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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.

US, 26 Countries Launch Effort to Fight Outbreaks

February 13, 2014 11:08 am | by Lauran Neergaard - AP Medical Writer - Associated Press | News | Comments

The U.S. and 26 other nations are announcing a new collaboration to prevent and fight outbreaks of dangerous infectious diseases before they spread around the globe. U.S. health officials say the Global Health Security Agenda is a priority because there are too many blind spots — countries that lack the health care necessary to sound the alarm when a new infection emerges.

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.

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Genetic Clues to TB-resistant Cattle

February 13, 2014 10:15 am | News | Comments

Scientists have identified genetic traits in cattle that might allow farmers to breed livestock with increased resistance to bovine tuberculosis (TB). The study, which compared the genetic code of TB-infected animals with that of disease-free cattle, could help to impact on a disease that leads to major economic losses worldwide.

Robot May Accelerate Trials for Stroke Medications

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

The development of drugs to treat acute stroke or aid in stroke recovery is an endeavor that only rarely pays off in the form of approval. Drug companies spend years testing safety and dosage in the clinic, only to find in Phase 3 clinical efficacy trials have little to no benefit. A robot developed at MIT may help speed up drug development, letting companies know earlier in the process whether a drug will work in stroke patients.

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.

Exercise Targets Cellular Powerhouses to Improve Heart Function

February 12, 2014 10:36 am | News | Comments

Whether lifting weights in a gym or just walking around the block, exercise has many benefits, such as helping people lose weight and build stronger muscles. Some studies suggest that it may reduce the risk of developing cancer and other diseases. Researchers now report that moderate, long-term physical activity appears to improve cardiovascular health in mice by targeting the heart cells’ powerhouses—the mitochondria.

Males and Females Differ in Specific Brain Structures

February 11, 2014 2:19 pm | News | Comments

Reviewing more than 20 years of neuroscience research into sex differences in brain structure, a Cambridge University team has conducted the first meta-analysis of the evidence. The team performed a quantitative review of the brain imaging literature testing overall sex differences in total and regional brain volumes.

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Recycling of 'Chauffeur Protein' Helps Regulate Fat Production

February 11, 2014 1:23 pm | News | Comments

Studying a cycle of protein interactions needed to make fat, Johns Hopkins researchers say they have discovered a biological switch that regulates a protein that causes fatty liver disease in mice. Their findings, they report, may help develop drugs to decrease excessive fat production and its associated conditions in people, including fatty liver disease and diabetes.

Method for Delivering HIV-Fighting Antibodies Proven Even More Promising

February 11, 2014 11:55 am | Videos | Comments

In 2011, biologists at Caltech demonstrated a highly effective method for delivering HIV-fighting antibodies to mice—a treatment that protected the mice from infection by a laboratory strain of HIV delivered intravenously. Now the researchers, led by Nobel Laureate David Baltimore, have shown that the same procedure is just as effective against a strain of HIV found in the real world, even when transmitted across mucosal surfaces.

Breaking News: Gene Links Brain Structure to Intelligence

February 11, 2014 9:19 am | News | Comments

For the first time, scientists have identified a gene linking the thickness of the grey matter in the brain to intelligence, which may help scientists understand biological mechanisms behind some forms of intellectual impairment.      

Optogenetic Toolkit Goes Multicolor

February 10, 2014 1:27 pm | News | Comments

Optogenetics is a technique that allows scientists to control neurons’ electrical activity with light by engineering them to express light-sensitive proteins. Most of these light-sensitive proteins, known as opsins, respond to light in the blue-green range. Now, a team discovered an opsin that is sensitive to red light, which allows researchers to independently control the activity of two populations of neurons at once.

Building the Tools that Fight Type 1 Diabetes

February 10, 2014 1:13 pm | News | Comments

A cure for type 1 diabetes has long eluded even the top experts. Not because they do not know what must be done—but because the tools did not exist to do it. But now scientists in the laboratory of Gladstone Institutes’ Investigator Sheng Ding, MD, PhD, harnessing the power of regenerative medicine, have developed a technique in animal models that could replenish the very cells destroyed by the disease.

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Scientists Find Protein that Helps Bacteria Misdirect Immune System

February 10, 2014 12:54 pm | News | Comments

A team led by scientists at The Scripps Research Institute has discovered an unusual bacterial protein that attaches to virtually any antibody and prevents it from binding to its target. Protein M, as it is called, probably helps some bacteria evade the immune response and establish long-term infections.

A Microchip for Metastasis

February 7, 2014 11:32 am | News | Comments

In an attempt to learn how and why certain cancers spread to specific organs, researchers have developed a three-dimensional microfluidic platform that mimics the spread of breast cancer cells into a bonelike environment.         

Split Decision: Stem Cell Signal Linked With Cancer Growth

February 6, 2014 4:48 pm | News | Comments

Researchers at the University of California, San Diego School of Medicine have identified a protein critical to hematopoietic stem cell function and blood formation. The finding has potential as a new target for treating leukemia because cancer stem cells rely upon the same protein to regulate and sustain their growth.

Nutritional Supplement Improves Cognitive Performance in Older Adults

February 6, 2014 4:13 pm | News | Comments

Declines in the underlying brain skills needed to think, remember, and learn are normal in aging. Therapies to improve the cognitive health of older adults are critically important for lessening declines in mental performance as people age.

First Guidelines Issued to Prevent Stroke in Women

February 6, 2014 4:07 pm | by Marilynn Marchione - AP Chief Medical Writer - Associated Press | News | Comments

Just as heart attack symptoms may differ between men and women, so do stroke risks. Now, the American Heart Association has issued its first guidelines for preventing strokes in women. They focus on birth control, pregnancy, depression, and other risk factors that women face uniquely or more frequently than men do.

Getting Old Neural Stem Cells to Make Young Neurons Again

February 6, 2014 1:30 pm | by Cynthia Fox | Articles | Comments

When the neural stem cells in our brains get older, they create far fewer neurons.  This plays a role in neurodegenerative diseases from Alzheimer’s to Parkinson’s. It also plays a role in our increasingly deficient ability to simply find those car keys. New research is changing that paradigm.

Bacterial Fibers Critical to Human and Avian Infection

February 6, 2014 1:04 pm | News | Comments

Escherichia coli—a friendly and ubiquitous bacterial resident in the guts of humans and other animals—may occasionally colonize regions outside the intestines. There, it can have serious consequences for health, some of them, lethal.

Durable End to AIDS Will Require HIV Vaccine Development

February 6, 2014 12:58 pm | Videos | Comments

Broader global access to lifesaving antiretroviral therapies and wider implementation of proven HIV prevention strategies could potentially control and perhaps end the HIV/AIDS pandemic. However, a safe and at least moderately effective HIV vaccine is needed to reach this goal more expeditiously and in a more sustainable way, according to a new commentary from Anthony S. Fauci, MD, director of the NIAID.

Monkeys That Eat Omega-3 Rich Diet Show More Developed Brain Networks

February 6, 2014 12:23 pm | News | Comments

Monkeys that ate a diet rich in omega-3 fatty acids had brains with highly connected and well organized neural networks—in some ways akin to the neural networks in healthy humans—while monkeys that ate a diet deficient in the fatty acids had much more limited brain networking.

Pinpointing the Brain’s Arbitrator

February 6, 2014 11:52 am | News | Comments

Researchers at the California Institute of Technology (Caltech) have, for the first time, pinpointed areas of the brain—the inferior lateral prefrontal cortex and frontopolar cortex—that seem to serve as this "arbitrator" between the two decision-making systems, weighing the reliability of the predictions each makes and then allocating control accordingly.

A Microchip for Metastasis

February 6, 2014 11:36 am | News | Comments

Nearly 70 percent of patients with advanced breast cancer experience skeletal metastasis, in which cancer cells migrate from a primary tumor into bone—a painful development that can cause fractures and spinal compression. While scientists are attempting to better understand metastasis in general, not much is known about how and why certain cancers spread to specific organs, such as bone, liver, and lungs.

Breaking News: Bionic Hand Provides Sensory in Real-time

February 5, 2014 2:16 pm | News | Comments

A man from Denmark was the first amputee in the world to experience feeling real-time, sensory-rich information with a prosthetic hand wired to nerves in his upper arm.                       

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