Author Interviews, Cancer Research, Nature, Pancreatic, University of Michigan / 03.06.2022

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Imad Shureiqi, MD, MS Professor, Division of Hematology and Oncology Department of Internal Medicine Rogel Cancer Center Ann Arbor, MI, 48109 MedicalResearch.com:  What is the background for this study?   Response: Pancreatic ductal adenocarcinoma is a highly lethal form of cancer with rising occurrence, and strategies to prevent and treat the disease are urgently needed. Most cases of pancreatic cancer arise from pre-cancerous lesions called pancreatic intraepithelial neoplasia (PanIN); about 55-80% of adults over forty are estimated to have these low-grade pre-cancerous silent pancreatic lesions. But critical factors that promote the progression of pancreatic pre-cancerous lesions to pancreatic cancer remain poorly defined, especially those easy to target. Findings from this publication indicate that people who have silent PanIN pre-cancerous lesions, even those that are low-grade, could increase their risk of PanIN progression into pancreatic cancer by consuming activators of a nuclear lipid receptor called peroxisome proliferator-activated receptor-delta (PPARδ). PPARδ activators can be natural substances, such certain fatty acids like palmitic and arachidonic acid in high-fat diets, or synthetic ones, like Cardarine (GW501516). (more…)
Aging, Alzheimer's - Dementia, Author Interviews, Brigham & Women's - Harvard, Genetic Research, Nature / 20.04.2022

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Michael B. Miller, MD, PhD Instructor, Harvard Medical School Department of Pathology Brigham and Women's Hospital MedicalResearch.com:  What is the background for this study? Would you explain what is meant by somatic genetic changes and how they might occur?  Response: Changes, also called mutations, in the DNA sequence of genes can be passed from parents to their children, and explain why many diseases run in families. This kind of DNA change is called a germline mutation and is present in every cell in a person’s body. Gene mutations can also occur in a subset of cells of a person, in which case they are called somatic mutations. Somatic mutations are well known as a cause of cancer, and recent research has found that somatic mutations can also happen in non-cancerous cells that appear otherwise normal. Recent studies have even found that somatic mutations are present in neurons, cells in the brain that transmit electrical signals and play an important role in how the brain functions. Furthermore, in neurons, somatic mutations increase with age, so we set out to understand if somatic mutations might be playing a role in age-related brain diseases like Alzheimer’s. (more…)
Author Interviews, Brigham & Women's - Harvard, Cancer Research, Genetic Research, Nature / 18.04.2022

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Jason Vassy, MD, MPH Brigham and Women's Hospital Division of General Internal Medicine & Primary Care Brigham’s Precision Population Health at Ariadne Labs and VA Boston  MedicalResearch.com:  What is the background for this study?    Response: A person’s risk of developing diseases such as type 2 diabetes or breast cancer may be influenced by thousands of genetic differences, the effects of which can be combined to derive a single score, often called a polygenic risk score (PRS). PRS might be useful to help patients and their physicians make tailored decisions about their health care, but several challenges to the clinical implementation of PRS remain. Most importantly, most PRS are less accurate in individuals of non-European descent, since most genomic research to date has been conducted in European populations. Another key challenge is that physicians and patients will need support to understand polygenic risk score and use them to make medical decisions. Clinical guidelines do not yet exist to help a physician know whether and how they should treat a patient with a high-risk score differently than an average-risk patient. We designed the Genomic Medicine at VA (GenoVA) Study to address some of these challenges. (more…)
Author Interviews, Nature, Weight Research / 07.04.2022

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Lee Roberts PhD Professor and Chair of Molecular Physiology and Metabolism Department of Discovery and Translational Science Leeds Institute of Cardiovascular & Metabolic Medicine School of Medicine University of Leeds MedicalResearch.com:  What is the background for this study?  What are the main findings?  Response: Obesity rates have nearly tripled worldwide since 1975. In 2016, there were more than 650 million adults aged 18 and above with obesity. Obesity can lead to increased fat in the blood which damages tissues and organs, contributing to the development of cardiovascular and metabolic diseases including type 2 diabetes. This elevated blood fat can damage the cellular organelle responsible for making protein, the endoplasmic reticulum, causing the cell to come under stress and potentially resulting in the cell dying. When this occurs in skeletal muscle it can contribute to features of the metabolic syndrome including metabolic dysfunction and insulin resistance. (more…)
Author Interviews, COVID -19 Coronavirus, Nature, Neurological Disorders / 07.04.2022

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Tracy Fischer, PhD Associate Professor of Microbiology and Immunology Tulane National Primate Research Center    MedicalResearch.com:  What is the background for this study? Response: We investigated multiple regions of the brain from SARS-CoV-2 infected Rhesus macaques and African green monkeys for the presence of inflammation and other pathology that may result from COVID-19. Most animals were infected for approximately one month before our investigation, however, two of the African green monkeys developed acute respiratory distress syndrome (ARDS) prior to the study endpoint. (more…)
Author Interviews, Genetic Research, Heart Disease, Technology / 17.03.2022

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Ali Torkamani, Ph.D. Director of Genomics and Genome Informatics Scripps Research Translational Institute Professor, Integrative Structural and Computational Biology Scripps Research La Jolla, CA 92037 MedicalResearch.com:  What is the background for this study?  Response: Prior research has shown that people with higher polygenic risk for coronary artery disease achieve greater risk reduction with statin or other lipid lowering therapy. In general, adherence to standard guidelines for lipid lowering therapy is low - about 30% of people who should be on lipid lowering therapy are, with no correlation to their genetic risk. We set out to see whether communicating personalized risk, including polygenic risk, for coronary artery disease would drive the adoption of lipid lowering therapy. (more…)
Author Interviews, Duke, Gastrointestinal Disease, Nature, Sugar / 17.01.2022

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Laura Rupprecht, PhD Postdoctoral Fellow Kelly L Buchanan The Laboratory of Gut Brain Neurobiology Duke Medicine – GI Diego V. Bohórquez PhD Associate Professor in Medicine Duke Institute for Brain Sciences Durham, NC MedicalResearch.com:  What is the background for this study?  What are the main findings? Response: In 2018, my laboratory discovered that a cell type in the gut epithelium synapses with the vagus nerve, the nerve which connects the gut and the brain. These gut cells are called neuropod cells. Neuropod cells transduce sugar within milliseconds using the neurotransmitter glutamate. Since then, we have been interested in defining how this rapid communication between neuropod cells and the brain regulates behavior. – Diego Bohórquez Over a decade ago, it was shown that the gut is the key site for discerning sugar and non-caloric sweetener. But the specific cell in the gut that underlies this effect was unknown. – Kelly Buchanan   (more…)
Author Interviews, Environmental Risks, Gastrointestinal Disease / 11.01.2022

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Morgan Walker Ph.D. Candidate, UNC-Chapel Hill Chemistry Redinbo Laboratory MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? Where is triclosan commonly found? Response: Triclosan is a commonly found antibacterial compound present in hand soaps, toothpastes, athletic clothes, and children’s toys. A previous study by the Zhang group (corresponding author on this publication) found that antimicrobial compounds including triclosan increased inflammation (similar to that of inflammatory bowel disease (IBD)) and tumor formation in the colon. These effects were observed only in mice with an intact gut microbiome, not in germ-free mice which lack a gut microbiome, suggesting that the gut microbiome is somehow responsible for the toxicity of triclosan to the gut. Our study investigates how gut bacteria promote triclosan toxicity in the gut  (more…)
Author Interviews / 05.01.2022

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Dr. Thomas Blank PD Dr. Institute of Neuropathology, Faculty of Medicine University of Freiburg Freiburg, Germany MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? Response: There has been growing evidence of the benefits of fecal transplants in some medical conditions, like cancer, hypertension and obesity for several years. In fish, it’s been shown that their lifespan could be extended significantly after fecal transplant from young fish. When we found an impact on cognitive function in mice from a fecal transplant, we decided to research and isolate how that biological mechanism was implemented. (more…)