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Deadly Human Pathogen Cryptococcus Fully Sequenced

April 18, 2014 12:36 pm | News | Comments

Researchers have sequenced the entire genome and all the RNA products of the most important pathogenic lineage of Cryptococcus neoformans, a strain called H99.                           

Young Dads at High Risk of Depression, Too

April 15, 2014 12:07 pm | News | Comments

Depression can hit young fathers hard- with symptoms increasing dramatically during some of the...

Movies Synchronize Brains of Different People

April 7, 2014 1:58 pm | News | Comments

Researchers have succeeded in developing a method fast enough to observe immediate changes in...

Scientists ID Key Cells in Touch Sensation

April 7, 2014 1:49 pm | Videos | Comments

In a new study, researchers solved an age-old mystery of touch: how cells just beneath the skin...

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Archaeologists Discover the Earliest Complete Example of a Human with Cancer

March 18, 2014 2:10 pm | News | Comments

Archaeologists have found the oldest complete example in the world of a human with metastatic cancer in a 3,000 year-old skeleton. The skeleton of the young adult male was found by a Durham University PhD student in a tomb in modern Sudan in 2013 and dates back to 1200BC.

Liver Metabolism Study Could Help Patients Awaiting Transplants

March 4, 2014 1:17 pm | News | Comments

In a new study that could help doctors extend the lives of patients awaiting liver transplants, a Rice University-led team of researchers examined the metabolic breakdown that takes place in liver cells during late-stage cirrhosis and found clues that suggest new treatments to delay liver failure.

Blasts May Cause Brain Injury Even Without Symptoms

March 4, 2014 12:16 pm | News | Comments

Veterans exposed to explosions who do not report symptoms of traumatic brain injury (TBI) may still have damage to the brain's white matter comparable to veterans with TBI, according to researchers at Duke Medicine and the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs. The findings suggest that a lack of clear TBI symptoms following an explosion may not accurately reflect the extent of brain injury.

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Light Zaps Viruses: How Photosensitization Can Stop Viruses from Infecting Cells

March 4, 2014 11:55 am | News | Comments

A of researchers has found evidence that photosensitizing a virus's membrane covering can inhibit its ability to enter cells and potentially lead to the development of stronger, cheaper medications to fight a host of tough viruses. The UCLA AIDS Institute study is part of ongoing research on a compound called LJ001, a "broad-spectrum" antiviral that can attack a wide range of microbes.

Researchers Identify Brain Differences Linked to Insomnia

March 4, 2014 11:36 am | News | Comments

Johns Hopkins researchers report that people with chronic insomnia show more plasticity and activity than good sleepers in the part of the brain that controls movement. They found that the motor cortex in those with chronic insomnia was more adaptable to change - more plastic - than in a group of good sleepers. They also found more "excitability" among neurons in the same region of the brain among those with chronic insomnia.

A Bird's Eye View of Cellular RNAs

February 28, 2014 11:57 am | Videos | Comments

In biology, as in real estate, location matters. Working copies of active genes—called messenger RNAs or mRNAs—are positioned strategically throughout living tissues, and their location often helps regulate how cells and tissues grow and develop. But to analyze many mRNAs simultaneously, scientists have had to grind cells to a pulp, which left them no good way to pinpoint where those mRNAs sat within the cell.

3-D Printer Creates Transformative Device for Heart Treatment

February 26, 2014 2:14 pm | News | Comments

Using a 3-D printer, biomedical engineers have developed a custom-fitted, implantable device with embedded sensors that could transform treatment and prediction of cardiac disorders. An international team of biomedical engineers and materials scientists have created a 3-D elastic membrane made of a soft, flexible, silicon material that is precisely shaped to match the heart’s epicardium, or the outer layer of the wall of the heart.

The Importance of Experimental Design

February 25, 2014 2:26 pm | News | Comments

One of the hottest debates in evolutionary biology concerns the origin of behavior: is it genetically encoded or do animals and birds copy their parents or other individuals? A classic experiment published in 2000 seemed to provide overwhelming evidence that a particular behavioral choice (whether individuals of a species of swallow breed in a small colony or a large one) is largely genetically determined.

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Building a Better Mouse (Model) to Study Pancreatic Cancer

February 25, 2014 2:09 pm | News | Comments

Researchers report two breakthroughs in understanding lesions in the pancreas and its ducts and their role in pancreatic cancer: the development of the first mouse model that simulates a precursor lesion called intraductal papillary mucinous neoplasia (IPMN), and the identification of an enzyme, Brg1, that appears to help cause the formation of IPMN lesions while also suppressing another precursor lesion.

In the Eye of a Chicken, a New State of Matter Comes into View

February 25, 2014 1:50 pm | News | Comments

The list of the chicken's most lasting legacies may eventually include advanced materials such as self-organizing colloids, or optics that can transmit light with the efficiency of a crystal and the flexibility of a liquid. The unusual arrangement of cells in a chicken's eye constitutes the first known biological occurrence of a potentially new state of matter known as "disordered hyperuniformity." 

New Ideas Change Your Brain Cells

February 25, 2014 1:38 pm | News | Comments

A new University of British Columbia study identifies an important molecular change that occurs in the brain when we learn and remember. The research shows that learning stimulates our brain cells in a manner that causes a small fatty acid to attach to delta-catenin, a protein in the brain. This biochemical modification is essential in producing the changes in brain cell connectivity associated with learning, the study finds.

New Biological Scaffold Home, Sweet Home, for Stem Cells

February 24, 2014 2:13 pm | News | Comments

In all multicellular organisms, including people, cells make their own extracellular matrix. But in the lab, scientists attempting to grow tissue must provide a scaffold for cells to latch onto as they grow and proliferate. This engineered tissue has potential to repair or replace virtually any part of our bodies.

Medical Researchers Use Light to Quickly and Easily Measure Blood’s Clotting Properties

February 24, 2014 1:51 pm | News | Comments

To provide caregivers with timely information about the clotting properties of a patient’s blood, researchers at Massachusetts General Hospital have developed an optical device that requires only a few drops of blood and a few minutes to measure the key coagulation parameters that can guide medical decisions, like how much blood to transfuse or what doses of anticoagulant drugs to administer.

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Surprising Culprit Found in Cell Recycling Defect

February 21, 2014 1:34 pm | News | Comments

To remain healthy, the body’s cells must properly manage their waste recycling centers. Problems with these compartments, known as lysosomes, lead to a number of debilitating and sometimes lethal conditions. Researchers have identified an unusual cause of the lysosomal storage disorder called mucolipidosis III, at least in a subset of patients. 

Study in Fruitflies Strengthens Connection Among Protein Misfolding, Sleep Loss, and Age

February 21, 2014 1:24 pm | News | Comments

Researchers at the Perelman School of Medicine, University of Pennsylvania, have been studying the molecular mechanisms underpinning sleep. Now they report that the pathways of aging and sleep intersect at the circuitry of a cellular stress response pathway, and that by tinkering with those connections, it may be possible to alter sleep patterns in the aged for the better—at least in fruit flies.

Could PTSD Involve Immune Cell Response to Stress?

February 21, 2014 12:00 pm | News | Comments

Chronic stress that produces inflammation and anxiety in mice appears to prime their immune systems for a prolonged fight, causing the animals to have an excessive reaction to a single acute stressor weeks later, new research suggests. After the mice recovered from the effects of chronic stress, a single stressful event 24 days later quickly returned them to a chronically stressed state in biological and behavioral terms.

Researchers Find Brain’s ‘Sweet Spot’ for Love in Neurological Patient

February 14, 2014 1:15 pm | News | Comments

A region deep inside the brain controls how quickly people make decisions about love, according to new research at the University of Chicago. The finding, made in an examination of a 48-year-old man who suffered a stroke, provides the first causal clinical evidence that an area of the brain called the anterior insula “plays an instrumental role in love,” said UChicago neuroscientist Stephanie Cacioppo, lead author of the study.

Grape Seed Promise in Fight Against Bowel Cancer

February 14, 2014 1:09 pm | News | Comments

University of Adelaide research has shown for the first time that grape seed can aid the effectiveness of chemotherapy in killing colon cancer cells as well as reducing the chemotherapy's side effects. The researchers say that combining grape seed extracts with chemotherapy has potential as a new approach for bowel cancer treatment - to both reduce intestinal damage commonly caused by cancer chemotherapy and to enhance its effect.

Geographic Variation of Human Gut Microbes Tied to Obesity

February 14, 2014 12:58 pm | News | Comments

People living in cold, northern latitudes have bacteria in their guts that may predispose them to obesity, according to a new study. The researchers’ analysis of the gut microbes of more than a thousand people from around the world showed that those living in northern latitudes had more gut bacteria that have been linked to obesity than did people living farther south.

More Talking to Babies Helps Their Brains

February 14, 2014 5:07 am | by Lauran Neergaard - AP Medical Writer - Associated Press | News | Comments

Using videos that claim to teach toddlers, or flash cards for tots, may not be the best idea. Simply talking to babies is key to building crucial language and vocabulary skills — but sooner is better, and long sentences are good. So says research that aims to explain, and help solve, the troubling "word gap."

Weather Changes May be Linked to Stroke Hospitalizations, Death Rates

February 13, 2014 11:27 am | News | Comments

Stroke hospitalization and death rates may rise and fall with outdoor temperature and dew points. Researchers studied a sample of 134,510 people who were 18 or older when admitted to hospitals in 2009-10 for ischemic stroke — a stroke caused by a blood clot that blocks blood flow in or near the brain. They then obtained temperature and dew point data during that period.

Advanced Techniques Yield New Insights into Ribosome self-assembly

February 13, 2014 10:50 am | News | Comments

Ribosomes, the cellular machines that build proteins, are themselves made up of dozens of proteins and a few looping strands of RNA. A new study offers new clues about how the ribosome, the master assembler of proteins, also assembles itself.

Scientists Discover a New Pathway for Fear Deep Within the Brain

February 13, 2014 10:34 am | News | Comments

Researchers are actively working to understand how the brain translates fear into action. Scientists at Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory (CSHL) announced the discovery of a new neural circuit in the brain that directly links the site of fear memory with an area of the brainstem that controls behavior.

Novel Compound Keeps Parkinson’s Symptoms at Bay in Mice

February 13, 2014 7:54 am | News | Comments

Scientists report that they have developed a novel compound that appears to protect mice against developing movement problems associated with Parkinson’s disease (PD). The research could one day in the future translate into a therapy that could halt the progression of PD and thereby prevent the symptoms of the disease.

New Genetic Analysis Confirms Connection Between Cholesterol and Heart Disease

February 12, 2014 10:49 am | News | Comments

A team of researchers used a novel genetics approach integrated with cardiovascular outcomes and lipid data taken from blood samples from study participants to target specific lipids in the blood. The approach allowed the team to rule out other behavioral or environmental factors that may contribute to heart disease.

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