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UK Physiologist Leads Team that Identifies Receptors Activated by Odors

Posted: 11/26/2014

A group of physiologists led by University of Kentucky’s Tim McClintock have identified the receptors activated by two odors using a new method that tracks responses to smells in live mice.

Their research was published in the latest edition of The Journal of Neuroscience.

Using a fluorescent protein to mark nerve cells activated by odors, McClintock and his colleagues identified receptors that allow mouse nerve cells to respond to two odors: eugenol, which is a component of several spices, most notably cloves, and muscone, known as musk.

"This new method could help us understand how these receptors allow mice, and eventually humans, to detect and discriminate odors, similar to the way in which the three receptors in the retinas of our eyes allow us to discriminate colors," McClintock said. "But unlike vision and hearing, the details of how the odor receptors discriminate odors, much like color in vision or pitch in sound, are unknown."

"Before we have a medical application in mind, we must first create a roadmap for these receptors."

Scientists have been pursuing this "holy grail" of the sense of smell since Richard Axel and Linda Buck discovered these odorant receptors and their role in the organization of the olfactory system, winning... FULL STORY

Tags: Research, Physiology
 

Markesbery Symposium Presents Latest Research on Aging and Dementia

Posted: 11/25/2014
More than 450 scientists, researchers and laypeople converged on Lexington last week for the fourth annual Markesbery Symposium on Aging and Dementia, hosted by the University of Kentucky's Sanders-Brown Center on Aging. The two-day program offered sessions for both scientific and community audiences to share current findings, trends and the latest updates on dementia and aging disorders,... FULL STORY
Tags: UK Sanders-Brown Center on Aging, Alzheimer's research, Research
 

'Three Minute Thesis' Prepares Students to Present

Posted: 11/21/2014
Four students seeking their master's degrees and five students doctoral programs competed last week in an event designed to prepare them for presenting research. The "Three Minute Thesis" event, hosted by the UK Graduate School and the Graduate Student Congress, is a research communication initiative requiring graduate students to speak succinctly and engagingly about their current research to a... FULL STORY
Tags: Research
 

HIV/AIDS Drugs Could Be Repurposed to Treat Age-Related Macular

Posted: 11/20/2014 - Tags: Ophthalmology, Ophthalmology and Visual Sciences, Research
A landmark study published today in the journal Science by an international group of scientists, led by the laboratory of Dr. Jayakrishna Ambati, professor and vice chair of the Department of Ophthalmology... FULL STORY

New Alzheimer’s-Related Memory Disorder Identified

Posted: 11/15/2014 - Tags: Research, Pathology, Alzheimer's research, UK Sanders-Brown Center on Aging
A multi-institutional study has defined and established criteria for a new neurological disease closely resembling Alzheimer’s disease called primary age-related tauopathy (PART). Patients with PART develop cognitive impairment that can be indistinguishable from Alzheimer’s disease, but they lack amyloid plaques. Awareness of this neurological disease will help doctors diagnose and develop more effective treatments for patients with different types of memory impairment.  The study, co-led by Dr. Peter T. Nelson of the University of Kentucky's Sanders-Brown Center on Aging, and Dr. John F. Crary of Mount Sinai Hospital, was published in the... FULL STORY

UK Researcher Leads Global Team of Scientists Exploring the Processes that

Posted: 11/10/2014 - Tags: Research
During a woman's menstrual cycle, ovulation is the critical mid-point when an egg is released and fertilization can occur. Women's health providers have long understood that a woman's best chances of becoming pregnant are around the time of ovulation. But researchers are still learning about the physiological triggers that initiate this natural process in humans and other mammals. Researchers at the University of Kentucky are leading a project that recently received $6 million in funding from the National Institutes of Health (NIH) to explore the ovulatory process, or the series of physiological events that result in the release of an egg from the ovaries. A... FULL STORY

UK Study Published in PNAS Reveals Mechanisms of Dry Age-Related Macular

Posted: 11/4/2014 - Tags: Research, Ophthalmology, Ophthalmology and Visual Sciences
University of Kentucky researchers led by Dr. Jayakrishna Ambati, professor and vice-chair in the Department of Ophthalmology and Visual Sciences at the University of Kentucky, have made revealing discoveries about the precise mechanisms of retinal pigmented epithelium (RPE) death in the late stages of age-related macular degeneration (AMD). The findings were released last week in the Proceedings in the National Academy of Sciences (PNAS). Geographic atrophy, an advanced form of dry AMD characterized by death of the RPE, causes untreatable blindness in millions worldwide. Previous studies from the Ambati lab reported in the journals Nature and Cell showed that RPE... FULL STORY

Annual Gill Cardiovascular Research Day Features Latest Research in

Posted: 10/31/2014 - Tags: Research, Cardiovascular, Saha Cardiovascular Research Center
On Oct. 17, the Lexington Convention Center teemed with more than 200 students and scientists sharing their latest research on cardiovascular health for the 17th annual Gill Heart Institute Cardiovascular Research Day. Nigel Mackman, Ph.D., director of the McAllister Heart Institute at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, presented "Hematosis, Thrombosis and Immunity," demonstrating the diverse roles of hemostasis and thrombosis in cardiovascular diseases, cancers and infections. Kathryn J. Moore, Ph.D., professor of medicine and cell biology at New York University's Langone Medical Center, presented "Mechanisms of Chronic Inflammation in Cardiometabolic... FULL STORY

UK Researcher Awarded $100K Grant To Study Protein Associated with

Posted: 10/14/2014 - Tags: Research, UK Sanders-Brown Center on Aging, Alzheimer's disease
The Alzheimer’s Association has awarded a $100,000 New Investigator Research Grant to Jose Abisambra, assistant professor at the University of Kentucky's Sanders-Brown Center on Aging (SBCoA), to study a brain protein that becomes abnormally modified in the course of developing Alzheimer's disease. The New Investigator Research Grant program is part of the Alzheimer’s Association’s effort to increase the number of scientists conducting Alzheimer’s research by supporting early-career development that will lay the groundwork for future research grants. Only investigators with fewer than 10 years of research experience are eligible for these particular grants. "This... FULL STORY

UK Researcher Earns NIH Funding to Expand Gender-Based Studies on

Posted: 9/30/2014 - Tags: Research, NIH Award, Microbiology
In her research, Sarah D'Orazio, associate professor in the University of Kentucky Department of Microbiology, Immunology and Molecular Genetics, investigates why some people get sicker than others after ingesting the foodborne bacterial pathogen Listeria monocytogenes. Using a mouse model, her research team observed that a subset of mice most susceptible to the dangerous bacteria share one common trait: they are all female. With supplemental funding from the National Institutes of Health (NIH), D'Orazio has the resources to explore why Listeria infection affects females more severely than their male counterparts. Part of an effort to promote sex-based research,... FULL STORY

Fourth Annual Markesbery Symposium Features Latest Research on the Aging

Posted: 9/30/2014 - Tags: UK Sanders-Brown Center on Aging, Research
The Sanders-Brown Center on Aging at the University of Kentucky will hold its fourth annual Markesbery Symposium on Aging and Dementia on Friday and Saturday, Nov. 21-22. The Markesbery Symposium is named in honor of the late Dr. William R. Markesbery, founder and long-time director of the UK Sanders-Brown Center on Aging and an internationally renowned expert on aging and dementia. More than 5 million Americans have Alzheimer's disease (AD) today and millions more are affected by their role as family member, friend or caregiver to those with memory loss. The Markesbery Symposium was established to improve awareness of and education about AD and the latest... FULL STORY

UK Researcher Explores Gene's Role in Blood Clotting

Posted: 9/19/2014 - Tags: Research, Biochemistry, Von Willebrand Factor
Two independent groups of researchers led by Sidney "Wally" Whiteheart, PhD, at the University of Kentucky, and Dr. Charles Lowenstein, at the University of Rochester, have published important studies exploring the role that a gene called STXBP5 plays in the development of cardiovascular disease. According to Whiteheart, previous genome-wide association studies (GWAS) identified a gene called STXBP5 as a factor that regulates a protein called Von Willebrand factor (VWF). VWF is an important contributor to normal blood clotting. When the endothelial cells that line a blood vessel are injured, VWF is released into the bloodstream, where it "collects" blood... FULL STORY

UK Study Identifies Molecule That Induces Cancer-killing Protein

Posted: 9/15/2014 - Tags: Research, Radiation Medicine
A new study by University of Kentucky researchers has identified a novel molecule named Arylquin 1 as a potent inducer of Par-4 secretion from normal cells. Par-4 is a protein that acts as a tumor suppressor, killing cancer cells while leaving normal cells unharmed. Normal cells secrete small amounts of Par-4 on their own, but this amount is not enough to kill cancer cells. Notably, if Par-4 secretion is suppressed, this leads to tumor growth. Published in "Nature Chemical Biology," the UK study utilized lab cultures and animal models to show that low levels of Arylquin 1 induced Par-4 secretion without causing harm to the producer cells. Additionally,... FULL STORY

Twitter Chat Offers Insight on Participating in Health Research

Posted: 9/15/2014 - Tags: Research, Clinical, Center for Clinical and Translational Science, Barnstable Brown Kentucky Diabetes and Obesity Center
Did you know that you can help others by participating in research? Health-focused research affects every aspect of our lives, from the medications we take to the health of our environment. Researchers are working hard to identify new treatments and strategies to improve the health of our communities, but research needs healthy volunteers and volunteers with medical conditions in order to succeed. Participating in research is a safe, easy way for you to give back to your community and give hope for the future while learning more about your own health. Find out how you can participate in research during the University of Kentucky's next #AskACat Twitter chat,... FULL STORY

Meyer-van der Westhuyzen Study of Oxidized LDL Shows Early Promise For

Posted: 9/4/2014 - Tags: Lipid Research, Research, Saha Cardiovascular Research Center
A team of investigators has made a thought-provoking discovery about a type of cholesterol previously believed to be a "bad guy" in the development of heart disease and other conditions. Jason Meyer, a University of Kentucky M.D.-Ph.D. candidate, worked with Deneys van der Westhuyzen, a professor in the departments of Internal Medicine and Molecular and Cellular Biochemistry, to study the role oxidized LDL plays in the development of plaque inside artery walls. According to Meyer, the medical research community has traditionally believed that oxidized LDL plays a pivotal role in that process. "Oxidized LDL moves rapidly into arterial walls and engorges them... FULL STORY
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