Biosingularity

Archive for June 2009

A Kansas State University researcher is studying the potential health benefits of a specially bred purple sweet potato because its dominant purple color results in an increased amount of anti-cancer components.

K-State’s Soyoung Lim, doctoral student in human nutrition, Manhattan, is working with George Wang, associate professor of human nutrition at K-State, to understand the pigment effects of a Kansas-bred purple sweet potato on cancer prevention.

 A Kansas State University researcher is studying the potential health benefits of a specially bred purple sweet potato because its dominant purple color results in an increased amount of anti-cancer components.  Credit: Kansas State University media relations

A Kansas State University researcher is studying the potential health benefits of a specially bred purple sweet potato because its dominant purple color results in an increased amount of anti-cancer components. Credit: Kansas State University media relations

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New research from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill School of Medicine finds that aerobic activity may keep the brain young.

In the study published July 9 in the American Journal of Neuroradiology, physically active elderly people showed healthier cerebral blood vessels.
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A new computer model developed at MIT can help solve a problem that has plagued drug companies trying to develop promising new treatments made of antibodies: Such drugs have a relatively short shelf life because they tend to clump together, rendering them ineffective. Read the rest of this entry »

The more than 1.5 million Americans with systemic lupus erythematosus (or lupus) suffer from a variety of symptoms that flare and subside, often including painful or swollen joints, extreme fatigue, skin rashes, fever, and kidney problems. Researchers at The Scripps Research Institute have now identified the main trigger for the development of this disease.
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Neural stem cells represent the cellular backup of our brain. These cells are capable of self-renewal to form new stem cells or differentiate into neurons, astrocytes or oligodendrocytes. Astrocytes have supportive functions in the environment of neurons, while oligodendrocytes form the myelin layer around axons in order to accelerate neuronal signal transmission.

But how does a neural stem cell „know” which way it is supposed to develop? On the molecular level receptors of the Notch family play a significant role in this process. So far, only stimulating extracellular ligands of Notch receptors had been described. Biochemists of Goethe University Medical School now describe a long time assumed but not yet identified soluble Notch inhibitor.
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Amsterdam, The Netherlands: Daily sex (or ejaculating daily) for seven days improves men’s sperm quality by reducing the amount of DNA damage, according to an Australian study presented today (Tuesday) to the 25th annual meeting of the European Society of Human Reproduction and Embryology in Amsterdam.
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Scientists from Texas are batty over a new discovery which could lead to the single most important medical breakthrough in human history—significantly longer lifespans. The discovery, featured on the cover of the July 2009 print issue of The FASEB Journal (http://www.fasebj.org), shows that proper protein folding over time in long-lived bats explains why they live significantly longer than other mammals of comparable size, such as mice.
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In the past, even modern technologies have failed to produce high-resolution fluorescence images from this depth because of the strong scattering of light. In the Nature Photonics journal, the Munich researchers describe how they can reveal genetic expression within live fly larvae and fish by “listening to light”. In the future this technology may facilitate the examination of tumors or coronary vessels in humans.
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Physiological changes associated with the metabolic syndrome may play a role in the risk of postmenopausal breast cancer, according to study results published in Cancer Epidemiology, Biomarkers & Prevention, a journal of the American Association for Cancer Research.
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A protein used by doctors to indicate a patient’s risk of coronary heart disease may have drug developers barking up the wrong treatment tree, according to the authors of a study published today in the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA). Their research suggests that C-reactive protein, an enticing target for scientists working on new treatments for coronary heart disease, may not have a role in causing the disease, even though it is a predictive marker.
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Researchers at McGill University and the University of Pennsylvania have discovered that a widely used anti-diabetic drug can boost the immune system and increase the potency of vaccines and cancer treatments. Their findings will be published June 3 in the journal Nature.

The scientists discovered that the widely prescribed diabetes treatment metformin increases the efficiency of the immune system’s T-cells, which in turn makes cancer and virus-fighting vaccines more effective. Read the rest of this entry »

Your immune system plays an important function in your health—it protects you against viruses, bacteria, and other toxins that can cause disease. In autoinflammatory diseases, however, the immune system goes awry, causing unprovoked and dangerous inflammation. Now, researchers from the National Institute of Arthritis and Musculoskeletal and Skin Diseases (NIAMS), part of the National Institutes of Health, and other institutions have discovered a new autoinflammatory syndrome, a rare genetic condition that affects children around the time of birth. The findings appear in the current issue of the New England Journal of Medicine. Read the rest of this entry »

Like human infants, young apes are known to hoot and holler when you tickle them. But is it fair to say that those playful calls are really laughter? The answer to that question is yes, say researchers reporting online on June 4th in Current Biology, a Cell Press publication.

“This study is the first phylogenetic test of the evolutionary continuity of a human emotional expression,” said Marina Davila Ross of the University of Portsmouth in the United Kingdom. “It supports the idea that there is laughter in apes.” Read the rest of this entry »

Scientists at the Ottawa Hospital Research Institute (OHRI) and the University of Ottawa have discovered a powerful new way to stimulate muscle regeneration, paving the way for new treatments for debilitating conditions such as muscular dystrophy. Read the rest of this entry »

Scientists and engineers at UC Santa Barbara and other researchers have developed a nanoparticle that can attack plaque –– a major cause of cardiovascular disease. The new development is described in a recent issue of the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.

The treatment is promising for the eventual development of therapies for cardiovascular disease, which is blamed for one third of the deaths in the United States each year. Atherosclerosis, which was the focus of this study, is one of the leading causes of cardiovascular disease. In atherosclerosis, plaque builds up on the walls of arteries and can cause heart attack and stroke.

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In the last three months, I neglected my posts here. However, I am now back to posting. As you can imagine there is a huge back log of articles, so expect an increase in the frequency of posts for some time, assuming I can keep up with them.

Thanks to all who find value from this blog. You are a great source of motivation for me to keep it updated.


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