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Saturday 24th August 2019

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ScienceDaily - Health

Heart attack patients with mild cognitive impairment get fewer treatments

New research finds people with mild cognitive impairment don't always receive the same, established medical treatment that patients with normal cognitive functioning get when they have a heart attack.

Evolution designed by parasites

A new paper explores an overlooked aspect of the relationship between parasites and their hosts by systematically discussing the ways in which parasitic behavior manipulation may encourage the evolution of mechanisms in the host's nervous and endocrine systems.

A novel technology for genome-editing a broad range of mutations in live organisms

Researchers have developed a new tool -- dubbed SATI -- to edit the mouse genome, enabling the team to target a broad range of mutations and cell types. The new genome-editing technology could be expanded for use in a broad range of gene mutation conditions such as Huntington's disease and the rare premature aging syndrome, progeria.

Children of incarcerated parents have more substance abuse, anxiety

Children of incarcerated parents are six times more likely to develop a substance use disorder in adulthood and nearly twice as likely to have diagnosable anxiety compared to children whose parents were not incarcerated, according to new research.

Brain's astrocytes play starring role in long-term memory

Researchers have discovered that star-shaped cells called astrocytes help the brain establish long-lasting memories. The work could inform therapies for disorders in which long-term memory is impaired, such as traumatic brain injury or dementia.

Self-rolling sensors take heart cell readings in 3D

A new organ-on-an-electronic-chip platform uses self-rolling biosensor arrays to coil up and measure the electrophysiology of heart cells in 3D.

How gonorrhea develops resistance to antibiotics

As public health officials worry about the emergence of antibiotic-resistant gonorrhea, researchers are tracing how antibiotics bind to a gonococcal protein, information that can help lead to new antimicrobials.

New approaches to heal injured nerves

Researchers have deciphered new mechanisms that enable the regeneration of nerve fibers. This could open up new treatment approaches for the brain, optic nerve, and spinal cord injuries.

Frying oil consumption worsened colon cancer and colitis in mice, study shows

Food scientists have shown that feeding frying oil to mice exaggerated colonic inflammation, enhanced tumor growth and worsened gut leakage, spreading bacteria or toxic bacterial products into the bloodstream.

Researchers find a way to stop lung damage due to the body's immune response

Researchers have discovered a new way to stop harmful inflammation in the lungs due to sepsis and injury. They found a molecule, present during inflammation that binds to white blood cells allowing them to pass from the blood stream into the tissue and cause severe damage.

Do single people suffer more?

Researchers have confirmed the analgesic effects of social support - even without verbal or physical contact.

The technology behind Bitcoin may improve the medications of the future

Researchers have developed a prototype of an app that may potentially prescribe the optimal dose of medicine for the individual patient, as well as prevent counterfeit products.

Addressing causes of mortality in Zambia

Despite the fact that people in sub-Saharan Africa are now living longer than they did two decades ago, their average life expectancy remains below that of the rest of the world population. A new study looked into the importance of various causes of death in Zambia and how eliminating the most prominent of these would impact life expectancy in the country.

Your heart's best friend: Dog ownership associated with better cardiovascular health

Owning a pet may help maintain a healthy heart, especially if that pet is a dog, according to a new analysis. The study examines the association of pet ownership -- specifically dog ownership -- with cardiovascular disease risk factors and cardiovascular health.

The fat of the land: Estimating the ecological costs of overeating

Researchers have proposed a way to measure the ecological impact of global food wastage due to excessive consumption. The results suggest that direct food waste -- thrown away or lost from field to fork -- is a mere hors-d'Ĺ“uvre.

Junk food intake in children reduced by health education that addresses emotional issues

Teacher training followed by classroom education with information, activities, and emotional support improves lifestyles in teachers and students, according to new research. The study suggests that knowledge alone is insufficient to change behavior.

Pollution and winter linked with rise in heart attack treatment

Heavily polluted areas have a higher rate of angioplasty procedures to treat blocked arteries than areas with clean air, according to new research. Procedures are even more common in winter, the most polluted time of year.

Study suggests weight loss regardless of psychiatric medication use

A new study suggests that individuals who take anti-depressants and/or anti-psychotics and participate in a weight management program can lose weight whether or not they take psychiatric medications, according to a new report. The study is the first to examine weight loss outcomes in individuals taking anti-depressants or anti-psychotics alone, in combination or not at all.

Videos of chemical synthesis at atomic resolution achieved

For the first time, researchers have managed to view previously inaccessible details of certain chemical processes. They have shown there are significant discrete stages to these processes which build on our knowledge of chemical synthesis. These details could aid in the development of methods to synthesize chemicals with greater control and precision than ever before. Methods such as these could be useful in materials science and in drug development.

Elite athletes have poor oral health despite brushing twice daily

Elite athletes have high rates of oral disease despite brushing their teeth more frequently than most people, finds a new study.

Key areas of measles virus polymerase to target for antiviral drug development

Targeting specific areas of the measles virus polymerase, a protein complex that copies the viral genome, can effectively fight the measles virus and be used as an approach to developing new antiviral drugs to treat the serious infectious disease, according to a new study.

Psychiatric illnesses are common in adults and children with kidney failure

Between 1996 and 2013, approximately 27% of adults, 21% of elderly adults, and 16% of children with kidney failure in the United States were hospitalized with a psychiatric diagnosis in the first year of kidney failure. The prevalence of hospitalizations with psychiatric diagnoses increased over time across age groups, mostly due to secondary diagnoses.

International team discovers unique pathway for treating deadly children's brain cancer

An international team of researchers has discovered a new pathway that may improve success against an incurable type of children's brain cancer. The study results suggest that scientists have identified a unique way to disrupt the cellular process that contributes to Diffuse Intrinsic Pontine Gliomas (DIPG).

How the sun damages our skin

Researchers have discovered the mechanism through which ultraviolet radiation, given off by the sun, damages our skin.

The Paleozoic diet: Why animals eat what they eat

In what likely is the first study on the evolution of dietary preferences across the animal kingdom, researchers report several unexpected discoveries, including that the first animal likely was a carnivore and that humans, along with other omnivores, belong to a rare breed.

Genes tell the story of how the Asian tiger mosquito spread

Over the last 40 years, the Asian tiger mosquito, Aedes albopictus, has invaded every continent thanks to the transportation of its eggs via human trade and transportation. Researchers have now used the genomes of the mosquitoes to track the history of the invasion and expansion of the species through Albania, Italy, and Greece.

Cell suicide could hold key for brain health and food security

Research into the self-destruction of cells in humans and plants could lead to treatments for neurodegenerative brain diseases and the development of disease-resistant plants. A study has identified the role certain proteins play in cellular suicide.

Dietary zinc protects against Streptococcus pneumoniae infection, study finds

Researchers have uncovered a crucial link between dietary zinc intake and protection against Streptococcus pneumoniae, the primary bacterial cause of pneumonia.

Malaria control success in Africa at risk from spread of multi-drug resistance

In the first continent-wide genomic study of malaria parasites in Africa, scientists have uncovered the genetic features of Plasmodium falciparum parasites that inhabit different regions of the continent, including the genetic factors that confer resistance to anti-malarial drugs. This sheds new light on the way that drug resistance is emerging in different locations and moving by various routes across Africa, putting previous success in controlling malaria at risk.

Map of malaria behavior set to revolutionize research

The first detailed map of individual malaria parasite behavior across each stage of its complicated life cycle has been created by scientists. Researchers used advanced single-cell technology to isolate individual parasites and measure their gene activity. The result is the Malaria Cell Atlas, which gives the highest resolution view of malaria parasite gene expression to date and monitors how individual parasites change as they develop in both the mosquito and human host.

Carriers of Alzheimer's genetic marker have greater difficulty harnessing past knowledge

Adults carrying a gene associated with a higher risk of Alzheimer's disease had a harder time accessing recently acquired knowledge, even though they didn't show any symptoms of memory problems, according to a new study.

Yet another way dogs help the military: aeromedical patient evacuations

Animal-assisted therapy has many benefits in health care. Yet, its biological and psychosocial effects in the military are unknown, especially for injured, airlifted patients. Researchers teamed up with a non-profit animal organization that trains therapy dogs to see if an animal-assisted intervention could reduce stress in this setting. Results showed that levels of the stress biomarkers cortisol, alpha-amylase, and immunoglobulin A, significantly decreased after a 20-minute intervention with the dogs, regardless of post-traumatic stress symptom severity.

Heavy drinking and HIV don't mix, study finds

A new study finds that heavy alcohol consumption (three drinks or more/day for women and four drinks or more/day for men) is linked to alterations in immune function among people with HIV.

Here's how early humans evaded immunodeficiency viruses

The cryoEM structure of a simian immunodeficiency virus protein bound to primate proteins shows how a mutation in early humans allowed our ancestors to escape infection while monkeys and apes did not. SIV's Nef protein forms a solid link between two primate proteins, tetherin and AP-2, forcing the destruction of tetherin, which normally prevents new SIV virions from budding off. A mutation in human tetherin disrupted binding, thwarting SIV budding -- until HIV evolved a work-around.

Smartphone app makes parents more attuned to their babies' needs, research shows

A new app has been designed to help new parents become more 'tuned in' to what their babies are thinking and feeling.

Biomaterials smarten up with CRISPR

The CRISPR-Cas system has become the go-to tool for researchers who study genes in an ever-growing list of organisms, and is being used to develop new gene therapies that potentially can correct a defect at a single nucleotide position of the vast reaches of the genome. It is also being harnessed in ongoing diagnostic approaches for the detection of pathogens and disease-causing mutations in patients.

New tool mines scientific texts for fusion protein facts

A new computational tool called ProtFus screens scientific literature to validate predictions about the activity of fusion proteins -- proteins encoded by the joining of two genes that previously encoded two separate proteins.

Adaptation to life in cattle may be driving E. coli to develop harmful features

Research led by Kyushu University finds that E. coli from cattle share widespread genetic similarities with those that cause food poisoning in humans, indicating that the traits that are harmful to humans may emerge to improve survival in the bovine intestine.

Scratching the surface of how your brain senses an itch

Light touch plays a critical role in everyday tasks, such as picking up a glass or playing a musical instrument, as well as for detecting the touch of, say, biting insects. Researchers have discovered how neurons in the spinal cord help transmit such itch signals to the brain. The findings could help contribute to a better understanding of itch and could lead to new drugs to treat chronic itch, which occurs in such conditions as eczema, diabetes and even some cancers.

Ginkgo biloba may aid in treating type 2 diabetes

Ginkgo Biloba, one of the oldest living trees species, may offer some clues in better treatments for Type 2 Diabetes, says one researcher.

Certain metabolites linked to stem cell function in the intestine

Researchers have found that high levels of ketone bodies, molecules produced by the breakdown of fat, help the intestine to maintain a functional stem cell pool, which are crucial for intestinal regeneration.

Scorpion toxin that targets 'wasabi receptor' may help solve mystery of chronic pain

Researchers have discovered a scorpion toxin that targets the 'wasabi receptor,' a chemical-sensing protein found in nerve cells that's responsible for the sinus-jolting sting of wasabi. Because the toxin triggers a pain response, scientists think it can be used as a tool for studying chronic pain and inflammation, and may eventually lead to the development of new kinds of non-opioid pain relievers.

An unreported Zika outbreak in 2017 detected through travel surveillance and genetics

By sequencing virus genomes from infected travelers, analyzing travel patterns and mosquito modeling, researchers unearthed a spike in Zika cases from travelers returning from Cuba during the summer of 2017 that was not captured by local reports.

Comparison of three similar frontline breast cancer drugs reveals important differences

First head-to-head comparison of CDK4/6 inhibitors in cell line and animal models of breast cancer reveals important differences, including one drug that exhibits unique, potentially advantageous therapeutic activity.

Anxiety, depression linked to more opioid use after surgery

Surgeons wielding their life-saving scalpels, laparoscopic tools, or other implements to repair or remove what ails their patients understand all too well that pain is an unavoidable part of the healing process. Yet the current opioid crisis has made the standard prescribing practices for these highly effective analgesics fraught with risk. New research could help clinicians mitigate that risk by identifying which patients are more likely to continue to use opioids after their immediate recovery period.

Rising summer heat could soon endanger travelers on annual Muslim pilgrimage

Over two million Muslim travelers just finished the annual religious pilgrimage to Mecca, Saudi Arabia, traveling during some of the country's hottest weather. New research finds pilgrims in future summers may have to endure heat and humidity extreme enough to endanger their health.

Slow electrons to combat cancer

Slow electons can be used to destroy cancer cells - but how exactly this happens has not been well understood. Now scientists have been able to demonstrate that a previously little-observed effect actually plays a pivotal role: Due to a process called interatomic Coulombic decay, an ion can pass on additional energy to surrounding atoms. This frees a huge number of electrons, with precisely the right amount of energy to cause optimal damage to the DNA of the cancer cells.

E-cigs can trigger same lung changes seen in smokers, emphysema

Scientists found that the lungs of vapers -- like the lungs of smokers -- have elevated levels of protease enzymes, a condition known to cause emphysema in smokers. The researchers also found that the nicotine in vaping liquids is responsible for the increase in protease enzymes.

Computer model could help test new sickle cell drugs

A new computer model that captures the dynamics of the red blood cell sickling process could help in evaluating drugs for treating sickle cell disease.

Fatigue in Parkinson's disease is associated with lower diastolic blood pressure

Fatigue is a common debilitating symptom in Parkinson's disease (PD). A novel research study has found that fatigue symptoms in PD are associated with small but persistent reductions in diastolic blood pressure (DBP) throughout the day.

Australian men's life expectancy tops other men's

Australian men are now living longer than any other group of males in the world, according to new research.

Artificial muscles bloom, dance, and wave

Researchers have developed an ultrathin, artificial muscle for soft robotics. The advancement was demonstrated with a robotic blooming flower brooch, dancing robotic butterflies and fluttering tree leaves on a kinetic art piece.

Health care workers unprepared for magnitude of climate change

An epidemic of chronic kidney disease that has killed tens of thousands of agricultural workers worldwide, is just one of many ailments poised to strike as a result of climate change, according to researchers.

Enzyme that helps protect us from stress linked to liver cancer growth

An enzyme induced by stress to help reduce production of damaging free radicals is also used by liver cancer to regulate two major cell proliferation pathways that enable the cancer to thrive, scientists report.

Brain finds order amidst chaos

How does the brain find order amidst a sea of noise and chaos? Researchers have found the answer by using advanced simulation techniques to investigate the way neurons talk to each other. They found that by working as a team, cortical neurons can respond even to weak input against the backdrop of noise and chaos, allowing the brain to find order.

High-intensity step training boosts stroke survivors' walking skills

High-intensity step training that mimics real world conditions may better improve walking ability in stroke survivors compared to traditional, low-impact training.

Physical activity at any intensity linked to lower risk of early death

Clear evidence that higher levels of physical activity -- regardless of intensity -- are associated with a lower risk of early death in middle aged and older people.

Omega-3 fats have little or no effect on type 2 diabetes

Increasing omega-3 fats in the diet has little or no effect on risk of type 2 diabetes.

China's two-child policy has led to 5.4 million extra births

The introduction of China's universal two-child policy, that permits all couples to have two children, has led to an extra 5.4 million births, finds a new study.

Parasite needs chemical (lipid/nutrient) in cat intestines for sex

Toxoplasma gondii is a microbial parasite that infects humans and but needs cats to complete its full life cycle. New research shows why: the sexual phase of the parasite's life cycle requires linoleic acid, a nutrient/lipid found at uniquely high levels in the felines, because cats lack a key enzyme for breaking it down.

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