throughout the heart muscle cells even when individual components of those cells—the mitochondria—have been damaged.

Wednesday, April 12, 2017

Protein complexes identified that control infection and reactivation.

Herpes simplex virus (HSV) infections last a lifetime. Once a person has been infected, the virus can remain dormant (latent) for years before periodically reactivating to cause recurrent disease. This poorly understood cycle has frustrated scientists for years. Now, National Institutes of Health scientists have identified a set of protein complexes that are recruited to viral genes and stimulate both initial infection and reactivation from latency. Environmental stresses known to regulate these proteins also induce reactivation.

Wednesday, April 12, 2017

Analysis of daily gene activation in a patient with severe Ebola virus disease cared for at the National Institutes of Health in 2015 found changes in antiviral and immune response genes that pinpointed key transition points in the response to infection. The changes included a marked decline in antiviral responses that correlated with clearance of virus from white blood cells. The analysis also showed that the preponderance of host responses shifted rapidly from activation of genes involved in cell damage and inflammation toward those linked to promotion of cellular and organ repair. This pivot came before the first signs of clinical improvement in the patient, who was admitted to the NIH Clinical Center on day 7 of illness and remained at the hospital for 26 days. Researchers from the NIH’s National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID) led the study.

Pages