Washington, DC - Chronic lesions with inflamed rims, or “smoldering” plaques, in the brains of people with multiple sclerosis (MS) have been linked to more aggressive and disabling forms of the disease. Using brain tissue from humans, researchers at the National Institutes of Health’s National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke (NINDS) built a detailed cellular map of chronic MS lesions, identifying genes that play a critical role in lesion repair and revealing potential new therapeutic targets for progressive MS. The study was published in Nature.

Washington, DC - Non-Hispanic Black individuals in four U.S. states experienced a 38% increase in the rate of opioid overdose deaths from 2018 to 2019, while the rates for other race and ethnicity groups held steady or decreased, according to a new study by the National Institutes of Health published in the American Journal of Public Health. These alarming data are in line with other research documenting a widening of disparities in overdose deaths in Black communities in recent years, largely driven by heroin and illicit fentanyl. The research emphasizes the need for equitable, data-driven, community-based interventions that address these disparities.

Washington, DC - Equipped with a color 3D camera, an inertial measurement sensor, and its own on-board computer, a newly improved robotic cane could offer blind and visually impaired users a new way to navigate indoors. When paired with a building’s architectural drawing, the device can accurately guide a user to a desired location with sensory and auditory cues, while simultaneously helping the user avoid obstacles like boxes, furniture, and overhangs. Development of the device was co-funded by the National Institutes of Health’s National Eye Institute (NEI) and the National Institute of Biomedical Imaging and Bioengineering (NIBIB). Details of the updated design were published in the journal IEEE/CAA Journal of Automatica Sinica.

Washington, DC - The following op-ed by FBI Director Christopher Wray was published on The Washington Post’s website Thursday and appeared in the print issue Friday. Director Wray was an associate deputy attorney general in the Justice Department at the time of the 9/11 attacks.

San Francisco, California - Three trash disposal companies that serve San Francisco, all subsidiaries of Recology Inc., were charged Thursday in federal court with conspiracy to commit honest services fraud and have agreed to pay $36 million in criminal penalties, to revamp their corporate structure, and to cooperate fully in ongoing law enforcement and regulatory investigations, announced Acting United States Attorney Stephanie M. Hinds, Federal Bureau of Investigation Special Agent in Charge Craig D. Fair, and Internal Revenue Service Criminal Investigation Acting Special Agent in Charge Michael Daniels.

Milwaukee, Wisconsin - FBI Special Agent in Charge (SAC) of the Milwaukee Field Office Robert E. Hughes and Jeffrey B. Norman, acting chief of the Milwaukee Police Department (MPD), announced the addition of a suspect wanted for double homicides and multiple attempted homicides in Milwaukee to the FBI’s list of Ten Most Wanted Fugitives today. Fugitive Octaviano Juarez-Corro marks the 525th addition to the Top Ten list, which has been in existence since 1950. On May 29, 2006, Juarez-Corro allegedly shot and killed two individuals and wounded three others at a large holiday picnic in Milwaukee, Wisconsin.