Strategies to fight muscle-fiber fragility have the potential to treat many forms of muscular dystrophy
We hear a lot these days about genes being destiny, about what can and can’t be done to go beyond predetermined biological limits.
A child born with a mutation in the gene for the muscle protein dystrophin, for instance, is destined to develop Duchenne or Becker muscular dystrophy, depending on the precise mutation and other factors.
"I was always interested in the application of genetics to human problems," says Eric Hoffman, a molecular geneticist and MDA research grantee who directs the Center for Genetic Medicine Research at Children's National Medical Center in Washington.
In the mid-1980s, as he was finishing his doctorate in biology at Johns Hopkins University, Hoffman says, "I began looking around for a human...
In May 1997, Kathryn Wagner was doing something she hadn’t had much time to do in years: She was watching television. Wagner had just given birth to her first baby, James, and was on leave from her postgraduate training in neurology at Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine in Baltimore.
Laminin 111 prevents injury and loss of muscle function in DMD mice
A protein called laminin 111 had a marked therapeutic effect in mice that lack the dystrophin protein and have a muscle disease resembling human Duchenne muscular dystrophy (DMD), say researchers at the University of Nevada School of Medicine.
Long before "stem cell" became a household term, people had observed that plants and animals can, within limits, repair damage they sustain.
Wounds heal, broken bones knit, and lost blood is replenished. Mowed grass soon regrows, and barren trees sprout new leaves in spring. Cut off a limb of a salamander or some other amphibians, and it regrows. But the limbs of other animals, once gone, can’t...