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Immune Cells May Heal an Injured Heart

January 17, 2014 10:21 am | News | Comments

The immune system plays an important role in the heart’s response to injury. But until recently, confusing data made it difficult to distinguish the immune factors that encourage the heart to heal following a heart attack, for example, from those that lead to further damage. Now, researchers have shown that two major pools of immune cells are at work in the heart.

Google Develops Contact Lens Glucose Monitor

January 17, 2014 10:08 am | by Martha Mendoza - AP National Writer - Associated Press | News | Comments

Google unveiled a contact lens that monitors glucose levels in tears, a potential reprieve for millions of diabetics who have to jab their fingers to draw their own blood as many as 10 times a day. The prototype, which Google says will take at least five years to reach consumers, is one of several medical devices being designed by companies to make glucose monitoring for diabetic patients more convenient.

Coronary Artery Imaging May Be “Tremendously Significant”

January 16, 2014 1:51 pm | by Cynthia Fox | Articles | Comments

A major mystery in heart disease—why most people who develop serious heart disease have normal blood pressure and cholesterol—may have been solved in a “tremendously significant” study. Some are already calling the study “important” and “frame-shifting.” The study—Multi-Ethnic Study of Atherosclerosis—found that coronary artery calcium scans can often more accurately predict heart disease than cholesterol and blood pressure readings.

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In the Blink of an Eye

January 16, 2014 1:31 pm | News | Comments

Imagine seeing a dozen pictures flash by in a fraction of a second. You might think it would be impossible to identify any images you see for such a short time. However, a team of neuroscientists from MIT has found that the human brain can process entire images that the eye sees for as little as 13 milliseconds — the first evidence of such rapid processing speed.

Resisting the Flu

January 16, 2014 1:21 pm | News | Comments

McGill researchers, led by Dr. Maya Saleh of the Department of Medicine, have identified an enzyme, cIAP2 that helps the lungs protect themselves from the flu by giving them the ability to resist tissue damage. The results of the now suggest that one effective way of countering influenza infections may instead be offered by enhancing the body’s resistance to the virus.

Brain Regions ‘Tune’ Activity to Enable Attention

January 16, 2014 1:13 pm | News | Comments

The brain appears to synchronize the activity of different brain regions to make it possible for a person to pay attention or concentrate on a task, scientists have learned. Researchers think the process, roughly akin to tuning multiple walkie-talkies to the same frequency, may help establish clear channels for communication between brain areas that detect sensory stimuli.

Brain on Autopilot

January 16, 2014 11:36 am | News | Comments

The structure of the human brain is complex, reminiscent of a circuit diagram with countless connections. But what role does this architecture play in the functioning of the brain? To answer this question, researchers have for the first time analyzed 1.6 billion connections within the brain simultaneously.

Study Dispels 'Obesity Paradox' Idea for Diabetics

January 15, 2014 5:57 pm | by MARILYNN MARCHIONE - AP Chief Medical Writer - Associated Press | News | Comments

The controversial notion that being overweight might actually be healthier for some people with diabetes — seems to be a myth, researchers report. A major study finds there's no survival advantage to being large, and a disadvantage to being very large.

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Amgen, Illumina Team on Personalized Medicine Test

January 15, 2014 5:19 pm | by The Associated Press | News | Comments

Biotech drugmaker Amgen and Illumina, a maker of genetic testing equipment, said Wednesday they are developing a test that will identify patients who might be helped by Amgen's colon cancer drug Vectibix. Vectibix is approved as a treatment for colorectal cancer that has spread and hasn't rresponded to chemotherapy.

Training T Cells to Fight Their Own Cancers

January 15, 2014 1:48 pm | by Cynthia Fox | Articles | Comments

Immunotherapy—the art and science of training peoples’ immune systems to fight their own cancers—was named Breakthrough of the Year by Science. Prominently mentioned was an approach seeing clinical success: genetically tweaking patients’ own T cells to make them more potent, proliferative, and targeted.

Brain Structure Shows Who is Most Sensitive to Pain

January 15, 2014 1:18 pm | News | Comments

Everybody feels pain differently, and brain structure may hold the clue to these differences. In a new study, scientists at Wake Forest Baptist Medical Center have shown that the brain’s structure is related to how intensely people perceive pain.

New Breast Cancer Stem Cell Findings Explain How Cancer Spreads

January 15, 2014 11:55 am | News | Comments

Breast cancer stem cells exist in two different states and each state plays a role in how cancer spreads, according to an international collaboration of researchers. Their finding sheds new light on the process that makes cancer a deadly disease.

Multihormone Reverses Metabolic Damage of High Calorie Diet

January 15, 2014 11:44 am | News | Comments

A single molecule, which acts equally on the receptors of the metabolic hormones glucagon and glucagon-like peptide-1 (GLP-1) improves body weight and diabetes through restored function of the anti-obesity hormone leptin.  Scientists found out that treatment of obese mice with this GLP-1/Glucagon co-agonist improves metabolism and body weight associated with restored function of the weight lowering hormone leptin.

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Gene Variation Associated with Brain Atrophy in Mild Cognitive Impairment

January 14, 2014 1:28 pm | News | Comments

The presence of a gene variant in people with mild cognitive impairment (MCI) is associated with accelerated rates of brain atrophy, according to a new study focused on the gene apolipoprotein E (APOE), the most important genetic factor known in non-familial Alzheimer's disease (AD).

Debunking the Sixth Sense

January 14, 2014 1:08 pm | News | Comments

New research led by the University of Melbourne has helped debunk the common belief that a sixth sense, also known as extrasensory perception (ESP), exists. The study found that people could reliably sense when a change had occurred, even when they could not see exactly what had changed.

Tricky Protein May Help HIV Vaccine Development

January 14, 2014 11:53 am | News | Comments

Duke scientists have taken aim at what may be an Achilles' heel of the HIV virus. Combining expertise in biochemistry, immunology and advanced computation, researchers at Duke University have determined the structure of a key part of the HIV envelope protein, the gp41 membrane proximal external region (MPER), which previously eluded detailed structural description.

Study Demonstrates Need to Change Scoring System for Heart Disease

January 14, 2014 11:44 am | News | Comments

A study led by researchers at the University of California, San Diego School of Medicine shows that one of the most widely used systems for predicting risk of adverse heart events should be re-evaluated. A surprise finding was that coronary artery calcium (CAC) density may be protective against cardiovascular events.

Benefits of Cognitive Training Can Last 10 Years in Older Adults

January 14, 2014 11:35 am | Videos | Comments

Exercises meant to boost mental sharpness can benefit older adults as many as 10 years after they received the cognitive training, researchers said. A multi-institutional team of researchers reported that older adults who had participated in the mental exercise programs reported less difficulty with everyday tasks of living than were those who had not participated, even after 10 years had passed.

Fish Derived Serum Omega-3 Fatty Acids Help Reduce the Risk of Type 2 Diabetes

January 14, 2014 11:12 am | News | Comments

High concentrations of serum long-chain omega-3 fatty acids may help reduce the risk of type 2 diabetes, according to a University of Eastern Finland study. The sources of these fatty acids are fish and fish oils. The Kuopio Ischaemic Heart Disease Risk Factor Study (KIHD) determined the serum omega-3 fatty acid concentrations of 2,212 men between 42 and 60 years of age at the onset of the study, in 1984–1989.

Tweaking MRI to Track Creatine May Spot Heart Problems Earlier

January 13, 2014 12:47 pm | News | Comments

A new MRI method to map creatine at higher resolutions in the heart may help clinicians and scientists find abnormalities and disorders earlier than traditional diagnostic methods. The preclinical findings show an advantage over less sensitive tests and point to a safer and more cost-effective approach than those with radioactive or contrasting agents.

Ultrasound Directed to the Human Brain can Boost Sensory Performance

January 13, 2014 12:41 pm | News | Comments

Whales, bats, and even praying mantises use ultrasound as a sensory guidance system — and now a new study has found that ultrasound can modulate brain activity to heighten sensory perception in humans. Virginia Tech Carilion Research Institute scientists have demonstrated that ultrasound directed to a specific region of the brain can boost performance in sensory discrimination.

Non-coding DNA Implicated in Type 2 Diabetes

January 13, 2014 12:00 pm | News | Comments

Variations in non-coding sections of the genome might be important contributors to type 2 diabetes risk, according to a new study. DNA sequences that don’t encode proteins were once dismissed as “junk DNA”, but scientists are increasingly discovering that some regions are important for controlling which genes are switched on.

Caffeine Has Positive Effect on Memory

January 13, 2014 11:43 am | Videos | Comments

Whether it's a mug full of fresh-brewed coffee, a cup of hot tea, or a can of soda, consuming caffeine is the energy boost of choice for millions who want to wake up or stay up. Now, researchers at Johns Hopkins University have found another use for the popular stimulant: memory enhancer.

Scientists Solve 40-year Mystery of How Sodium Controls Opioid Brain Signaling

January 13, 2014 11:30 am | News | Comments

Scientists have discovered how the element sodium influences the signaling of a major class of brain cell receptors, known as opioid receptors. The discovery suggests new therapeutic approaches to a host of brain-related medical conditions.

Complementary Medicine in Wide Use to Treat Children with Autism, Developmental Delay

January 13, 2014 11:14 am | Videos | Comments

In a study of the range of treatments being employed for young children with autism and other developmental delays, UC Davis MIND Institute researchers have found that families often use complementary and alternative medicine (CAM) treatments and that the most frequent users of both conventional and complementary approaches are those with higher levels of parental education and income.

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