Tuesday, August 08, 2006
In another cool gene discovery, UIUC researchers seem to have found the genes responsible for planaria's amazing regenerative abilities. It seems that a Bruli RNA binding protein is responsible for maintaining stem cell renewal - without it, the stem cells all differentiate and regeneration ceases. Understanding how this all works could be key to making stem cell therapy worthwhile in humans.
The club drug ketamine, also known as horse tranquilizer, seems to be useful in treating depression. Researchers have found that an IV dose of the drug led to almost immediate relief of depression symptoms in highly treatment resistant patients. What's really cool here is that ketamine is totally different than current antidepressants: instead of acting on Serotonin or Dopamine levels by blocking reuptake, it acts on Glutamate by antagonizing the NMDA receptor.