Obesity: Engineered proteins lower body weight in mice, rats and primatesResearchers have created engineered proteins that lowered body weight, bloodstream insulin, and cholesterol levels in obese mice, rats, and primates.
Duplications of noncoding DNA may have affected evolution of human-specific traitsDuplications of large segments of noncoding DNA in the human genome may have contributed to the emergence of differences between humans and nonhuman primates, according to new results. Identifying these duplications, which include regulatory sequences, and their effect on traits and behavior may help scientists explain genetic contributions to human disease.
Online resource enables open data sharing for rare Mendelian diseasesMyGene2, a new open data resource, helps patients with rare genetic conditions, clinicians, and researchers share information, connect with one another, and enable faster gene discovery.
Nature or nurture? Innate social behaviors in the mouse brainThe brain circuitry that controls innate, or instinctive, behaviors such as mating and fighting was thought to be genetically hardwired. Not so, neuroscientists now say.
Inflammation trains the skin to heal fasterStem cells in the skin remember an injury, helping them close recurring wounds faster, researchers have found. The discovery could advance research and treatment of psoriasis and other inflammatory diseases.
New findings explain how UV rays trigger skin cancerMelanoma, a cancer of skin pigment cells called melanocytes, will strike an estimated 87,110 people in the US in 2017, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. A fraction of those melanomas come from pre-existing moles, but the majority of them come from sources unknown -- until now.
Dutch courage: Alcohol improves foreign language skillsA new study shows that bilingual speakers' ability to speak a second language is improved after they have consumed a low dose of alcohol.
One step closer toward a treatment for Alzheimer's disease?Scientists have characterized a new class of drugs as potential therapeutics for Alzheimer's disease and discovered a piece in the puzzle of how they would work.
New clues to treat Alagille Syndrome from zebrafishA new study identifies potential new therapeutic avenues for patients with Alagille syndrome, a rare genetic disorder caused by mutations primarily in the JAGGED1 gene.
Turning brain cells into skin cellsA new study reveals that it is possible to repurpose the function of different mature cells across the body and harvest new tissue and organs from these cells.
Life in the city: Living near a forest keeps your amygdala healthierA new study examined the relationship between the availability of nature near city dwellers' homes and their brain health. Its findings are relevant for urban planners among others.
Cocaine use during adolescence is even more harmful than during adulthoodScientists found that addicts who began using cocaine before and after the age of 18 showed differences in sustained attention and working memory, among other brain functions. The research, made under controlled drug abstinence condition, measured cocaine's impact on more than a hundred drug users' cognition, and recommended multidisciplinary treatment for patients with an accentuated cognitive deficit.
Global calcium consumption appears low, especially in AsiaA new systematic review of global daily calcium consumption suggests substantial regional differences -- it's lowest in East Asia and highest in Northern Europe.
Active sieving could improve dialysis and water purification filtersPhysicists have proven theoretically that active sieving, as opposed to its passive counterpart, can improve the separation abilities of filtration systems. Active sieving also has the potential to filter molecules based on movement dynamics, opening up a whole new avenue in the field of membrane science based on the ability to tune osmotic pressure.
Workers may 'choke' under pressure of non-monetary incentivesCompetition for non-monetary awards can have adverse effects on performance and may cause employees to “choke” under pressure, according to a new study.
Researchers release the brakes on the immune systemMany tumors possess mechanisms to avoid destruction by the immune system. For instance, they misuse the natural “brakes” in the immune defense mechanism, which normally prevent an excessive immune response. Researchers have now been able to take off one of these brakes. The study could pave the way for more effective cancer therapies, they say.
High risk of injury in young elite athletesEvery week, an average of three in every ten adolescent elite athletes suffer an injury. Worst affected are young women, and the risk of injury increases with low self-esteem, especially in combination with less sleep and higher training volume and intensity, research from in Sweden shows.
Mouse studies shed light on how protein controls heart failureA new study on two specially bred strains of mice has illuminated how abnormal addition of the chemical phosphate to a specific heart muscle protein may sabotage the way the protein behaves in a cell, and may damage the way the heart pumps blood around the body.
Yeast spotlights genetic variation's link to drug resistanceResearchers have shown that genetic diversity plays a key role in enabling drug resistance to evolve. Scientists show that high genetic diversity can prime new mutations that cause drug resistance. The study has implications for our understanding of the evolution of resistance to antimicrobial and anticancer drugs.
MRI may predict neurological outcomes for cardiac arrest survivorsMRI-based measurements of the functional connections in the brain can help predict long-term recovery in patients who suffer neurological disability after cardiac arrest, according to new research.
Newborns with trisomy 13 or 18 benefit from heart surgery, study findsHeart surgery significantly decreases in-hospital mortality among infants with either of two genetic disorders that cause severe physical and intellectual disabilities, according to a new study.
Battling flames increases firefighters' exposure to carcinogensThe threat of getting burned by roaring flames is an obvious danger of firefighting, but other health risks are more subtle. For example, firefighters have been found to develop cancer at higher rates than the general population. Now researchers have measured how much firefighters' exposure to carcinogens and other harmful compounds increases when fighting fires. Their study also points to one possible way to reduce that exposure.
Arsenic in domestic well water could affect 2 million people in the USClean drinking water can be easy to take for granted if your home taps into treated water sources. But more than 44 million people in the U.S. get their water from private domestic wells, which are largely unregulated. Of those, a new report estimates that about 2 million people could be exposed to high levels of naturally occurring arsenic in their water.
Anxiety and depression linked to migrainesIn a study of 588 patients who attended an outpatient headache clinic, more frequent migraines were experienced by participants with symptoms of anxiety and depression.
Gentle touch soothes the pain of social rejectionThe gentle touch of another individual soothes the effects of social exclusion, one of the most emotionally painful human experiences, according to new research.
New simple method determines rate at which we burn calories walking up, down, flatA new way to predict the energy a person expends walking will help predict and monitor the physiological status of walkers, including foot soldiers. Researchers have developed the Army-funded method, which significantly improves on two existing standards, and relies on three readily available variables. Accurate prediction is important because the rate at which people burn calories walking can vary tenfold depending on speed, carried load and whether uphill, at-grade or downhill.
Machine learning identifies breast lesions likely to become cancerA machine learning tool can help identify which high-risk breast lesions are likely to become cancerous, according to a new study. Researchers said the technology has the potential to reduce unnecessary surgeries.
Navigational view of the brain thanks to powerful X-raysImagine Google Earth with only the street view and a far-away satellite view but not much of a map view. Brain imaging, for the most part, has been missing just that, and a lot of research on how the brain computes happens on that map-like level. New imaging tackles this special view of the brain with the highest-energy X-rays in the country that illuminate thick sections of a mouse brain.
'Wasabi receptor' for pain discovered in flatwormsA research team has discovered how scalding heat and tissue injury activate an ancient 'pain' receptor in simple animals. The findings, from a study of flatworms, could lead to new strategies for analgesic drug design for the treatment of humans. That planarian flatworms use the same molecular receptor as flies, mice and humans to detect potentially damaging or noxious stimuli from the environment shows a remarkable level of evolutionary conservation, the researchers say.
High blood pressure linked to common heart valve disorderFor the first time, a strong link has been established between high blood pressure and the most common heart valve disorder in high-income countries.
New research opens the door to 'functional cure' for HIVScientists have for the first time shown that a novel compound effectively suppresses production of the virus in chronically infected cells.
New examination of occupational licensing contradicts decades of researchFrom doctors to engineers to carpet layers to massage therapists, more than one in three Americans is required to hold a license to work in their occupation. Broad consensus among researchers holds that licensure creates wage premiums by establishing economic monopolies, but according to research, licensure does not limit competition nor does it increase wages.
Therapeutic form of arsenic is a potential treatment for deadly type of brain cancerFrom Sherlock Holmes to Agatha Christie, arsenic is often the poison of choice in popular whodunits. But in ultra-low dosage, and in the right form, this naturally occurring chemical element may be a potent force against cancer.
How we determine who's to blameUsing eye-tracking technology, cognitive scientists have obtained the first direct evidence that people use a process called counterfactual simulation to imagine how a situation could have played out differently to assign responsibility for an outcome.
'Busybody' protein may get on your nerves, but that's a good thingThe p75 protein is vital for signaling pain in nervous system, researchers have discovered.
You would not ask a firefighter to perform open-heart surgery: Understanding 'collective intelligence'The concept of 'collective intelligence' is simple -- it asserts that if a team performs well on one task, it will repeat that success on other projects, regardless of the scope or focus of the work. While it sounds good in theory, it doesn't work that way in reality, according to a researcher.
Flexible 'skin' can help robots, prosthetics perform everyday tasks by sensing shear forceEngineers have developed a flexible sensor 'skin' that can be stretched over any part of a robot's body or prosthetic to accurately convey information about shear forces and vibration, which are critical to tasks ranging from cooking an egg to dismantling a bomb.
Cancer: New compound targets energy generation, thereby killing metastatic cellsResearchers have identified an enzyme that supports the survival and dissemination of metastatic cells, and developed a synthetic compound that targets the enzyme and kills the metastatic cells in mice with cancer.
Assessment shows metagenomics software has much room for improvementA recent critical assessment of software tools represents a key step toward taming the 'Wild West' nature of the burgeoning field of metagenomics.
What training exercise boosts brain power best? New research finds outOne of the two brain-training methods most scientists use in research is significantly better in improving memory and attention. It also results in more significant changes in brain activity.
Single cell level sorting technology uses sound wavesResearchers have developed a highly accurate single cell sorting technology using focused sound waves. This new technology enables rapid and accurate isolation of single cells from complex biological samples, which will facilitate the broad application of single cell analysis toward precision medicine.
HIV infection, even with antiretroviral therapy, appears to damage a growing child's brainOne of the largest and best-documented trials of children receiving early antiretroviral therapy -- the CHER clinical trial in South Africa -- finds ongoing white matter damage in HIV-positive children at the age of 7 years. The study aims to contribute to a better understanding of brain development in HIV-infected and exposed children, as well as the impact of long-term antiretroviral treatment.
Corticosteroids aid healing -- if the timing is rightA corticosteroid can improve the healing of damaged tendons, but it must be given at the right time, according to a new study from Sweden. In rats, the tendon became twice as strong.
Matchmaking with consequences: When cells become cancerousMyc proteins play an important role when cells become cancerous. Researchers have studied just how they do this. They might thus open up ways to develop new therapies.
Resolving traffic jams in human ALS motor neuronsA team of researchers used stem cell technology to generate motor neurons from ALS patients carrying mutations in FUS. They found disturbed axonal transport in these motor neurons, but also identified genetic and pharmacological strategies that mitigate this defect.
On-and-off fasting helps fight obesity, study findsUp to sixteen weeks of intermittent fasting without otherwise having to count calories helps fight obesity and other metabolic disorders. Such fasting already shows benefits after only six weeks, according to a new study.
Need for speed makes genome editing efficient, if not betterResearchers have developed a computational model to quantify the mechanism by which CRISPR-Cas9 proteins find their genome-editing targets.
New imaging approach maps whole-brain changes from Alzheimer's disease in miceA new imaging system that offers a better way to monitor the brain changes indicative of Alzheimer's in mouse models of the disease could help speed new drug development.
Zinc-binding is vital for regulating pH levels in the brainResearchers in Oslo, Norway, have discovered that Zinc-binding plays an important role in the sensing and regulation of pH in the human brain. The findings come as one of the first studies that directly link Zinc-binding with bicarbonate transporters.
Possible approach discovered for treating Multiple SclerosisAround 2.5 million people are affected by the autoimmune disease Multiple Sclerosis (MS), the most common central nervous system disease among young adults. There are around 12,500 MS sufferers in Austria and 400 new cases every year. There is currently no cure for MS but, with appropriate treatment, it is possible to delay the typical progression of the disease.
Youth football: How young athletes are exposed to high-magnitude head impactsResearchers examined exposure to high-magnitude head impacts (accelerations greater than 40g) in young athletes, 9 to 12 years of age, during football games and practice drills to determine under what circumstances these impacts occur and how representative practice activities are of game activities with respect to the impacts. This type of information can help coaches and league officials make informed decisions in structuring both practices and games to reduce risks in these young athletes.
Schizophrenia disrupts the brain's entire communication system, researchers saySome 40 years since CT scans first revealed abnormalities in the brains of schizophrenia patients, international scientists say the disorder is a systemic disruption to the brain's entire communication system. The study sets the stage for future research on the debilitating mental illness that affects more than 21 million people worldwide. It is the largest analysis of 'white matter' differences in a psychiatric disorder to date.
Saving hearts after heart attacks: Overexpression of a gene enhances repair of dead muscleBiomedical engineers report a significant advance in efforts to repair a damaged heart after a heart attack, using grafted heart-muscle cells to create a repair patch. The key was overexpressing a gene that activates the cell-cycle of the grafted muscle cells, so they grow and divide more than control grafted cells.
Signaling pathway may be key to why autism is more common in boysResearchers have discovered sex differences in a brain signaling pathway involved in reward learning and motivation that make male mice more vulnerable to an autism-causing genetic glitch.
Timing of melanoma diagnosis, treatment critical to survivalA new study underscores the importance of early detection and treatment of melanoma, the deadliest form of skin cancer. The research indicates that the sooner patients were treated, the better their survival, particularly for stage I melanoma.
Many pelvic tumors in women may have common origin: Fallopian tubesMost, and possibly all, ovarian cancers start, not in ovaries, but instead in the fallopian tubes attached to them, report investigators.
Nearly half of US medical care comes from emergency roomsNearly half of all US medical care is delivered by emergency departments, according to a new study. In recent years, the percentage of care delivered by emergency departments has grown. The paper highlights the major role played by emergency rooms in US health care.
Pair of discoveries illuminate new paths to flu and anthrax treatmentsTwo recent studies have set the research groundwork for new avenues to treat influenza and anthrax poisoning. The studies used a series of experiments to identify key pathways and mechanisms previously unknown or overlooked in the body's defenses, and possible treatments already developed.
Attending a middle vs K-8 school matters for student outcomesStudents who attend a middle school compared to a K-8 school are likely to have a lower perception of their reading skills, finds a new study.
During crisis, exposure to conflicting information and stress linked, studies findExposure to high rates of conflicting information during an emergency is linked to increased levels of stress, and those who rely on text messages or social media reports from unofficial sources are more frequently exposed to rumors and experience greater distress, according to research.