An international team of scientists has discovered that two of the world’s most devastating plagues – the plague of Justinian and the Black Death, each responsible for killing as many as half the people in Europe—were caused by distinct strains of the same pathogen, one that faded out on its own, the other leading to worldwide spread and re-emergence in the late 1800s.
A team of researchers has discovered a protein that is required for the growth of tiny, but critical, hair-like structures called cilia on cell surfaces. The discovery has important implications for human health because lack of cilia can lead to serious diseases such as polycystic kidney disease, blindness, and neurological disorders.
Your best friend swears by the Paleo Diet. Your boss loves Atkins. Your sister is gluten-free, and your roommate is an acolyte of Michael Pollan. So who’s right? Maybe they all are. Researchers identified a collection of genes that allow an organism to adapt to different diets and showed that without the genes, even minor tweaks to diets can cause premature aging and death.
A new study shows that humans are able to smell sickness in someone whose immune system is highly active within just a few hours of exposure to a toxin. The researchers say there is anecdotal and scientific evidence suggesting that diseases have particular smells.
Although the brain becomes smaller with age, the shrinkage seems to be fast-tracked in older adults with hearing loss, according to the results of a new study.
People with higher levels of the omega-3 fatty acids found in fish oil may also have larger brain volumes in old age equivalent to preserving one to two years of brain health, according to a new study.
Researchers are set to decipher the genomes of a main bacterial cause of food poisoning, which results in over 21,000 hospital admissions and 100 deaths each year.
A new study conducted by sleep and systems biology researchers has found that the daily rhythms of many genes are disrupted when sleep times shift.
Scientists have discovered that two genes linked to hereditary Parkinson’s disease are involved in the early-stage quality control of mitochondria.
A collaboration of surgeons successfully transplanted kidneys into 50 recipients using an innovative robot-assisted procedure in which the organ is cooled with sterile ice during the operation.
The probability of blindness due to the serious eye disease glaucoma has decreased by nearly half since 1980, according to a new study. The researchers speculate that advances in diagnosis and therapy are likely causes for the decrease.
People who enjoy life maintain better physical function in their daily activities and keep up faster walking speeds as they age, compared with people who enjoy life less, according to a new study.
A large global team of reproduction experts has found a way to even the score for older women seeking pregnancy using a process called preimplantation genetic diagnosis (PGD).
A thickening of the brain cortex associated with regular meditation or other spiritual or religious practice could be the reason those activities guard against depression– particularly in people who are predisposed to the disease, according to new research.
Cancer cells have something that every prisoner longs for— a master key that allows them to escape. A study describes how a protein that promotes tumor growth also enables cancer cells to use this key and metastasize.
Activation of a single type of neuron in the prefrontal cortex can spur a mouse to eat more— a finding that may pinpoint an elusive mechanism the human brain uses to regulate food intake.
Exposing skin to sunlight may help to reduce blood pressure by altering levels of the small messenger molecule nitric oxide (NO) in the skin and blood, thus cutting the risk of heart attack and stroke, a new study says.
Researchers have decoded the genome of the hookworm, Necator americanus, finding clues to how it infects and survives in humans and to aid in development of new therapies to combat hookworm disease.
Researchers have identified a new molecular mechanism by which cocaine alters the brain's reward circuits and causes addiction. The research reveals how an enzyme and synaptic gene affect a key reward circuit in the brain, changing the ways genes are expressed.
As the country settles in for yet another winter full of colds and flu, imagine if your undershirt or socks not only kept you warm but also warned you about an oncoming infection.
As concerns about bacterial resistance to antibiotics grow, researchers are racing to find new kinds of drugs to replace ones that are no longer effective. One promising new class of molecules called acyldepsipeptides — ADEPs — kills bacteria in a way that no marketed antibacterial drug does — by altering the pathway through which cells rid themselves of harmful proteins.
In 2009, the first face transplant was performed at Brigham and Women’s Hospital, and lead surgeon, Dr. Bohdan Pomahac has been pioneering the procedure since. However, understanding the challenges, particularly around how the recipient accepts or rejects the donated face, is just beginning. Following any transplant, including facial transplant, T cells in the recipient mount an immune response to the donated tissue, threatening rejection.
Gene therapies developed by University of Pennsylvania School of Veterinary Medicine researchers have worked to correct different forms of blindness. While effective, the downside to these approaches to vision rescue is that each disease requires its own form of gene therapy to correct the particular genetic mutation involved, a time consuming and complex process.
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.
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.