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research-and-clinical-trials

Research Snapshot: A new approach to programming deep brain stimulation for Parkinson’s

Photo: CC, Allan Ajifo, https://flic.kr/p/of4Z3W

About 100,000 people worldwide undergo deep brain stimulation to treat Parkinson’s disease, dystonia and tremor  when traditional medications or treatments fail to provide symptom improvement or relief. It is also being explored as a treatment for other neurological and psychiatric disorders for which medical therapy has not been effective in alleviating symptoms.

Deep brain stimulation (DBS) involves stimulating portions of the brain through a small implanted device. After the device is implanted, a clinician programs the device to target each patient’s individual symptoms. They establish settings that determine how much stimulation is needed to improve symptoms, a process called programming.

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beyond-minnesota

Vaccination program for pet dogs may not fully prevent lion infections in Serengeti

Photo courtesy Meggan Craft

In June 2014, Health Talk first shared that a virus carried by domestic dogs is threatening the health of wild cats like the Serengeti lion. Now, in an update to that research, new findings led by the University of Glasgow and co-authored by the University of Minnesota suggest vaccinating domestic dogs against this virus, known as canine distemper, is not enough to keep Serengeti lions and their cohabitants, the endangered African wild dog, safe from infection.

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research-and-clinical-trials

Sexual cell fate reprogramming in mice

The sex of mammals is decided in the embryonic gonad. Until recently, scientists believed that this decision was permanent, establishing the sex of the gonad for the rest of life.

A new study led by University of Minnesota researchers shows that turning on the male sex regulatory gene DMRT1 in the ovary of mice can reprogram cell sexual identity, turning ovarian cells into their testicular counterparts, even in adults.

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research-and-clinical-trials

UMN finding helps scientists better understand DNA binding protein’s role in vaccination success

Photo: CC 2.0/National Institutes of Health

T-cells are essential to keeping our bodies safe from infection and disease. They roam the body looking for infection, and upon discovering it, work to clean it up. Anything that can improve how effective T-cells are, or how we understand them to work is a step toward advancing human health.

In the same vein, a recent finding led by University of Minnesota researchers in collaboration with the Howard Hughes Medical Institute and the University of California unveils a new understanding of T-cell operation.

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research-and-clinical-trials

A Unique Approach to Preventing Infection after Kidney Transplant

(DoD photo by Senior Master Sgt. David H. Lipp) (Released)

Today on World Kidney Day, we are highlighting research at the University of Minnesota that shows potential to reduce infections after kidney transplants.

Inspiration struck Priya Verghese, MD, MPH, during pediatric grand rounds with UMN Medical School professor Hank Balfour, M.D. Balfour was discussing viral infections, the leading cause of disease and death in patients receiving a kidney transplant.

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news-and-notes

Minnesota invests in regenerative medicine

Last year, the 2014 Minnesota legislative session brought a big win for regenerative medicine, as legislators passed a bill allotting nearly $50 million over 10 years for regenerative medicine research, clinical translation and commercialization efforts.

Some of that research funding has now been awarded to Bruce Walcheck, Ph.D., professor in the University of Minnesota Department of Veterinary and Biomedical Sciences, whose proposal was one of six funded out of 90 applications. Bruce is the principal investigator on a new $500,000 grant for research on engineering human pluripotent stem cells to generate enhanced natural killer cells for cancer therapy. The ultimate goal: treating cancer using the patient’s immune system.

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