When organs start to scar: Connective tissue on the wrong road

The increased deposition of connective tissue is a problem in chronic diseases of many organs such as the lungs (idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis), liver (cirrhosis), kidneys (kidney fibrosis), gut (graft versus host disease), and the skin (systemic sclerosis). Up to 40 percent of all deaths in industrial nations are caused by the deposition of connective tissue with subsequent tissue scarring. In spite of this, there are currently very few effective treatments available.
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Identity crisis of satiety neurons leads to obesity

Obesity — as research in the past decade has shown — is first and foremost a brain disease. Researchers have discovered a molecular switch that controls the function of satiety neurons and therefore body weight.
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How the immune system protects us against bowel cancer

Researchers have discovered a protective mechanism which is used by the body to protect intestinal stem cells from turning cancerous. The body’s innate immune system was found to play a pivotal role in this regard. The researchers were able to demonstrate that, rather than having a purely defensive role, the immune system is crucial in maintaining a healthy body.
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To sleep, perchance to heal: Newly discovered gene governs need for slumber when sick

Humans spend nearly one-third of their lives in slumber, yet sleep is still one of biology’s most enduring mysteries. Little is known about what genetic or molecular forces drive the need to sleep — until now. In a study of over 12,000 lines of fruit flies, researchers have found a single gene, called nemuri, that increases the need for sleep.
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