The human microbiome may be key to health and disease, but the exact
relationship between the microbiome and the human is not clearly understood. Attend the Human Microbiome Research Conference to share insights and learn more about research in this area. The conference is open to the entire scientific community interested in human microbiome and metagenomic research. The conference will be held at The Chase Park Plaza Hotel, St. Louis, MO, August 31-September 2, 2010. To register for the conference or for more information visit the Human Microbiome Project Web site or email conference organizers.
With the rapid and continual advances in biotechnology, scientists are better able to see inside the nucleus of a cell to unlock the secrets of its genetic material. However, what happens outside of the nucleus has, in many ways, remained a mystery. Now, researchers with the National Institutes of Health (NIH) are closer to understanding how activity outside of the nucleus determines a cell’s behavior. They looked at mouse immune cells and examined the types, amount, and activity of microRNAs, genetic components that help regulate the production of proteins. Their study provides a map to the variety of microRNAs contained within mouse immune cells and reveals the complexity of cellular protein regulation. The study appears online in the journal Immunity.
NIH scientists have discovered that the activation of the immune cells called basophils causes kidney damage in a mouse model of lupus nephritis. These findings and the team’s associated research in humans may lead to new treatments for this serious disease, a severe form of systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE) that affects the kidneys and is difficult to treat.
Scientists from NIAMS and others supported by NIAMS have identified four places, or loci, on the human genome that are associated with ankylosing spondylitis (AS), a form of arthritis that causes inflammation and pain in the spine. The research, the first genome-wide association study for AS, showed two genes and two non-gene regions newly associated with increased risk for the disease. Interestingly, the loci are not located near other AS-susceptibility genes within the major histocompatibility complex, a section of the genome containing a high number of immune-related genes. The study appeared in the February issue of the journal Nature Genetics.
Researchers with NIAMS have discovered a new mechanism of inflammation in the TNF receptor 1 (TNFR1)-associated periodic fever syndrome (TRAPS). Their investigation in mice revealed that having one mutant gene and one normal gene for TNFR1 caused greater disease inflammation than having two mutant TNFR1 genes. The researchers concluded that both mutant TNFR1 and normal TNFR1 must be present to cause an increased inflammatory response in TRAPS. The study appears in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.
Findings from the NIAMS-supported National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey suggest that the number of older adults with osteoporosis, a disease that makes bone less dense and prone to fracture, is declining in the United States. The results are consistent with those of recent studies reporting a drop in the rate of hip fractures – the most serious consequence of osteoporosis – but the reasons for these trends are not clear. The findings have been published in the Journal of Bone and Mineral Research.
Scientists supported by NIAMS working with an international research consortium have identified 20 genetic variations associated with the development of osteoporosis, a condition in which bones lose mass to the point that they are at increased risk of fracture.
While we are reminded every cold and flu season of the importance of washing our hands, new research supported by NIAMS says ridding our skin of all bacteria – if that were even possible – is not necessarily a good thing.
NIAMS and the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke (NINDS) are launching a 5-year, $7.5 million natural history study of Duchenne muscular dystrophy (DMD), a degenerative genetically-linked neuromuscular disease. The study aims to validate non-invasive approaches to monitor the progression and treatment of DMD, and holds potential to facilitate the development of promising new therapies for people with the disease.
The U.S. Department of Commerce's Office of Innovation and Entrepreneurship and the Economic Development Administration (EDA) announced a new $12 million innovation competition, in partnership with NIH and the National Science Foundation (NSF). EDA will award up to $1 million to each of six teams around the country with the most innovative ideas to drive technology commercialization and entrepreneurship. NIH and NSF will award a total of up to $6 million in additional funding to NIH or NSF Small Business Innovation Research grantees associated with winning teams.
U.S. Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius announced that $1 billion of American Recovery and Reinvestment Act funds have been awarded to construct, repair and renovate scientific research laboratories and related facilities across the country. The NIH National Center for Research Resources (NCRR) administered the grants, which are expected to create or sustain jobs nationwide and help foster scientific advances that may lead to improved human health.
Partnerships between NIH-funded researchers and industry are often essential to the process of moving discoveries from the bench to the bedside. However, managing financial conflicts of interest can be a major challenge because of the complex relationships among Government, academia, and industry. A Notice of Proposed Rulemaking, which is open for public comment for 60 days (until July 20, 2010), proposes a general revision to the existing regulations.
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration approved LumizymeTM (alglucosidase alfa) for patients ages 8 years and older with late-onset (non-infantile) Pompe disease, a rare genetic disorder.
The 100th meeting of the NIH Advisory Committee to the Director (ACD) occurred on Thursday, June 10, 2010, on the NIH Main Campus. For more information about this meeting, including the agenda, videocast, and past meeting summaries, please visit the ACD Web site.
The NIAMS Advisory Council Meeting was held Tuesday, June 15, 2010, on the NIH Campus. For more information about the meeting, including an agenda and summaries from past meetings, visit the NIAMS Web site.
NIH’s Wednesday Afternoon Lecture Series (WALS) offers weekly lectures every Wednesday at 3 p.m. in Masur Auditorium, Building 10, NIH Campus. Renowned scientists from around the globe present research on a variety of topics. The lectures are Continuing Medical Education-certified lectures, open to the public and available live via Webcast.
June 30, 2010
Dr. Joan Steitz
"Regulating the Activity of MicroRNAs in Vertebrate Cells"
NIAMS Shorttakes is a compilation of news from the Institute that is published three times a year in conjunction with NIAMS Advisory Council meetings.
NIH Research Matters is a review of NIH research from the Office of Communications and Public Liaison, Office of the Director, NIH.
Read about the latest public events, activities and health information resources from NIH in the latest issue of the NIH Public Bulletin.
Read practical health information in NIH News in Health, which is reviewed by NIH’s medical experts and is based on research conducted either by NIH’s own scientists or by our grantees at universities and medical schools around the country.
This booklet contains general information about polymyalgia rheumatic and giant cell arteritis. It describes how these diseases are related, what the symptoms are, how they are diagnosed, and treatment options. Highlights of current research are also included.
Bone, joint, muscle, skin… the breadth and depth of NIAMS’ work in some way likely touches almost every household in America. The medical, patient advocacy and research organizations representing arthritis, musculoskeletal and skin diseases are also vast—in fact, approximately 70 in number. The organizations are diverse as well, ranging in purpose from promoting research, to translating science to excellence in health care, to disease awareness and education. Even within this considerable scope, though, these organizations all hold one principle in common: they want cures and better treatments for the diseases they represent. They want to extend and improve the health of Americans.
It is out of this shared vision that these organizations came together and the NIAMS Coalition was born. The group recognizes that there is a direct correlation between the strength of NIAMS as an agency and our nation’s ability to combat diseases that collectively affect millions of Americans—children and adults from every walk of life and every corner of this country. Our Coalition strives to be a united voice for the millions of Americans who directly benefit from the Institute’s work.
We are the 2010 co-chairs of the Coalition and come to this role at a time of rebirth for the group. Through new communications and outreach activities, periodic teleconferences, and a NIAMS Outreach and Education Day, the NIAMS Coalition enters this new decade more robust than ever. As we look ahead to the coming year, our Coalition membership is working together to facilitate open dialogue with NIAMS leadership, build on the strengths of fellow Coalition members, raise awareness within the general public about disorders within NIAMS’ purview and the research progress being made, and accelerate the realization of more effective treatments and cures for the patient communities we represent.
Join us in our quest to bring to the forefront the significance and consequence that research supported by NIAMS has for our families, communities and the nation at large. Whether in your own organizations or communities or with policy makers, support the NIAMS Coalition as we stand up for the value of biomedical research.
Note: The NIAMS Coalition is an independent group of more than 70 different professional and voluntary organizations concerned with the programs of NIAMS. For more information about the NIAMS Coalition, please contact Co-Chairs Annie Kennedy or Sheila Rittenberg.
NIH Roadmap Initiative Announcement
NIAMS Research Announcements
Letters of Intent Receipt Date: July 27, 2010
Application Receipt Date: August 27, 2010
Letters of Intent Receipt Date: September 1, 2010
Application Receipt Date: October 1, 2010
Letters of Intent Receipt Date: September 1, 2010
Application Receipt Date: October 1, 2010
The purpose of this notice is to alert potential applicants that NIAMS has posted a set of answers to Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) regarding applications for “Centers of Research Translation” in response to RFA-AR-11-002 (P50).
The FAQ is available on the NIAMS Web site (PDF File-98KB). All applicants are encouraged to review the FAQ prior to submitting their application. We anticipate updating the FAQ page as needed and recommend that applicants check back for updates to the FAQ regularly until their submission date.
Other Research Announcements
Letters of Intent Receipt Date: May 21, 2010
Application Receipt Date: June 21, 2010
If you would like to review information about funding opportunities more frequently than our monthly updates allow, see the NIH Guide for Grants and Contracts, the primary source for information about NIH funding opportunities. You can also request a weekly Table of Contents from the NIH Guide.