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Eating Probiotics Regularly May Improve Your Blood Pressure

July 22, 2014 | Comments

Eating probiotics regularly may modestly improve your blood pressure, according to new research. Probiotics are live microorganisms (naturally occurring bacteria in the gut) thought to have beneficial effects; common sources are yogurt or dietary supplements.

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Potential New Flu Drugs Target Immune Response, Not Virus

July 22, 2014 2:59 pm | Comments

The seriousness of disease often results from the strength of immune response, rather than with the virus, itself. Turning down that response, rather than attacking the virus, might be a better way to reduce that severity. Researchers have taken the first step in doing that for the H7N9 influenza, and their work has led to identification of six potential therapeutics for this highly virulent strain.

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Viral Therapy Could Boost Limb-saving Cancer Treatment

July 22, 2014 2:52 pm | Comments

Viruses designed to target and kill cancer cells could boost the effectiveness of chemotherapy to the arms and legs and help avoid amputation. Scientists tested the effectiveness of a genetically engineered version of the virus used to vaccinate against smallpox. They found use of the virus alongside isolated limb perfusion chemotherapy was more effective in rats than either treatment on its own.

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Brain Waves Show Learning to Read Doesn’t End in Fourth Grade

July 22, 2014 2:43 pm | Comments

Teachers-in-training have long been taught that the fourth grade is when students stop learning to read and start reading to learn. But a new study tested the theory by analyzing brain waves and found that fourth-graders do not experience a change in automatic word processing. Instead, some types of word processing become automatic before fourth grade, while others don’t switch until after fifth.

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Bacteria Swim with Bodies and Flagella

July 22, 2014 2:34 pm | Comments

Many bacteria swim using flagella, corkscrew-like appendages that push or pull bacterial cells like propellers. It had been assumed that the flagella do all the work during swimming, while the rest of the cell body is just along for the ride. But new research shows that in at least one species, the cell body is actively carving out a helical trajectory through the water that produces thrust and contributes to the organism's ability to swim.

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Stem Cells Aid Muscle Repair and Strengthening After Resistance Exercise

July 22, 2014 2:10 pm | Comments

A new study in mice reveals that mesenchymal stem cells (MSCs) help rejuvenate skeletal muscle after resistance exercise. By injecting MSCs into mouse leg muscles prior to several bouts of eccentric exercise, researchers were able to increase the rate of repair and enhance the growth and strength of those muscles in the exercising mice.

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Breaking News: Lack of Vitamin D Ups Schizophrenia Risk

July 22, 2014 1:17 pm | Comments

Vitamin D-deficient individuals are twice as likely to be diagnosed with schizophrenia as people who have sufficient levels of the vitamin, according to a new study.                        

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HIV pills show more promise to prevent infection

July 22, 2014 3:21 am | by The Associated Press | Comments

There is more good news about HIV treatment pills used to prevent infection in people at high risk of getting the AIDS virus: Follow-up from a landmark study that proved the drug works now shows that it does not encourage risky sex and is effective even if people skip some doses. The research was...

Genetic mapping triggers new hope on schizophrenia

July 22, 2014 12:20 am | by Seth Borenstein - AP Science Writer - Associated Press | Comments

Scientists have linked more than 100 spots in our DNA to the risk of developing schizophrenia, casting light on the mystery of what makes the disease tick. Such work could eventually point to new treatments, although they are many years away. Already, the new results provide the first hard...

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Judge: FDA can't use tobacco panel menthol report

July 21, 2014 8:19 pm | by Michael Felberbaum - AP Tobacco Writer - Associated Press | Comments

The Food and Drug Administration can't use an advisory panel's 2011 report on menthol cigarettes because its members had conflicts of interest, a federal judge ruled Monday. While the agency has since conducted an independent review on the public health impact of menthol cigarettes, the ruling...

Correction: Marijuana Research-Professor Fired

July 21, 2014 6:16 pm | by The Associated Press | Comments

In a story July 18 about a marijuana researcher who was fired from the University of Arizona, The Associated Press reported erroneously that the university is looking for a new researcher who can raise more money. The study is already funded. A corrected version of the story is below: Professor...

Health dept.: West Virginia clinic reused needles

July 21, 2014 5:16 pm | by The Associated Press | Comments

Health officials on Monday advised patients of a West Virginia pain management clinic to be tested for blood-borne infectious diseases after an investigation found potentially that needles had been reused. The investigation by West Virginia health officials found that, prior to November 2013,...

Metabolic Enzyme Stops Progression of Kidney Cancer

July 21, 2014 1:52 pm | Comments

In an analysis of metabolites used by the body to make fuel in normal and cancerous cells in human kidney tissue, a research team identified an enzyme that is key to applying the brakes on tumor growth.              

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Missing Sleep May Hurt Your Memory

July 21, 2014 1:32 pm | Comments

Lack of sleep, already considered a public health epidemic, can also lead to errors in memory, finds a new study by researchers at Michigan State University and the University of California, Irvine. The study found participants deprived of a night’s sleep were more likely to flub the details of a simulated burglary they were shown in a series of images.

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Common Gene Variants Account for Most Genetic Risk for Autism

July 21, 2014 11:26 am | Comments

Most of the genetic risk for autism comes from versions of genes that are common in the population rather than from rare variants or spontaneous glitches, researchers have found. Heritability also outweighed other risk factors in this largest study of its kind to date.

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New Findings Show Early Seeding of HIV Viral Reservoir

July 21, 2014 11:13 am | Comments

A research team has demonstrated that the viral reservoir of HIV-1 infection is established strikingly early after intrarectal simian immunodeficiency virus (SIV) infection of rhesus monkeys and before detectable viremia.         

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