Research News

August 15, 2007

DNA, a la carte

In 2007, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration approved the first human vaccine to offer protection against the H5N1 influenza virus, commonly known as avian or bird flu. Yet, in the event that a viral strain began spreading from human to human, the vaccine is expected to provide only limited [...]

August 15, 2007

Drug Depot

Osteoarthritis--a degenerative joint disease that affects 21 million people in the U.S. and is the nation's leading cause of disability--had been attributed primarily to the gradual wear and tear of joint surfaces. More recently, scientists have discovered that inflammation sparked by the immune [...]

August 15, 2007

Drugs that Deliver

Chemotherapy often falls short of achieving its full impact because the drugs diffuse in and out of tumors too rapidly. That's because the small size of current chemotherapy drugs -- which typically have a molecular weight in the 300 to 600 range -- allow them to be readily excreted through the [...]

August 15, 2007

Special Delivery

Gene therapy is a promising approach for treating many genetic disorders, particularly those such as hemophilia and some metabolic diseases, in which a missing or dysfunctional gene fails to provide a protein required for normal bodily functions. However, the therapeutic potential of gene therapy [...]

August 15, 2007

Ultrasound Solution

Many major diseases of the liver cause the organ to stiffen over time due to scarring, a condition known as fibrosis. Ultimately, such disorders--including hepatitis and fatty liver disease--can lead to cirrhosis, in which scarred tissue becomes an obstacle to blood flow and liver function. Today [...]

July 30, 2007

Duke Scientists to Explore Networks and Systems of Biology

DURHAM, N.C. -- The National Institute for General Medical Sciences has awarded Duke University a $14.5 million, five-year grant to establish a new national center for systems biology in the Duke Institute for Genome Sciences & Policy (IGSP).

July 09, 2007

‘Virtual’ Mouse Brains Now Available Online

A multi-institutional consortium including Duke University has created startlingly crisp 3-D microscopic views of tiny mouse brains — unveiled layer by layer — by extending the capabilities of conventional magnetic resonance imaging.

June 20, 2007

3-D Ultrasound Provides Window on the Brain

Biomedical engineers at Duke's Pratt School of Engineering have adapted a three-dimensional ultrasound scanner that might guide minimally invasive brain surgeries and provide better detection of a brain tumor’s location. The “brain scope,” which is inserted into a dime-sized hole in the skull, may [...]

June 05, 2007

Diagnosing Skin Cancers with Light, Not Scalpels

In an early step toward nonsurgical screening for malignant skin cancers, Duke University chemists have demonstrated a laser-based system that can capture three-dimensional images of the chemical and structural changes underway beneath the surface of human skin.

May 30, 2007

How Brain Pacemakers Erase Diseased Messages

Brain "pacemakers" that have helped ease symptoms in people with Parkinson's disease and other movement disorders seem to work by drowning out the electrical signals of their diseased brains. Despite the clinical success of the devices, which have been approved by the Food and Drug Administration [...]