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Key Chocolate Ingredients Could Help Prevent Obesity, Diabetes

April 2, 2014 1:55 pm | News | Comments

Improved thinking. Decreased appetite. Lowered blood pressure. The potential health benefits of dark chocolate keep piling up, and scientists are now homing in on what ingredients in chocolate might help prevent obesity, as well as type-2 diabetes. They found that one particular type of antioxidant in cocoa prevented laboratory mice from gaining excess weight and lowered their blood sugar levels.

FDA OKs 1st Hay Fever Allergy Immunotherapy Tablet

April 2, 2014 12:20 pm | by The Associated Press | News | Comments

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration has approved the first tablet for gradually reducing hay fever allergy symptoms, an alternative to uncomfortable allergy-desensitizing shots. Oralair, a tablet that dissolves quickly under the tongue, is approved for patients aged 10 through 65. It's to be...

Using Light-Heated Water to Deliver Drugs

April 1, 2014 2:25 pm | News | Comments

Researchers from the University of California, San Diego Skaggs School of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences, in collaboration with materials scientists, engineers and neurobiologists, have discovered a new mechanism for using light to activate drug-delivering nanoparticles and other targeted therapeutic substances inside the body.

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Study Looks at Why Vitamin D Deficiency Diagnoses Surged

April 1, 2014 1:55 pm | News | Comments

New research from Wake Forest Baptist Medical Center suggests that physicians are ordering vitamin D deficiency screening tests for preventive care purposes rather than after patients develop conditions caused by decreased bone density.

New Screening Tool to Diagnose Common Sleep Problem in Children

April 1, 2014 1:16 pm | News | Comments

Clinical investigators at the Children’s Hospital of Eastern Ontario (CHEO) have developed a new screening tool to help diagnose obstructive sleep apnea in children. Evidence suggests that adults with a large neck circumference are more likely to develop obstructive sleep apnea (OSA), especially males. As neck circumference varies by age and sex, there have been no reference ranges to diagnose pediatric OSA up until now.

Tamiflu-resistant Influenza: Parsing the Genome for the Culprits

March 31, 2014 2:43 pm | News | Comments

It doesn’t take long for the flu virus to outsmart Tamiflu. EPFL scientists have developed a tool that reveals the mutations that make the virus resistant, and they have identified new mutations that may render ineffective one of the few treatments currently available on the market.

Relaxed Blood Pressure Guidelines Cut Millions from Needing Medication

March 31, 2014 2:20 pm | News | Comments

New guidelines that ease the recommended blood pressure could result in 5.8 million U.S. adults no longer needing hypertension medication. The findings are the first peer-reviewed analysis to quantify the impact of guidelines announced in February by the Eighth Joint National Committee. In a divisive move, the committee relaxed the blood pressure goal in adults 60 years and older to 150/90, instead of the previous goal of 140/90.

Strong Link Between Obesity and 'Carb breakdown' Gene

March 31, 2014 1:51 pm | News | Comments

Researchers at King’s College London and Imperial College London have discovered that people with fewer copies of a gene coding for a carb-digesting enzyme may be at higher risk of obesity. The findings suggest that dietary advice may need to be more tailored to an individual’s digestive system, based on whether they have the genetic predisposition and necessary enzymes to digest different foods.

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Natural Plant Compounds May Assist Chemotherapy

March 27, 2014 2:06 pm | News | Comments

Scientists at Plant & Food Research, working together with researchers at The University of Auckland and the National Cancer Institute of The Netherlands, have discovered specific plant compounds able to inhibit transport mechanisms in the body that select what compounds are absorbed into the body,and eventually into cells. These same transport mechanisms are known to interfere with cancer chemotherapy treatment.

Brain Degeneration in Huntington’s Caused by Amino Acid Deficiency

March 27, 2014 12:58 pm | News | Comments

Neuroscientists report they have identified what they believe is the cause of the vast disintegration of a part of the brain called the corpus striatum in rodents and people with Huntington’s disease: loss of the ability to make the amino acid cysteine.

Genetics Explain Why Infections Trigger Rheumatoid Arthritis

March 27, 2014 12:40 pm | News | Comments

A team of researchers believe their findings could have important implications for the way that rheumatoid arthritis is diagnosed and treated. They say that more accurate clinical testing is now needed to better identify rheumatoid arthritis and to prevent it being misdiagnosed.

Heart Responds Differently to Exercise in Men, Women

March 27, 2014 12:20 pm | News | Comments

The formula for peak exercise heart rate that doctors have used for decades in tests to diagnose heart conditions may be flawed because it does not account for differences between men and women, new research says.            

Cholesterol Levels Vary by Season, Worsen in Colder Months

March 27, 2014 12:15 pm | News | Comments

Cholesterol levels fluctuate based on the time of year with more unfavorable lipid profiles seen in the colder months, a trend that may be driven by related behavior changes, according to new research.               

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Autism Linked to Flawed Prenatal Brain Growth

March 27, 2014 11:46 am | by Lindsey Tanner - AP Medical Writer | Videos | Comments

A small study that examined brains from children who died found abnormal patterns of cell growth in autistic children. The research bolsters evidence that something before birth might cause autism, at least in some cases.         

Scientists Discover Bacterial Resistance to Improve Biofuel Production

March 26, 2014 1:59 pm | News | Comments

Resistance is not futile when it comes to a new method to more efficiently convert biomass to biofuels. New research by scientists from Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory in conjunction with the Joint BioEnergy Institute (JBEI) suggests that a type of bacterial resistance may provide more efficient production of biofuels.

Peaches Inhibit Breast Cancer Metastasis in Mice

March 26, 2014 9:54 am | News | Comments

Lab tests at Texas A&M AgriLife Research have shown that treatments with peach extract inhibit breast cancer metastasis in mice. AgriLife Research scientists say that the mixture of phenolic compounds present in the peach extract are responsible for the inhibition of metastasis, according to the study.

Catheter Innovation Destroys Dangerous Biofilms

March 25, 2014 1:26 pm | Videos | Comments

For the millions of people forced to rely on a plastic tube to eliminate their urine, developing an infection is nearly a 100 percent guarantee after just four weeks. But with the help of a little bubble-blowing, biomedical engineers hope to bring relief to urethras everywhere.

Light-activated Antimicrobial Surface Also Works in the Dark

March 25, 2014 11:51 am | News | Comments

Researchers at University College London developed a new antibacterial material which has potential for cutting hospital acquired infections. The combination of two simple dyes with nanoscopic particles of gold is deadly to bacteria when activated by light - even under modest indoor lighting. And in a first for this type of substance, it also shows impressive antibacterial properties in total darkness.

Breaking News: Bipolar Neurons Made from Skin Cells

March 25, 2014 11:46 am | News | Comments

What makes a person bipolar, prone to manic highs and deep, depressed lows? Why does bipolar disorder run so strongly in families? And why is it so hard to find new treatments? New stem cell research may help scientists find answers to these questions.

Cellular 'Counting' of Rhythmic Signals Synchronizes Changes in Cell Fate

March 24, 2014 2:28 pm | News | Comments

Biologists  discovered that when biological signals hit cells in rhythmic waves, the magnitude of the cells' response can depend on the number of signaling cycles—not their strength or duration. Because such so-called “oscillating signaling cycles” are common in many biological systems, the findings in single-celled organisms could help explain the molecular workings of phenomena such as tissue and organ formation.

Gene Expression Signature Reveals New Way to Classify Gum Disease

March 24, 2014 2:17 pm | News | Comments

Researchers at Columbia University Medical Center have devised a new system for classifying periodontal disease based on the genetic signature of affected tissue, rather than on clinical signs and symptoms. The new classification system may allow for earlier detection and more individualized treatment of severe periodontitis, before loss of teeth and supportive bone occurs.

Engineers Design ‘Living Materials’

March 24, 2014 1:51 pm | News | Comments

Inspired by natural materials such as bone—a matrix of minerals and other substances, including living cells—MIT engineers have coaxed bacterial cells to produce biofilms that can incorporate nonliving materials, such as gold nanoparticles and quantum dots.

UV Exposure Found to Lower Folate Levels in Young Women

March 21, 2014 2:02 pm | News | Comments

Women who are pregnant or trying to become pregnant and taking a folic acid supplement may be at risk of reducing their folate benefit through sun exposure, a new QUT study has warned. A study of 45 young healthy women in Brisbane aged 18 to 47, showed high rates of sun exposure accounted up to a 20 per cent reduction in folate levels.

Switching an Antibiotic On and Off with Light

March 21, 2014 1:43 pm | News | Comments

Scientists of the KIT and the University of Kiev have produced an antibiotic, whose biological activity can be controlled with light. Thanks to the robust diarylethene photoswitch, the antimicrobial effect of the peptide mimetic can be applied in a spatially and temporally specific manner. This might open up new options for the treatment of local infections, as side effects are reduced.

Cholesterol Transporter Structure Decoded

March 21, 2014 1:25 pm | News | Comments

Scientists in Göttingen have solved the high-resolution structure of the molecular transporter TSPO, which introduces cholesterol into mitochondria. This protein also serves as a docking site for diagnostic markers and different drugs, such as Valium. The detailed knowledge of its three-dimensional shape and function opens up new diagnostic and therapeutic perspectives.

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