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December 2013

Research identifies way to boost corneal transplant success

New research at the University of Texas South Western Medical Centre has identified a potential method of improving the odds of corneal transplant acceptance. In a study conducted on mice, researchers found that blocking the action of an immune system molecule called interferon-gamma (IFN-y) led to corneal transplants being accepted 90 per cent of the time when the mice shared the same major histocompatibility complex (MHC) genotype as the donor …Read More

Genetic study could help treat rheumatoid arthritis

A new study into rheumatoid arthritis may prove useful in identifying new treatments for the disease. The largest worldwide study of the genetic basis of rheumatoid arthritis demonstrates that integrating information of genome-wide studies with existing data can help scientists to discover drugs that may help cure diseases. A genome-wide association study meta-analysis was conducted on over 100,000 subjects of European and Asian descent. Approximately ten million genetic variants known …Read More

Research explores spread of ‘parasitic’ DNA

A new study has been published which sheds light on how strands of parasitic DNA proliferate as part of the ageing process. Genomes of all organisms contain elements that, when not suppressed, copy themselves and spread, potentially affecting health. It has already been discovered that these parts, known as  "retrotransposable elements" (RTEs), are able to free themselves from the genome's control in cultures of human cells. The new research, conducted …Read More

HR ‘has ethical role to play’

HR has a vital role to play in promoting business ethics, according to former Charter International and Cable & Wireless HR director Ian Muir. Mr Muir has recently authored a report, Tone from the top, published by Kuldeep Associates, which was founded by Muir and sponsored by Ashridge Business School. The report investigates the role played by boards in providing ethical leadership. Its findings suggest that good business practice begins …Read More

Research could repair damaged brain cells

A new technique is being pioneered by researchers at Penn State University to regenerate functional neurons after brain injury and in those affected by Alzheimer's disease. The scientists have used the brain's supporting cells, known as glial cells, to grow healthy neurons which are essential for transmitting brain signals. When the brain is damaged, normal neurons often die or degenerate. Reactive glial cells proliferate as a defence mechanism against bacteria …Read More

Research team maps out cellular repair processes

Researchers University of California, San Diego School of Medicine, along with colleagues in The Netherlands and United Kingdom, have constructed a map detailing the genetic reactions underlying the response of cells to ultraviolet radiation (UV) exposure. It is hoped the study will shed light on the ways in which cells are damaged by radiation and on the mechanisms that repair cells. UV radiation can cause malignancy, especially in skin cancers, …Read More

Talent will be the HR focus of 2014, Deloitte reports

Organisations will have to do more to reduce costs and retain and engage their workforces in 2014. According to Josh Bersin of Deloitte, passion, engagement, development and innovation are key to a successful HR strategy in the year ahead. Deloitte's Predictions for 2014 report describes a world that will be shaped by the globalisation of competition and technological advances that will force companies to improve their brands.  Talent will be …Read More

Study identifies means of preventing atherosclerosis

Researchers at Emory and Georgia Tech have discovered a new technique which combats atherosclerosis by targeting a micro-RNA molecule instrumental to its development. It was discovered that a drug that blocks micro-RNA – a molecule left over from ribosome formation – slows down the process of atherosclerosis. In animal models, the process was blocked despite the presence of a high fat diet. While it is well known that exercise reduces …Read More

Are HR professionals ready for auto-enrolment?

Pension regulations have changed dramatically in recent years and this is something that HR professionals are still coming to terms with. The government introduced auto-enrolment rules in 2012, which means most employers are obliged to automatically sign up full-time workers to a company saving scheme. This new system is being rolled out gradually, with large corporations adopting it first. According to newly-released figures from The Pensions Regulator, more than two …Read More

Could a new malaria vaccine be available in 5 years?

Researchers in Singapore believe they could develop a new malaria vaccine within the next five years. The team at Nanyang Technological University (NTU) have come across a new process which occurs when the malaria parasite attempts to invade the body. They have honed antibodies that can prevent the disease from infecting red blood cells. Professor Peter Preiser, chair of NTU's School of Biological Sciences, explained how this works in simple …Read More