Bird's eye perspectiveResearchers have now provided the first insight into the perplexing question of how humans developed their daytime vision.
Genes, ozone, and autismExposure to ozone in the environment puts individuals with high levels of genetic variation at an even higher risk for developing autism than would be expected just by adding the two risk factors together, a new analysis shows. The study is the first to look at the combined effects of genome-wide genetic change and environmental risk factors for autism.
The mere presence of your smartphone reduces brain power, study showsYour cognitive capacity is significantly reduced when your smartphone is within reach — even if it’s off — suggests new research.
Fungal toxins easily become airborne, creating potential indoor health riskToxins produced by three different species of fungus growing indoors on wallpaper may become aerosolized, and easily inhaled. The findings likely have implications for 'sick building syndrome.
Bioengineers create more durable, versatile wearable for diabetes monitoringResearchers are getting more out of the sweat they've put into their work on a wearable diagnostic tool that measures three diabetes-related compounds in microscopic amounts of perspiration. In a study, the team describes their wearable diagnostic biosensor that can detect three interconnected compounds - cortisol, glucose and interleukin-6 - in perspired sweat for up to a week without loss of signal integrity.
Anti-epilepsy drug restores normal brain activity in mild Alzheimer's diseaseAn anti-epileptic drug has been tested for its potential impact on the brain activity of patients with mild Alzheimer's disease. The team documented changes in patients' EEGs that suggest the drug could have a beneficial effect.
Scientists recreate Californian Indian water bottles to study ancient exposure to chemicalsWater bottles replicated in the traditional method used by Native Californian Indians reveal that the manufacturing process may have been detrimental to the health of these people.
MRI without contrast agents? Yes, with sugarScientists have been able to visualize brain cancer using a novel MRI method. They use a simple sugar solution instead of conventional contrast agents, which can have side effects in the body.
Chatter in the deep brain spurs empathy in ratsBy combining electrical monitoring of neural activity with machine learning, a team of neuroscientists has tuned into the brain chatter of rats engaged in helping other rats. The results clarify earlier conflicting findings on the role of specific brain regions, such as the insula, in guiding antisocial and psychopathic behavior, and may shed light on how to encourage altruistic behavior in humans.
Decades after the discovery of anti-obesity hormone, scant evidence that leptin keeps lean people lean, scientists sayDecades after the discovery of anti-obesity hormone, scant evidence that leptin keeps lean people lean, scientists caution.
Leisure activities lower blood pressure in Alzheimer's caregiversGoing for a walk outside, reading, listening to music — these and other enjoyable activities can reduce blood pressure for elderly caregivers of spouses with Alzheimer’s disease, suggests a study.
Tropical viruses: Coming soon to Europe?The mosquito-borne viral disease Chikungunya is usually found in tropical areas. Researchers have now discovered how climate change is facilitating the spread of the Chikungunya virus. Even if climate change only progresses moderately – as scientists are currently observing – the risk of infection will continue to increase in many regions of the world through the end of the 21st century. If climate change continues unchecked, the virus could even spread to southern Europe and the United States.
Correct connections are crucialInvestigators have been examining the use of deep brain stimulation in the treatment of Parkinson's disease in an attempt to optimize treatment effectiveness.
Child safety or parental duty: New study maps out core concepts in the vaccination debateThe recent measles outbreak in Minnesota has been a sobering reminder of how highly concentrated populations of vaccination skeptics can elevate an entire community's risk of infection. Around the edges of every headline-grabbing outbreak, there's a vast range of opinions being circulated about the risks and benefits of early childhood immunization. The vaccination debate maintains a constant presence on social media platforms. These varied viewpoints caught the attention of scientists who are conducting a three-year study on the ways online interactions influence our beliefs.
Combined molecular biology test is the first to distinguish benign pancreatic lesionsWhen performed in tandem, two molecular biology laboratory tests distinguish, with near certainty, pancreatic lesions that mimic early signs of cancer but are completely benign. The lesions almost never progress to cancer, so patients may be spared unnecessary pancreatic cancer screenings or operations. The two-test combination is the only one to date that can accurately and specifically identify these benign pancreatic lesions.
Lowering health risks of cannabis use with new public health guidelinesCanada's Lower-Risk Cannabis Use Guidelines, released with the endorsement of key medical and public health organizations, provide 10 science-based recommendations to enable cannabis users to reduce their health risks. The guidelines are based on a scientific review by an international team of experts.
Is it okay for children to count on their fingers?Is it OK for children to count on their fingers? Generations of pupils have been discouraged by their teachers from using their hands when learning maths. But a new research article shows using fingers may be a much more important part of maths learning than previously thought.
Following a friend leads to unsafe driving behaviorA new study inspired by a court case involving a driver seriously hurt in an accident when following another car to a destination, provides evidence to show that the car behind makes risky driving maneuvers. Driving faster, more erratically, closer to the car in front and jumping traffic lights are all blamed on a fear of getting lost. Drivers are advised to provide the follower with a map or navigational guide before setting off.
Existing drugs could benefit patients with bone cancer, genetic study suggestsA subgroup of patients with osteosarcoma -- a form of bone cancer -- could be helped by an existing drug, suggest scientists. In the largest genetic sequencing study of osteosarcoma to date, scientists discovered that 10 percent of patients with a genetic mutation in particular growth factor signalling genes may benefit from existing drugs, known as IGF1R inhibitors.
Putting others first can cost lives in emergenciesSelfless heroism isn't the best strategy in life-and-death disaster situations involving groups of people, a new study suggests.
Guided self-help approach to graded exercise program is safe, may reduce fatigue for patients with chronic fatigue syndromeA self-help approach to a graded exercise program, supervised by a specialist physiotherapist, is safe and may reduce fatigue for some people with chronic fatigue syndrome (CFS), according to a new trial of 200 people.
A unique amino acid for brain cancer therapyPhotodynamic therapy is often used to treat brain tumors because of its specificity — it can target very small regions containing cancerous cells while sparing the normal cells around it from damage. It works by injecting a drug called a photosensitizer into the bloodstream, where it gathers in cells, and then exposing the drug-filled cells to light. When the photosensitizer is exposed to this light, it emits what is known as a reactive oxygen species (ROS) that causes the cells to die.
Heavy-drinking mothers linked to their child’s path toward the justice systemA new study investigated whether children whose mothers had an alcohol-related disorder would be at risk of early-life contact with the justice system, which can lead to many negative outcomes across an individual's life span. Such outcomes can include repeated contact with the justice system, social disadvantages and marginalization, and mental-health and substance-use issues.
Study debunks claim of greatly improved survival rate for gunshot victimsThe survival rate of US gunshot victims has not shown a marked improvement, as other recent studies have suggested, according to new research. The purported increase in survival rate had been credited to improvements in emergency treatment and medical care of critically injured patients. But on close analysis, researchers found problems in the way data was collected and coded.
Intensive blood pressure lowering benefits patients with chronic kidney diseaseIn individuals with chronic kidney disease, targeting a systolic blood pressure to
Peroxisomal biogenesis disorder: New link to sugar metabolismPeroxisomal biogenesis disorder, which has been linked only to lipid metabolism, is also associated with sugar metabolism.
Spinal cord injury: Using cortical targets to improve motor functionNew research provides the first evidence that cortical targets could represent a novel therapeutic site for improving motor function in humans paralyzed by spinal cord injury.
Interventions to prevent cognitive decline, dementiaCognitive training, blood pressure management for people with hypertension, and increased physical activity all show modest but inconclusive evidence that they can help prevent cognitive decline and dementia, but there is insufficient evidence to support a public health campaign encouraging their adoption, says a new report.
Seafood poisoning bug thwarts a key host defense by attacking the cell's cytoskeletonThe leading cause of acute gastroenteritis linked to eating raw seafood disarms a key host defense system in a novel way: It paralyzes a cell's skeleton, or cytoskeleton.
How pheromones trigger female sexual behaviorA new study showed how a male pheromone in mice enhances sexual behaviors in females -- and how it may enhance a different behavior, aggression, in males -- by identifying distinct neural circuits and neurons that generate a particular behavioral response to specific chemical signals. The findings point to a model for further investigating how sex-specific innate behaviors in living things are controlled.
Tiny nanoparticles offer significant potential in detecting, treating disease new review of work on exosomesExosomes - tiny biological nanoparticles which transfer information between cells - offer significant potential in detecting and treating disease, the most comprehensive overview so far of research in the field has concluded. Areas which could benefit include cancer treatment and regenerative medicine.
New biomarker assay detects neuroblastoma with greater sensitivityInvestigators have developed and tested a new biomarker assay for quantifying disease and detecting the presence of neuroblastoma even when standard evaluations yield negative results for the disease. Researchers provide the first systematic comparison of standard imaging evaluations versus the new assay that screens for five different neuroblastoma-associated genes and determine that the new assay improves disease assessment and provides prediction of disease progression.
A rising star: Researchers dissect the process by which blood vessels shrink, which could have important implications for human healthIt's a tiny marine invertebrate, no more than 3 millimeters in size. But closely related to humans, Botryllus schlosseri might hold the key to new treatments for cancer and a host of vascular diseases.
Localized signaling islands in cells: New targets for precision drug designNew research overturns long-held views on a basic messaging system within living cells. Key cellular communication machinery is more regionally constrained within the cell than previously thought. The findings suggest new approaches to designing precision drugs. Localizing drug action at a specific 'address' within the cell could mean fewer side effects in treating cancer, diabetes, heart disease and other serious conditions.
First Chikungunya-infected Aedes aegypti mosquitoes found in BrazilWhile more than 13,000 cases of Chikungunya viral disease were reported in Brazil in 2015, scientists had never before detected the virus in a captured mosquito in this country. Now, researchers have identified a mosquito -- caught in the Brazilian city of Aracaju -- that's naturally infected with the East-Central-South-African (ECSA) genotype of Chikungunya.
Human genes for coronary artery disease make them more prolific parentsCoronary artery disease may have persisted in human populations because the genes that cause this late-striking disease also contribute to having a greater numbers of children.
Potential mechanism for HPV-induced skin cancer uncoveredScientists have identified a molecular pathway by which some types of human papilloma virus (HPV) might increase the risk of skin cancer, particularly in people with the rare genetic disorder epidermodysplasia verruciformis (EV).
Cancer cells may streamline their genomes in order to proliferate more easilyCancer cells might streamline their genomes in order to proliferate more easily, new research suggests. The study, conducted in both human and mouse cells, shows that cancer genomes lose copies of repetitive sequences known as ribosomal DNA. While downsizing might enable these cells to replicate faster, it also seems to render them less able to withstand DNA damage.
Personalized exoskeletons are taking support one step fartherResearchers have developed an exoskeleton system that provides personalized support for its user. In healthy volunteers, the optimized exoskeleton reduced energy expenditure during walking by 24 percent, on average, compared to when the system was not providing personalized support.
Switchable DNA mini-machines store informationBiomedical engineers have built simple machines out of DNA, consisting of arrays whose units switch reversibly between two different shapes. The arrays' inventors say they could be harnessed to make nanotech sensors or amplifiers. Potentially, they could be combined to form logic gates, the parts of a molecular computer.
Ancient Egyptians to modern humans: Coronary artery disease genes benefit reproductionResearchers have found that genes for coronary heart disease (CAD) also influence reproduction, so in order to reproduce successfully, the genes for heart disease will also be inherited.
Battling infectious diseases with 3-D protein structuresThe 3-D atomic structures of more than 1,000 proteins are potential targets for drugs and vaccines to combat some of the world’s most dangerous emerging and re-emerging infectious diseases, an international team of scientists has determined.
Video games offer active military, veterans coping mechanism for stressWhile most research on the topic focuses on gaming’s role in clinical settings, new research seeks to understand how everyday gameplay can provide military and veterans self-directed coping strategies to manage their physical and psychological stressors.
Study links sleep patterns with pain persistence after pediatric surgeryAbout 20 percent of children develop persistent pain after surgery, and a new study showed that poorer night-time sleep quality was significantly associated with greater next-day pain intensity over four months after surgery.
Paradox of pills: Tablet 'overload' may be causing harm and putting lives at risk, warn researchersAround three million people take multiple medicines, but no reliable systems exist to help patients and carers manage their pills. When medication management goes wrong, particularly with older people, the effect can be dreadful for everyone involved. A novel study linking the experiences of patients, carers and practitioners with a review of the scientific evidence, aims to find ways to improve medication management and the quality of life of older people and their carers.
UV-sensing protein in brain of marine annelid zooplanktonLarvae of a marine ragworm Platynereis dumerilii have been studied as a zooplankton model, and possess photoreceptor cells in the brain to regulate circadian swimming behavior. This study revealed that a photoreceptive protein in the brain photoreceptor cells is UV (ultra-violet) sensitive. Since avoidance of UV irradiation is a major cause of a large-scale daily movement of zooplankton, the UV sensor in the brain would be important for physiology and ecology of the zooplankton model.
Long-read genome sequencing used for the first time in a patientResearchers have used a next-generation technology called long-read sequencing to diagnose a patient's rare genetic condition that current technology failed to diagnose.
Lab grown human colons change study of GI diseaseScientists used human pluripotent stem cells to generate human embryonic colons in a laboratory that function much like natural human tissues when transplanted into mice, according to new research. The study is believed to be the first time human colon organoids have been successfully tissue engineered in this manner, according to researchers who led the project.
Similarities between next-generation prostate cancer drugs discoveredFor the first time, researchers have shown how a class of advanced prostate cancer drugs are processed in the body and how their anti-tumor activity might change depending on how they are metabolized. Their pre-clinical findings may lay the foundation for improving therapies for treatment-resistant, aggressive prostate cancer.
Better use of current drugs to target cancerResearchers worked backwards, employing a series of drugs used in the clinic to understand a new way that cancer stem cells can be killed.
Accentuate the positive to reduce risk of chronic diseasePeople who experience not just positive emotions but a diversity of positive emotions appear to have lower levels of systemic inflammation, which may reduce their risk for chronic diseases such as diabetes and heart disease, according to research.
Select memories can be erased, leaving others intactDifferent types of memories stored in the same neuron of the marine snail Aplysia can be selectively erased, according to a new study.
HPV testing leads to earlier detection and treatment of cervical pre-cancerWomen who receive human papillomavirus (HPV) testing, in addition to a pap smear, receive a faster, more complete diagnosis of possible cervical precancer, according to a study of over 450,000 women.
Does MRI plus mammography improve detection of new breast cancer after breast conservation therapy?A new article compares outcomes for combined mammography and MRI or ultrasonography screenings for new breast cancers in women who have previously undergone breast conservation surgery and radiotherapy for breast cancer initially diagnosed at 50 or younger.
Authenticity key to landing a new jobAt job interviews, relax and be yourself -- if you're good, being yourself may be the best way to secure a job offer, according to a new study.
Rare cells are 'window into the gut' for the nervous systemSpecialized cells in the gut sense potentially noxious chemicals and trigger electrical impulses in nearby nerve fibers, according to a new study, report scientists.
The biology of uterine fluid: How it informs the fetus of mom's worldA developing fetus bathes in a mixture of cellular secretions and proteins unique to its mother's uterus. Before fertilization, the pH of uterine fluid helps create a conducive environment for sperm migration, and afterward, its volume supports the embryo as it implants onto the wall of the uterus. Recent evidence suggests that uterine fluid may play another role in embryonic development: communicating the mother's outside conditions to the fetus,
High fat diet reduces gut bacteria, Crohn's disease symptomsA high fat diet may lead to specific changes in gut bacteria that could fight harmful inflammation -- a major discovery for patients suffering from Crohn's disease, research indicates. Crohn's disease, a type of inflammatory bowel syndrome, causes debilitating intestinal swelling, cramping, and diarrhea. The disease affects half a million people in the United States, but its cause is yet unclear.
Proton pump inhibitors do not contribute to dementia or Alzheimer's diseaseNoting that the prescription of proton pump inhibitors is on the rise among middle-aged and older adults, a team of researchers designed a new study to examine PPIs and the risk of dementia, mild cognitive impairment, and Alzheimer's disease. They published their study in the Journal of the American Geriatrics Society.
Elevated rate of autism symptoms found in children with Tourette syndromeAround one in five children with Tourette syndrome, a neurological disorder characterized by involuntary movements and vocalizations, met criteria for autism, a study shows. But this prevalence may be more a reflection of similarity in symptoms than actual autism, according to the study's researchers.