From Insult to Injury: Pollution and the Brain
Jan13

From Insult to Injury: Pollution and the Brain

In Brief 90% of the U.S population is exposed to high levels of air pollution. Some researchers are studying how synthetic chemicals found in common household items enter the ocean and spread throughout the food web. For example, they’ve found pollutants in tissue samples taken from seabirds. One pollutant, diesel exhaust (DE), can spread throughout internal organs, including the brain, through inhalation and circulation. The...

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Taking a Bite Out of Parkinson’s: Snail venom helps fight brain disease
Sep05

Taking a Bite Out of Parkinson’s: Snail venom helps fight brain disease

Researchers at the University of Utah tested many toxins in the omaria cone snail’s venom and found that Om1A is unique because it fits tightly into some receptors but not others. This desirable attribute is beneficial because if a drug can be developed to mimic the shape of the toxin, it will be less likely to bind with the wrong receptor and cause unwanted side effects. This slow but steady work will someday hopefully transform the omaria cone snail’s debilitating bite into medicine that gives mobility back to people with Parkinson’s disease.

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