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Tuesday 11th December 2018

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ScienceDaily - Health

Increased risk for breast cancer after childbirth may last more than 20 years

The increased risk for breast cancer that occurs after childbirth can last more than 20 years. The risk may be enhanced when a woman is older at first birth or has a family history of breast cancer, and is not mitigated by breastfeeding.

Lifespan extension at low temperatures is genetically controlled

A new study indicates that lifespan extension at lower temperatures is not just a matter of turning down the thermostat: it's under active genetic control.

Reducing variations in feeding practices and fortifying breast milk helps micro-preemies grow

Standardizing feeding practices, including the timing for fortifying breast milk and formula with essential elements like zinc and protein, improves growth trends for the tiniest preterm infants, according to new research.

Rapid genetic evolution linked to lighter skin pigmentation

The gene that causes lighter skin pigmentation, SLC24A5, was introduced from eastern African to southern African populations just 2,000 years ago. Strong positive selection caused this gene to rise in frequency among some KhoeSan populations.

Addressing research gaps could help with development of disability-inclusive workplaces

Filling key gaps in the research and understanding of the treatment of people with disabilities in the workplace could help improve employee success on the job and develop more disability-inclusive workplaces.

Regrowing damaged nerves hinges on shutting down key genes

Neurons in the brain and spinal cord don't grow back after injury, unlike those in the rest of the body. Now, researchers have identified some of the key steps taken by nerves in the legs as they regenerate. The findings lay out a path that spinal cord neurons might be able to follow -- potentially leading to improved recovery for people paralyzed by spinal cord injuries.

Key cellular mechanism that triggers pneumonia in humans

Researchers have demonstrated that influenza virus impairs the immune response to pneumococcus, especially monocyte activity.

Millions of low-risk people with diabetes may be testing their blood sugar too often

For people with Type 2 diabetes, testing blood sugar levels becomes part of everyday life. But a new study suggests that some of them test more often than they need to. Fourteen percent of people with Type 2 diabetes who don't require insulin are buying enough test strips to test their blood sugar two or more times a day -- when they don't need to test nearly that frequently according to medical guidelines.

Your brain on imagination: It's a lot like reality, study shows

New brain imaging research shows that imagining a threat lights up similar regions as experiencing it does. It suggests imagination can be a powerful tool in overcoming phobias or post traumatic stress.

Optimal blood pressure treatment for stroke patients

Aggressive treatment of hypertension in stroke patients could do more harm than good in the long term, according to a new study.

Sprayable gel could help the body fight off cancer after surgery

A research team has developed a spray gel embedded with immune-boosting drugs that could help lower the risk of cancer recurrence after surgery.

Some brain tumors may respond to immunotherapy

A new study suggests that a slow-growing brain tumor arising in patients affected by neurofibromatosis type 1 (NF1) may be vulnerable to immunotherapy, which gives the immune system a boost in fighting cancer.

Physicist creates tiny sensors to assist in cancer detection

A physicist hopes to improve cancer detection with a new and novel class of nanomaterials.

Personalized medicine tool for inherited colorectal cancer syndrome

An international team of researchers has developed, calibrated, and validated a novel tool for identifying the genetic changes in Lynch syndrome genes that are likely to be responsible for causing symptoms of the disease.

Providers show interest in prescribing therapeutic cannabinoids

Researchers have found many dermatologists are interested in learning more about and recommending therapeutic cannabinoids to their patients.

Imaging atomic structure of important immune regulator

A new study provides a biophysical and structural assessment of a critical immune regulating protein called human T-cell immunoglobulin and mucin domain containing protein-3 (hTIM-3). Understanding the atomic structure of hTIM-3 provides new insights for targeting this protein for numerous cancer and autoimmune therapeutics currently under clinical development.

Two compounds in coffee may team up to fight Parkinson's

Scientists have found a compound in coffee that may team up with caffeine to fight Parkinson's disease and Lewy body dementia -- two progressive and currently incurable diseases associated with brain degeneration.

Predicting leaky heart valves with 3D printing

Researchers have created a novel 3D printing workflow that allows cardiologists to evaluate how different valve sizes will interact with each patient's unique anatomy, before the medical procedure is actually performed. This protocol uses CT scan data to produce physical models of individual patients' aortic valves, in addition to a 'sizer' device to determine the perfect replacement valve size.

Genetic study of epilepsy points to potential new therapies

The largest study of its kind, led by international researchers has discovered 11 new genes associated with epilepsy. It greatly advances knowledge of the underlying biological causes of epilepsy and may inform the development of new treatments for the condition.

New light on blocking Shiga and ricin toxins -- And on an iconic biological process

Researchers, setting their sights on Shiga toxin (player in the current E. coli outbreak from romaine lettuce) and ricin (a bioterrorism agent), have now identified potential protective strategies. Their study also sheds new light on glycosylation, the attachment of sugars to large molecules, key to cells' ability to create more diverse molecules beyond what's encoded in the genome.

How glial cells develop in the brain from neural precursor cells

A research team studied how glial cells develop in the brain from neural precursor cells. They discovered that differentiation involves three stages and that three proteins in the cell nucleus, so-called transcription factors, play a key role in organizing glia-specific transcription of the genes in the cell nucleus.

New look at Puerto Rico post-Hurricane Maria

Two new research efforts delve into Hurricane Maria's far-reaching effects on the island's forests and on its residents' energy and electricity access.

Cancer cells distinguished by artificial intelligence-based system

A research team has created a system that uses a convolutional neural network to learn the features distinguishing different cancer cells, based on images from a phase-contrast microscope. This system accurately differentiated human and mouse cancer cells, as well as their radioresistant clones. This novel approach can improve the speed and accuracy of cancer diagnosis by avoiding the laboriousness and potential errors associated with equivalent analyses by humans.

Memory tests predict brain atrophy and Alzheimer's disease

Use of two episodic memory tests help in predicting brain atrophy and Alzheimer's disease, as indicated by a study. Researchers suggest that comprehensive use of memory tests could improve the diagnosis of mild cognitive impairment due to Alzheimer's disease.

Hair color gene study sheds new light on roots of redheads' locks

Scientists have discovered eight additional genes linked to red hair, helping to solve a mystery of how redheads inherit their flaming locks.

Plants as antifungal factories

Researchers have developed a biotechnological tool to produce, in a very efficient manner, antifungal proteins in the leaves of the plant Nicotiana benthamiana. These proteins are promising biomolecules that could be used to develop new antifungals whose properties and mechanisms of action represent improvements on the existing ones, and which can be applied in diverse fields, including crop and postharvest protection and animal and human health.

New insights into childhood cancer

Peripheral nervous system tumors, known as neuroblastoma, are one of the most common types of childhood tumors. Researchers have now studied the genetic factors behind different tumor subtypes and their prognoses. Their findings enable clinicians to predict the precise clinical course of the disease, and to adapt their treatment regimens accordingly.

Undiplomatic immunity: Mutation causing arterial autoimmune disease revealed

Takayasu arteritis is an autoimmune disease resulting in chronic aortic inflammation leading to aneurysm or aortic regurgitation. Researchers showed that it is caused by MLX gene mutation. This mutation increased oxidative stress and inflammasome formation and activity, specifically in the aortic valves, explaining the inflammatory state and associated symptoms. This insight suggests the potential value of treating this disease with medicines effective against other conditions involving excessive inflammasome activation.

How does cancer spread?

How does cancer spread? While studying human brain tumour cells, a team of scientists found some answers to this crucial, yet so far unanswered question. They looked at a gene called EGFRvIII, which is present in patients with glioblastoma -- a highly aggressive form of brain cancer that spreads quickly and that is difficult to treat.

Obesity, risk of cognitive dysfunction? Consider high-intensity interval exercise

Researchers have discovered what might be an effective strategy to prevent and combat cognitive dysfunction in obese individuals. They are the first to examine the modulatory role of an exercise-induced protein in the brain that promotes neuron survival and used high-intensity interval exercise (HIIE) in obese and normal-weight subjects. Obesity reduces the expression of this protein and lower levels are associated with Alzheimer's, Parkinson's and obesity. HIIE upregulated this protein in the obese subjects compared to normal-weight subjects.

Promising diagnostic tool for Alzheimer's disease

Researchers have identified in live human brains new radioactive 'tracer' molecules that bind to and 'light up' tau tangles, a protein associated with a number of neurodegenerative diseases including Alzheimer's disease and other related dementias.

Diabetes remission predictors in bariatric surgery

Researchers have improved a standard bariatric surgery clinical scoring system (DiaRem) to extend the prediction time for diabetic remission following bariatric (weight-loss) surgery.

Activating parts of the brain could help alleviate opioid-related social isolation

One of the many painful and challenging aspects of the US opioid crisis is that people abusing opioids often isolate themselves from family and friends, making it difficult for loved ones to help people on a path towards recovery.

Why feeling empathy could lead former drug users to relapse

Empathy, the awareness of another's feelings and emotions, is a key feature in normal social interactions. But new research suggests that empathy can have detrimental effects on an individual -- and can push former drug users to relapse.

Genetic changes associated with physical activity reported

Time spent sitting, sleeping and moving appears to be determined, in part, by our genes, researchers have shown.

Regular flu shots may save heart failure patients' lives

Compared with skipping a flu shot, getting a flu shot was associated with an 18 percent reduced risk of premature death among newly-diagnosed heart failure patients. Moreover, regular annual flu shots were associated with a 19 percent reduction in both all-cause and cardiovascular death when compared with no vaccination.

Statins have low risk of side effects

Cholesterol-lowering statin drugs are associated with a low risk of side effects. The benefits of statin therapy for most people outweigh the risks.

The naked eye alone is not enough to ensure the accurate diagnosis of skin cancer, say experts

The visual inspection of a suspicious skin lesion using the naked eye alone is not enough to ensure the accurate diagnosis of skin cancer, a group of experts have concluded.

Potential seen for tailoring treatment for acute myeloid leukemia

Rapid screening of leukemia cells for drug susceptibility and resistance are bringing scientists closer to patient-tailored treatment for acute myeloid leukemia. Research on the differing drug response patterns of leukemia stem cells and blasts may show why some attempts to treat are not successful and why some patients relapse.

New generation of therapeutics based on understanding of aging biology show promise for Alzheimer's disease

A scientific strategy that explores therapeutic targets based on the biology of aging is gaining ground as an effective approach to prevent and treat Alzheimer's disease.

A code for reprogramming immune sentinels

For the first time, a research team has successfully reprogrammed mouse and human skin cells into immune cells called dendritic cells. The process is quick and effective, representing a pioneering contribution for applying direct reprogramming for inducing immunity. Importantly, the finding opens up the possibility of developing novel dendritic cell-based immunotherapies against cancer.

Study upends timeline for Iroquoian history

New research raises questions about the timing and nature of early interactions between indigenous people and Europeans in North America.

Graphic warnings snuff out cigarettes' appeal to kids

New research suggests graphic warning labels on cigarette ads have the same anti-smoking effect as similar warning labels on cigarette packs.

Inflammatory bowel disease linked to prostate cancer

Men with inflammatory bowel disease have four to five times higher risk of being diagnosed with prostate cancer. This is the first report to show these men have higher than average PSA values and a significantly higher risk of potentially dangerous prostate cancer. They need to be screened more carefully for prostate cancer. About 1 million men have inflammatory bowel disease in the U.S., a common chronic condition that includes Crohn's disease and ulcerative colitis.

What's behind Mediterranean diet and lower cardiovascular risk?

A new study offers insights from a cohort study of women in the U.S. who reported consuming a Mediterranean-type diet.

Scientists to produce anti-cancer drugs in yeast

Nature is so complex that natural molecules used for i.e. cancer treatment still can't be produced by chemical synthesis. Today, major chemical and pharmaceutical companies harvest large amounts of rare plants and seeds in order to extract valuable substances.

Targeted cognitive training benefits patients with severe schizophrenia

Researchers find that patients with severe, refractory schizophrenia benefit from targeted cognitive therapy, improving auditory and verbal outcomes and the way they process information.

Eliminating the latent reservoir of HIV

A new study suggests that a genetic switch that causes latent HIV inside cells to begin to replicate can be manipulated to completely eradicate the virus from the human body. Cells harboring latent HIV are 'invisible' to the natural defenses of the immune system. The findings, which suggest a cure for HIV may be possible, are reported in the journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.

Bacterial 'sleeper cells' evade antibiotics and weaken defence against infection

New research unravels how so-called bacterial persister cells manipulate our immune cells, potentially opening new avenues to finding ways of clearing these bacterial cells from the body, and stopping recurrence of the bacterial infection.

Seeing and avoiding the 'blind spot' in atomic force measurements

Researchers have discovered a 'blind spot' in atomic force microscopy -- a powerful tool capable of measuring the force between two atoms, imaging the structure of individual cells and the motion of biomolecules.

DDT in Alaska meltwater poses cancer risk for people who eat lots of fish

Children in Alaska whose diet includes a lot of fish from rivers fed by the Eastern Alaska Mountain Range may have a long-term elevated risk for cancer because of insecticides -- including DDT -- in the meltwater.

Engineers repurpose wasp venom as an antibiotic drug

Engineers have repurposed wasp venom as an antibiotic drug that's nontoxic to human cells.

Infectivity of different HIV-1 strains may depend on which cell receptors they target

Distinct HIV-1 strains may differ in the nature of the CCR5 molecules to which they bind, affecting which cells they can infect and their ability to enter cells, according to a new study. The findings have implications for the development of HIV-1 entry inhibitors targeting CCR5.

Half a million tests and many mosquitoes later, new buzz about a malaria prevention drug

Researchers spent two years testing chemical compounds for their ability to inhibit the malaria parasite at an earlier stage in its lifecycle than most current drugs, revealing a new set of chemical starting points for the first drugs to prevent malaria instead of just treating the symptoms.

Key to lifelong heart health is childhood intervention

Evolving evidence shows that heart healthy habits in adults are rooted in the environments we live in in early childhood, representing a window of opportunity in young children to focus on health promotion and potentially prevent disease in adulthood, according to a review paper.

Hysterectomy linked to memory deficit in an animal model

The non-pregnant uterus is commonly assumed to be an unimportant organ. One third of American women have a hysterectomy by age 60, often before natural menopause. Researchers have found an animal model of hysterectomy resulted in decreased memory capacity and an altered hormonal profile within two months after surgery. The study suggests an important role for the uterus that could impact cognitive aging.

Natural compound 2HF treats leishmaniasis infections, study finds

Current treatment options for the parasitic disease leishmaniasis are largely ineffective, expensive, and tend to be plagued by resistant parasites and side effects. Now, researchers have showed that a natural flavonoid is effective at treating Leishmania amazonensis infections.

What can a snowflake teach us about how cancer spreads in the body?

What can seashells, lightning and the coastline of Britain teach us about new drugs for cancer? The answer, according to a team of researchers, may revolve around fractals, the infinitely complex patterns found in nature.

Hazelnuts improve older adults' micronutrient levels, study shows

Older adults who added hazelnuts to their diet for a few months significantly improved their levels of two key micronutrients.

Kidneys from deceased donors with acute kidney injury suitable for transplant

Organ procurement teams are sometimes leery of accepting kidneys from deceased donors with acute kidney injury (AKI), fearing they will harm the recipients. However, a new study suggests these fears may be unfounded.

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