Nutrition

Fermenting fish to reduce cholesterol

Compounds in a fermented fish paste used as a condiment in Indonesia efficiently inhibit an enzyme involved in cholesterol synthesis, reports a study published in the Pertanika journal Tropical Agricultural Science.

Oncology

A tiny device offers insights to how cancer spreads

As cancer grows, it evolves. Individual cells become more aggressive and break away to flow through the body and spread to distant areas. What if there were a way to find those early aggressors? How are they different from the rest of the cells? And more importantly: Is there a way to stop them before they spread?

Psychology

Stress makes it harder for us to sense new dangers

Being under stress diminishes our abilities to predict new dangers that we face, a team of psychology researchers finds. Its work runs counter to the conventional view that stress enhances our…

Study

Zika virus could be used to treat brain cancer

Recent outbreaks of Zika virus have revealed that the virus causes brain defects in unborn children. But researchers from Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis and the University of…

Knowing your enemy

New model to aid antibiotic resistance studies

Scientists in the UK have developed a new model that will help to advance the study of resistance to antibiotics.

New diagnostic system

Painting for Parkinson's

Researchers have developed an automated and affordable system to diagnose early-stage Parkinson’s disease through a simple drawing task.

Microbiota

Research suggests association between gut bacteria and emotion

Researchers have identified gut microbiota that interact with brain regions associated with mood and behavior. This may be the first time that behavioral and neurobiological differences associated…

Sugar molecules

Sweet help for cancer detection

Scientists from the University of Würzburg have synthesized a complex sugar molecule which specifically binds to the tumor protein Galectin-1. This could help to recognize tumors at an early stage…

Rise and shine

Caffeine shortens recovery time from general anesthesia

Caffeine helps quickly boost wakefulness following general anesthesia, a new study finds. The stimulant—used daily by more than 90 percent of adults in the U.S.—appears to alter physiological…

Mutation Study

Influential gene neighbourhood

Genes do not exist in isolation. So far, little has been known about how the position of a gene on a chromosome affects its evolution.

Vaping

E-Cigarettes accelerate cardiovascular aging

A new study suggests that a single exposure to e-cigarette (e-cig) vapor may be enough to impair vascular function.

Gene-based testing

Skewing the aim of targeted cancer therapies

Headlines, of late, have touted the successes of targeted gene-based cancer therapies, such as immunotherapies, but, unfortunately, also their failures.

Biomarker validation

Plodding toward a pancreatic cancer screening test

Pancreatic cancer is one of the most deadly types of malignancies, with a 5-year survival rate after late diagnosis of only about 5%. The majority of patients—about 80%—receive their diagnosis too late for surgery. The disease spreads quickly and resists chemotherapy. In short, there is an urgent need for diagnostic tools to identify this cancer in its earliest stages.

Ocular microbiome

Bugs in your eyes? More helpful than you think

Resident microbes living on the eye are essential for immune responses that protect the eye from infection, new research shows.
The study demonstrates the existence of a resident ocular microbiome that trains the developing immune system to fend off pathogens. The research was conducted at the National Eye Institute (NEI), part of the National Institutes of Health. "This is the first evidence that a bacterium lives on the ocular surface long-term," explained Rachel Caspi, Ph.D., senior investigator in NEI's Laboratory of Immunology. "This work addresses a longstanding question about whether there is a resident ocular microbiome."
For years, the ocular surface was thought to be sterile because of the presence of an enzyme called lysozyme that destroys…

UK study

Teenage girls more likely to self-harm than boys

There has been a sharp rise in self-harm reported in general practices for girls aged between 13-16 years from 2011 to 2014, compared with boys of the same age. In socially deprived areas, referrals…

Cancer research

Researchers release the brakes on the immune system

Many 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…

Cancer research

Esophageal cancer “cell of origin” identified

Columbia University Medical Center (CUMC) researchers have identified cells in the upper digestive tract that can give rise to Barrett’s esophagus, a precursor to esophageal cancer. The discovery…

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Research project

Can new molecular imaging technology guide prostate cancer surgery?

The Netherlands Cancer Institute (NKI) announced that it has received funding from the Dutch Cancer Society to test whether a novel molecular imaging technology can guide prostate cancer surgery. The project will evaluate the imaging technology’s ability to detect prostate cancer during surgery, with the aim of performing more accurate removal of cancerous tissue. Prostate cancer is the most…

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Prenatal care

Fever itself in early pregnancy might cause birth defects

Duke researchers now have evidence to suggest the fever itself, not its root source, could interfere with the development of the heart and jaw during the first three to eight weeks of pregnancy. Researchers have known for decades that fevers in the first trimester of pregnancy increase risk for some heart defects and facial deformities such as cleft lip or palate. Exactly how this happens is…

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Tumor analysis

Immune response to ovarian cancer may predict survival

A group of international cancer researchers led by investigators from Mayo Clinic and University of New South Wales Sydney has found that the level of a type of white blood cell, called tumor-infiltrating lymphocytes, present in the tumors of patients with high-grade ovarian cancer may predict a patient’s survival.
“We know that a type of tumor-infiltrating lymphocyte called cytotoxic…

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Pediatrics study

Higher vitamin D dose increases bone density in premature babies

Results of a University of Nebraska Medical Center study found if the standard supplementation of 400 IUs of vitamin D is increased to 800 IUs daily there are reductions in the number of premature and preterm babies with extremely low bone density.
Physicians have been prescribing vitamin D in premature and preterm infants in neonatal intensive care units (NICU) to prevent rickets, a…

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Study

Relaxing proteins may prevent dysfunction and disease

For many years, we thought that all proteins must fold into complicated shapes to fulfill their functions, looking like thousands of sets of custom-tailored locks and keys. But over the past two decades, scientists have begun to realize other proteins—including those involved in many essential cellular functions—remain fully or partially unfolded for parts of their lives.
Out of this…

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Study

Risk factors on rise among people with stroke

Despite prevention efforts, researchers have found a significant increase over a 10-year period in the percentage of people with stroke who have high blood pressure, diabetes, smoking and other risk factors for stroke.
“An estimated 80 percent of all first strokes are due to risk factors that can be changed, such as high blood pressure, and many efforts have been made to prevent, screen…

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Intraoperative molecular imaging

Tumor dye makes cancerous lymph nodes glow during surgery

Surgeons at Penn Medicine are using a fluorescent dye that makes cancerous cells glow in hopes of identifying suspicious lymph nodes during head and neck cancer procedures. Led by Jason G. Newman, MD, FACS, an associate professor of Otorhinolaryngology in the Perelman School of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania, the study is the first in the world to look at the effectiveness of…

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Side effects

Do common acid reflux medications promote chronic liver disease?

Approximately 10 percent of the general population take a proton pump inhibitor (PPI) drug to block stomach acid secretions and relieve symptoms of frequent heartburn, acid reflux and gastroesophageal reflux disease. That percentage can be as much as seven times higher for people with chronic liver disease. Researchers at University of California San Diego School of Medicine have discovered…

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Brain disease

Risks – and benefits – of the Alzheimer’s gene

Scientists drilling down to the molecular roots of Alzheimer’s disease have encountered a good news/bad news scenario. A major player is a gene called TREM2, mutations of which can substantially raise a person’s risk of the disease. The bad news is that in the early stages of the disease, high-risk TREM2 variants can hobble the immune system’s ability to protect the brain from amyloid beta,…

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Biology of Ageing

Road map to a longer life

In old age a variety of cellular processes decline and the risk to develop age-related diseases such as Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s or Diabetes increases dramatically. But does ageing affect all organs and tissues in the body in the same way? And should drugs that are developed to improve health in old age have the same effect on every organ? Now scientists from the Max Planck Institute for…

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Research network

40% of women with breast cancer live in Asia

The Breast International Group (BIG), an international not-for-profit organisation that represents the largest global network of academic research groups dedicated to finding cures for breast cancer, is welcoming three new members in East Asia: the Breast Disease Professional Committee of CMEA (BDPCC), China; the Korean Cancer Study Group (KCSG), South Korea; and the Thai Society of Clinical…

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Cell signals

Wound healing: more complex than you think

In a sharp and pointy world, wound healing is a critical and marvelous process. Despite a tremendous amount of scientific study, many outstanding mysteries still surround the way in which cells in living tissue respond to and repair physical damage. One prominent mystery is exactly how wound-healing is triggered: A better understanding of this process is essential for developing new and improved…

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Smoking study

Years of life could be saved if smokers switched to e-cigarettes

Up to 6.6 million premature deaths could be prevented in the US if smokers switched to e-cigarettes over a ten year period, suggests a study published in Tobacco Control, and those smokers who switched to vaping would live for a collective total of up to 86.7 additional million years.
A research team, led by Dr David Levy at Georgetown University Medical Center in Washington DC, modelled…

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Predicting cognitive decline

Odor identification problems may be a warning bell for dementia

A long-term study of nearly 3,000 adults, aged 57 to 85, found that those who could not identify at least four out of five common odors were more than twice as likely as those with a normal sense of smell to develop dementia within five years.
Although 78 percent of those tested were normal – correctly identifying at least four out of five scents – about 14 percent could name just three…

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Cardiac injury

Could this be the way to mend a broken heart?

Early research results suggest scientists might be on to a way to preserve heart function after heart attacks or for people with inherited heart defects called congenital cardiomyopathies.
Researchers at the Cincinnati Children’s Heart Institute report in Nature Communications that after simulating heart injury in laboratory mouse models, they stopped or slowed cardiac fibrosis, organ…

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Phosphatidic acid phosphatase

A fat-regulating enzyme could hold the key to obesity and diseases

It had already been known that the enzyme known as phosphatidic acid phosphatase plays a crucial role in regulating the amount of fat in the human body. Controlling it is therefore of interest in the fight against obesity. But scientists at Rutgers University-New Brunswick have now found that getting rid of the enzyme entirely can increase the risk of cancer, inflammation and other ills.

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