Metabolism

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News • Heart disease diagnosis

New MRI technique to enhance metabolic imaging

Swiss researchers developed a new MRI method to visualise metabolic processes in the body. Their objective is to improve the future diagnosis and treatment of heart disease.

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News • Hormone activation gone awry

How insufficient insulin processing leads to obesity

Overweight increases the risk of an imbalance in sugar metabolism and even diabetes – but the opposite is also true: insulin production deficits contribute to overweight, a new study shows.

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News • Hypothyroidism as risk factor

To fend off dementia, take care of the thyroid

Older people with hypothyroidism, also called underactive thyroid, may be at increased risk of developing dementia.

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News • Measuring gases released from skin

Future wearables could open new way to monitor metabolic diseases

Scientists have taken the first step to creating the next generation of wearable health monitors, which could monitor the body’s health by detecting the gases released from a person’s skin.

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News • Metabolic disorders

Decoding a direct dialog between gut microbiota and brain

Hypothalamic neurons in an animal model directly detect variations in bacterial activity and adapt appetite and body temperature accordingly.

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News • Pancreas

Fat has unexpected benefits in type 2 diabetes

Scientists have found that fat can help the pancreas adapt to excess sugar, thereby slowing the onset of diabetes.

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News • Singlet contrast imaging

Hyperpolarized MRI enables real-time view on metabolic processes

Hyperpolarized MRI is a recent development and its research and application potential has yet to be fully explored. Researchers at Johannes Gutenberg University Mainz (JGU) and the Helmholtz Institute Mainz (HIM) have now unveiled a new technique for observing metabolic processes in the body. Their singlet-contrast MRI method employs easily-produced parahydrogen to track biochemical processes in…

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Article • Imaging tumour metabolism

Hyperpolarised MRI boosts cancer diagnosis

Tumour metabolism can be imaged with MRI as a technique to help determine cancer aggressiveness and response to therapy. The work by a UK-based group, on probing cancer metabolism non-invasively with clinical hyperpolarised carbon-13 MRI, can detect metabolic changes in the tumour. As metabolic changes occur much earlier than change in tumour size, this could have implications for quicker…

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News • Neuro-map reveals nourishment mechanisms

Food for thought: How our brain keeps its supply up

Our brains are non-stop consumers. A labyrinth of blood vessels, stacked end-to-end comparable in length to the distance from San Diego to Berkeley, ensures a continuous flow of oxygen and sugar to keep our brains functioning at peak levels. But how does this intricate system ensure that more active parts of the brain receive enough nourishment versus less demanding areas? That’s a century-old…

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News • Infection research

Mutations help bacteria resist antibiotic treatment

Bacteria have many ways to evade the antibiotics that we use against them. Each year, at least 2.8 million people in the United States develop an antibiotic-resistant infection, and more than 35,000 people die from such infections, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control. Most of the mutations known to confer resistance occur in the genes targeted by a particular antibiotic. Other…

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Article • Mass spectrometry-based metabolomics

A new technique to understand metabolic pathways

Mass spectrometry-based metabolomics has emerged as a powerful tool to help study chemical ecology. Recent advances in the technique make it possible to study microbial interactions from complex communities. Laia Castaño-Espriu outlined the role and benefits of MS in this context in her presentation ‘Analysis of microbial ecology by mass spectrometry-based metabolomics techniques’, at the…

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News • Dietary dangers

Sugar consumption: a driving factor in onset of pancreatic cancer

A diet high in sugar increases the likelihood of developing pancreatic cancer in some people and can also drive the aggressive growth of tumours, a new study finds. During this study, researchers from the University of Surrey, VIB-KU Leuven, Belgium and the Babraham Institute in Cambridge, sought to understand the impact of diet on the development and progression of pancreatic cancer. This rare…

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News • Cutting the energy supply

Disrupting cellular pH balance blocks pancreatic cancer

Scientists at Sanford Burnham Prebys have found a new way to kill pancreatic cancer cells by disrupting their pH equilibrium. The study, published in Cancer Discovery, reports how depleting an ion transport protein lowers the pH to a point that compromises pancreatic cancer cell growth. Pancreatic cancer cells—like all cancer cells—have a constant need for energy to support their growth and…

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News • Intestinal distress

Celiac disease: 'Reprogramming' the immune system to tolerate gluten

Celiac disease affects 0.3-2.4% of people in most countries world-wide, and approx. 2% in Finland. Celiac patients suffer from a variety of symptoms, typically intestinal complaints, such as diarrhea, but are often symptom-free. Immunologist Tobias Freitag co-developed and tested nanoparticles containing gliadin for the immunomodulatory treatment of celiac disease in Professor Seppo Meri’s…

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News • Promising metabolite

Gut flora could hold the key for new diabetes treatments

An organic compound produced by the gut flora – the metabolite 4-Cresol – is considered to have protective effects against both type 1 and 2 diabetes, notably by stimulating the growth of the insulin-producing pancreatic beta cells. This is according to a new study led by Inserm researcher Dominique Gauguier at the Environmental Toxicology, Therapeutic Targets, Cell Signaling and Biomarkers…

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News • Iron dependent cell death

Ferroptosis could be key for new anticancer approach

A team of researchers lead by Helmholtz Zentrum München and the University of Würzburg identified an enzyme as a novel and strong inhibitor of ferroptosis, the iron dependent form of cell death: ferroptosis suppressor protein-1, short FSP1. This protein is expressed in a variety of cancer cell lines and therefore represents an attractive drug target for cancer treatment. In fact, the first FSP1…

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News • Metabolic mystery solved

Why fatty livers are more susceptible to cancer

Fatty liver disease is contributing to an increase in liver cancer and basic scientists at The University of Texas Health Science at Houston (UTHealth) have new insight as to why. In the journal Cancer Research, the investigators report that in mouse models, excess fat impairs the ability of a tumor-suppressing protein named HNF4α to do its job. “This study provides potential mechanisms for…

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News • Food study

Red and processed meat: not so bad for our health, but...

Most people can continue to eat red and processed meat as they do now. A major study led by researchers at McMaster and Dalhousie universities has found cutting back has little impact on health. A panel of international scientists systematically reviewed the evidence and have recommended that most adults should continue to eat their current levels of red and processed meat. The researchers…

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News • Brewing up brain benefits

Drinking tea improves brain health

A recent study led by Assistant Professor Feng Lei from the National University of Singapore (NUS) Yong Loo Lin School of Medicine’s Department of Psychological Medicine revealed that regular tea drinkers have better organised brain regions – and this is associated with healthy cognitive function – compared to non-tea drinkers. The research team made this discovery after examining…

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News • Hypothyroidism

Underactive thyroid: Study validates treatment guidelines

A study led by the University of Birmingham provides strong support for current recommendations on treating patients with an underactive thyroid and validates latest UK and US guidelines, say researchers. The retrospective cohort study, published in The BMJ, analysed anonymous GP records of over 162,000 patients who have been diagnosed with hypothyroidism – a highly prevalent condition more…

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News • Mortality risk

A new biomarker to predict your lifespan?

Fourteen metabolic biomarkers can predict long term mortality in individuals helping to determine life expectancy in general populations, a new study in the journal Nature Communications reports. In the largest study of its kind, researchers from Leiden University Medical Center in the Netherlands and the University of Surrey investigated predictors of long-term mortality risk. Current predictors…

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News • Food supplementation

Can 'fortified' flour fight vitamin D deficiency?

Adding vitamin D to wheat flour would prevent 10 million new cases of vitamin D deficiency in England and Wales over the next 90 years, say researchers at the University of Birmingham. The researchers say overhauling existing public health policy to introduce the mandatory fortification of vitamin D in wheat flour would not only be cost saving but would significantly reduce the burden on the NHS…

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News • Alternative ways

Plan B for cholesterol transport

Kiel biochemistry research team proves the existence of a previously unknown alternative cholesterol transport mechanism inside cells. Cholesterol is a vital cell building block in humans and animals, and an integral part of the so-called cell membrane. This boundary layer separates the interior of the cell from the neighbouring cells and the surrounding environment. By means of certain proteins,…

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