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Noninvasive Brain Control

June 30, 2014 10:53 am | News | Comments

Optogenetics requires a light source to be implanted in the brain, where it can reach the cells that need to be controlled. Now, engineers have developed the first light-sensitive molecule that enables neurons to be silenced noninvasively, using a light source outside the skull.

Breaking News: It May Take ‘Guts’ to Cure Diabetes

June 30, 2014 8:44 am | News | Comments

By switching off a single gene, scientists have converted human gastrointestinal cells into insulin-producing cells, demonstrating in principle that a drug could retrain cells inside a person's GI tract to produce insulin.        

Lassa Virus Tactic Exposed

June 27, 2014 1:21 pm | News | Comments

An international research team has solved the mystery of how birds avoid Lassa virus infection, leading to a better understanding of how Lassa virus infects mammals.                         

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Using DNA to Monitor Environments

June 27, 2014 12:52 pm | News | Comments

Environmental policy must respond to ever-changing conditions on the ground and in the water, but doing so requires a constant flow of information about the living world. Now, scientists propose employing emerging environmental DNA sampling techniques that could make assessing the biodiversity of marine ecosystems as easy as taking a water sample.

Virus Infection Supports Organ Acceptance

June 26, 2014 1:19 pm | News | Comments

Chronic hepatitis C virus infections are among the most common reasons for liver transplants. Because existing viruses also infect the new liver, the immune system is highly active there. Despite this, the new organ is not rejected. The long-term stimulation of the innate immune system by the virus actually increases the probability of tolerance.

Continued Use of Low-dose Aspirin May Lower Pancreatic Cancer Risk

June 26, 2014 1:02 pm | News | Comments

The longer a person took low-dose aspirin, the lower their risk for developing pancreatic cancer, according to a recently published study. Men and women who took low-dose aspirin regularly had 48 percent reduction in their risk for developing pancreatic cancer. Protection ranged from 39 percent reduction in risk for those who took low-dose aspirin for six years or less, to 60 percent reduction for those who took it for more than 10 years.

Too Much TV Time May Up Early Death Risk

June 26, 2014 11:05 am | News | Comments

Adults who watch TV for three hours or more each day may double their risk of premature death compared to those who watch less, according to new research.                           

Designer T Cells Fight Viruses After Transplants

June 25, 2014 3:20 pm | by Lauran Neergaard - AP Medical Writer - Associated Press | News | Comments

Bone marrow transplants save thousands of lives but patients are vulnerable to severe viral infections in the months afterward. Now, scientists are developing protection for that risky period — injections of cells specially designed to fend off up to five different viruses at once.

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New Material Improves Wound Healing, Keeps Bacteria from Sticking

June 25, 2014 2:37 pm | News | Comments

As many patients know, treating wounds has become far more sophisticated than sewing stitches and applying gauze, but dressings still have shortcomings. Now scientists are reporting the next step in the evolution of wound treatment with a material that leads to faster healing than existing commercial dressings and prevents potentially harmful bacteria from sticking.

Almonds Can Reduce Heart Disease Risk

June 25, 2014 1:06 pm | News | Comments

Scientists have found that eating almonds in your diet can reduce the risk of heart disease by keeping blood vessels healthy and significantly increasing the amount of antioxidants in the blood stream.              

Gene in Brain Linked to Kidney Cancer

June 25, 2014 12:54 pm | Videos | Comments

A gene known to control brain growth and development is heavily involved in promoting clear cell renal cell carcinoma, the most common form of kidney cancer, researchers are reporting.                    

3-D Mammograms May Find More Breast Cancer

June 24, 2014 5:19 pm | by Lindsey Tanner - AP Medical Writer - Associated Press | News | Comments

3-D mammograms may be better at finding cancer than regular scans, a large study suggests, although whether that means saving more lives isn't known. The study involved almost half a million breast scans, with more than one-third of them using relatively new 3-D imaging along with conventional scans.

Ferroelectric Switching Seen in Biological Tissues

June 24, 2014 12:57 pm | News | Comments

Researchers have shown that a favorable electrical property is present in a type of protein found in organs that repeatedly stretch and retract, such as the lungs, heart and arteries. These findings are the first that clearly track this phenomenon, called ferroelectricity, occurring at the molecular level in biological tissues.

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Computer-aided Diagnosis of Rare Genetic Disorders from Family Snaps

June 24, 2014 11:59 am | News | Comments

Oxford University researchers have come up with a computer program that recognizes facial features in photographs; looks for similarities with facial structures for various conditions, such as Down's syndrome, Angelman syndrome, or Progeria; and returns possible matches ranked by likelihood.

Engineer to Grow Replacement Tissue for Torn Rotator Cuffs

June 23, 2014 2:50 pm | News | Comments

A Case Western Reserve University engineer has won a $1.7 million National Institutes of Health (NIH) grant to grow replacement rotator cuffs and other large tendon groups to help heal injured soldiers and athletes, accident victims, and an aging population that wants to remain active.

Researchers Identify Mechanism that Could Help Old Muscle Grow

June 19, 2014 9:45 am | News | Comments

Sarcopenia–the significant loss of muscle mass and function that can occur as we age–is associated with many chronic conditions such as diabetes, high cholesterol and obesity.  In new findings, researchers identify a muscle-building mechanism that could be important in addressing sarcopenia.

Asthma Rates Drop but Experts Not Breathing Easier

June 19, 2014 12:20 am | by Mike Stobbe - AP Medical Writer - Associated Press | News | Comments

A new survey suggests asthma in the U.S. may finally be on the decline. But the results are so surprising that health officials are cautious about claiming a downturn. The findings come from a large national health survey conducted last year. The drop could just be an unexplained statistical blip, and researchers say they are waiting for data from this year before proclaiming asthma is on the decline.

FDA Prepping Long-awaited Plan to Reduce Salt

June 17, 2014 3:19 am | by Mary Clare Jalonick - Associated Press - Associated Press | News | Comments

Food companies and restaurants could soon face government pressure to make their foods less salty — a long-awaited federal effort to try to prevent thousands of deaths each year from heart disease and stroke. The Food and Drug Administration is preparing to issue voluntary guidelines asking the food industry to lower sodium levels.

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.

Severe Scoliosis Linked to Rare Gene Mutations

June 16, 2014 2:29 pm | News | Comments

Children with rare mutations in two genes are about four times more likely to develop severe scoliosis than their peers with normal versions of the genes, scientists have found.                      

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.                             

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.

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