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Complex Neural Circuitry Keeps You from Biting Your Tongue

June 4, 2014 11:03 am | News | Comments

Eating seems to be a rather basic biological task. Yet chewing requires a complex interplay between the tongue and jaw. If the act weren't coordinated, the chewer would end up biting more tongue than food. Researchers used a tracing technique in mice to map the underlying brain circuitry that keeps mealtime relatively painless.

Researchers Shut Down a SARS Cloaking System

June 4, 2014 10:44 am | News | Comments

A Purdue University-led research team has figured out how to disable a part of the SARS virus responsible for hiding it from the immune system; a critical step in developing a vaccine against the deadly disease. The findings also have potential applications in the creation of vaccines against other coronaviruses, including MERS.

Heart-shocking ‘Shirt’ Could Save Lives

June 3, 2014 1:46 pm | News | Comments

Biomedical engineering students have designed a lightweight, easy-to-conceal shirt-like garment to deliver life-saving shocks to patients experiencing serious heart problems. The students say their design improves upon a wearable defibrillator system that is already in use.


Scientists Uncover Features of Antibody-Producing Cells in HIV

June 3, 2014 1:38 pm | News | Comments

By analyzing the blood of almost 100 treated and untreated HIV-infected volunteers, a team of scientists has identified previously unknown characteristics of B cells in the context of HIV infection.               

Molecular 'Scaffold' Could Hold Key to New Dementia Treatments

June 3, 2014 1:36 pm | News | Comments

Researchers at King’s College London have discovered how a molecular ‘scaffold’ which allows key parts of cells to interact, comes apart in dementia and motor neuron disease (such as ALS), revealing a potential new target for drug discovery.

Brain May be Able to Repair Itself from Within

June 3, 2014 1:25 pm | News | Comments

Researchers have found a new type of neuron in the adult brain that is capable of telling stem cells to make more new neurons. Though the experiments are in their early stages, the finding opens the tantalizing possibility that the brain may be able to repair itself from within.

Children with Autism Have Elevated Levels of Steroid Hormones in the Womb

June 3, 2014 1:24 pm | News | Comments

Children who later develop autism are exposed to elevated levels of steroid hormones (for example testosterone, progesterone and cortisol) in the womb, according to scientists. The finding may help explain why autism is more common in males than females. However, the researchers caution it should not be used to screen for the condition.

Young Women Fare Worse than Young Men After Heart Attack

June 3, 2014 1:02 pm | News | Comments

Women age 55 or younger may fare worse than their male counterparts after having a heart attack, according to new research presented at the American Heart Association’s Quality of Care and Outcomes Research Scientific Sessions 2014. Researchers studied records and interviews of 3,501 people (67 percent women) who had heart attacks in the United States and Spain in 2008-12.


BRCA2 Gene Now Connected to Lung Cancer, Doubling a Smoker's Risk

June 2, 2014 2:38 pm | News | Comments

New research confirms a vulnerability to lung cancer can be inherited and implicates the BRCA2 gene as harboring one of the involved genetic mutations. The study scanned the genomes of more than 11 thousand individuals of European descent to look for common variations associated with non-small cell carcinoma. The analysis showed that variations in the BRCA2 and CHEK2 genes can significantly increase an individual's risk for lung cancer.

Fatty Liver Disease Prevented in Mice

June 2, 2014 2:26 pm | News | Comments

Studying mice, researchers have found a way to prevent nonalcoholic fatty liver disease, the most common cause of chronic liver disease worldwide. Blocking a path that delivers dietary fructose to the liver is what prevented mice from developing the condition.

Research Details How Developing Neurons Sense a Chemical Cue

June 2, 2014 2:17 pm | News | Comments

Symmetry is an inherent part of development. As an embryo, an organism’s brain and spinal cord, like the rest of its body, organize themselves into left and right halves as they grow. But a certain set of nerve cells do something unusual: they cross from one side to the other. New research in mice delves into the details of the molecular interactions that help guide these neurons toward this anatomical boundary.

Cystic Fibrosis, Diabetes Link Explained

June 2, 2014 12:15 pm | News | Comments

Many people with cystic fibrosis develop diabetes. The reasons for this have been largely unknown, but now researchers have identified a molecular mechanism that contributes to the raised diabetes risk.              

Leptin Also Influences Brain Cells That Control Appetite

June 2, 2014 11:46 am | News | Comments

Twenty years after the hormone leptin was found to regulate metabolism, appetite, and weight through brain cells called neurons, researchers have found that the hormone also acts on other types of cells to control appetite.       


Genome Sequences Show How Lemurs Fight Infection

May 30, 2014 1:56 pm | News | Comments

Duke researchers Peter Larsen, Ryan Campbell and Anne Yoder used high-throughput sequencing on sifaka blood samples to generate sequence data for more than 150,000 different sifaka antibodies -- protective molecules that latch on to bacteria, viruses and other foreign invaders in the body and fight them off before they cause infection.

Quality Control: Study Shows How Misfolded Proteins are Selected for Disposal

May 30, 2014 1:39 pm | News | Comments

It’s almost axiomatic that misfolded proteins compromise how cells normally function and cause debilitating human disease, but how these proteins are detected and degraded within the body is not well understood. Neurodegenerative diseases exact a devastating toll on aging populations throughout the world.

Nanotechnology Takes on Diabetes

May 30, 2014 12:13 pm | News | Comments

A sensor which can be used to screen for diabetes in resource-poor settings has been developed by researchers and tested in diabetic patients, and will soon be field tested in sub-Saharan Africa.               

Cynical Distrust May Be Hurting Your Brain

May 30, 2014 12:04 pm | News | Comments

People with high levels of cynical distrust, which is defined as the belief that others are mainly motivated by selfish concerns, may be more likely to develop dementia, according to new research.                

Radiation for Prostate Cancer Linked to Secondary Cancers

May 30, 2014 11:59 am | News | Comments

Among men treated for prostate cancer, those who received radiation therapy were more likely to develop bladder or rectal cancer, according to a new study.                            

Scientists ID Metabolic Link Between Aging, Parkinson’s

May 30, 2014 11:48 am | News | Comments

Researchers identified within animal models an enzyme that links genetic pathways that control aging with the death of dopamine neurons– a clinical hallmark of Parkinson’s disease.                    

Study Affirms Value of Epigenetic Test for Prostate Cancer Markers

May 29, 2014 2:11 pm | News | Comments

A multicenter team of researchers report that a commercial test designed to rule out the presence of genetic biomarkers of prostate cancer may be accurate enough to exclude the need for repeat prostate biopsies in many— if not most— men.    

Five Blistering Sunburns Can Up Melanoma Risk 80 Percent

May 29, 2014 2:04 pm | News | Comments

The risk of developing the most deadly form of skin cancer, melanoma, was more closely related to sun exposure in early life than in adulthood in young Caucasian women, according to a new study.                

Scientists Control Rapid Re-wiring of Brain Circuits Using Patterned Visual Stimulation

May 29, 2014 1:56 pm | News | Comments

In a new study, researchers show for the first time how the brain re-wires and fine-tunes its connections differently depending on the relative timing of sensory stimuli. In most neuroscience textbooks today, there is a widely held model that explains how nerve circuits might refine their connectivity based on patterned firing of brain cells, but it has not previously been directly observed in real time.

New Mechanism Explains How Cancer Cells Spread

May 29, 2014 1:33 pm | News | Comments

UT Southwestern Medical Center cancer researchers have identified a protein critical to the spread of deadly cancer cells and determined how it works, paving the way for potential use in diagnosis and eventually possible therapeutic drugs to halt or slow the spread of cancer.

Uncovering Clues to the Genetic Cause of Schizophrenia

May 29, 2014 1:22 pm | News | Comments

The overall number and nature of mutations—rather than the presence of any single mutation—influences an individual’s risk of developing schizophrenia, as well as its severity, according to a study by Columbia University Medical Center researchers. The findings could have important implications for the early detection and treatment of schizophrenia.

30 Percent of World is Now Fat

May 29, 2014 9:00 am | by Maria Cheng - AP Medical Writer - Associated Press | News | Comments

Almost a third of the world is now fat, and no country has been able to curb obesity rates in the last three decades, according to a new global analysis. Researchers found more than 2 billion people worldwide are now overweight or obese.    

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