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Health & Medicine News -- ScienceDaily

13.07.2018Allergy potential of strawberries and tomatoes depends on the variety

Strawberries and tomatoes are among the most widely consumed fruits and vegetables worldwide. However, many people are allergic to them, especially if they have been diagnosed with birch pollen allergy. A team has investigated which strawberry or tomato varieties contain fewer allergens than others and to what extent cultivation or preparation methods are involved.

13.07.2018Synapse-specific plasticity governs the identity of overlapping memory traces

Each memory is stored in a specific population of neurons called engram cells. When a memory is linked with another to generate an associative memory, two memory traces overlap. At the same time, individual memories maintain their own identities. Using two overlapping fear memories in mice, researchers show that synapse-specific plasticity guarantees both storage and identity of individual memories. They also show that memory traces no longer exist in the brain after complete retrograde amnesia.

13.07.2018How fast can acute stroke treatment become to still be reliable?

Every day roughly three new stroke suspects are rushed by ambulance to Helsinki University Hospital Emergency Department to be considered for urgent clot-busting thrombolytic therapy or thrombectomy to prevent permanent stroke caused by acute cerebral ischemia. But perilously, out of one hundred such 'thrombolysis candidates' only half is actually caused by this condition and the rest have other kinds of diagnoses. Despite the tremendous time-pressure, the rapid diagnoses need to be accurate.

13.07.2018Teaching robots to be more reliable teammates for soldiers

Researchers have developed a new technique to quickly teach robots novel traversal behaviors with minimal human oversight.

13.07.2018One step closer to finding a cure for brain diseases

Researchers have identified a mechanism for signaling brain nerve cells through excitatory synaptic binding proteins. The finding provides important clues to understanding the principles of synaptic nerve transmission and thus can be used to analyze the fundamental causes of brain diseases and treat them.

13.07.2018Target for novel malaria vaccine identified

Researchers have created a vaccine that protects against malaria infection in mouse models, paving the way for the development of a human vaccine that works by targeting the specific protein that parasites use to evade the immune system.

13.07.2018Researchers trace Parkinson's damage in the heart

A new way to examine stress and inflammation in the heart will help Parkinson's researchers test new therapies and explore an unappreciated way the disease puts people at risk of falls and hospitalization.

13.07.2018Fragile X: New drug strategy corrects behavior/biochemical measures in mouse model

Research in mice shows that a pharmacological strategy can alleviate multiple behavioral and cellular deficiencies in a mouse model of fragile X syndrome, the most common inherited form of intellectual disability.

13.07.2018Looking at the urine and blood may be best in diagnosing myeloma

When it comes to diagnosing a condition in which the plasma cells that normally make antibodies to protect us instead become cancerous, it may be better to look at the urine as well as the serum of our blood for answers, pathologists say.

12.07.2018Headers may cause balance issues

Soccer players who head the ball may be more likely to experience short-term balance problems, suggesting that repetitive head impacts could have the potential to cause subtle neurological deficits not previously known, according to a preliminary study.

12.07.2018Rats trail behind shrews, monkeys, and humans in visual problem solving

Rats take a fundamentally different approach toward solving a simple visual discrimination task than tree shrews, monkeys, and humans, according to a comparative study of the four mammal species. The work could have important implications for the translation of research in animal models to humans.

12.07.2018Whole genome sequencing reveals cluster of resistant bacteria in returning travelers

Thirteen patients with OXA-48-producing Klebsiella pneumoniae ST392 have been reported by Sweden and Norway between January and April 2018 -- all returning travelers with prior hospital admission in Gran Canaria. Whole genome sequencing showed tight clustering between the bacterial isolates from the cases.

12.07.2018Massive genome havoc in breast cancer is revealed

Researchers using long-read DNA sequencing have made one of the most detailed maps ever of structural variations in a cancer cell's genome. The map reveals about 20,000 structural variations, few of which have been noted before, in just one cell type associated with one form of breast cancer.

12.07.2018Antioxidant benefits of sleep

Scientists found that short-sleeping fruit fly mutants shared the common defect of sensitivity to acute oxidative stress, and thus that sleep supports antioxidant processes.

12.07.2018Who got bit? By mailing in 16,000 ticks, citizen scientists help track disease exposures

A bite from a disease-carrying tick can transmit a serious, potentially fatal infection, such as Lyme disease. But many ticks go unnoticed and unreported. Now, with the help of citizen scientists, ecologists are offering better insight into people's and animals' potential exposure to tick-borne diseases -- not just the disease reporting and prevalence that's only tracked when people get sick.

12.07.2018Gammaherpesviruses linked to tumors in macaques with simian immunodeficiency virus

Viruses known as gammaherpesviruses may raise the risk of cancer in macaques infected with Simian Immunodeficiency Virus or Simian Human Immunodeficiency Virus (SIV/SHIV), according to new research.

12.07.2018Parental chromosomes kept apart during embryo's first division

It was long thought that during an embryo's first cell division, one spindle is responsible for segregating the embryo's chromosomes into two cells. Scientists now show that there are actually two spindles, one for each set of parental chromosomes, meaning that the genetic information from each parent is kept apart throughout the first division.

12.07.2018Gene controls bone-to-fat ratio in bone marrow

In an unexpected discovery, researchers have found that a gene previously known to control human metabolism also controls the equilibrium of bone and fat in bone marrow as well as how an adult stem cell expresses its final cell type. The findings could lead to a better understanding of the disruption of bone-to-fat ratio in bone marrow as well as its health consequences, and also point to the gene as a promising therapeutic target in the treatment of osteoporosis and skeletal aging.

12.07.2018Scientists ID protein exploited by virus ravaging West Africa

New research has uncovered a protein enabling the replication of arenaviruses, pathogens now widespread in West Africa that are carried by rodents and can infect humans with lethal fevers. The research identified DDX3 as a key factor promoting arenavirus multiplication through its unexpected ability to promote viral RNA synthesis and dismantle normal human immune system defenses. The study may pave the way to new therapeutic treatments for arenaviruses and hemorrhagic fever.

12.07.2018Machine learning helps to predict the treatment outcomes of schizophrenia

Researchers have used artificial intelligence to help identify patients suffering from schizophrenia and to ascertain if they would respond to treatment.

12.07.2018Novel therapy delays muscle atrophy in Lou Gehrig's disease model

Supplementing a single protein found in the spinal cord could help prevent symptoms of Lou Gehrig's disease, according to a new study. Researchers found high levels of the protein -- called mitofusion 2 or Mfn2 -- prevented nerve degeneration, muscle atrophy, and paralysis in a mouse model of the disease. Since Mfn2 is often depleted during Lou Gehrig's, the new study suggests supplementing it could be a novel therapeutic approach for the disease.

12.07.2018Turn exercise into a game and see encouraging results

A team of researchers built a web-based app called MapTrek. When synced with a Fitbit, MapTrek allows users to go on virtual walking tours of locations such as the Grand Canyon or Appalachian trail while competing against other users. A study showed MapTrek and Fitbit users averaged 2,200 more steps per day than a control group that used only Fitbits.

12.07.2018Wearable device can predict older adults' risk of falling

Every year, more than one in three individuals aged 65 and older will experience a fall. Treatment and awareness of falling usually happens after a fall has already occurred. Researchers wanted to see if they could predict an individual's risk of falling so that preventative measures could be taken to reduce this risk.

12.07.2018Solved protein puzzle opens door to new design for cancer drugs

Researchers at have solved a longstanding puzzle concerning the design of molecular motors, paving the way toward new cancer therapies.

12.07.2018Turbulence allows clinical-scale platelet production for transfusions

Turbulence is a critical physical factor that promotes the large-scale production of functional platelets from human induced pluripotent stem cells, researchers reportl. Exposure to turbulent energy in a bioreactor stimulated hiPSC-derived bone marrow cells called megakaryocytes to produce 100 billion platelets -- blood cell fragments that help wounds heal and prevent bleeding by forming blood clots.

12.07.2018Finding the proteins that unpack DNA

A new method allows researchers to systematically identify specialized proteins called 'nuclesome displacing factors' that unpack DNA inside the nucleus of a cell, making the usually dense DNA more accessible for gene expression and other functions.

12.07.2018A tiny population of neurons holds a master key to body's clock

Biologists unlocked a cure for jet lag in mice by activating a small subset of the neurons involved in setting daily rhythms.

12.07.2018Structure and key features of critical immune-surveillance protein in humans

Scientists have defined the structure and key features of a human immune-surveillance protein that guards against cancer and bacterial and viral infections. The identification of two human-specific variations in the protein closes a critical knowledge gap in immunology and cancer biology.

12.07.2018New method reveals how well cancer drugs hit their targets

Scientists have developed a method to measure how well cancer drugs reach their targets inside the body. It shows individual cancer cells in a tumor in real time, revealing which cells interact with the drug and which cells the drug fails to reach. The findings could help clinicians decide the best course and delivery of treatment for cancer patients in the future.

12.07.2018Treatment prevents symptoms of schizophrenia in tests with rats

Researchers carried out studies in animal model that mimics condition in children and adolescents considered at risk for development of the disease in adulthood. Young and hypertense rats displaying cognitive and social impairments as well as hyperlocomotion have reached a healthy adulthood after being treated with daily doses of sodium nitroprusside doses for 30 days.

12.07.2018Imaging technique illuminates immune status of monkeys with HIV-like virus

Findings from an animal study suggest that a non-invasive imaging technique could, with further development, become a tool to assess immune system recovery in people receiving treatment for HIV infection. Researchers used single-photon emission computed tomography (SPECT) and a CD4-specific imaging probe to assess immune system changes throughout the bodies of macaques infected with SIV following initiation and interruption of antiretroviral therapy (ART). They evaluated pools of CD4+ T cells in tissues.

12.07.2018Chemicals associated with oxidative stress may be essential to development

Some level of molecules linked to oxidative stress may be essential to health and development, according to new animal studies.

12.07.2018Mystery of the Basel papyrus solved

Since the 16th century, Basel has been home to a mysterious papyrus. With mirror writing on both sides, it has puzzled generations of researchers. A research team has now discovered that it is an unknown medical document from late antiquity. The text was likely written by the famous Roman physician Galen.

12.07.2018Obesity alone does not increase risk of death

Researchers have found that patients who have metabolic healthy obesity, but no other metabolic risk factors, do not have an increased rate of mortality. The results of this study could impact how we think about obesity and health.

12.07.2018Practice imperfect: Repeated cognitive testing can obscure early signs of dementia

Alzheimer's disease is a progressive, neurodegenerative condition that often begins with mild cognitive impairment (MCI), making early and repeated assessments of cognitive change crucial to diagnosis and treatment. Researchers have now found that repeated testing of middle-age men produced a 'practice effect' which obscured true cognitive decline and delayed detection of MCI.

12.07.2018Allergic reactions to foods are milder in infants, study suggests

Majority of infants with food-induced anaphylaxis present with hives and vomiting, suggesting there is less concern for life-threatening response to early food introduction, new study suggests.

12.07.2018Optimizing pulsed electric fields to target cancer with calcium ions

When applied to cells, pulsed electric fields increase membrane permeability. Researchers have used this effect to force the diffusion of extracellular calcium into cells. Cell death occurs more easily in cancer cells since they are particularly sensitive to high amounts of calcium. Researchers have optimized pulsed electric field settings in an effort to attack cancer but leave healthy cells intact.

12.07.2018Organ regeneration is no longer a distant dream

Researchers used live imaging of the Drosophila embryonic hindgut and computer simulations to clarify that a novel cellular behavior called 'cell sliding' was important for the LR asymmetric morphogenesis of the organ.

12.07.2018Immunotherapy doubles survival rates for patients with melanoma brain metastases

A new study evaluates data from more than 1,500 cancer programs across the country to determine the effectiveness of checkpoint blockade immunotherapies, finding that these therapies provided significant improvements in overall survival for patients with melanoma brain metastases.

12.07.2018Why baby's sex may influence risk of pregnancy-related complicatations

The sex of a baby controls the level of small molecules known as metabolites in the pregnant mother's blood, which may explain why risks of some diseases in pregnancy vary depending whether the mother is carrying a boy or a girl, according to new research.

12.07.2018Why internal scars won't stop growing

A study has newly identified an immune trigger of some fibrotic diseases and an experimental compound to treat it. Fibrosis -- a progressive scarring and hardening of internal organs -- is estimated to cause 35 to 40 percent of deaths in the world.

12.07.2018The more you smoke, the greater your risk of a heart rhythm disorder

The more you smoke, the greater your risk of a heart rhythm disorder called atrial fibrillation.

12.07.2018Scientists create nano-size packets of genetic code aimed at brain cancer 'seed' cells

In a 'proof of concept' study, scientists say they have successfully delivered nano-size packets of genetic code called microRNAs to treat human brain tumors implanted in mice. The contents of the super-small containers were designed to target cancer stem cells, a kind of cellular 'seed' that produces countless progeny and is a relentless barrier to ridding the brain of malignant cells.

12.07.2018Herpes linked to Alzheimer's: Antivirals may help

A new commentary on a study by epidemiologists supports the viability of a potential way to reduce the risk of Alzheimer's disease. When the authors looked at subjects who suffered severe herpes infection and who were treated aggressively with antiviral drugs, the relative risk of dementia was reduced by a factor of 10.

12.07.2018An orange a day keeps macular degeneration away: 15-year study

A new study has shown that people who regularly eat oranges are less likely to develop macular degeneration than people who do not eat oranges. Researchers interviewed more than 2,000 Australian adults aged over 50 and followed them over a 15-year period.

12.07.2018Science fiction enthusiasts have a positive attitude to the digitizing of the brain

The goal of a technology known as mind upload is to make it possible to create functional copies of the human brain on computers. The development of this technology, which involves scanning of the brain and detailed cell-specific emulation, is currently receiving billions in funding. Science fiction enthusiasts express a more positive attitude towards the technology compared to others.

12.07.2018Potential link between alcohol and death rates

Heavy drinking causes iron loading which puts strain on vital organs, research finds.

12.07.2018New perspective on tumor genome evolution

An interdisciplinary team of scientists deepens understanding of tumor genome evolution and suggests negative selection acting on cancer-essential genes plays a more important role than previously anticipated. The scientists' work also provides new insights for improving cancer immunotherapies in the future.

12.07.2018New control of cell division discovered

When a cell divides, its constituents are usually evenly distributed among the daughter cells. Researchers have now identified an enzyme that guarantees that cell constituents that are concentrated in organelles without a membrane are properly distributed. Their discovery opens up new opportunities for the treatment of cancer, neurodegenerative diseases, aging processes and viral infections.

12.07.2018A gene required for addictive behavior

Cocaine can have a devastating effect on people. It directly stimulates the brain's reward center, and, more importantly, induces long-term changes to the reward circuitry that are responsible for addictive behaviors. Scientists have now uncovered that a gene called Maged1 plays a crucial role in controlling these pathological changes.

12.07.2018Genetic risk of heart failure

Heart failure is known to be more common in certain families but whether this familial transition is caused by genetic or lifestyle factors. By studying adoptees in relation to both their biological parents and adoptive parents, a new population study in Sweden has found that genetic heritage is the dominant factor when it comes to heart failure in these families.

12.07.2018Smell receptors in the body could help sniff out disease

A review of more than 200 studies reveals that olfactory receptors -- proteins that bind to odors that aid the sense of smell -- perform a wide range of mostly unknown functions outside the nose. The function of extra-nasal olfactory receptors has the potential to be used in the diagnosis and treatment of health conditions such as cancer.

12.07.2018Study analyzes opioid overdose risk during and after pregnancy among Massachusetts women

A new study found that opioid overdose events decreased during pregnancy, reaching their lowest level during the third trimester, but then increased during the postpartum period, becoming significantly higher during the second six months after delivery.

12.07.2018New compounds to treat RSV, Zika virus

A new and promising class of chemical compounds has major potential for treating Zika virus and respiratory syncytial virus, or RSV, according to a new study.

12.07.2018New research could banish guilty feeling for consuming whole dairy products

Enjoying full-fat milk, yogurt, cheese and butter is unlikely to send people to an early grave, according to new research.

11.07.2018Why are neuron axons long and spindly? Study shows they're optimizing signaling efficiency

A team of bioengineers has answered a question that has long puzzled neuroscientists, and may hold a key to better understanding the complexities of neurological disorders: Why are neuron axons designed the way they are? The answer -- that they're designed to balance the speed that information flows into the neuron relative to the time it takes the neuron to process that information -- seems intuitive, but has never been quantified until now.

11.07.201815-minutes of exercise creates optimal brain state for mastering new motor skills

A recent study demonstrates that exercise performed immediately after practicing a new motor skill improves its long-term retention. More specifically, the research shows, for the first time, that as little as a single fifteen-minute bout of cardiovascular exercise increases brain connectivity and efficiency. It's a discovery that could, in principle, accelerate recovery of motor skills in patients who have suffered a stroke or who face mobility problems following an injury.

11.07.2018DNA marks in adults tracked back to changes in earliest days of life

Scientists have gained a glimpse of how marks on our genes that could be linked to adverse health outcomes in later life behave differently in the first few days after conception, according to new research.

11.07.20183-D structure of 1918 influenza virus-like particles created

Virus-like particles (VLPs) are protein-based structures that mimic viruses and bind to antibodies. Because VLPs aren't infectious, they show promise as vaccine platforms for many viral diseases, including influenza. Since details about influenza VLPs are scant, a team of researchers developed a 3-D model based on the 1918 H1 pandemic influenza virus.

11.07.2018Researchers clarify role of mutations in glioblastoma

Researchers investigated whether the location of the mutation within the sequence of the PIK3CA gene affected the mutation's ability to help drive growth of glioblastoma tumors. They also evaluated whether the location of the mutation would affect the cancer's response to certain treatments.

 
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