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Histones & protamines

Infertility's roots may lie in our DNA

Pathological infertility is a condition affecting roughly 7% of human males, and among those afflicted, 10-15% are thought to have a genetic cause. However, pinpointing the precise genes responsible for the condition has been difficult, due to the extensive number involved in generating and developing sperm cells. In a new paper appearing in Science Signaling, a Japanese team reports unravelling…

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Endocrinology

Predicting the outcome for newborns with congenital hyperinsulinism

Babies born with congenital hyperinsulinism (CHI) are at risk of suffering from permanent brain damage and life-long disability. Yet some will go on to suffer more severely than others as a result of their disease profile, report the researchers in an article published in Frontiers in Endocrinology. The research team have found that it is possible to predict when and how the disease may affect…

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Hormone administration

Contraceptive jewelry could be the future of family planning

Family planning for women might one day be as simple as putting on an earring. A report published recently in the Journal of Controlled Release describes a technique for administering contraceptive hormones through special backings on jewelry such as earrings, wristwatches, rings or necklaces. The contraceptive hormones are contained in patches applied to portions of the jewelry in contact with…

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Idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis

Protein linked to cancer growth drives deadly lung disease IPF

A protein associated with cancer growth appears to drive the deadly lung disease known as idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis (IPF), according to new research from Cedars-Sinai. The discovery, made in laboratory mice and human tissue samples, may have implications for treating the disease using existing anti-cancer therapies that inhibit the protein PD-L1. Idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis is a chronic,…

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Mitochondria mystery solved

Researchers uncover key to greater efficacy in cancer treatment

Why do cancer cells react differently to treatments? Researchers from Mount Sinai and IBM have discovered a novel clue in explaining how cancer cells with identical genomes can respond differently to the same therapy. In a Nature Communications paper, researchers reveal for the first time that the number of mitochondria in a cell is, in great part, associated with how the cancer responds to drug…

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Heart disease

Higher egg and cholesterol consumption hikes death risk

Cancel the cheese omelet. There is sobering news for egg lovers who have been happily gobbling up their favorite breakfast since the 2015-2020 Dietary Guidelines for Americans no longer limited how much dietary cholesterol or how many eggs they could eat. A large, new Northwestern Medicine study reports adults who ate more eggs and dietary cholesterol had a significantly higher risk of…

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Some problems remain

Some children can 'recover' from autism

Research in the past several years has shown that children can outgrow a diagnosis of autism spectrum disorder (ASD), once considered a lifelong condition. In a new study, researchers at Albert Einstein College of Medicine and Montefiore Health System have found that the vast majority of such children still have difficulties that require therapeutic and educational support.

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Microbiome

Examining the "forgotten organ"

Shahid Umar, PhD, researcher with The University of Kansas Cancer Center, has dedicated two decades of his scientific exploration to better grasp the connection between colon cancer and the human microbiome. Called the “forgotten organ,” the microbiome comprises trillions and trillions of microbes, including bacteria, fungi and viruses, in our body.

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Men in danger

High testosterone could put your heart at risk

Having a genetic predisposition to high testosterone levels could play a role in the development of major heart problems in men, such as blood clots and heart failure, finds a study published by The BMJ. The findings may also have implications for men who take testosterone supplements to boost energy levels and sex drive. Some evidence suggests that genetically predicted (“endogenous”)…

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Healthy heart

How the 'blue' in blueberries can lower blood pressure

A new study published in the Journal of Gerontology Series A has found that eating blueberries can lead to an improvement in blood vessel function and a decrease in systolic blood pressure. Researchers from King’s College London and the University of Surrey studied 40 healthy volunteers for one month. They were randomly given either a drink containing 200g of blueberries, or a matched control…

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Seeing red

Will nanotechnology give us infrared vision?

Mice with vision enhanced by nanotechnology were able to see infrared light as well as visible light, reports a study published in the journal Cell. A single injection of nanoparticles in the mice’s eyes bestowed infrared vision for up to 10 weeks with minimal side effects, allowing them to see infrared light even during the day and with enough specificity to distinguish between different…

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Disrupted heartbeat

Why a blow to the chest can kill (or save) you

It is still a mystery why a blow to the chest can kill people by inducing cardiac arrest yet save others that are in cardiac arrest. We may be one step closer to an answer, however, thanks to a device developed by researchers of the University of Bern and the EPFL that can replicate the experience in the laboratory. A hefty blow to the chest can have entirely opposite outcomes. While, for…

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Antibiotic resistance

Antibacterial chemicals in consumer products backfire

Grocery store aisles are stocked with products that promise to kill bacteria. People snap up those items to protect themselves from the germs that make them sick. However, new research from Washington University in St. Louis finds that a chemical that is supposed to kill bacteria is actually making them stronger and more capable of surviving antibiotic treatment. The study, available online in…

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Decreasing false positives

Improving diagnosis of colorectal cancer

Current faecal blood tests for colorectal cancer have a sixty percent false positive rate. New funding from Cancer Research UK is helping scientists at Cardiff University to find better, safer tests. Inaccuracy of initial tests for colorectal cancer are putting patients at unnecessary risk, highlighting vital need for the development of precise and non-invasive testing. A grant of over £400,000…

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Network analysis

AI identifies and predicts development of cancer symptom clusters

Cancer patients who undergo chemotherapy could soon benefit from a new AI that is able to identify and predict the development of different combinations of symptoms – helping to alleviate much of the distress caused by their occurrence and severity. In the first study of its kind, published by Nature Scientific Reports, researchers from the University of Surrey and the University of California…

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Biosensor

New rapid test for sepsis could save thousands of lives

Researchers at the University of Strathclyde have developed an innovative, low cost test for earlier diagnosis of sepsis which could save thousands of lives. The simple system for sensitive real-time measurement of the life threatening condition is much quicker than existing hospital tests, which can take up to 72 hours to process. Using a microelectrode, a biosensor device is used to detect if…

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X-ray crystallography

Seeing the unseeable life inside a virus

Researchers at Cardiff University have used x-ray crystallography and computer simulation to get a closer look at how viruses bind cells and cause infection. The new insight could help in the development of drugs and therapies for infections and further advance the exploitation of viruses for medical treatments. The first author of the study, Alex Baker from Cardiff University’s School of…

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Alarming results

Antibiotic resistance spreads faster than previously thought

By studying fish raised in aquaculture, researchers from the Helmholtz Zentrum München, the University of Copenhagen and the University of Campinas in Brazil have shed new light on the mechanisms by which antibiotic resistance genes are transferred between bacteria. According to the study published in the journal ‘Microbiome’, those mechanisms are more varied than previously thought. “In…

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The science of sleep

How our brain works against night owls

‘Night owls’ – those who go to bed and get up later – have fundamental differences in their brain function compared to ‘morning larks’ , which mean they could be disadvantaged by the constraints of a normal working day. Research led by the University of Birmingham in collaboration with researchers at the University of Surrey and the University of Campinas, in Brazil, found that…

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Under pressure

Breast tissue stiffening promotes cancer development

A study provides new insight into how the stiffening of breast tissue plays a role in breast cancer development. By examining how mammary cells respond in a stiffness-changing hydrogel, bioengineers at the University of California San Diego discovered that several pathways work together to promote the transformation of breast cells into cancer cells. The work could inspire new approaches to…

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Pediatric resuscitation

Blindfolded training could help doctors save young lives

In a simulation training study, pediatric team leaders who wore a blindfold improved their leadership skills ratings by 11% over the course of 3 resuscitation scenarios, versus 5% for non-blindfolded leaders. Published in Frontiers in Pediatrics, the findings demonstrate a promising tool for improving training and outcomes in pediatric resuscitation. “Our study suggests that blindfolding the…

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