Stem cell transplant restores memory, learning in mice

For the first time, human embryonic stem cells have been transformed into nerve cells that helped mice regain the ability to learn and remember.

A study at UW–Madison is the first to show that human stem cells can successfully implant themselves in the brain and then heal neurological deficits, says senior author Su-Chun Zhang, a professor of neuroscience and neurology.

In autism, age at diagnosis depends on specific symptoms

The age at which a child with autism is diagnosed is related to the particular suite of behavioral symptoms he or she exhibits, new research from the University of Wisconsin-Madison shows. Certain diagnostic features, including poor nonverbal communication and repetitive behaviors, were associated with earlier identification of an autism spectrum disorder, according to a study in the April issue of the Journal of the American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry. Displaying more behavioral features was also associated with earlier diagnosis.

Transplanted brain cells in monkeys light up personalized therapy

For the first time, scientists have transplanted neural cells derived from a monkey’s skin into its brain and watched the cells develop into several types of mature brain cells, according to the authors of a new study in Cell Reports. After six months, the cells looked entirely normal, and were only detectable because they initially were tagged with a fluorescent protein. Because the cells were derived from adult cells in each monkey’s skin, the experiment is a proof-of-principle for the concept of personalized medicine, where treatments are designed for each individual.

Denise Ney is a Rare Disease Hero

Denise Ney, professor of nutritional sciences, is a rare disease hero. We all know that, but now it’s official. Ney is one of 30 Rare Disease Heroes named by the Office of Orphan Products Development at FDA. This is part of the agency’s sixth international Rare Disease Day. This is an opportunity to reflect on what has been accomplished for rare diseases, while looking forward to the work that has yet to be done.