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High-tech lotion heals diabetic wounds

A new kind of lotion could one day help diabetic patients heal stubborn and painful ulcers on their feet, say researchers.

Scientist and dermatologist Amy S. Paller and chemist Chad A. Mirkin are the first to develop a topical gene regulation technology that speeds the healing of ulcers in diabetic animals.

They combined spherical nucleic acids (SNAs, which are nanoscale globular forms of RNA) with a common commercial moisturizer to create a way to topically knock down a gene known to interfere with wound healing.

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The National Institute of Arthritis and Musculoskeletal and Skin Diseases, the Center for Cancer Nanotechnology Excellence Initiative of the NIH/National Cancer Institute, and the NIAMS-funded Northwestern Skin Disease Research Center supported the research.

Northwestern University
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If your walk down Sheridan Road is a bit more starry-eyed today, that’s because the Northwestern Society of Physics Students spent four hours last night chalking a scale model of the solar system from the Arch to Tech. They also partnered with colleagues in Oxford, who have drawn Proxima Centauri–the nearest star to the sun–on their campus to represent that distance.

Alzheimer Amyloid Clumps Found in Young Adult Brains

Amyloid – an abnormal protein whose accumulation in the brain is a hallmark of Alzheimer’s disease – starts accumulating inside neurons of people as young as 20, a much younger age than scientists ever imagined, reports a surprising new Northwestern Medicine study.

Scientists believe this is the first time amyloid accumulation has been shown in such young human brains. It’s long been known that amyloid accumulates and forms clumps of plaque outside neurons in aging adults and in Alzheimer’s.  

“Discovering that amyloid begins to accumulate so early in life is unprecedented,” said lead investigator Changiz Geula, PhD, research professor in the Cognitive Neurology and Alzheimer’s Disease Center. “This is very significant. We know that amyloid, when present for long periods of time, is bad for you.”

The study was published March 2 in the journal Brain.

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This work was supported in part by a Zenith Fellows Award from the Alzheimer’s Association, and by grants from the National Institute on Aging (AG014706, AG027141, AG20506 T32) of the National Institutes of Health.