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Health & Medicine News -- ScienceDaily

22.02.2020Brain cells protect muscles from wasting away

Several processes in the roundworm C. elegans boost the stress response in cells, incidentally making worms resistant to a high-fat diet and extending their lifespan. Researchers have found another: cells called glia that release a hormone that boosts the unfolded protein response in the endoplasmic reticulum of the worm's cells, effectively doubling lifespan. This could lead to interventions to tune up peripheral cells, such as muscle cells, and prevent age-related deterioration in humans.

21.02.2020Surgeons successfully treat brain aneurysms using a robot

A robot was used to treat brain aneurysms for the first time. The robotic system could eventually allow remote surgery, enabling surgeons to treat strokes from afar.

21.02.2020Changing what heart cells eat could help them regenerate

Switching what the powerhouses of heart cells consume for energy could help the heart regenerate when cells die.

21.02.2020Antidepressant harms baby neurons in lab-grown 'mini-brains'

Researchers have demonstrated the use of stem-cell-derived 'mini-brains' to detect harmful side effects of a common drug on the developing brain. Mini-brains are miniature human brain models, developed with human cells and barely visible to the human eye, whose cellular mechanisms mimic those of the developing human brain.

21.02.2020Drug cocktail holds promise for spinal injuries

Scientists have discovered a combination of two commonly available drugs that could help the body heal spinal fractures.

21.02.2020Want to live longer? Stay in school, study suggests

A multi-institution study has attempted to tease out the relative impact of two variables most often linked to life expectancy -- race and education -- by combing through data about 5,114 black and white individuals in four US cities.

21.02.2020For 'blade runners' taller doesn't necessarily mean faster

The governing body for the Paralympics recently lowered the allowable height for sprinters who use prosthetic legs, or blades, during competition. The rules are based on the assumption that the taller you are the faster you run. But a new study has found otherwise.

20.02.2020Lower dose of newer clot-buster may be appropriate for some stroke patients

In a comparison of 0.25mg/kg and 0.40mg/kg doses of the newer and more convenient clot-busting medication tenecteplase, there was no advantage in increasing the dose above 0.25mg/kg in stroke patients who planned to have mechanical clot retrieval. In addition, administering tenecteplase may decrease the need for mechanical clot removal.

20.02.2020New drug helps to preserve brain cells for a time after stroke

After 50 years of research and the testing of over 1,000 drugs, there is new hope for preserving brain cells for a time after stroke. Treating acute ischemic stroke patients with an experimental neuroprotective drug, combined with a surgical procedure to remove the clot improves outcomes as shown by clinical trial results.

20.02.2020Physics tool helps track cancer cell diversity

A team took a novel, interdisciplinary approach to analyzing the behavior of breast tumor cells by employing a statistical modeling technique more commonly used in physics and economics. The team was able to demonstrate how the diversity, or heterogeneity, of cancer cells can be influenced by their chemical environment -- namely, by interactions with a specific protein, which leads to tumor growth.

20.02.2020Artificial intelligence yields new antibiotic

Using a machine-learning algorithm, researchers have identified a powerful new antibiotic compound. In laboratory tests, the drug killed many of the world's most problematic disease-causing bacteria, including some strains that are resistant to all known antibiotics. It also cleared infections in two different mouse models.

20.02.2020Curing genetic disease in human cells

Scientists show for the first time that a newer type of CRISPR, called base-editing, can safely cure cystic fibrosis in stem cells derived from patients.

20.02.2020Scientists solve long-debated puzzle of how the intestine heals itself

Scientists find that normal intestinal cells 'de-differentiate' en masse into stem cells that generate the cells needed for a healthy intestinal lining. New study establishes de-differentiation as the predominant mode of stem cell recover in the intestine.

20.02.2020Research team tackles superbug infections with novel therapy

Superbug infections kill 35,000 people in the US annually. A team of researchers has found that a treatment known as AB569 kills pseudomonas aeruginosa in humanized cells in mouse models. The treatment does not harm these humanized cells.

20.02.2020New discovery has important implications for treating common eye disease

Scientists have made an important discovery with implications for those living with a common, debilitating eye disease (age-related macular degeneration, AMD) that can cause blindness. They have discovered that the molecule TLR2, which recognises chemical patterns associated with infection in the body, also seems to play an important role in the development of retinal degeneration. When TLR2 is removed in model systems, a degree of protection is conferred.

20.02.2020Therapeutic cooling effectively targets site of brain injury

Investigators successfully measure brain temperature in newborn babies undergoing therapeutic cooling, showing that the treatment effectively targets the core of the brain.

20.02.2020Origins of immune system mapped, opening doors for new cancer immunotherapies

A first cell atlas of the human thymus gland could lead to new immune therapies to treat cancer and autoimmune diseases. Researchers mapped thymus tissue through the human lifespan to understand how it develops and makes vital immune cells called T cells. In the future, this information could help researchers to generate an artificial thymus and engineer improved therapeutic T cells.

20.02.2020Long-lasting and precise dosing of medication

Using a mixture of oil droplets and hydrogel, medical active agents can be not only precisely dosed, but also continuously administered over periods of up to several days. The active agents inside the droplets are released at a constant rate, decreasing the risk of over- or underdosage.

20.02.2020Pill-sized 'heater' could increase accessibility in diagnosing infectious disease

Researchers have developed a tiny 'heater' -- about the size of a pill -- that could allow resource-limited regions around the world to test for infectious diseases without the need for specialized training or costly lab equipment.

20.02.2020New front opened in fight against common cancer driver

Researchers have revealed a new vulnerability in lymphomas that are driven by one of the most common cancer-causing changes in cells. The team hopes that this could be a new target for treating a range of cancers.

20.02.2020Cell biology: How to keep the nucleus clean

RNA turnover in the nuclei of eukaryotic cells is controlled by the RNA exosome aided by numerous cofactors. Researchers at now show how two major nuclear exosome cofactors recognize their RNA targets to keep a clean nuclear environment. This is important for the health of our cells - and thus humans.

20.02.2020Magnet-controlled bioelectronic implant could relieve pain

An electrical and computer engineer has introduced the first neural implant that can be programmed and charged remotely with a magnetic field.

20.02.2020Plant-based relatives of cholesterol could give boost to gene therapy

Gene-infused nanoparticles used for combating disease work better when they include plant-based relatives of cholesterol because their shape and structure help the genes get where they need to be inside cells.

19.02.2020Your home's water quality could vary by the room -- and the season

A study has found that the water quality of a home can differ in each room and change between seasons, challenging the assumption that the water in a public water system is the same as the water that passes through a building's plumbing at any time of the year.

19.02.2020Breakthrough in coronavirus research results in new map to support vaccine design

Researchers have made a critical breakthrough toward developing a vaccine for the 2019 novel coronavirus by creating the first 3D atomic scale map of the part of the virus that attaches to and infects human cells. Mapping this part, called the spike protein, is an essential step so researchers around the world can develop vaccines and antiviral drugs to combat the virus.

19.02.2020Antidote to pain and negativity? Let it be

Merely a brief introduction to mindfulness helps people deal with physical pain and negative emotions, a new study shows. The effect of mindfulness was so pronounced, they found, that even when participants were subjected to high heat on their forearm, their brain responded as if it was experiencing normal temperature.

19.02.2020Blood supply to the brain, as needed

Researchers have discovered a new mechanism for how the brain and its arteries communicate to supply blood to areas of heightened neural activity. The findings enable new avenues of study into the role of this process in neurological diseases.

19.02.2020Boys with inattention-hyperactivity face increased risk for traumatic brain injuries

Researchers show that boys exhibiting inattention-hyperactivity at age 10 have a higher risk for traumatic brain injuries (TBIs) in adolescence and adulthood. Treatments to reduce these behaviors may decrease the risk for TBIs.

19.02.2020A new way to assess male fertility

Current tests for male fertility include measuring the concentration and motility of spermatozoa. However, other characteristics of sperm, such as their ability to follow a chemical trail to the egg, can influence the likelihood of fertilization. Now, researchers have devised a quick and convenient microfluidic chip to assess this chemotactic response of spermatozoa, which could help provide a more complete picture of a man's fertility.

19.02.2020Weed-derived compounds in Serbian groundwater could contribute to endemic kidney disease

People living in Balkan farming villages along the Danube River have long suffered from a unique type of kidney disease known as Balkan endemic nephropathy. Recently, scientists linked the disorder to compounds from a local weed that could be taken up into food crops from the soil. Now, researchers have discovered that contaminated groundwater could be another important source of human exposure.

19.02.2020Lensless on-chip microscopy platform shows slides in full view

Biomedical engineers have demonstrated a lensless on-chip microscopy platform that eliminates several of the most common problems with conventional optical microscopy and provides a low-cost option for the diagnosis of disease.

19.02.2020CRISPR enhances production of EPO used to treat anemia

EPO, an important drug for treating anemia, can now be produced in higher quantities and with better quality in mammalian cells designed using CRISPR.

19.02.2020Fetal balloon treatment for lung-damaging birth defect works best when fetal and maternal care are highly coordinated

Researchers report new evidence that fetuses with severe congenital diaphragmatic hernia (CDH), a rare but life-threatening, lung-damaging condition, experience a significantly high rate of success for the fetal treatment known as FETO, if they and their mothers receive coordinated and highly experienced care in the same expert setting.

19.02.2020MRI findings predict shoulder stiffness for rotator cuff tears

Two MRI findings -- joint capsule edema and thickness at the axillary recess, specifically -- proved useful in predicting stiff shoulder in patients with small to large (< 5 cm) full-thickness rotator cuff tears, according to new research. This study is important because it is the first to highlight joint capsule abnormality on MRI as a factor associated with stiff shoulder in patients with full-thickness rotator cuff tears.

19.02.2020Enriching newborns' environment in the right way helps heal young, injured brains

Preclinical model of oxygen deprivation, a common consequence of prematurity, showed better recovery when exposed to a combination of increased physical activity, socialization and cognitive stimulation.

19.02.2020People who eat a big breakfast may burn twice as many calories

Eating a big breakfast rather than a large dinner may prevent obesity and high blood sugar, according to new research.

19.02.2020Neighborhood features and one's genetic makeup interact to affect cognitive function

Few studies have examined how the neighborhood's physical environment relates to cognition in older adults. Researchers categorized 4,716 individuals by apolipoprotein E (APOE) genotype -- a genetic risk factor for Alzheimer's disease (AD) to determine if there are cognitive benefits of living in neighborhoods with greater access to social, walking and retail destinations. Results showed that the positive influence of neighborhood environments on cognition are strongest among those who are at the lowest risk for AD, specifically APOE ?2 carriers.

19.02.2020Targeting turncoat immune cells to treat cancer

A new study has identified a mechanism by which regulatory T cells, which suppress immune responses, adapt their metabolism to thrive in the harsh microenvironment of the tumor.

19.02.2020Think all BPA-free products are safe? Not so fast, scientists warn

Using 'BPA-free' plastic products could be as harmful to human health -- including a developing brain -- as those products that contain the controversial chemical, suggest scientists.

19.02.2020Highly sensitive sensors show promise in enhancing human touch

People rely on a highly tuned sense of touch to manipulate objects, but injuries to the skin and the simple act of wearing gloves can impair this ability. Scientists report the development of a new tactile-enhancement system based on a highly sensitive sensor. The sensor has remarkable sensitivity, allowing the wearer to detect the light brush of a feather. This crack-based sensor was inspired by a spider's slit organ.

19.02.2020Exposure to cleaning products in first 3 months of life increases risk of childhood asthma

New research shows that frequent exposure to common household cleaning products can increase a child's risk of developing asthma.

18.02.2020Why Zika virus caused most harmful brain damage to Brazilian newborns

Researchers have found that the strain of Zika that circulated in Brazil during the microcephaly epidemic that began in 2015 was particularly damaging to the developing brain.

18.02.2020Western diet rich in fat and sugar linked to skin inflammation

Dietary components, rather than obesity itself, may lead to skin inflammation and the development of psoriasis, a study has found.

18.02.2020How low oxygen levels in the heart predispose people to cardiac arrhythmias

Low oxygen levels in the heart have long been known to produce life-threatening arrhythmias, even sudden death. Until now, it was not clear how. New findings reveal the underlying mechanism for this dangerous heart disorder.

18.02.2020How too much fluoride causes defects in tooth enamel

Exposing teeth to excessive fluoride alters calcium signaling, mitochondrial function, and gene expression in the cells forming tooth enamel -- a novel explanation for how dental fluorosis, a condition caused by overexposure to fluoride during childhood, arises.

18.02.2020Late fall may be best time of year to try to conceive

First-of-its-kind study accounts for when couples are most likely to start trying to conceive, finding couples conceive quicker in late fall and early winter, especially in southern states.

18.02.2020Stress in small children separated from their parents may alter genes

Several studies show that small children cared for outside the home, especially in poor quality care and for 30 or more hours per week, have higher levels of cortisol than children at home.

18.02.2020Reproductive genome from the laboratory

Synthetic biology researchers have developed a genome the size of a minimal cell that can copy itself.

18.02.2020Memory games: Eating well to remember

A healthy diet is essential to living well, but should we change what we eat as we age? Researchers have found strong evidence of the link between food groups and memory loss and its comorbidities. Her findings point to a need for age-specific dietary guidelines as the links may vary with age -- people aged 80+ with a low consumption of cereals are at highest risk of memory loss and comorbid heart disease.

18.02.2020Masking the memory of fear: Treating anxiety disorders such as PTSD with an opioid

While fear memory -- or the ability to remember contexts in which to be afraid -- is important for survival, too much of it, and an inability to forget contexts that no longer apply, hinders daily activities. Recently, scientists found that a certain opioid drug can help mask some fear memory without causing undesirable side effects. This could make new therapies possible for anxiety disorders like phobias or PTSD.

18.02.2020How malaria detects and shields itself from approaching immune cells

Malaria parasites can sense a molecule produced by approaching immune cells and then use it to protect themselves from destruction, according to new findings.

18.02.2020Getting a grip: An innovative mechanical controller design for robot-assisted surgery

Scientists designed a new type of controller for the robotic arm used in robotic surgery. Their controller combines the two distinct types of gripping used in commercially available robotic systems to leverage the advantages of both, reducing the efforts of the surgeon and providing good precision.

18.02.2020Antioxidant in mushrooms may relieve features of 'pregnancy hypertension'

A new study in rats suggests that the natural antioxidant L-ergothioneine could alleviate the characteristics of pre-eclampsia.

18.02.2020Genes from scratch: Far more common and important than we thought

Scientists have discovered that de novo genes -- genes that have evolved from scratch -- are both more common and more important than previously believed.

18.02.2020Natural sugars in breastmilk linked to early childhood height and weight

Human milk oligosaccharides (HMOs) found in breastmilk may influence a child's growth from infancy through early childhood, according to a new study.

18.02.2020First glimpse of body's 'steering wheel' joint sparks hope

For the first time, scientists have found a way to reveal the mechanics of the human body's 'steering wheel' -- the subtalar joint.

18.02.2020B cells may travel to remote areas of the brain to improve stroke recovery

New research shows that the immune system may target other remote areas of the brain to improve recovery after a stroke.

18.02.2020Insufficient evidence backing herbal medicines for weight loss

Researchers have conducted the first global review of herbal medicines for weight loss in 19 years, finding insufficient evidence to recommend any current treatments.

18.02.2020Risk factors for endometrial cancer

An analysis of 149 scientific studies has identified 24 genetic variants which predispose women to endometrial cancer.

17.02.2020Vaccine misinformation and social media

People who rely on social media for information were more likely to be misinformed about vaccines than those who rely on traditional media, according to a new study. The study, based on surveys of nearly 2,500 US adults, found that up to 20% of respondents were at least somewhat misinformed about vaccines.

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