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CRISPR-treated mice with congenital muscular dystrophy regain muscle function

2017
Fall

Scientists at The Hospital for Sick Children (SickKids) have used the gene-editing tool CRISPR to correct a disease-causing mutation in mice with a form of congenital muscular dystrophy, MDC1A. The findings, published in Nature Medicine, show significant improvement in muscle strength and function among the mice treated with CRISPR, with no remaining signs of paralysis.

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Tricking your heart into thinking that you exercise

2017
Fall

Researchers have discovered that a protein called cardiotrophin 1 (CT1) can trick the heart into growing in a healthy way and pumping more blood, just as it does in response to exercise and pregnancy.

A research team from The Ottawa Hospital, the University of Ottawa, the University of Ottawa Heart Institute and Carleton University has shown that CT1 can repair heart damage and improve blood flow in animal models of heart failure. The results are published in Cell Research.

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Molecular slingshot shoots drugs on infection site

2017
Summer

An international team of researchers from the University of Rome Tor Vergata and the University of Montreal has reported, in a paper published in Nature Communications, the design and synthesis of a nanoscale molecular slingshot made of DNA that is 20,000 times smaller than a human hair.

This molecular slingshot could “shoot” and deliver drugs at precise locations in the human body, once triggered by specific disease markers.

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Diabetes drug may help autismassociated disorder

2017
Summer

Metformin, the most widely used drug to treat type 2 diabetes, could potentially be used to treat symptoms of Fragile X syndrome, an inherited form of intellectual disability and a cause of some forms of autism.

A new study led by researchers at Université de Montréal, McGill University and the University of Edinburgh has found that metformin improves social, behavioural and morphological defects in Fragile X mice.

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Discovery may improve care for patients with alcohol- and tobacco-linked throat cancer

2017
Spring

A team of researchers at the Research Institute of the McGill University Health Centre (RI-MUHC) has found an epigenetic modification that may cause 15% of adult alcohol- and tobaccolinked throat cancers. The researchers are hopeful that the discovery, a first in the field of epigenetics, will blaze a path to the development of new, targeted, more effective treatments over the next few years.

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Researchers identify gene for intracranial aneurysm in French Canadians

2016
Winter

Scientists have identified a gene in the French-Canadian population that predisposes them to the development of intracranial aneurysm (IA), a potentially life threatening neurological condition that is responsible for approximately 500,000 deaths worldwide per year, half of which occur in people less than 50 years of age.

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Legions of nanorobots target cancerous tumours with precision

2016
Fall

Researchers from Polytechnique Montréal, Université de Montréal and McGill University have achieved a spectacular breakthrough in cancer research. They have developed new nanorobotic agents capable of navigating through the bloodstream to administer a drug with precision by specifically targeting active cancerous tumour cells. This way of injecting medication ensures optimal targeting of tumours and avoids jeopardizing the integrity of organs and surrounding healthy tissues. As a result, the drug dosage that is highly toxic for the human organism could be significantly reduced.

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