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Tuesday 18th June 2019

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ScienceDaily - Health

Afraid of food? The answer may be in the basal forebrain

A brain circuit in the mouse basal forebrain that is involved in perceiving the outside world, connects with and overrides feeding behaviors regulated by the hypothalamus.

New evidence supports the presence of microbes in the placenta

Researchers report visual evidence supporting the presence of bacteria within the microarchitecture of the placental tissue.

An ounce of prevention: Preoperative management of inflammation may stave off cancer recurrences

Administering anti-inflammatory treatments that prevent inflammation as well as proresolution treatments that tamp down the body's inflammatory response to surgery or chemotherapy can promote long-term survival in experimental animal cancer models, new research shows.

How hepatitis B and delta viruses establish infection of liver cells

Researchers have developed a new, scalable cell culture system that allows for detailed investigation of how host cells respond to infection with hepatitis B (HBV) and delta virus (HDV).

Inhaling air pollution-like irritant alters defensive heart-lung reflex for hypertension

Using a rat model for high blood pressure (hypertension), a common chronic cardiovascular condition, researchers found that preexisting hypertension altered normal reflexes in the lungs to affect autonomic regulation of the heart when an irritant mimicking air pollution was inhaled.

Biology of leptin, the hunger hormone, revealed

New research offers insight into leptin, a hormone that plays a key role in appetite, overeating, and obesity. The findings advance knowledge about leptin and weight gain, and also suggest a potential strategy for developing future weight-loss treatments, they said.

Parental support is key when adolescents with autism want to learn to drive

Adolescents with autism need the support of their parents or guardians to prioritize independence so that they are prepared for learning to drive, according to a study of specialized driving instructors who have worked specifically with young autistic drivers.

Gene linked to cannabis abuse

New research shows that a specific gene is associated with an increased risk of cannabis abuse. The gene is the source of a so-called nicotine receptor in the brain, and people with low amounts of this receptor have an increased risk of cannabis abuse.

Food neophobia may increase the risk of lifestyle diseases

Your parents were right: You should always try all foods! Food neophobia, or fear of new foods, may lead to poorer dietary quality and increase the risk factors associated with chronic diseases.

New methods from material sciences in physics find their way into cancer research

A new study on the behavior of water in cancer cells shows how methods usually limited to physics can be of great use in cancer research. The researchers have shown how a combination of neutron scattering and thermal analysis can be used to map the properties of water in breast cancer cells.

New drug compound could tackle major life-limiting kidney disease

Scientists are developing a new class of drugs to treat a common genetic kidney disease which is a major cause of kidney failure.

Antidepressants can reduce empathy for those in pain

Depression is a disorder that often comes along with strong impairments of social functioning. Until recently, researchers assumed that acute episodes of depression also impair empathy, an essential skill for successful social interactions and understanding others. Novel insights show that antidepressant treatment can lead to impaired empathy regarding perception of pain, and not just the state of depression itself.

Immunity: Redundancies in T cells

Researchers have discovered redundancies in the biochemical signalling pathways of immune cells. This finding has important implications for advances in cancer immunotherapy, among other areas.

Sleep history predicts late-life Alzheimer's pathology

Sleep patterns can predict the accumulation of Alzheimer's pathology proteins later in life, according to a new study. These findings could lead to new sleep-based early diagnosis and prevention measures in the treatment of Alzheimer's disease.

Healthcare workers often care for patients while ill

Large numbers of healthcare workers risk transmitting respiratory viruses to patients and co-workers by attending work even when they have symptoms, according to a new study. The study found that 95% of people working in healthcare settings have worked while sick, most often because the symptoms were mild or started during their workday.

Experimental drug can encourage bone growth in children with dwarfism

Researchers report that an experimental drug called vosoritide, which interferes with certain proteins that block bone growth, allowed the average annual growth rate to increase in a study of 35 children and teenagers with achondroplasia, a form of dwarfism.

Dormant neural stem cells in fruit flies activate to generate new brain cells

Researchers have discovered the mechanism behind how neural stem cells in fruit flies are activated to stimulate the generation of new brain cells.

Molecular switch for 'exhaustion mode' of immune cells discovered

Tumors and certain viral infections pose a challenge to the human body which the immune system typically fails to hand. In these diseases it switches to hypofunctional state that prevent adequate protection. A research team has achieved a major success: They identified the crucial molecular switch that triggers such dysfunctional immune responses. This could make it possible in the future to switch off or to prevent this state.

Genetic cause for fatal response to Hepatitis A

Researchers have identified a genetic mutation that caused an 11-year-old girl to suffer a fatal reaction to infection with the Hepatitis A virus (HAV). The study reveals that mutations in the IL18BP gene causes the body's immune system to attack and kill healthy liver cells, and suggests that targeting this pathway could prevent the deaths of patients suffering rapid liver failure in response to viral infection.

Fracking linked to higher radon levels in Ohio homes

A new study connects the proximity of fracking to higher household concentrations of radon gas, the second leading cause of lung cancer in the US.

Shedding light on 'black box' of inpatient opioid use

People who receive opioids for the first time while hospitalized have double the risk of continuing to receive opioids for months after discharge compared with their hospitalized peers who are not given opioids. The finding sare among the first to shed light on the little-studied causes and consequences of inpatient opioid prescribing.

Facebook posts better at predicting diabetes, mental health than demographic info

Analyzing language shows that identifying certain groups of words significantly improves upon predicting some medical conditions in patients.

Antioxidant puts up fight, but loses battle against protein linked to Alzheimer's disease

New research may explain why an antioxidant that protects the brain is also associated with deterioration in areas susceptible to Alzheimer's disease. The antioxidant, superoxide dismutase or SOD1, improves cognition, but a research team found SOD1's protective benefits dramatically weaken when levels of tau proteins -- a hallmark of Alzheimer's disease -- increase.

Key protein: Lab solves HOIL-1 mystery

The mysterious function of a key protein has been revealed.

3D printed tissues and organs without the scaffolding

A research team has developed a process that enables 3D printing of biological tissues without scaffolds using 'ink' made up of only stem cells.

RNR 'switch' offers hope in battling antibiotic resistant bacteria

New research offers a new pathway for targeting pathogens in the fight against antibiotic resistant bacteria.

The brain consumes half of a child's energy -- and that could matter for weight gain

A new study proposes that variation in the energy needs of brain development across kids -- in terms of the timing, intensity and duration of energy use -- could influence patterns of energy expenditure and weight gain.

Tanning industry uses promos, cheap prices to lure adolescents and young adults, study finds

Everyone knows cigarette smoking causes cancer and as a result, prices and advertising are closely regulated to discourage youth from starting. But another cancer risk, indoor tanning, which has been shown to cause melanoma, lags in regulation.

Possible targets to help tackle Crohn's disease

There is no precise cure for digestive condition Crohn's disease, and causes are believed to vary. But one indicator of the condition -- an abnormal reaction of the immune system to certain bacteria in the intestines -- has had new light shed on it.

Farm-like indoor microbiota may protect children from asthma also in urban homes

A child's risk of developing asthma is the lower the more the microbiota of the child's home resembles that of a farm house. This was shown by a study conducted by the Finnish National Institute for Health and Welfare that analysed indoor microbiota from 400 Finnish and 1,000 German homes.

Poor oral health linked to a 75% increase in liver cancer risk

Poor oral health is associated with a 75% increased risk of hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC), the most common form of liver cancer, new research has found.

Cold weather increases the risk of fatal opioid overdoses

While the precise reasons are unclear, an analysis of overdose deaths in Rhode Island and Connecticut showed that cold snaps raised the risk of fatal opioid overdoses by 25%.

Topical cream shows promise in treatment of skin pigmentation disease, vitiligo

A US nationwide phase II clinical trial has found that a topical cream was extremely effective in reversing the effects of vitiligo, a relatively common autoimmune disease that causes loss of skin pigmentation. Topical application of the medicated cream, ruxolitinib, which is currently used as an oral treatment for certain blood disorders, resulted in substantial improvement of facial vitiligo symptoms in nearly half of the trial's participants.

Tracking life's first step: Two molecules 'awaken' brand new genome

Within hours after fertilization, a unique genome forms from chromosomes contributed by the egg and sperm. However, this new genome is initially inactive and must be 'awakened' to begin the transcription of its DNA and start embryonic development. How life's first step happens has long fascinated developmental biologists.

How certain antibiotic combinations could defeat 'superbugs'

In hospitalized patients with bacterial infections, heteroresistance is more widespread than previously appreciated. This finding -- alarming on one level -- could also reveal ways to defeat apparently invincible bacteria.

Your circle of friends is more predictive of your health, study finds

To get a better reading on your overall health and wellness, you'd be better off looking at the strength and structure of your circle of friends, according to a new study.

Do video games drive obesity?

Are children, teenagers and adults who spend a lot of time playing video games really more obese? A meta study has looked into this question. The cliché is true -- but only for adults.

Introduced a new paradigm of cell transplantation with scaffold microrobots

Scientists developed a microrobot that can precisely transplant stem cells in various in vivo and vitro environments. Expects to improve the efficiency of treating degenerative neural disorders such as Alzheimer by accurately and safely delivering to a desired location.

Scientists use machine learning to improve gut disease diagnosis

A study says machine learning algorithms applied to biopsy images can shorten the time for diagnosing and treating a gut disease that often causes permanent physical and cognitive damage in children.

Cell biology: Preventing drugs from being transported out of the cell

A research team has investigated the transport mechanism of a bacterial membrane protein using an artificially produced antibody fragment. The transport proteins, called ABC exporters, are present, for instance, in the cell membranes of bacteria and in large quantities in cancer cells and are responsible for transporting small molecules out of the cells. Some transporters can pump antibiotics or chemotherapy agents out of the cells, thus rendering therapies ineffective. In the current study, researchers showed how the transport mechanism can be blocked.

Schizophrenia: Adolescence is the game-changer

Schizophrenia may be related to the deletion syndrome. However, not everyone who has the syndrome necessarily develops psychotic symptoms. What triggers the illness? Researchers (UNIGE) have provided an initial answer after analysing several years of patients with deletion syndrome. They found that the size of the hippocampus was smaller than normal but followed the same developmental curve as in healthy subjects. Yet, when the first psychotic symptoms appear - generally in adolescence - the hippocampus atrophies dramatically.

Personal care products send a child to the emergency room every two hours

A new study found that 64,686 children younger than five years of age were treated in US emergency departments for injuries related to personal care products from 2002 through 2016 -- that is the equivalent of about one child every two hours.

Tiny probe that senses deep in the lung set to shed light on disease

A hair-sized probe that can measure key indicators of tissue damage deep in the lung has been developed by scientists.

Balancing data protection and research needs in the age of the GDPR

Scientific journals and funding bodies often require researchers to deposit individual genetic data from studies in research repositories in order to increase data sharing with the aim of enabling the reproducibility of new findings, as well as facilitating new discoveries. However, the introduction of new regulations such as the EU General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) can complicate this.

Immune system can slow degenerative eye disease

A new study shows that the complement system, part of the innate immune system, plays a protective role to slow retinal degeneration in a mouse model of retinitis pigmentosa, an inherited eye disease. This surprising discovery contradicts previous studies of other eye diseases suggesting that the complement system worsens retinal degeneration.

A new tool makes it possible to adapt treatment for patients with cardiogenic shock

Cardiogenic shock is a possible complication of serious heart attack involving an associated mortality rate of approximately 50% of all cases. The combination of this new tool with existing methods renders precise and patient-specific decision-making possible.

Personalized medicine: Testing therapies on mini-tumors of head and neck cancer

Head and neck cancer is an aggressive type of cancer that often recurs, despite patients undergoing harsh treatments. Researchers have succeeded in growing mini-tumors (or organoids) of head and neck cancers, that can be kept alive in the petri-dish for a long time. These mini-tumor were shown to predict patient response to therapy. Thus, this technique holds promise to identify the right therapy for the right patient.

Vest helps athletes keep their cool

A new cooling vest for sports athletes may ensure everyone can compete safely in sweltering summer conditions such as the upcoming 2020 Summer Olympics.

Hypertension drug may hold promise for Alzheimer's disease

The blood pressure drug nilvadipine increased blood flow to the brain's memory and learning center, without affecting other brain regions among people with Alzheimer's disease. These findings indicate that the known decrease in cerebral blood flow in patients with Alzheimer's can be reversed in some regions. However, it is unclear if this translates to clinical benefits.

Harvard chemists' breakthrough in synthesis advances a potent anti-cancer agent

Chemists have achieved what a new article calls a 'landmark in drug discovery' with the total synthesis of 11.5g of halichondrin. Known to be a potent anti-cancer agent in mouse studies, and found naturally in sea sponges -- though only ever in minuscule quantities -- the halichondrin class of molecule is so fiendishly complex that it had never been synthesized on a meaningful scale in the lab.

Innovative technique uses sensory nanoparticles to detect disease

Like dipping a donut hole in powdered sugar, nanoparticles collect a unique coating of proteins from the blood. In a new study, researchers present a nanoparticle sensor array that they are developing as an early detection test for cancer and other diseases.

Developmental disorders: Discovery of new mutations

In the largest study to date on developmental delay, researchers analyzed genomic data from over 31,000 parent-child trios and found more than 45,000 de novo mutations, and 40 novel genes. This will provide valuable information to clinicians and to drug developers.

Discovery could lead to improved therapies for Duchenne muscular dystrophy

Researchers found that the protein sarcospan can play a major role in combating heart failure in patients with Duchenne muscular dystrophy.

Scientists develop 'mini-brain' model of human prion disease

Scientists have used human skin cells to create what they believe is the first cerebral organoid system, or 'mini-brain,' for studying sporadic Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease (CJD). CJD is a fatal neurodegenerative brain disease of humans believed to be caused by infectious prion protein. The researchers hope the human organoid model will enable them to evaluate potential CJD therapeutics and provide greater detail about human prion disease subtypes.

Phantom sensations: When the sense of touch deceives

Without being aware of it, people sometimes wrongly perceive tactile sensations. A new study shows how healthy people can sometimes mis-attribute touch to the wrong side of their body, or even to a completely wrong part of the body.

Artificial nose identifies malignant tissue in brain tumours during surgery

An artificial nose developed in Finland helps neurosurgeons to identify cancerous tissue during surgery and enables the more precise excision of tumors.

Vagus nerve stimulation study shows significant reduction in rheumatoid arthritis symptoms

The results of a pilot study suggest that electro stimulation of one of the nerves connecting the brain to the body (the vagus nerve), could provide a novel treatment approach for patients with rheumatoid arthritis.

Excess weight and body fat cause cardiovascular disease

In the first Mendelian randomization study to look at this, researchers have found evidence that excess weight and body fat cause a range of heart and blood vessel diseases, rather than just being associated with it.

Discovery of new genetic causes of male infertility

The man is implicated in about half of all cases of infertility. Despite the known importance of genetic factors in the non-production of sperm, only about 25% of these cases can be explained currently. Now a study has uncovered new potential genetic causes, and this discovery will help to develop better diagnostic tests for male infertility.

Salmonella resistant to antibiotics of last resort found in US

Researchers have found a gene that gives Salmonella resistance to antibiotics of last resort in a sample taken from a human patient in the US The find is the first evidence that the gene mcr-3.1 has made its way into the US from Asia.

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