Science Snapshots: COVID-19, power outages, Alzheimer’s disease, and optical antennas

March Science Snapshots from Berkeley Lab

Nanoparticles Help Untangle Alzheimer’s Disease Amyloid Beta Plaques

ROCKVILLE, MD – Scientists are still a long way from being able to treat Alzheimer’s Disease, in part because the protein aggregates that can become brain plaques, a hallmark of the disease, are hard to study.

Nobody finds the Alzheimer’s Germ in $1 Million Challenge, but eight researchers split $200K, says Dr. Leslie Norins of Alzheimer’s Germ Quest

There is now keen interest in deeper investigation of infectious agents as the trigger of Alzheimer’s disease

Alzheimer’s Association again endorses Biogen drug despite mystery data analysis and financial conflict of interest, says Dr. Leslie Norins of Alzheimer’s Germ Quest

Although an expert FDA panel voted ten to one to withhold approval for a Biogen anti-Alzheimer’s drug candidate, the Alzheimer’s Association endorsed the compound. Serious questions have been raised about why, including conflict of interest.

University of Kentucky’s Sanders-Brown Center on Aging Facilitates First Participant in Worldwide Drug Study

Researchers at the University of Kentucky’s Sanders-Brown Center on Aging (SBCoA) recently screened the first participant in the world for what is known as the AHEAD 3-45 study. This work is looking at a study medication, BAN2401, to determine if it can help prevent worsening memory and thinking among individuals who might be at risk for future decline. They are hoping this study finds that BAN2401 does just that and will ultimately help prevent Alzheimer’s disease.

Alzheimer’s study shows promise in protecting brain from tau

In the search for an Alzheimer’s cure, the scientific community has focused on drugs to lessen the buildup of amyloid protein in the brain. But new research published today in Science Translational Medicine finds that targeting tau pathology shows promise.The discovery came by looking at what could make worms resistant to pathological tau protein. That’s when researchers discovered the role of the MSUT2 gene. The latest study applied to mice as well. And held true in autopsy samples of Alzheimer’s patients.

IU School of Medicine awarded $36 million NIH grant for Alzheimer’s disease drug discovery center

The IU-led center is one of only two multi-institution teams in the nation selected as part of a new federal program intended to improve, diversify and reinvigorate the Alzheimer’s disease drug development pipeline.