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Stress Hormone Linked to Short-term Memory Loss as We Age

June 18, 2014 1:51 pm | News | Comments

A new study at the University of Iowa reports a potential link between stress hormones and short-term memory loss in older adults. The study reveals that having high levels of cortisol—a natural hormone in our body whose levels surge when we are stressed—can lead to memory lapses as we age.

Computation Leads to Better Understanding of Influenza Virus Replication

June 18, 2014 10:50 am | News | Comments

Computer simulations that reveal a key mechanism in the replication process of influenza A may help defend against future deadly pandemics. Treating influenza relies on drugs, such as Amantadine, that are becoming less effective due to viral evolution. But University of Chicago scientists have published computational results that may give drug designers the insight they need to develop the next generation of effective influenza treatment.

Sleep Quality and Duration Improve Cognition in Aging Populations

June 18, 2014 10:42 am | Videos | Comments

Maybe turning to sleep gadgets—wristbands, sound therapy and sleep-monitoring smartphone apps—is a good idea. A new University of Oregon-led study of middle-aged or older people who get six to nine hours of sleep a night think better than those sleeping fewer or more hours.

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Mammograms May Cut Breast Cancer Deaths by 28%

June 17, 2014 9:19 pm | by Maria Cheng - AP Medical Writer - Associated Press | News | Comments

In the latest major study to consider whether the dangers of mammograms outweigh the benefits, experts say the tests can reduce the chances of dying from breast cancer by nearly 30 percent and that national screening programs should continue.

ASCO Recap: Leaning in at the Plate, Swinging for the Fences

June 17, 2014 1:57 pm | by Neil Canavan | Articles | Comments

Everyone loves a grand slam: the crack of the bat, the arc of the ball as it sails over the fence, a tip of the batter’s cap, a triumphal trot around as the bases empty out, but really, it’s the lesser efforts that made it all possible—a double, a single, a walk—it’s the incremental gains that win the game. It’s called Small Ball. This year’s ASCO, absent the heavy hitters, was all about the small ball.

Study Links APC Gene to Learning and Autistic-like Disabilities

June 17, 2014 1:31 pm | News | Comments

Autistic-like behaviors and decreased cognitive ability may be associated with disruption of the function of the Adenomatous Polyposis Coli (APC) gene. When Tufts researchers deleted the gene from select neurons in the developing mouse brain, the mice showed reduced social behavior, increased repetitive behavior, and impaired learning and memory formation, similar to behaviors seen in individuals with autism and intellectual disabilities.

Getting Rid of Old Mitochondria

June 17, 2014 12:09 pm | News | Comments

It’s broadly assumed that cells degrade and recycle their own old or damaged organelles, but researchers at University of California, San Diego School of Medicine, The Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine and Kennedy Krieger Institute have discovered that some neurons transfer unwanted mitochondria—the tiny power plants inside cells—to supporting glial cells called astrocytes for disposal.

Gene ‘Switch’ Reverses Cancer in Common Childhood Leukemia Model

June 17, 2014 12:00 pm | News | Comments

Melbourne researchers have shown a type of leukemia can be successfully ‘reversed’ by coaxing the cancer cells back into normal development. The discovery was made using a model of B-progenitor acute lymphoblastic leukemia (B-ALL), the most common cancer affecting children.

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Old Drug Reverses Autism-Like Symptoms in Mice

June 17, 2014 11:53 am | News | Comments

In a further test of a novel theory that suggests autism is the consequence of abnormal cell communication, researchers report that an old drug, approved for treating sleeping sickness, also restores normal cellular signaling in a mouse model of autism.

How Our Brains Store Recent Memories, Cell by Single Cell

June 17, 2014 11:42 am | News | Comments

Confirming what neurocomputational theorists have long suspected, researchers at the Dignity Health Barrow Neurological Institute in Phoenix, Ariz. and the University of California, San Diego report that the human brain locks down episodic memories in the hippocampus, committing each recollection to a distinct, distributed fraction of individual cells.

Breaking News: Genes Determine Betting Behavior

June 16, 2014 3:00 pm | News | Comments

Investors and gamblers take note: your betting decisions and strategy are determined, in part, by your genes. Researchers have shown that betting decisions are influenced by the specific variants of dopamine-regulating genes in a person's brain. 

Scientists Take 'Tubular' Journey Through Brain Cells

June 16, 2014 2:38 pm | Videos | Comments

In a new study, scientists took a molecular-level journey into microtubules, the hollow cylinders inside brain cells that act as skeletons and internal highways. They watched how a protein called tubulin acetyltransferase (TAT) labels the inside of microtubules.

Lipids Can Help Fight Leukemia

June 16, 2014 2:23 pm | News | Comments

A new study shows that a tumor-associated lipid stimulates specific T cells, which efficiently kill leukemia cells both in vitro and in animal models.                             

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Researchers Chart Cellular Complexity of Brain Tumors

June 16, 2014 2:20 pm | News | Comments

Scientists from the Broad Institute and Massachusetts General Hospital (MGH) have conducted a first-of-its-kind study that characterizes the cellular diversity within glioblastoma tumors from patients. The study, which looked at the expression of thousands of genes in individual cells from patient tumors, revealed that the cellular makeup of each tumor is more heterogeneous than previously suspected.

Burst of Mutations During Initial Infection Allows Bacteria To Evade Human Immune Response

June 16, 2014 2:10 pm | News | Comments

Bacteria that cause ulcers in humans undergo accelerated evolution during the initial stages of infection, allowing them to evade the immune system, according to new research. The study shows, for the first time, and in real-time, the interplay between the human immune system and invading bacteria that allows the bacteria to counter the immune response by quickly evolving.

Discovery May Lead to Improvements in Diagnosing, Treating Alzheimer's Disease

June 16, 2014 1:51 pm | News | Comments

A new drug target to fight Alzheimer's disease has been discovered by a research team led by Gong Chen, a professor of biology and the Verne M. Willaman Chair in Life Sciences at Penn State. The discovery also has potential for development as a novel diagnostic tool for Alzheimer's disease.

'Bionic Pancreas' Outperforms Insulin Pump

June 15, 2014 9:14 pm | by Marilynn Marchione - AP Chief Medical Writer - Associated Press | News | Comments

Scientists have made big progress on a "bionic pancreas" to free some people with diabetes from the daily ordeal of managing their disease. A wearable, experimental device passed a real-world test, constantly monitoring blood sugar and automatically giving insulin or a sugar-boosting drug as eeded, doctors said.

ASCO Sessions Feel Funding Impact

June 13, 2014 2:49 pm | by Neil Canavan | Articles | Comments

Federal funding for cancer research has diminished over the last ten years, and the negative impact on research is now apparent. There were no blockbuster revelations, no flashy new kid on the block, no miracle cures at this year’s ASCO. Of the four studies selected for the plenary session (where presentations are often THE important findings of the conference), only one is predicted to have a major impact on patient care.

New Membrane-synthesis Pathways in Bacteria Discovered

June 13, 2014 1:51 pm | News | Comments

Biologists discovered new mechanisms used by bacteria to manufacture lipids, i.e. fat molecules, for the cell membrane. Those mechanisms are a combination of familiar bacterial synthesis pathways and of such that occur in higher organisms. Thus, the team has debunked the long-standing theory that lipid production in bacteria differs substantially from that in higher organisms.

Heart Rate Variability May Predict Risk of Disease in Premature Infants

June 13, 2014 1:34 pm | News | Comments

Measuring variability of heart rate may identify premature infants at risk of developing necrotizing enterocolitis, a serious inflammatory condition that can lead to death, according to Penn State College of Medicine researchers. Necrotizing enterocolitis, or NEC, may lead to destruction of the intestinal wall and vital organ failure. It affects 6 to 10 percent of premature infants within the first two weeks of life.

Synchronized Brain Waves Enable Rapid Learning

June 13, 2014 12:58 pm | News | Comments

The human mind can rapidly absorb and analyze new information as it flits from thought to thought. These quickly changing brain states may be encoded by synchronization of brain waves across different brain regions, according to a new study.   

Female Hormones May Contribute to Male Obesity

June 13, 2014 12:45 pm | News | Comments

An imbalance of female sex hormones among men in Western nations may be contributing to high levels of male obesity, according to new research. The study suggest that obesity among Western men could be linked with exposure to substances containing the female sex hormone estrogen.

ADHD Mothers More Likely to Have Children with ADHD, Autism

June 13, 2014 12:29 pm | News | Comments

A study breaks new ground in the understanding of the link between parents with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) and their children with ADHD or autism spectrum disorder (ASD).                  

Copper Compound Extends ALS Lifespan in Mice

June 13, 2014 12:08 pm | News | Comments

Researchers have determined that a copper compound known for decades may form the basis for a therapy for amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), or Lou Gehrig’s disease.                       

Dormant Viruses Re-emerge in Patients with Lingering Sepsis

June 12, 2014 2:35 pm | News | Comments

A provocative new study links prolonged episodes of sepsis— a life-threatening infection and leading cause of death in hospitals— to the reactivation of otherwise dormant viruses in the body.                  

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