07 September 2011
Vol 3, Issue 99
  • Contents

    • Focus

      • Imaging the Infected Heart

        This Focus summarizes current and prospective roles of modern functional imaging techniques for detecting infection in general and endocarditis in particular.

      • Getting to the Root of Hydrocephalus

        The blood-borne lipid lysophosphatidic acid and its receptor contribute to fetal-onset hydrocephalus, a severe neurological disorder of newborns.

    • Perspective

    • Research Articles

    • Editors' Choice

      • Vitamin D May Do the Uterus Good

        Agents that alter cytokine production by uterine-lining cells might help to stem immune-mediated miscarriage.

      • Neurons Are Only Skin Deep

        Skin fibroblasts from patients with Alzheimer’s disease can be converted directly into neuronal cells that retain the cellular characteristics of the disease.

      • Thinking Globally About Asthma

        Genome-wide association studies reveal shared and unique risk factors for asthma in ethnically diverse North American populations.

      • The Midas Touch

        A gold:gadolinium label can be used to track encapsulated pancreatic islets after transplantation.

    • Podcast

About The Cover

Cover image expansion

ONLINE COVER Triggering Hydrocephalus. Using a new mouse model, Yung et al. identify a blood-borne lipid LPA (lysophosphatidic acid) that may trigger development of hydrocephalus, a disorder of newborns in which excess cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) accumulates in the brain. Currently, the only treatment option for hydrocephalus is surgical insertion of an intraventricular shunt to relieve intracranial pressure. Injection of LPA into the brains of fetal mice in utero resulted in accumulation of CSF, such that the mice were born with characteristics of hydrocephalus such as markedly enlarged heads. A drug that blocks the LPA receptor prevented development of hydrocephalus after injection of LPA into fetal mice. LPA receptor antagonist drugs may be a useful adjunct therapy to surgery for treating this incurable disease of newborns. [CREDIT: COVER DESIGN BY C. BICKEL/SCIENCE TRANSLATIONAL MEDICINE; IMAGES PROVIDED BY Y. C. YUNG AND J. CHUN/THE SCRIPPS RESEARCH INSTITUTE]