May 2012

Cutting the fat: potential new drug target for treating lipid accumulation in fatty liver

In an article titled “Evidence for regulated monoacylglycerol acyltransferase expression and activity in human liver” by Angela M. Hall at the Center for Human Nutrition at Washington University at St. Louis and colleagues, MGAT activity and the expression of three genes known to encode MGATs were examined from liver biopsy samples obtained from obese study participants before and after they underwent gastric bypass surgery.


Eicosanoid research of yesteryear and now

Eicosanoids are signaling molecules involved in a number of major biochemical pathways, such as inflammation and immunity. Two recent articles, one in the Journal of Biological Chemistry and the other in Molecular & Cellular Proteomics, focus on these molecules from different angles and together give a comprehensive view of how research in this field started and has grown.


In case you missed it

Carolyn Cohen begins her first Journal of Biological Chemistry “Reflections” article by stating a truth well known to those with years of experience but perhaps not fully appreciated by those starting out in their careers: “Chance often determines how a young person finds her calling.”


Reach out to your community college colleagues and students

Deborah L. Neely–Fisher addresses the well-documented repercussions of transfer shock and writes openly about her own experience with it decades ago to persuade others to help create a culture of undergraduate research at community colleges.


Reimagining neurometabolism

Some of the most interesting, enigmatic and understudied cells in metabolic biochemistry are those of the nervous system. The brain has unique metabolic requirements and expresses unique metabolic enzymes, many of which remain poorly characterized. Given that neurons have an exceedingly limited capacity for renewal, understanding neuronal metabolic responses to environmental, nutritional and pharmacological interventions is made all the more important. Determining the basic metabolic biochemistry of the nervous system has the potential to affect translational medicine directly.


U.S. health disparities at a glance

Sex, sexual identity, age, disability, socioeconomic status, geographic location, race and ethnicity all influence health. If a health outcome is seen to a greater or lesser extent in certain populations, there is a disparity. Biological, genetic, environmental and cultural factors and access to medical care all play a role. Compelling evidence indicates race and ethnicity correlate with increasing health disparities between U.S. subpopulations.

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