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:

NIH-Led Team Maps Route for Eliciting HIV Neutralizing Antibodies

Researchers have traced in detail how certain powerful HIV neutralizing antibodies evolve, a finding that generates vital clues to guide the design of a preventive HIV vaccine, according to a study appearing in Science Express this week. The discoveries were made by a team led by the Vaccine Research Center (VRC) at the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID), part of the National Institutes of Health.

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NIH appoints Director of Intramural Center for Regenerative Medicine

National Institutes of Health Director Francis S. Collins, M.D., Ph.D., has announced the appointment of Mahendra S. Rao, M.D., Ph.D. as the director for the new NIH Intramural Center for Regenerative Medicine (NIH-CRM). The NIH-CRM is an initiative to create a world-class center of excellence in stem cell technology on the NIH campus, including induced pluripotent stem cells (iPSC), which can have applications in many systems and organs of the body. This is an initiative of the NIH Common Fund and will be administered by the National Institute of Arthritis and Musculoskeletal and Skin Diseases (NIAMS).

Standard aplastic anemia therapy improves patient outcomes better than newer version

A comparison clinical study of two aplastic anemia treatments found that ATGAM, currently the only licensed aplastic anemia drug in the United States, improved blood cell counts and survival significantly more than Thymoglobulin, a similar but reportedly more potent treatment. The research was carried out by the National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute (NHLBI), part of the National Institutes of Health.

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NIH researchers identify gene variant in Proteus syndrome

A team of researchers has identified the genetic mutation that causes Proteus syndrome, a rare disorder in which tissue and bone grows massively out of proportion. The discovery, which has implications for potential drug therapies and even cancer, appears in the July 27, 2011, early online edition of the New England Journal of Medicine. The team was led by researchers at the National Human Genome Research Institute (NHGRI), part of the National Institutes of Health.

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NIH investigators discover new mechanism that may be important for learning and memory

New findings in mice suggest that the timing when the neurotransmitter acetylcholine is released in the brain’s hippocampus may play a key role in regulating the strength of nerve cell connections, called synapses. Understanding the complex nature of neuronal signaling at synapses could lead to better understanding of learning and memory, and novel treatments for relevant disorders, such as Alzheimer’s disease and schizophrenia.

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Receptor limits the rewarding effects of food and cocaine

Researchers have long known that dopamine, a brain chemical that plays important roles in the control of normal movement, and in pleasure, reward and motivation, also plays a central role in substance abuse and addiction. In a new study conducted in animals, scientists found that a specific dopamine receptor, called D2, on dopamine-containing neurons controls an organism’s activity level and contributes to motivation for reward-seeking as well as the rewarding effects of cocaine.

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New Light Microscope Can View Protein Arrangement in Cell Structures

Researchers at Howard Hughes Medical Institute’s Janelia Farm Research Campus, the National Institutes of Health, and Florida State University have developed and applied a new light microscopy technique that will allow them to determine the arrangement of proteins that make up the individual organelles, or structures, within a cell.

The microscope and the technology that make it possible are described in an article appearing on-line in the August 10, 2006, issue of Science Express. The technique was conceived by Eric Betzig, Ph.D., and Harald Hess, Ph.D. while working as independent inventors and later as investigators at Janelia Farm, which subsequently supported their effort on the project. Funding for the project was also provided by the NIH. Drs. Betzig and Hess built the microscope and demonstrated the method at the NIH, while working with Jennifer Lippincott-Schwartz, Ph.D. and her colleagues in the Cell Biology and Metabolism Branch of the National Institute of Child Health and Human Development. Also working on the project was Michael Davidson of the National High Magnetic Field Laboratory at Florida State University.

New Light Microscope Can View Protein Arrangement in Cell Structures

The images depict a membrane protein in a cellular organelle known as a lysosome. The image on the right shows a convention fluorescent image of a portion of the lyososome, whereas the image on the left shows the corresponding PALM image in the region outlined.

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This page was last updated on Wednesday, May 11, 2022