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New method identifies tau aggregates occurring in healthy body structures

It turns out that not all build-ups of tau protein are bad, and a team of researchers from the Perelman School of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania developed a method to show that. Using mammalian cell models, the researchers combined extremely high-resolution microscopy with machine learning to show that tau actually forms small aggregates when a part of the body’s normal physiology. Through this, they could distinguish between the aggregates occurring under healthy conditions from the ones associated with neurological diseases, potentially opening the door to screening for treatments that might break apart harmful aggregates. This research was published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.