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Psilocybin Inhibits the Processing of Negative Emotions in the Brain

May 7, 2014 1:45 pm | News | Comments

When emotions are processed in a negatively biased manner in the brain, an individual is at risk to develop depression. Psilocybin, the bioactive component of the Mexican magic mushroom, seems to intervene positively in the emotion-processing mechanism. Even a small amount of the natural substance attenuates the processing of negative emotions and brightens mood as shown by UZH researchers using imaging methods.

Starting Signal for Antiviral Defense

May 7, 2014 1:21 pm | News | Comments

Cells have to protect themselves against damage in their genetic material for one thing, but also against attack from the outside, by viruses for example. They do this by using different mechanisms: special proteins search out and detect defects in the cell's own DNA, while the immune system takes action against intruders. Scientists have now shown that the two protective mechanisms are linked by a shared protein.

App Offers Quick, Inexpensive Melanoma Screening

May 7, 2014 1:00 pm | News | Comments

An app called DermoScreen, which would allow users to take a photo of a suspicious mole or lesion with your phone, run it through an embedded software program and find out within a few seconds if it is likely to be cancerous, is currently being evaluated for further testing.

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'Bad' Cholesterol Helps Cancer Spread

May 7, 2014 12:48 pm | News | Comments

In a world-first, researchers have discovered one of the main reasons behind why cancer spreads throughout the body: the help of "bad" cholesterol. The research found that LDL regulates the machinery that controls cell migration.       

Novel Antioxidant Makes Old Arteries Seem Young Again

May 6, 2014 2:18 pm | News | Comments

An antioxidant that targets specific cell structures—mitochondria—may be able to reverse some of the negative effects of aging on arteries, reducing the risk of heart disease, according to a new study by the University of Colorado Boulder.

Motor Cortex Shown to Play Active Role in Learning Movement Patterns

May 6, 2014 1:30 pm | News | Comments

Skilled motor movements of the sort tennis players employ while serving a tennis ball or pianists use in playing a concerto, require precise interactions between the motor cortex and the rest of the brain. Neuroscientists had long assumed that the motor cortex functioned something like a piano keyboard. But a new study finds that the motor cortex itself plays an active role in learning new motor movements.

Yawning to Cool the Brain

May 6, 2014 1:18 pm | News | Comments

Why do we yawn? We tend to yawn before sleep and after waking, when we are bored or under stimulated. We yawn in the anticipation of important events and when we are under stress. What do all of these have in common? Researchers from the University of Vienna, Austria, and the Nova Southeastern University and SUNY College at Oneonta, USA highlight a link with thermoregulation, and in particular, brain cooling.

Gender Linked to Concussion Recovery Time

May 6, 2014 12:50 pm | News | Comments

A study of concussion patients using diffusion tensor imaging (DTI) found that males took longer to recover after concussion than females did. Results of the study also show that DTI can be used as a bias-free way to predict concussion outcome.  

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MERS Experts Working on Way to Block Virus

May 6, 2014 12:45 pm | News | Comments

A team of researchers is creating molecules designed to shut down the Middle East respiratory syndrome coronavirus, or MERS-CoV, that recently arrived in the United States.                       

Having Eczema May Reduce Skin Cancer Risk

May 6, 2014 12:31 pm | News | Comments

Eczema caused by defects in the skin could reduce the risk of developing skin cancer, according to new research. The immune response triggered by eczema could help prevent tumor formation by shedding potentially cancerous cells from the skin.   

‘Remarkable’ Therapy Makes Old Mice Young, May Hit Clinic This Year

May 5, 2014 1:05 pm | by Cynthia Fox | Articles | Comments

A futuristic anti-aging approach, variously described and utilized by three different Harvard and Stanford groups this week, may hit the clinic by year’s end. The research all began with “heterochronic parabiosis.” That is, old mice were hooked up to young mice via their circulatory systems— and experienced tissue rejuvenation. 

New Technique Tracks Proteins in Single HIV Particle

May 5, 2014 12:43 pm | News | Comments

An interdisciplinary team of scientists from KU Leuven in Belgium has developed a new technique to examine how proteins interact with each other at the level of a single HIV viral particle. The technique allows scientists to study the life-threatening virus in detail and makes screening potential anti-HIV drugs quicker and more efficient.

Immune System Linked to Neurodegeneration

May 5, 2014 11:56 am | News | Comments

Researchers have demonstrated how genetic variations among healthy, young individuals can influence immune cell function. Many of those variants are also genetic risk factors for common diseases later in life, offering new insight into disease pathology.

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Vision Loss and Mental Health: The Hidden Connection

May 5, 2014 11:50 am | News | Comments

Blindness or vision loss can be a primary or secondary side effect of psychiatric treatment. Typical antipsychotics and selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs) prescribed for patients with depression or anxiety disorders can lead to mydriasis, a dilation of the pupil, which causes the vision to become impaired; tricyclic antidepressants can cause blurred vision; some seizure drugs have been linked to near-sightedness and glaucoma.

Vesicles Can Cross Blood Brain Barrier to Treat Central Nervous System Disorders

May 5, 2014 11:03 am | by Ilene Schneider | Articles | Comments

According to the Parkinson's Disease Foundation, as many as a million people in the U.S. suffer from Parkinson’s disease, a central nervous system (CNS) disorder resulting from loss of cells in various parts of the brain. Others have difficult-to-treat HIV in the central nervous system. What do these diseases have in common?

CDC Confirms First US Case of MERS Infection

May 5, 2014 8:21 am | by Mike Stobbe - AP Medical Writer | News | Comments

Health officials confirmed the first case of an American infected with a mysterious virus that has sickened hundreds in the Middle East. Federal and state health officials announced on Monday that they are scheduled to discuss their response to the illness.

Spread of Polio Now a World Health Emergency, WHO Says

May 5, 2014 7:23 am | by Maria Cheng, AP Health Writer | News | Comments

The World Health Organization says the spread of polio is an international public health emergency that threatens to infect other countries with the crippling disease.                       

30-year Puzzle in Breast Cancer Solved

May 2, 2014 1:29 pm | News | Comments

Scientists at the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center demonstrate that mice lacking one copy of a gene called CTCF have abnormal DNA methylation and are markedly predisposed to cancer. CTCF is a very well-studied DNA binding protein that exerts a major influence on the architecture of the human genome, but had not been previously linked to cancer.

Undersea Warfare: Viruses Hijack Deep-sea Bacteria at Hydrothermal Vents

May 2, 2014 1:10 pm | News | Comments

More than a mile beneath the ocean's surface, as dark clouds of mineral-rich water billow from seafloor hot springs called hydrothermal vents, unseen armies of viruses and bacteria wage war. Like pirates boarding a treasure-laden ship, the viruses infect bacterial cells to get the loot: tiny globules of elemental sulfur stored inside the bacterial cells.

Mapping Neural Activity with Molecular Precision

May 2, 2014 12:25 pm | News | Comments

Researchers have established a technique that allows them to track neural communication in the brain over time, using magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) along with a specialized molecular sensor.                 

Out of Shape? Your Memory May Suffer

May 2, 2014 12:10 pm | News | Comments

Here’s another reason to drop that doughnut and hit the treadmill: A new study suggests aerobic fitness affects long-term memory. The study is one of the first to investigate young, supposedly healthy adults.           

Newly Arrived Virus Gains Foothold in Caribbean

May 1, 2014 6:17 pm | by David Mcfadden - Associated Press - Associated Press | News | Comments

A recently arrived mosquito-borne virus that causes an abrupt onset of high fever and intense joint pain is rapidly gaining a foothold in many spots of the Caribbean, health experts said. There are currently more than 4,000 confirmed cases of the fast-spreading chikungunya virus in the Caribbean, most of them in the French Caribbean islands of Martinique, Guadeloupe and St. Martin.

Scientists Urge Delay in Destroying Last Smallpox

May 1, 2014 5:22 pm | by Lauran Neergaard - AP Medical Writer - Associated Press | News | Comments

More than three decades after the eradication of smallpox, U.S. officials say it's still not time to destroy the last known stockpiles of the virus behind one of history's deadliest diseases. The world's health ministers meet later this month to debate, again, the fate of vials held under tight security in two labs — one in the U.S. and one in Russia.

Novel Regulator of Key Gene Expression in Cancer Identified

May 1, 2014 1:58 pm | News | Comments

Scientists identified a key genetic switch linked to the development, progression and outcome of cancer, a finding that may lead to new targets for cancer therapies. The switch, a string of nucleotides dubbed a long non-coding RNA (lncRNA), does not code for proteins like regular RNA. Instead, this particular lncRNA acts as an on/off switch for a key gene whose excessive activity is tied to inflammation and cancer, COX-2.

Vitamin D Deficiency May Be Linked to Aggressive Prostate Cancer

May 1, 2014 1:46 pm | News | Comments

Vitamin D deficiency was an indicator of aggressive prostate cancer and spread of the disease in European-American and African-American men who underwent their first prostate biopsy because of abnormal prostate-specific antigen and/or digital rectal examination test results, according to a study.

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