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$3.4M NIH Grant Funding New ALS Treatments

Brain cell networks

(Gerd Altmann, Pixabay)

21 June 2018. A biotechnology company is receiving a grant from National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke to advance its experimental treatments for amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, or ALS. Aquinnah Pharmaceuticals Inc. in Cambridge, Massachusetts is the recipient of a $3.4 million Small Business Innovation Research award from NINDS, part of National Institutes of Health.

Aquinnah Pharmaceuticals is a developer of small molecule, or low molecular weight drugs to treat ALS and other neurodegenerative diseases. ALS, also known as Lou Gehrig’s disease, is a progressive neurodegenerative disorder where neurons or nerve cells controlling muscles in the body begin to waste away, and can no longer send or receive signals from the brain or spinal cord. As the nerve cells stop functioning, the muscles in the limbs, and later speech and breathing muscles, begin weakening and eventually stop functioning. Most people with the disease die of respiratory failure. There are currently no cures for ALS, and few effective treatments for slowing progression of the disease.

Aquinnah’s treatments for ALS and Alzheimer’s disease take aim at stress granules, normal physiological reactions to damage that can build up and become toxic, contributing to these neurological conditions. The company’s work is based in part on research by its chief scientist and co-founder Benjamin Wolozin, a pharmacologist at Boston University. Wolozin identified a protein known as transactive response DNA binding protein 43, or TDP-43, which under stress, or as a result of a mutation, accumulates as excess toxic granules. Aquinnah licensed a number of compounds from Boston University that Wolozin and colleagues identified in the lab with potential for limiting TDP-43 build-ups.

The new funding from NINDS continues an earlier project that showed the feasibility of two lead compounds against TDP-43 build-ups in lab animals. The new grant is supporting continued preclinical research in lab mice with genetically induced human ALS caused by TDP-43 accumulations. The company expects tests of the oral drug candidates will show they slow or reverse the progress of the disease. If those results occur, the company will file for an investigational new drug application with the Food and Drug Administration, to allow for the beginning of clinical trials.

Aquinnah Pharmaceuticals is a four year-old privately-owned company founded by Wolozin, Glenn Larsen, Aquinnah’s CEO, and Manfred Weigele, now a scientific advisor to the company. In addition to the NINDS grants, Aquinnah is funded by equity investments from Takeda Pharmaceuticals in 2015, and drug makers AbbVie and Pfizer in 2017.

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Disclosure: The author owns shares in Pfizer, an investor in Aquinnah Pharmaceuticals.

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Don’t Think About Building a Home Before You Do These Things

– Contributed content –

21 June 2018. House hunting can be a source of a lot of stress for many people. After all, you’re trying to find a new home for yourself and your family, but there is a whole host of things standing in your way. For one thing, you’re limited to the homes that are currently on the market at that time. Because of that, you’re likely to end up having to settle for certain properties that aren’t quite what you really want. Not only that but you’re also likely to end up getting stuck in a chain waiting for someone else to find a property of their own before you can actually move into yours.

All of these things and more can make the whole experience pretty unpleasant a lot of the time. However, there is an alternative that you might want to consider: building your own home. Not only does this remove you from the chain but it gives you the chance to create a home to your exact specifications. That way you’re much more likely to be able to create your perfect home without making any compromises. Of course, that doesn’t mean that building your own home is going to be easy, far from it. Before you start hiring a construction crew, here are some things that you should think carefully about when you decide to build a home from scratch.

Architect's drawing

(Lex Photography, Pexels.com)

Work with an architect

It’s pretty unlikely that you have any real idea of how to even go about designing and creating a home for yourself and your family. Sure, you’re probably going to have a fair amount of ideas and desires for your home, but that’s very different from understanding how they might work when put into practice. That’s why you need to work alongside a professional architect if you really want to create the perfect home. You’ll be able to explain the things that you want out of your home, and they will be the ones who can actually create a blueprint for a realistic and functional property.

Not only that but an architect is going to be a great resource for preventing you from getting overly ambitious. There may be things that you desperately want for your property, but you may find that an architect will need to tell you that they simply won’t be possible to implement. No matter how much passion and love you have for the projects, do remember that it’s incredibly important to defer to the professional if you really want the best possible property.

Plan everything

Planning is so important when you’re building your own home. If you don’t plan absolutely everything alongside your architect and construction team, then you’re almost certainly going to end up with a poorly designed, poorly constructed home that is barely livable at all. Everything from the overall size and shape of each room to how the outside spaces will be used to the predicted levels of energy consumption to the materials used in every aspect of construction needs to be carefully considered and decided upon well in advance. Trying to move ahead with the project before you’ve figured everything out is a recipe for complete and total disaster.

Coins and pens

(Stevepb, Pixabay)

Create a detailed budget

One of the things that makes building your own home so appealing is that you have more control over how much you’re going to spend. After all, rather than being beholden to the people selling you a property, buying it yourself allows you to decide what kind of value it will have. That being said, building your own home comes with a lot of risks in term of your finances if you’re not careful. If you don’t create a clear and detailed budget, then it’s very likely that you’re going to end up spending far more than you intended. Everything from finding construction materials, to labor costs and permits from companies like Eastern Plant Hire, are going to eat into your budget bit by bit. If you’re not able to create a budget before you start and stick to it every step of the way, then you’re going to end up in the same position you would have been if you’d simply bought a house, or perhaps even worse.

Arrange somewhere to stay

This is something that a lot of people tend to forget about when building a property. When you’re buying and selling a home, then you can generally schedule things so that you’re never left without somewhere to live. However, there’s a decent chance that you may need to sell your existing home in order to afford to build your future one. Most people don’t really have the budget to rent a property for the extended period of time that building a home takes, so it’s a good idea to make sure that you and your family have some kind of accommodation set up so that you’re not left out on the street while your home’s being built.

Know your schedule

Of course, knowing how long you’re going to be staying somewhere is pretty heavily dependant on being aware of how long the project is going to take. It’s an incredibly good idea to know your estimated schedule right from the start. Sure, there’s a pretty high chance that things will end up going over that schedule, after all, you can’t plan for everything, but having at least a decent idea of how long everything will take is very important. Not only will your schedule help you budget for things like labour costs, but it will let you know how long you’ll need to find a place to stay before your dream home is finally ready.

Building a home is a huge commitment, both in terms of time and money, so it’s incredibly important that you’re absolutely sure that it’s the right choice for you before you start. Make sure that you’re happy with the amount of time that you’ll have to commit to the project and that the final result is worth the sacrifices that you’ll potentially have to make in order to achieve it.

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Gates Backs Engineered Mosquitoes to Stop Malaria

Anopheles mosquito

Female Anopheles albimanus mosquito (James Gathany, Pixnio.com)

20 June 2018. A company that applies genetic engineering to limit the spread of disease-carrying pests is partnering with the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation to develop mosquitoes that stop the spread of malaria. Financial aspects of the agreement between Oxitec Ltd in Cambridge, U.K. and the Gates Foundation in Seattle were not disclosed.

Malaria, according to World Health Organization, affected 216 million people in 2016, which extracts heavy social and economic burdens in developing countries. In 2016, some 445,000 people died from malaria, of which 90 percent were in sub-Sahara Africa. Children under the age of 5 are particularly susceptible to the disease. The disease is caused by infections from the plasmodium parasite transmitted by mosquitoes. In humans, the parasite multiplies in the liver, then infects red blood cells. Symptoms, including headache, fever, and vomiting, occur 10 to 15 days following transmission from a mosquito bite.

Oxitec, a subsidiary of the synthetic biology company Intrexon Corp., is developing a new strain of Anopheles mosquito to limit the spread of wild parasite-carrying mosquitoes in the Western Hemisphere. With funding from the Gates Foundation, this new strain of Anopheles mosquito will adapt the company’s Friendly technology that uses genetic engineering techniques to insert a gene in males of the species. When released into the wild, the engineered males mate with females and produce female offspring that die before becoming adults, and thus are prevented from having offspring. Female mosquitoes are also the ones that bite and spread disease.

Oxitec designed and delivered similarly engineered Aedes aegypti mosquitoes to head off outbreaks of diseases spread by pathogens, notably Zika, chikungunya, and dengue viruses, carried by that species. This project will produce the company’s first Anopheles strain, specifically Anopheles albimanus mosquitoes, among the main carriers of malaria parasites in the Caribbean, and Central and South America. Oxitec says the new strain will be one of its second-generation of engineered non-biting male mosquitoes that pass along the self-limiting traits over 10 generations, before no longer persisting in the environment.

Controlling malaria is one of the Gates Foundation’s top priorities, and while the disease is diminishing in some parts of the world, it continues in other regions. One of the foundation’s strategies for ending malaria is better control of vectors, or disease carriers. Philip Welkhoff, director of the Gates Foundation’s malaria program says in an Oxitec statement, “Successful burden reduction and elimination will require a range of technologies for different geographies and challenges. Genetically-modified mosquitoes are showing promise in controlling other vector-borne diseases, so we look forward to exploring their use alongside complementary interventions for malaria.”

Oxitec’s mosquitoes have not always been welcome for controlling infectious diseases, including in the Florida Keys in November 2016, when a public referendum gave a split decision for a field trial of the genetically-engineered mosquitoes to control for Zika viruses. As reported in Science & Enterprise in July 2017, however, Dutch health authorities found the mosquitoes pose few health or environmental risks to humans, in a project to control mosquito populations on the Dutch Caribbean island of Saba.

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Engineered T-Cells Tested for Childhood Brain Cancer

Human T-cell

Scanning electron micrograph of a healthy human T-cell (NIH.gov)

20 June 2018. A clinical trial is getting underway testing modified T-cells from the immune system in children and young adults with brain tumors that do not respond to other treatments. Seattle Children’s Hospital is conducting the early-stage study, led by pediatric cancer specialist Nicholas Vitanza.

Seattle Children’s cites data showing more than 4,000 children a year in the U.S. are diagnosed with brain tumors, of which 30 percent relapse and are usually fatal. Tumors in the brain and spinal cord are also the most common form of childhood cancer and leading cause of cancer-related death in children under the age of 19. “While survival rates have improved, many of the children we care for have no life-saving therapy options if their disease recurs,” says Vitanza in a Seattle Children’s statement. “We have to find a way to give them a life after they recur, and ultimately be able to offer initial treatments with fewer long-term side effects.”

The clinical trial, code-named BrainChild-01, is evaluating the safety and feasibility of engineered T-cells, white blood cells from the immune system, to treat tumors in the brain. Vitanza and colleagues are recruiting children and young adults, up to age 26, with cancer cells expressing the protein HER2, most often associated with breast and ovarian cancer, but also found in central nervous system tumors in children. The treatments genetically engineer the patient’s own T-cells by adding chimeric antigen receptors, proteins attracting antibodies that bind to and destroy cancer cells, in this case tumor cells expressing HER2 proteins.

A goal of these chimeric antigen receptor, or CAR, T-cell treatments is to attack only the cancer cells and ignore healthy cells. “Solid tumors are challenging to target compared to blood cancers,” notes Vitanza, “because they express a diverse array of proteins and are harder to reach.” As a result the HER2 proteins, found only on cancerous cells, will serve as the targets for CAR T-cells.

The early-stage clinical trial is enrolling 36 participants with central nervous system tumors expressing HER2 proteins. Half of the group will receive up to 6 weekly CAR T-cell treatments with a catheter directly into the brain region where the tumors occurred before removal. The other 18 participants will receive their CAR T-cells with a catheter into the brain’s ventricular system, where cerebrospinal fluid is produced. The researchers are trying CAR T-cell delivery directly into the brain to bypass the blood-brain barrier, and to reduce high rates of adverse side effects from cytokine release syndrome and other reactions found in other CAR T-cell trials, leading in some cases to deaths of patients.

The team is primarily assessing the safety and feasibility of the CAR T-cell treatments, tracking adverse effects in participants, as well as the ability of labs and clinicians to produce CAR T-cells targeting HER2 proteins. The researchers are also monitoring the distribution of CAR T-cells in the patients’ blood and cerebrospinal fluid, as well as any reductions in HER2 protein expression.

As reported in Science & Enterprise earlier this month, Seattle Children’s is establishing CureWorks, a network of academic children’s medical centers to conduct clinical trials in CAR T-cell treatments for childhood cancers.

More from Science & Enterprise:

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Getting Your Business Noticed By The Target Market

– Contributed content –

Laptop, pen, chart

(Rawpixel.com, Pexels)

20 June 2018. It can be hard to get the target market to pay attention to your business when there are so many options out there in the industry. Consumers have to choose between so many companies when they’re buying goods or services that it’s easy for them to miss some of the great options out there. Businesses slip through the cracks all the time, but that doesn’t have to be the case for your company. Here’s how to get your business noticed by the target market.

Be one-of-a-kind.

The key to being noticed is to be different. That’s why you need to focus on making your brand unique if you want your business to get the attention it deserves from the target market. Obviously, you need to observe rival businesses in the market to see what works and what doesn’t, but you shouldn’t copy them. Consumers aren’t going to choose a company that’s the same as other established brands on the market – they’ll only flock to a new business if it offers something… well, new. More importantly, they’ll only flock to a new business if it’s better than the competition.

That’s why you need to find out what your target customers want. You need to create a brand that offers unique solutions to existing consumer problems. Get feedback from people on social media to find out what makes them happy or unhappy about your business and the industry in general. If you can figure out how to solve the problems facing your intended customers then you’ll be able to fill a gap in the market. That’s the best way to get your business noticed.

Do some networking.

Sometimes, the best way to get your business noticed by the target market is to actively engage with them. You need to do some networking to get your brand name known in the industry. You can use your existing connections to help with this; if friends are colleagues start talking about your business and boosting your reputation then other potential customers will take you more seriously. You might even want to look into a service such as Source Middle East to plan a professional event for your company.

Your business needs to create an entertaining and lively atmosphere in order to really engage with potential clients; you won’t achieve that in a dull conference room. In the right setting, networking is easier. Potential clients are much more likely to invest themselves in the idea of your business if it hosts a fun event with food, music, and other attractions. That’s how you get the target market to pay attention to you.

Re-strategize your online marketing plan.

The internet is the best tool you can use to get your business noticed by the target market. You might want to rethink your online marketing plan if you want to increase consumer engagement with your brand. Optimize your website, first of all; your layout and keywords are crucial to driving your business’ site higher on search result pages. In turn, this will get you noticed by the target market. You should also work on your social media strategy. Social networks are the platforms on which your business should want to be noticed. Your potential customers all use Twitter, Instagram, or Facebook, so your business needs to utilize these sites effectively.

You could get help from digital marketing specialists if you’re struggling to create content that really engages with your audience, but the key is to focus on more than just your own company. Talk about trending topics, and post pictures or links that will actually interest people. That’s the way to boost your following and get your business’ social media pages noticed.

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UC-Berkeley Gains U.S. Crispr-Cas9 Patent

Editing DNA

(LaCasadeGoethe, Pixabay)

19 June 2018. University of California received a patent for its genome editing technology known as Crispr, with the most widely used editing enzyme called Cas9. The U.S. Patent and Trademark Office issued patent number 10,000,772 to four inventors including geneticists Jennifer Doudna at University of California in Berkeley and Emmanuelle Charpentier now director of the Max Planck Institute for Infection Biology in Braunschweig, Germany, the senior authors on the original paper describing the technique in 2012.

Crispr, short for clustered regularly interspaced short palindromic repeats, is a technique for editing genomes based on bacterial defense mechanisms that use RNA to identify and monitor precise locations in DNA. The actual editing of genomes with Crispr in most cases uses an enzyme known as Crispr-associated protein 9 or Cas9. RNA molecules guide the editing enzymes to specific genes needing repair, making it possible to address root causes of many diseases, but also adjust traits in plant crops by removing or changing specific genes.

The Crispr technology spawned a rush of potential applications, with benefits anticipated for people with inherited diseases or modifying plant genomes to improve crop production. Other researchers working with Crispr, particularly those at the Broad Institute, a medical research center affiliated with MIT and Harvard University and led by geneticist Feng Zhang, developed implementations of Crispr which they claimed were independent of the work by Doudna and Charpentier.

As a result, Broad Institute — legally MIT and Harvard University — filed its own U.S. patent for Crispr, leading to a challenge from University of California that said Broad interfered with its patent claims, meaning Broad took unfair advantage of California’s previous work. In response, Broad pointed out that Zhang’s work with Crispr focuses on eukaryotes, plant and animal cells where genetic material is found in the nucleus. The California research, in contrast, is conducted with prokaryotes, organisms without a cell nucleus, such as bacteria and other single-cell microorganisms. These differences, said Broad, call for different methods and techniques.

As reported by Science & Enterprise in February 2017, the USPTO’s Patent Trials and Appeal Board hearing the case found Broad Institute’s arguments more persuasive, and agreed that Broad’s technology would not have been an obvious derivative of University of California’s discoveries.

University of California decided to pursue a different strategy for its intellectual property, protecting discoveries by Doudna and Charpentier using Crispr with Cas9 enzymes for editing on all cells. That strategy appears to be paying off with winning a European patent later in 2017 and today’s announcement of a U.S. patent. The university notes in a statement that its claims for Crispr-Cas 9 are “not involved in any interference proceeding before the Patent Trial and Appeal Board of the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office, or any appeal before the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit.”

For its part, Broad Institute appears to be focusing on a different editing enzyme called cpf1, which it says is simpler, smaller and more precise than Cas9. MIT and Harvard University, Broad’s parent institutions, were awarded a European patent for Crisper-cpf1 genome editing in 2017.

The Crispr-Cas9 patent was awarded the same day as USPTO celebrated its 10 millionth patent award, to an inventor in California for a laser detection and range-finding device.

More from Science & Enterprise:

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Careful Consideration – Details To Boost Your Business

– Contributed content –

Laptop, mouse, pen

(Vojtech Okenka, Pexels)

19 June 2018. If you own a business, you’ll already be aware of how competitive the market is. New companies seem to be popping up left, right, and center and the major corporations aren’t slowing down anytime soon. Therefore, you need to ensure that you’re able to stand out from the crowd so that consumers and clients will choose you over someone else. In such a saturated environment, it can be a challenge to where to begin regarding getting the word out about your business.

However, there are plenty of professional touches to consider that will ensure you gain consumer trust as soon as possible and continue to give them a positive experience when they choose to visit you online or in person. Once you’ve caught the eye of potential customers and clients, gained and built their trust in your company, and ensured that they’ll return to invest with you again, you’re on a growth path that won’t slow down anytime soon.

Therefore, it’s crucial that you look at the key areas of your business and decide how you can boost your traffic and turn each visit into sales and profit. The following are some ideas, tips, and advice for those who want to push their company forward, focus on the details that matter, and give it plenty of professionalism to gain and build on their credibility for a successful road ahead.

Strength lies in your brand and identity

Often, people will recognize a strong brand logo, color palette, or tagline straight away. Therefore, it’s vital that you invest in branding and design experts who will give you the means to brand each element of your online or physical presence. Branding should help build trust with clients, so make sure all emails, website, blogs, social media platforms, and printed items or signage show your logo and identity. Sensing useful items to those you want to remember you is a great way to remind them you’re there; why not try custom PVC USBs? Or, you could even go down the edible route, and send over baked treats with your logo on them; companies will remember this experience, and you’ll stay on their mind.

If changes are made to the color or design of something; it must be implemented across the board so that everything links back to your business and you get a professional, considered aesthetic. Think about what you look for when you want something from a business, and begin making changes in your company so that you can develop and grow towards future success.

Looking the part across the board

Whether it’s your website domain, phone number, or email address; you need them to look professional, and they need to help establish you as a legitimate, appealing business for potential customers. Therefore, you need to ensure that you’ve paid for a clear domain name that’s the same as your company’s name, or as close to it as possible. Your social media handles need to be just the same; clear, coherent, and consistent so that wherever your visitors land, they’ll be able to see who you are. There should be nothing personal about your email address; invest in one that puts your business name as the address. Free mail accounts can look shoddy and unprofessional which will put customers off.

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Brain Stimulation Shown to Restore Limb Mobility in Stroke

brain stimulationgraphic

(Media News, Flickr)

19 June 2018. Mild electronic stimulation to specific brain regions is shown to restore upper limb movements in lab animals induced with stroke, with similar brain signals in humans also identified as targets. The findings of a medical research and engineering team at University of California in San Francisco appear in yesterday’s issue of the journal Nature Medicine (paid subscription required).

Researchers from the neural engineering lab led by neuroscience professor Karunesh Ganguly are seeking better rehabilitation options for people recovering from stroke, who often struggle with goal-directed movements of their hands and arms. Stroke occurs when blood flow to the brain is interrupted, cutting the oxygen needed by brain cells to function. The vast majority (85%) of strokes are caused by blood clots, while many other strokes are caused by blood vessel leakage in the brain. Nearly 800,000 people in the U.S. have a stroke each year, with paralysis and weakness in the limbs among the results. Recovery, often in rehabilitation clinics, can take months or years of continuous exercises.

The researchers, with colleagues from other UC-San Francisco labs and medical centers in the area, focused on low-frequency oscillations, nerve cell activity in the motor cortex, the brain’s region that controls voluntary muscle movement. These nerve signals are believed to coordinate muscle activity to make movements smooth and efficient. In tests with lab rats, the team measured low-frequency oscillations when the animals reached for food pellets, both before and during the reaching activities.

The researchers then induced strokes in the lab animals, and again measured brain signals, which show low-frequency oscillations diminishing after a stroke. In addition, as the rats recovered and their upper limb movements improved, low-frequency oscillations also recovered, with a strong correlation found between these brain signals and recovery of limb functions.

Ganguly and colleagues used electrodes implanted in the brains of the rodents to measure their low-frequency oscillations, and with the same electrodes delivered mild electronic stimulation to the damaged area of the motor cortex. The researchers timed delivery of the electronic stimulation to immediately before the rats made a reaching movement. The results show reaching movements aided by electronic stimulation are 60 percent more accurate than unassisted movements.

The team also sought evidence of the role played by low-frequency oscillations in humans recovering from a stroke. The researchers analyzed recordings of low-frequency oscillations from the brain of a person with epilepsy who also suffered a stroke. The team found fewer low-frequency oscillations from this individual than in two other persons with epilepsy who did not have a stroke.

The authors believe their findings can accelerate development of brain implants to stimulate low-frequency oscillations for stroke recovery, which enhance current brain signals rather than introducing an artificial stimulus. “We are not creating a new frequency,” says  Ganguly in a university statement, “we are amplifying the existing frequency. By amplifying the weak low-frequency oscillations, we are able to help organize the task-related neural activity. When we delivered the electrical current in step with their intended actions, motor control actually got better.”

University of California filed for a patent on the technology in June 2017, listing Ganguly and co-authors Tanuj Gulati and Dhakshin Ramanathan as inventors.

More from Science & Enterprise:

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Biotech, Institute Partner on Gut Microbe Links to Parkinson’s

Gut microbes

Gut microbes cultured in an artistic design (Nicola Fawcett, Wikimedia Commons)

18 June 2018. Researchers from a biotechnology company and a research institute are starting a joint project to find treatments for Parkinson’s disease targeting bacteria in the gut. Financial and intellectual property aspects of the partnership between Axial Biotherapeutics Inc. in Boston, and Parkinson’s Institute and Clinical Center in Sunnyvale, California were not disclosed.

The collaboration plans to advance research by Axial Biotherapeutics’ co-founder Sarkis Mazmanian, a microbiologist at California Institute of Technology. As reported by Science and Enterprise in November 2016 at the company’s founding, Mazmanian’s lab at Caltech studies molecular processes of symbiotic bacteria in the gut on various human disorders, combining work in genomics, microbiology, immunology, and neuroscience. Axial Biotherapeutics has an exclusive, worldwide license from Caltech for research by Mazmanian on signaling pathways between communities of bacteria, viruses, and other microbes in the human gut, known as the gut microbiome, and diseases of the central nervous system.

Parkinson’s Institute and Clinical Center conducts both basic research on Parkinson’s disease and clinical trials of experimental treatments. Parkinson’s disease occurs when the brain produces less of the substance dopamine, a neurotransmitter that sends signals from one neuron or nerve cell to another. As the level of dopamine lowers, people with Parkinson’s disease become less able to control their bodily movements and emotions. Symptoms include tremors, i.e. shaking, slowness and rigidity in movements, loss of facial expression, decreased ability to control blinking and swallowing, and in some cases, depression and anxiety. According to Parkinson’s Disease Foundation, some 60,000 new cases of Parkinson’s disease are diagnosed in the U.S. each year, with more than 10 million people worldwide living with the disease.

One target of Mazmanian’s research is alpha-synuclein proteins believed to play a role in the development of Parkinson’s disease, or PD, where too much or abnormal forms of the protein can in some cases be toxic to nerve cells in the brain or cause the cells to malfunction. Findings by Mazmanian and others with lab animals show promoting or limiting gut microbes responsible for over-production of alpha-synuclein proteins can likewise promote or inhibit physiological signs Parkinson’s disease in the animals, suggesting signaling pathways from the gut to the brain. In addition, colonizing the gastrointestinal, or GI, tracts of lab mice with gut microbes from Parkinson’s disease patients enhance Parkinson’s-like physical impairments, compared to gut microbes from healthy individuals.

Researchers from Axial and Parkinson’s Institute are expected to test these and other interventions based on gut microbes in preclinical studies with cellular models and lab animals provided by Parkinson’s Institute. “Our team is conducting advanced clinical research,” says Parkinson’s Institute CEO Carrolee Barlow in an Axial statement, “which suggests that disorders like Parkinson’s are not just a brain condition but very likely have origins in the GI system.” She adds that, “It is our ultimate goal to determine if this approach can stop PD from progressing.”

Axial Therapeutics also announced that Barlow is joining its Neurology Scientific and Clinical Advisory Board, and will help guide the company’s clinical programs.

More from Science & Enterprise:

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Starting a Construction Company: Five Things You’re Going To Need

– Contributed content –

Highrise construction

(PXHere.com)

18 June 2018. Construction is an ever growing industry, because, without it, none of the houses, hospitals, schools, stores, and other buildings around you would get built. Because of this, it’s no surprise that so many entrepreneurs, both young and old, want to start their own construction companies. After all, it makes perfect sense to have a business in an industry where people are spending lots of money. There’s no better time to start your own business than right now, but there are a few things you are going to need to get up and running. Here are just five things of those things.

Experience in the industry

If you want your business to be a success, then you need to know what you’re doing. Unfortunately, this isn’t possible if you have no experience in the construction industry. If you lack this necessary experience, then you should put your plans on hold and spend a few years working with other companies first. This way, you’ll gain first-hand knowledge and develop the necessary skills to run a construction company successfully.

Money to invest

Whether you like it or not, companies aren’t built on passion and knowledge; They’re built from money. Because of this, it’s essential that you have the cash needed to buy equipment, licenses, permits and pay for any employees you hire. Unless you have a lot of money saved up yourself, you’re going to have to find financial backing from somewhere. This could come from a bank loan, an angel investor, or a business partner.

Vehicles and equipment

Construction businesses require a lot more equipment than most others. They, of course, need computers, printers, and other IT essentials, like any other business does, but they also need vehicles, like vans and trucks, and machinery, like diggers and drills. You can buy these things outright, from other construction companies and auction sites, like WSM auctioneers. Alternatively, you could rent what you need, which is the more cost-efficient option.

Construction site

(Bridgesward,Pixabay)

The right employees

You may want to do everything yourself, but trying to do so will never end well. This means that you’re going to have to start hiring people to work with and for you. Thankfully, the construction industry is where many people want to start their careers, so you should have plenty of candidates to choose from. Just make sure that you choose the right employees for you and your business, or you’ll end up wasting time and money.

All the legal paperwork

Like with any other business, you’re going to need certain permits and licenses before you’re legally allowed to start working. You’re also going to need a comprehensive insurance plan to cover you from many different scenarios, including staff injuries and theft. This can all get a very confusing, even for experienced entrepreneurs, so you may want to get some legal advice to ensure that you’re definitely following the law.

There is no better time to start a construction company that right now, but there are a few things you’re going to need first. Before you can start your own business, make sure that you’ve got the five things listed above.

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