Biomedical

Category archives for Biomedical

A Matter of Time

  The next time you reach into the fridge for a midnight snack – take heed: New research by Weizmann Institute scientists has shown that the time at which you eat your meals might have a profound effect on your liver triglyceride levels. Their research was conducted on mice, but if found to be true…

Science Haiku 3×3

More science-themed haikus. I seem to keep writing them because we tend to put out three “mini press releases” at a time (a relic of the days when they were printed on two sides of a fold-up page and mailed). So I could pick just one to blog about, or I could try to fit…

A Genetic Balance of Terror

Cancer, we are told, is a disease of the genes. It originates in mutations in the DNA. But a paper published by a Weizmann Institute group in Cell Reports flips that idea sideways by about 90 degrees: For at least some types of the disease, the healthy, non-mutated version of a gene is no less…

First, there was the great hope of induced pluripotent stem cells (iPSCs), and then there was the inevitable letdown. When the announcement came, in 2006, that simple adult skin cells could be reprogrammed – reverted back to an embryonic stem cell state by the addition of just four genes – it seemed like an almost…

Overturning Ideas on Cancer

Another advance in cancer research is featured on our website this week. Among other things, this one highlights the dangers of assuming causation from correlation. Prof. Dov Zipori and his team were looking at adult stem cells in the bone marrow. These hold a lot of potential for treating many kinds of disease but, like…

Does your face reveal what’s in your heart? It might – even more than you know. Take, for instance, a common group of birth defects – forms of a disorder called DiGeorge syndrome. Around one in 4000 is born with this syndrome, which arises from a deletion of a short segment of chromosome 22.  Among…

Math in Medicine

One of our constant themes is the innovative ways that tools and ideas from math and physics can lead to new insights in the life sciences. Take, for example, a recent study produced by a group that included a professor of mathematics, an oncologist who works in pharmaceutical research and has a Ph.D. in mathematics,…

Often, simply identifying the structure of a potential drug target protein and designing a molecule to block it are not enough. Just ask Prof. Irit Sagi, a chemist turned biology researcher, who recently developed a clever technique for directing the body to design its own protein-blocking molecules. Sagi studies an enzyme called matrix metalloproteinase 9…

Today’s science news from the Weizmann Institute covers research in neurobiology, environmental science and cancer immunology. • In the first, scientists identified a likely biological marker for autism that shows up even in very young children. Diagnoses of autism are generally not possible so early, as the signs typically appear gradually throughout the first 3-4…

This week’s Weizmann news stories: A “steam release valve” for inflammation, a “brake” for cell division and an “amplifier” for quantum signals. The steam release valve mechanism also involves an amplifier – one that ramps up the inflammation signal in response to viral attack on a cell. When the signal reaches its peak, it trips…