Immunotherapy for Alzheimer’s disease shows promise in mouse study

Alzheimer’s disease starts with a sticky protein called amyloid beta that builds up into plaques in the brain, setting off a chain of events that results in brain atrophy and cognitive decline. The new generation of Alzheimer’s drugs — the first proven to change the course of the disease — work by tagging amyloid for […]

WashU engineers manage a first: measuring pH in cell condensates

Scientists trying to understand the physical and chemical properties that govern biomolecular condensates now have a crucial way to measure pH and other emergent properties of these enigmatic, albeit important cellular compartments. Condensates are communities of proteins and nucleic acids. They lack a membrane and come together and fall apart as needed. The nucleolus is […]

Three named 2023 Young Investigator grantees

Sarah D. Ackerman, PhD, Gabor Egervari, MD, PhD and Tao Xie, PhD, all of Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis, have been named 2023 Young Investigator grantees by the Brain & Behavior Research Foundation. This year’s funding will support 150 promising early-career scientists across the field of neuropsychiatry with innovative ideas in mental health research. The two-year grant […]

Pappu installed as Gene K. Beare Distinguished Professor of Biomedical Engineering

Rohit V. Pappu, PhD, an internationally renowned researcher in biomolecular condensates and intrinsically disordered proteins, was installed Oct. 9 as the Gene K. Beare Distinguished Professor of Biomedical Engineering at Washington University in St. Louis. Pappu is a professor of biomedical engineering and director of the Center for Biomolecular Condensates at the McKelvey School of […]

NIH funds study of ultrasound with genetics to treat brain disorders

Researchers have developed methods to study and manipulate areas of the brain, though many of those methods are restricted by the limited depth that light can reach within the brain. A multidisciplinary team at Washington University in St. Louis plans to overcome that limitation by integrating ultrasound with genetics to precisely modify neurons in the […]

Tau-based biomarker tracks Alzheimer’s progression

Two pathologies drive the progression of Alzheimer’s disease. Early on, amyloid beta plaques lead the way, but around the time cognitive symptoms arise, tau tangles take over as the driving force and cognition steadily declines. Tracking the course of the disease in individual patients has been challenging because there’s been no easy way to measure […]

Air monitor can detect COVID-19 virus variants in about 5 minutes

Now that the emergency phase of the COVID-19 pandemic has ended, scientists are looking at ways to surveil indoor environments in real time for viruses. By combining recent advances in aerosol sampling technology and an ultrasensitive biosensing technique, researchers at Washington University in St. Louis have created a real-time monitor that can detect any of […]

Altered gut bacteria may be early sign of Alzheimer’s disease

People in the earliest stage of Alzheimer’s disease — after brain changes have begun but before cognitive symptoms become apparent — harbor an assortment of bacteria in their intestines that differs from the gut bacteria of healthy people, according to a study by researchers at Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis. The findings, […]

Induction of a torpor-like state with ultrasound

Some mammals and birds have a clever way to preserve energy and heat by going into torpor, during which their body temperature and metabolic rate drop to allow them to survive potentially fatal conditions in the environment, such as extreme cold or lack of food. While a similar condition was proposed for scientists making flights […]

Pappu to explore ways in which charge contributes to diverse states of proteins

Intrinsically disordered proteins (IDPs) are defined by structural diversity, and the determinants of this diversity are an important area of biophysical investigation. IDPs are involved in a range of important biological processes, including cell signaling and regulation, that allow healthy cells to respond to environmental factors appropriately, but they are also associated with human diseases […]

Drug for rare form of ALS, based in part on WashU research, approved by FDA

A new drug has been approved by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for a rare, inherited form of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), a paralyzing neurological disease. Known as tofersen, the drug has been shown to slow progression of the deadly disease. International clinical trials of tofersen, developed by the global biotechnology company Biogen Inc., […]

Future Thoughts and Reason for Excitement in ALS: Timothy Miller, MD, PhD

“These trials don’t go without huge input and commitment from the participants and of course, their caregivers, and the clinical trial sites. I have the privilege of speaking to you about the trial as the lead author of this paper, but this is a team effort and includes a large group of people from multiple […]

What causes Alzheimer’s? Study puts leading theory to ‘ultimate test’

An idea that has propelled Alzheimer’s research for more than 30 years is approaching its day of reckoning. Scientists are launching a study designed to make or break the hypothesis that Alzheimer’s is caused by a sticky substance called beta-amyloid. The study will give an experimental anti-amyloid drug to people as young as 18 who […]

How do cells take out the trash?

Research uncovers how unfolded proteins are discarded, and how a perfectly good protein can wind up in the trash

High-tech imaging focuses on oxygen metabolism in newborn brain

Our brains consume huge amounts of energy and rely on oxygen supplied by blood vessels. When the brains of infants are deprived of oxygen for any reason, it can lead to brain injury that causes cerebral palsy, epilepsy or cognitive impairment. Song Hu, PhD, associate professor of biomedical engineering in the McKelvey School of Engineering […]

New center’s aim: To ID biomarkers of neurodegenerative diseases

A new center established at Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis aims to accelerate research into biomarkers of neurodegenerative conditions such as Huntington’s and Parkinson’s diseases, amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), multiple sclerosis (MS) and the so-called tauopathies, a group that includes Alzheimer’s disease along with rarer diseases such as frontotemporal dementia, corticobasal syndrome […]