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Mitochondrial damage: the missing piece in understanding the side-effects from antipsychotics?

6 September 2023

Researchers from the MRC Toxicology Unit, in collaboration with the MRC Mitochondrial Biology Unit in Cambridge, have uncovered why individuals who are prescribed some antipsychotic drugs can develop movement disorders. How these side-effects might develop was not clear – until now - and it is all linked to damage to the...

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Microbiome: The Kingdom of the Gut

24 August 2023

The work of the Patil lab is featured in this story by the University of Cambridge. It explores how Cambridge scientists are trying to get a grasp on the basic rules these bacteria play by, in the hope of understanding not only what’s going on in there, but how we might be able to use our microbiome to our advantage.

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Tracing toxic ‘tyre dust’ pollution in the air to assess human exposure

20 July 2023

When you think of traffic pollution, what comes to mind? Exhaust fumes? What about miniscule pieces of tyre rubber floating around in the atmosphere? Tyre wear particles make up a significant portion of air pollution in UK cities and is only projected to increase over the next decade. In fact, it is estimated that about 1...

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Searching for new anti-cancer compounds in bacteria

30 June 2023

Cancer is something that has impacted all of us either directly or indirectly and is a leading cause of death globally. As a result, there is an urgent and ongoing need to discover and develop new treatments to tackle this disease more efficiently. Interestingly, most of the small-molecule drugs that have been approved as...

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‘Ageing’ immune cell levels could predict how well we respond to vaccines

27 June 2023

Researchers from the MRC Toxicology Unit have identified a signature in the blood that could help predict how well an individual will respond to vaccines. The discovery, published today in the journal Nature Communications, may explain why, even among vulnerable patient groups, some individuals have better responses to...

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People with obesity lose immunity gained from COVID-19 vaccination more rapidly

11 May 2023

The protection offered by COVID-19 vaccination declines more rapidly in people with severe obesity compared to those with normal weight, researchers from the MRC Toxicology Unit and collaborators within the Universities of Cambridge and Edinburgh have found. The study suggests that people with obesity are likely to need...

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New method for nutrient-tracing within a microbial community

20 February 2023

Cross-feeding, or the exchange of nutrients between organisms, is fundamental to the diversity and function of microbial communities. However, pinpointing the corresponding donors and receivers to understand more about this nutrient exchange is challenging as amino acids, nucleotides and more are universal across all...

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Scientists uncover new target for Parkinson's disease treatment

30 January 2023

Parkinson’s disease is a complex neurodegenerative disorder, and currently there is no cure. With 1 in 37 people alive today in the UK predicted to be diagnosed with Parkinson’s in their lifetime, finding new ways to diagnose earlier and delay the progression of the disease is urgently needed. Although most cases of...

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Researchers reveal potential new way that mesothelioma develops

24 October 2022

Mesothelioma is a type of cancer predominantly caused by breathing in asbestos fibres. However, the disease usually doesn’t develop for decades after exposure. Once diagnosed, the tumours are already at an advanced stage and current therapies have minimal impact on prolonging the life of patients, so there is an urgent...

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Artistic representation of inside of cell with different organelles

Cells build local supply chain of metabolites required for gene expression regulation

31 August 2022

Research from the Patil group published in Science Advances reveals that parts of the TCA cycle, originally thought to only happen in the mitochondria, are happening in the nucleus, closer to the DNA and ready to be dispatched when critical processes of the cell increase their demand, without barriers.

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