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Race Should be Removed from Genetics Research, Paper Contends

February 8, 2016 | by Seth Augenstein, Digital Reporter | Comments

Race should no longer be used as a distinguishing factor in human biology and genetics research, contends a new paper in Science.

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New Drug Target for Rett Syndrome

February 8, 2016 10:13 am | by Harvard University | Comments

Researchers have identified a faulty signaling pathway that, when corrected in mice, ameliorates the symptoms of Rett syndrome, a devastating neurological condition. The findings could lead to the discovery of compounds or drugs that may benefit children affected by the disease.

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Uncovering the Secrets of Elastin’s Flexibility

February 8, 2016 10:08 am | by David L. Chandler, MIT News Office | Comments

Elastin is a crucial building block in our bodies. Its flexibility allows skin to stretch and twist, blood vessels to expand and relax with every heartbeat, and lungs to swell and contract with each breath. But exactly how this protein-based tissue assembles itself to achieve this flexibility remained an unsolved question — until now.

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Discovery: Many White-tailed Deer Have Malaria

February 8, 2016 9:53 am | by University of Vermont | Comments

Two years ago, Ellen Martinsen, was collecting mosquitoes at the Smithsonian's National Zoo, looking for malaria that might infect birds--when she discovered something strange: a DNA profile, from parasites in the mosquitoes, that she couldn't identify.

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Florida Readies for a Fight with Zika Virus

February 5, 2016 10:51 am | by Jennifer Kay, Associated Press | Comments

Florida's history of fighting off mosquito-borne outbreaks puts the state in perhaps better position than most when it comes to the Zika virus.

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Karolinska University to Investigate Stem-cell Scientist

February 5, 2016 10:48 am | by The Associated Press | Comments

Sweden's Karolinska University says it is commissioning an external investigation into stem-cell scientist Paolo Macchiarini, who was cleared last year of misconduct charges related to his creation of wind pipes made from patients' stem cells.

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How Gut Inflammation Sparks Colon Cancer

February 5, 2016 10:46 am | by Duke University | Comments

Chronic inflammation in the gut increases the risk of colon cancer by as much as 500 percent, and now researchers think they know why.

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Natural Protein Points to New Inflammation Treatment

February 5, 2016 10:42 am | by NIH/National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences | Comments

Increasing the level of a naturally-produced protein, called tristetraprolin (TTP), significantly reduced or protected mice from inflammation, according to researchers. The results suggest that pharmaceutical compounds or other therapeutic methods that produce elevated levels of TTP in humans may offer an effective treatment for some inflammatory diseases, such as rheumatoid arthritis, psoriasis, and multiple sclerosis.

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Researchers Identify Striking Genomic Signature Shared by 5 Types of Cancer

February 5, 2016 10:38 am | by NIH/National Human Genome Research Institute | Comments

Researchers have identified a striking signature in tumor DNA that occurs in five different types of cancer. They also found evidence that this methylation signature may be present in many more types of cancer. The specific signature results from a chemical modification of DNA called methylation, which can control the expression of genes like a dimmer on a light switch.

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Alzheimer’s Insights in Single Cells

February 4, 2016 11:22 am | by Harvard University | Comments

Building on research reported last year, researchers have succeeded in identifying the neurons that secrete the substance responsible for the plaques that build up in the brains of Alzheimer’s disease patients.

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Tricked-Out Immune Cells Could Attack Cancer, Spare Healthy Cells

February 4, 2016 11:18 am | by UCSF | Comments

Scientists have created a new class of highly customizable biological sensors that can be used to form “logic gates” inside cells of the immune system, giving these cells the capability to home in on and kill a wide range of cancer cells while preventing them from attacking normal tissue.

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Don’t Use BMI to Determine Whether People are Healthy, Study Says

February 4, 2016 11:14 am | by UCLA | Comments

A new study has found that using BMI to gauge health incorrectly labels more than 54 million Americans as “unhealthy,” even though they are not.

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New Non-invasive Form of Vagus Nerve Stimulation Treats Depression

February 4, 2016 11:07 am | by Elsevier | Comments

Depression can be a devastating and unremitting problem. Researchers of a new study report successful reduction of depressive symptoms in patients using a novel non-invasive method of vagus nerve stimulation, or VNS.

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Johnson & Johnson, ViaCyte Testing Possible Diabetes Cure

February 4, 2016 10:56 am | by Linda A. Johnson, AP Business Writer | Comments

Johnson & Johnson, continuing its long quest for a Type 1 diabetes cure, is joining forces with biotech company ViaCyte to speed development of the first stem cell treatment that could fix the life-threatening hormonal disorder.

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New Flexible Sensor Uses Sweat to Monitor Health

February 4, 2016 10:37 am | by Bevin Fletcher, Associate Editor | Comments

Engineers have developed the first fully integrated sensor system that can measure metabolites and electrolytes from sweat and sync the data in real time to a smart phone. 

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