Dry earth in the Sonoran desert, Mexico. Photo Courtesy of Wikipedia.
On the Prism this week, host Andrew Hiller talks with scientists who are planting numerous “magic beans” as they try to turn skin cells into brain cells in the search for a way to identify and treat Huntington’s Disease, examine why having a child over the age of forty red
uces the odds of a woman contracting endometrial cancer, and finally a look at an ultra rare disease that may hold the key to solving cognitive disabilities.
Potocki-Shaffer syndrome is a rare condition that is characterized by craniofacial abnormalities, developmental delay, intellectual disability. Using breakpoint mapping and other techniques, scientists at the Medical College of Georgia at Georgia Health Sciences University were able to isolate the gene that triggers the malformations. While the number of people with Potocki-Shaffer syndrome is believed to be a few dozen, the scientists believe that identification of the mechanism could lead to treatments for this condition as well as several different types of intellectual disabilities. Host Andrew Hiller discusses the results of the research with lead scientists Lawrence Laymen & Hyung Gun Kim.
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According to a new study conducted at the Kick School of Medicine at the University of Southern California, women who last give birth at age 40 or older have a 44 percent decreased risk of endometrial cancer when compared to women who have their last birth under the age of 25. The study, believed to be the largest of its kind, examined pooled data from four cohort studies and 13 case-control studies and looked at nearly 9,000 subjects. Veronica “Wendy” Setiawan, Ph.D., an assistant professor of preventive medicine helped lead a research team and talked with Prism host Andrew Hiller.
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The nation’s food supply may be vulnerable to rapid groundwater depletion from irrigated agriculture, according to a new study by researchers at The University of Texas at Austin. Lead author, Bridget Scanlon, a senior research scientist at The University of Texas at Austin’s Bureau of Economic Geology talked to Andrew Hiller about the economic, enviornmental, and social impact of a problem that could take decades to resovle.
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Johns Hopkins researchers, working with an international consortium, say they have generated stem cellsfrom skin cells from a person with a severe, early-onset form of Huntington’s disease (HD), and turned them into neurons that degenerate just like those affected by the fatal inherited disorder. Currently, there is no cure or even effective treatment for this condition whose onset begins at age 40. Andrew Hiller speaks with Christopher Ross, M.D., Ph.D, a professor of psychiatry, neurology, and neuroscience as well as the
Director in the division of neurobiology at Johns Hopkins University.
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