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Tuesday, February 10, 2015

ScienceDaily: Top Health News

ScienceDaily: Top Health News

Psychedelic drug prevents asthma development in mice

Posted: 09 Feb 2015 02:13 PM PST

Researchers have found that a psychedelic drug, (R)-DOI, prevents the development of allergic asthma in a mouse model. The effects are potent and effective at a concentration 50-100 times less than would influence behavior.

Serotonin-deficient brains more vulnerable to social stress

Posted: 09 Feb 2015 02:13 PM PST

Mice deficient in serotonin -- a crucial brain chemical implicated in clinical depression -- are more vulnerable than their normal littermates to social stressors, according to a new study. Following exposure to stress, serotonin-deficient mice did not respond to the standard antidepressant Prozac. The results point to new strategies to help alleviate treatment-resistant depression.

Nano-antioxidants prove their potential

Posted: 09 Feb 2015 02:13 PM PST

Injectable nanoparticles that could protect an injured person from further damage due to oxidative stress have proven to be astoundingly effective in tests to study their mechanism.

F-bombs notwithstanding, all languages skew toward happiness: Universal human bias for positive words

Posted: 09 Feb 2015 01:11 PM PST

Arabic movie subtitles, Korean tweets, Russian novels, Chinese websites, English lyrics, and even the war-torn pages of the New York Times -- research examining billions of words, shows that these sources -- and all human language -- skews toward the use of happy words. This Big Data study confirms the 1969 Pollyanna Hypothesis that there is a universal human tendency to "look on and talk about the bright side of life."

Coral snake venom reveals a unique route to lethality

Posted: 09 Feb 2015 01:11 PM PST

For more than a decade, a vial of rare snake venom refused to give up its secret formula for lethality; its toxins had no effect on the proteins that most venoms target. Finally, an international team of researchers figured out its recipe: a toxin that permanently activates a crucial type of nerve cell protein, preventing the cells from resetting and causing deadly seizures in prey.

Brain develops abnormally over lifespan of people who stutter

Posted: 09 Feb 2015 11:34 AM PST

The largest-ever MRI imaging study of stuttering is the first to examine brain changes across the lifespan.

Molecular Gastronomy: Understanding physical and chemical processes of cooking and eating

Posted: 09 Feb 2015 11:24 AM PST

An expert in biophysics, epigenetics and food science is working to gain a deeper understanding of genome compaction within the cells in our bodies and the way it influences gene expression. "Molecular gastronomy," is dedicated to the study of the physical and chemical processes involved in cooking and eating.

Amber fossil links earliest grasses, dinosaurs and fungus used to produce LSD

Posted: 09 Feb 2015 10:07 AM PST

A perfectly preserved amber fossil from Myanmar has been found that provides evidence of the earliest grass specimen ever discovered -- about 100 million years old -- and even then it was topped by a fungus similar to ergot, a hallucinogen which for eons has been intertwined with animals and humans. Among other things, it gave us the psychedelic drug LSD.

Inherited gene variations tied to treatment-related hearing loss in cancer patients

Posted: 09 Feb 2015 10:06 AM PST

Investigators have discovered inherited genetic variations that are associated with rapid hearing loss in young cancer patients treated with the drug cisplatin.

Origins of colorectal cancer tumor cells traced

Posted: 09 Feb 2015 09:28 AM PST

For the first time, cancer researchers have traced the origins of colorectal cancer cells, finding important clues to why tumor cells become 'good' or 'bad,' with the potential of stopping them before they start.

Sunlight and vitamin D levels higher for coastal populations

Posted: 09 Feb 2015 09:28 AM PST

People living close to the coast in England have higher vitamin D levels than inland dwellers. Exposure to sunlight is a crucial factor in vitamin D production and the research has also found that English coasts tend to see a greater amount of sunlight across the year when compared with inland areas. The study is the first time that data on sunlight and vitamin D levels have been linked to detailed geographical information.

Controlling genes with light: Light-activated genes might be precisely controlled and targeted

Posted: 09 Feb 2015 08:32 AM PST

Researchers have demonstrated a new way to activate genes with light, allowing precisely controlled and targeted genetic studies and applications. The method might be used to activate genes in a specific location or pattern, allowing more precise study of gene function, or to create complex systems for growing tissue or new therapies.

Pick a card, any card: How magicians sway decision-making

Posted: 09 Feb 2015 08:30 AM PST

A team of Canadian researchers has combined the art of magic and the science of psychology to demonstrate how certain contextual factors can sway the decisions people make, even though they may feel that they are choosing freely.

Both Liberals, Conservatives Can Have Science Bias

Posted: 09 Feb 2015 08:30 AM PST

New research suggests that liberals, as well as conservatives, can be biased against science that doesn't align with their political views.

What autism can teach us about brain cancer: Both disorders involve faults in same protein

Posted: 09 Feb 2015 06:50 AM PST

Applying lessons learned from autism to brain cancer, researchers have discovered why elevated levels of the protein NHE9 add to the lethality of the most common and aggressive form of brain cancer, glioblastoma. Their discovery suggests that drugs designed to target NHE9 could help to successfully fight the deadly disease.

Energy drinks significantly increase hyperactivity in schoolchildren, study finds

Posted: 09 Feb 2015 06:50 AM PST

Middle-school children who consume heavily sweetened energy drinks are 66 percent more likely to be at risk for hyperactivity and inattention symptoms, a new study has found.

Do clothes make the doctor? Patient perceptions of physicians based on attire

Posted: 09 Feb 2015 06:48 AM PST

What should doctors wear? And how does something as simple as their choice of a suit, scrubs or slacks influence how patients view them? A new analysis takes a comprehensive look – and finds that the answer isn't as simple as you might think. It also finds that doctors don't seem to be getting a lot of guidance on how to dress – despite the influence their attire can have on patients' perceptions.

3-D vaccine spontaneously assembles to pack a powerful punch against cancer, infectious diseases

Posted: 09 Feb 2015 06:48 AM PST

Researchers have developed a novel 3-D vaccine that could provide a more effective way to harness the immune system to fight cancer as well as infectious diseases. The vaccine spontaneously assembles into a scaffold once injected under the skin and is capable of recruiting, housing, and manipulating immune cells to generate a powerful immune response. The vaccine was recently found to be effective in delaying tumor growth in mice.

Can't sing? Do it more often

Posted: 09 Feb 2015 05:36 AM PST

If you've ever been told that you're 'tone deaf' or 'can't carry a tune,' don't give up. New research suggests that singing accurately is not so much a talent as a learned skill that can decline over time if not used. The ability to sing on key may have more in common with the kind of practice that goes into playing an instrument than people realize, according to experts.

Multiple sclerosis: pathological progression of disease documented

Posted: 09 Feb 2015 05:35 AM PST

Scientist have documented the pathological progress of the disease from its early to late stage and also shown that inflammatory and neurodegenerative processes have a role to play. This raises the possibility of new treatment options.  

Scientists identify a new population of regulatory T-cells

Posted: 09 Feb 2015 05:35 AM PST

Discovery improves understanding of the cause of allergic asthma and may serve as an early diagnostic marker / Publication in Nature Immunology

Awkward positions, distractions and fatigue may trigger low back pain

Posted: 09 Feb 2015 05:35 AM PST

New research reveals the physical and psychosocial factors that significantly increase the risk of low back pain onset. In fact results show that being engaged in manual tasks involving awkward positions will increase the risk of low back pain by eight times. Those who are distracted during activities or fatigued also significantly increase their risk of acute low back pain.

Immune Biomarkers Help Predict Early Death, Complications in HIV Patients with TB

Posted: 09 Feb 2015 05:30 AM PST

Medical researchers have identified immune biomarkers in HIV/TB patients before they begin ART that could help distinguish who goes on to develop IRIS or die after treatment.

Forcing wounds to close

Posted: 09 Feb 2015 05:30 AM PST

Skin not only provides an essential protective barrier against foreign materials and pathogens, but it also helps the body retain various fluids and electrolytes. When this barrier is damaged, the consequences can be devastating. Ulcers, bleeding and bacterial infections may result and the chances of these occurring increases the longer wounds remain open. Scientists have now revealed the mechanical forces that drive epithelial wound healing in the absence of cell supporting environment.

Preemies may have psychiatric problems as adults

Posted: 09 Feb 2015 05:30 AM PST

The study found that extremely low birth weight babies whose mothers received a full course of steroids prior to giving birth are at even greater risk for psychiatric disorders.

A one-two punch against ovarian cancer

Posted: 09 Feb 2015 05:30 AM PST

Only 1.3 percent of cancers diagnosed between 2004 and 2010 were cancers of the ovary, but fewer than half of these women survived for five years or more. Researchers have now studied a combination therapy developed to help women with ovarian cancer.

Pregnant woman with placenta accreta saved

Posted: 06 Feb 2015 02:47 PM PST

When Patricia Perich, 41, was 24 weeks pregnant with her fourth child, she was diagnosed with a potentially fatal condition called placenta accreta. This condition occurs when blood vessels from the placenta grow too deeply into the uterus and even infiltrate other organs.

Consumer preferences and the power of scarcity

Posted: 06 Feb 2015 11:52 AM PST

How does scarcity, or the appearance of scarcity, affect choice when several consumer products are presented at once? Researchers found a clear pattern: Scarcity polarizes preferences.

Critical molecule in fight against lung infection

Posted: 06 Feb 2015 11:52 AM PST

A graduate student who wants to reduce the number of people dying from lung infections has discovered a molecule that's critical for immunity.

Drug combinations a good approach for infectious fungus, research shows

Posted: 06 Feb 2015 09:53 AM PST

Researchers have discovered that Candida albicans -- a leading cause of potentially fatal hospital-acquired infections -- rarely develops resistance to combination drug therapy and, when it becomes resistant, it also becomes less dangerous.The team may also have found a new way to eliminate Candida albicans in humans.

Nanovectors combine cancer imaging and therapy

Posted: 06 Feb 2015 09:51 AM PST

Researchers have designed and developed hybrid gold-silica nanoparticles, which are turning out to be genuine therapeutic "Swiss Army knives". Tested in mice and on cultured human cells, they make it possible to combine two forms of tumor treatment and three imaging techniques. They notably have a greater drug loading and delivery capacity than carriers currently on the market, which opens interesting perspectives for cancer research.

Teens likely to combine multiple forms of tobacco, study finds

Posted: 06 Feb 2015 08:14 AM PST

Teens who use tobacco products are likely to use more than one product, including e-cigarettes, hookahs and pipes, and smokeless tobacco, according to a new study.

Women with type 1 diabetes at significantly higher risk of dying early compared with men

Posted: 05 Feb 2015 07:06 PM PST

Women with type 1 diabetes face a 40% increased excess risk of early death from all causes, and have more than twice the risk of dying from heart disease, compared to men with type 1 diabetes, a large meta-analysis involving more than 200 000 people with type 1 diabetes has found.

Many US wells tainted with arsenic

Posted: 05 Feb 2015 02:49 PM PST

Arsenic is the biggest public-health problem for water in the United States -- yet we pay far less attention to it than we do to lesser problems. Private wells present continuing risks. Even low doses of arsenic may reduce intelligence in children. There are also well-documented risks of cancer, heart disease, and reduced lung function.

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