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Grey Matter Loss from Smoking May be Reversible: Study

February 10, 2015 5:12 pm | News | Comments

Damage to the brain's outer layer caused by smoking may be reversible after quitting, but it could take years, a study said. Brain scans of 500 Scottish septuagenarians confirmed a link between smoking and an acceleration of age-related thinning of the cortex—the outer layer of grey matter, researchers reported.

New Cellular Pathway Defect in Cystinosis

February 10, 2015 4:41 pm | by Scripps Research Institute | News | Comments

Scientists at The Scripps Research Institute (TSRI) have identified a new cellular pathway that is affected in cystinosis, a rare genetic disorder that can result in eye and kidney damage.                                 

90 Percent Approve of Cancer Screening But Uptake is Lower

February 10, 2015 4:35 pm | by Cancer Research UK | News | Comments

The researchers, from Cancer Research UK's Health Behaviour Research Centre at University College London (UCL), interviewed almost 1,900 people aged 50-80 years old about their views on cancer screening.                   

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Coral Snake Venom Reveals Unique Route to Lethality

February 10, 2015 9:34 am | by Johns Hopkins University | News | Comments

A vial of rare snake venom refused to give up its secret formula for lethality; its toxins had no effect on the proteins that most venoms target.                   

Startup Uses Google Glass to Improve Patient-Physician Relationship

February 10, 2015 9:28 am | by Tracie White, Stanford Medical School | News | Comments

Firsthand experience working in hospitals and clinics helped inspire third-year Stanford medical student Pelu Tran to explore a potential career path in the world of high-tech startups.             

Persevering Past Roadblocks to Build Promising Ebola Vaccine

February 10, 2015 9:08 am | by Lauran Neergard - AP Medical Writer | News | Comments

Ebola has claimed nearly 9,000 lives in West Africa over the past year, although new infections have dropped dramatically in recent months.                    

Senate Approves Ex-Mass Official as U.S. Drug Czar

February 10, 2015 9:00 am | by Matthew Daly - Associated Press | News | Comments

President Barack Obama's nominee to serve as U.S. drug "czar" won unanimous approval in the Senate Monday as lawmakers vowed to curb an epidemic that results in more than 40,000 deaths a year from overdoses of prescription painkillers, heroin and other substances.

Impact of Obesity on Fertility Can be Reversed

February 10, 2015 8:56 am | by University of Adelaide | News | Comments

Researchers have revealed how damage from obesity is passed from a mother to her children, and also how that damage can be reversed.                      

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Tests Show NFL Brain Damage May Linger, Start Young

February 9, 2015 2:42 pm | by Cynthia Fox, Science Writer | Articles | Comments

After the highly charged Super Bowl, two sobering studies emerged. One unveiled an improved molecular imaging technology that verified—and precisely identified—brain damage in some National Football League (NFL) players. The other study revealed that brain damage can be more severe in NFL players who start playing football before age 12.

Cow Immune System Inspires Potential New Therapies

February 6, 2015 12:19 pm | by The Scripps Research Institute | News | Comments

Scientists have developed a potential new therapy based on an unlikely model: immune molecules from cows.                          

Highlighting Brain Cells' Role in Navigating Environment

February 5, 2015 3:13 pm | by Dartmouth University | News | Comments

A new Dartmouth College study sheds light on the brain cells that function in establishing one's location and direction. The findings contribute to our understanding of the neural mechanisms underlying our abilities to successfully navigate our environment, which may be crucial to dealing with brain damage due to trauma or a stroke and the onset of diseases such as Alzheimer's.

Unlocking Fat

February 5, 2015 2:57 pm | by Peter Reuell, Harvard | News | Comments

Have you ever wondered why it’s so tough to put down that last slice of bacon? Part of the answer is that humans are evolutionarily programmed to crave fatty foods, which offer the biggest bang for the buck, nutritionally speaking, with more than twice the calorie density of protein- or starch-rich food.

SuperAger Brains Yield New Clues To Memories

February 5, 2015 2:36 pm | by Northwestern | News | Comments

SuperAgers, aged 80 and above, have distinctly different looking brains than those of normal older people, according to new Northwestern Medicine research that is beginning to reveal why the memories of these cognitively elite elders don’t suffer the usual ravages of time.

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Tackling Cancer With a New Paradigm

February 5, 2015 2:33 pm | by Yale | News | Comments

In the 1980s, immunotherapy researcher Lieping Chen, M.D., Ph.D., embraced the career goal of curing one cancer. That lofty-seeming goal is beginning to look more modest today. Recent clinical trials have shown that one cancer after another is vulnerable to immune modulation therapy, a cancer-fighting strategy Chen pioneered that for years was considered marginal.

New Source of Cells for Modeling Malaria

February 5, 2015 2:29 pm | by MIT | News | Comments

In 2008, the World Health Organization announced a global effort to eradicate malaria, which kills about 800,000 people every year. As part of that goal, scientists are trying to develop new drugs that target the malaria parasite during the stage when it infects the human liver, which is crucial because some strains of malaria can lie dormant in the liver for several years before flaring up.

7 Myths About the Measles Vaccine

February 5, 2015 2:25 pm | by Columbia Univ. | News | Comments

Since December, more than 100 people in 14 states have been infected with measles in an outbreak traced to Disneyland, Melissa Stockwell, MD, MPH, assistant professor of pediatrics and of population & family health, has spoken out to debunk seven myths about the measles vaccine.

Disneyland Measles Outbreak Isn't Largest in Recent Memory

February 5, 2015 2:23 pm | by Associated Press | News | Comments

The largest U.S. measles outbreak in recent history isn't the one that started in December at Disneyland. It happened months earlier in Ohio's Amish country, where 383 people fell ill after unvaccinated Amish missionaries traveled to the Philippines and returned with the virus.

Ebola Drug Study Canceled Due to Declining Cases

February 4, 2015 2:54 pm | by Associated Press | News | Comments

The drop-off in Ebola infections is good news for Liberia, but it means there are not enough sick people to take part in the study.                      

Federal Health Officials Face Tough Questions on Flu Vaccines

February 4, 2015 2:51 pm | by Lauran Neergard - AP Medical Writer | News | Comments

Federal health officials faced tough questions from lawmakers Tuesday about why they didn't take steps to produce a better flu vaccine as it became clear that this year's version wasn't going to offer much protection.       

Stem Cell Therapy Shows Promise for MS Patients

February 4, 2015 2:41 pm | by Nora Dunne, Northwestern University | News | Comments

A preliminary study suggests stem cell transplantation may reverse disability and improve quality of life for patients with relapsing-remitting multiple sclerosis.                

Fewer Viral Relics May Be Due to a Less Bloody Evolutionary History

February 4, 2015 2:36 pm | by University of Oxford | News | Comments

Humans have fewer remnants of viral DNA in their genes compared to other mammals.                              

Revolution in Imaging Tech Brings Heart Failure Molecule Into View

February 4, 2015 10:32 am | by Columbia University | News | Comments

Using the same technology that made smartphone cameras possible, scientists at Columbia University Medical Center are capturing images of individual molecules at a level of detail never before possible—including images of a molecule implicated in heart disease and muscle diseases.

How the Brain Ignores Distractions

February 4, 2015 10:23 am | by Brown Univ. | News | Comments

By scanning the brains of people engaged in selective attention to sensations, researchers have learned how the brain appears to coordinate the response needed to ignore distractors. They are now studying whether that ability can be harnessed, for instance to suppress pain.  

Many Herbal Supplements Aren't What the Label Says: Study

February 4, 2015 10:17 am | by Mary Esch, Associated Press | News | Comments

Bottles of Walmart-brand echinacea, an herb said to ward off colds, were found to contain no echinacea at all. GNC-brand bottles of St. John's wort, touted as a cure for depression, held rice, garlic and a tropical houseplant, but not a trace of the herb.                

Nanoparticle Gene Therapy Treats Brain Cancer in Rats

February 4, 2015 10:01 am | by Johns Hopkins | News | Comments

Despite improvements in the past few decades with surgery, chemotherapy and radiation therapy, a predictably curative treatment for glioma does not yet exist. New insights into specific gene mutations that arise in this often deadly form of brain cancer have pointed to the potential of gene therapy, but it’s very difficult to effectively deliver toxic or missing genes to cancer cells in the brain.

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