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NIAMS Update June 2016
This year, the NIAMS social media team has initiated several efforts to reach new audiences by partnering with a number of governmental and nongovernmental organizations, especially with organizations that are part of the NIAMS Coalition. Social media provides us with new opportunities to collaborate with NIAMS Coalition members in areas of mutual interest.
Image: Stephen I. Katz, M.D., Ph.D.
Bioengineers Develop Method To Enhance Growth of Blood Vessels: Approach Offers New Strategy for Promoting Tissue Repair Following Injury
Using a combination of medicinal chemistry and biomaterials science, researchers have engineered a way to attract immune cells to a site of injury in mice and stimulate the formation of new blood vessels. The study, which was funded in part by the NIAMS, suggests we might be able to leverage the body’s own responses for tissue repair and regeneration.
Image: Blood vessels (grey) expand and branch in areas where large numbers of anti-inflammatory monocytes (multicolored dots) have been recruited by a signaling molecule. Photo credit: Edward A. Botchwey, Ph.D., Georgia Institute of Technology.
The NIAMS is operating under the FY 2016 Omnibus Appropriations bill, with a budget level of $542,141,000. The funding plan for research and training grants represents the most current information available. However, many factors can affect the operating policies, and they are subject to change.
For patients with painful knee osteoarthritis, tai chi was as helpful as physical therapy in reducing pain and improving physical functioning, according to a new study partially funded by the National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health (NCCIH).
NIH Director’s Blog
Like many other species of salamander, the axolotl (Ambystoma mexicanum) possesses a remarkable, almost magical, ability to grow back lost or damaged limbs. Jessica Whited’s interest in this power of limb regeneration earned her a 2015 National Institutes of Health (NIH) Director’s New Innovator Award.
Image: Axolotl salamanders can regrow limbs.
Other Federal News
About 53 million U.S. adults have arthritis. However, the number of men and women with arthritis is growing and expected to reach more than 78 million in 2040, according to a new study from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).
This healthy living fact sheet from the CDC features information about genetics and osteoporosis, screening for osteoporosis, risk assessment, steps to improve your bone health and prevent falls, and additional resources.
The White House Office of Science and Technology Policy, in collaboration with federal agencies and private-sector stakeholders, announced a new National Microbiome Initiative (NMI) to foster integrated study of microbiomes across different ecosystems. The NMI builds on strong, ongoing federal investments in microbiome research. This fact sheet [PDF – 309 KB] provides more details.
Researchers have determined that the protein complex known as “TFIID” controls stem cell genes that repair skeletal muscle. This image shows human differentiated skeletal muscle fibers (myotubes, in green) expressing the protein MyoD (stained in red), which cooperates with TFIID in causing muscle stem cells to become muscle tissue. Cell nuclei are stained in blue. This discovery may help develop strategies that activate stem cells to repair muscle degenerated by aging or diseases like muscular dystrophy and cancer. Image courtesy of Allessandra Dall-Agnese, Sanford-Burnham Prebys Medical Discovery Institute in La Jolla, California.
The NIAMS National Multicultural Outreach Initiative webpage highlights upcoming national health observances and related NIAMS resources. July is National Juvenile Arthritis Awareness Month.
Updated Resource: The National Children’s Study Vanguard Data and Sample Archive and Access System (NCS Archive)
The National Children’s Study Vanguard Data and Sample Archive and Access System has been updated with data collected from 2011–2014 and numerous system and user-friendly enhancements. For detailed information, see the NCS Study Description and Guide [PDF – 1.4 MB].
NIH's Estimates of Funding for Various Research, Condition, and Disease Categories (RCDC) webpage has been updated to reflect the annual support level for various research, condition and disease categories based on grants, contracts and other funding mechanisms used across the NIH, as well as disease burden data published by the CDC’s National Center for Health Statistics.
Designed for patients, their families and others with an interest in human genetics, Genetics Home Reference offers webpages about more than 1,100 health conditions and diseases and more than 1,300 genes. It includes the primer, Help Me Understand Genetics, which offers a basic explanation of how genes work and how mutations cause disorders. The site also includes current information about genetic testing, gene therapy, genetics research and precision medicine.
NIH Research Matters is a review of NIH research from the Office of Communications and Public Liaison, Office of the Director, NIH.
Researchers found that a healthy person’s skin microbes change remarkably little over time. The stability, however, varies across body sites.The findings provide a baseline for further work on whether the skin’s microbial community changes in response to factors such as diseases and medications.
A study in mice suggests that scar formation may help, not hinder, nerve regrowth after spinal cord injury. The findings, which contradict previous dogma, could lead to new strategies to encourage nerve fibers to regrow across spinal lesions.
Image: Previously injured axons (red) can grow through a dense astrocyte scar (green) in the presence of molecules that stimulate growth (blue). Photo credit: Michael V. Sofroniew, M.D., Ph.D., University of California, Los Angeles.
Read practical health information in NIH News in Health, which is reviewed by the NIH’s medical experts and is based on research conducted either by the NIH’s own scientists or by its grantees at universities and medical schools around the country.
Are you male or female? The answer to this seemingly simple question can have a major impact on your health. While both sexes are similar in many ways, researchers have found that sex and social factors can make a difference when it comes to your risk for disease, how well you respond to medications and how often you seek medical care.
The June 7 NIAMS Advisory Council archived videocast is now available in the Past Events section of the NIH Videocasting website.