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Biomarker helps predict survival time in gastric cancer patients

2015-09-08
Philadelphia, PA, September 8, 2015 - Gastric cancer poses a significant health problem in developing countries and is typically associated with late-stage diagnosis and high mortality. A new study in The American Journal of Pathology points to a pivotal role played by the biomarker microRNA (miR)-506 in gastric cancer. Patients whose primary gastric cancer lesions express high levels of miR-506 have significantly longer survival times compared to patients with low miR-506 expression. In addition, miR-506 suppresses tumor growth, blood vessel formation, and metastasis. "Epithelial-to-mesenchymal ...

Policy recommendations for use of telemedicine in primary care

2015-09-08
1. ACP recommends policies for practicing telemedicine in primary care Free: http://www.annals.org/article.aspx?doi=10.7326/M15-0498 Editorial: http://www.annals.org/article.aspx?doi=10.7326/M15-1416 URLs go live when embargo lifts In a new position paper, the American College of Physicians (ACP) says that telemedicine can improve access to care, but policies are needed to balance the benefits and risks for both patients and physicians. The authors note that conscious scrutiny is especially important as policymakers and stakeholders shape the landscape for ...

Ancient genomes link early farmers to Basques

Ancient genomes link early farmers to Basques
2015-09-07
An international team led by researchers at Uppsala University reports a surprising discovery from the genomes of eight Iberian Stone-Age farmer remains. The analyses revealed that early Iberian farmers are the closest ancestors to modern-day Basques, in contrast previous hypotheses that linked Basques to earlier pre-farming groups. The team could also demonstrate that farming was brought to Iberia by the same/similar groups that migrated to northern and central Europe and that the incoming farmers admixed with local, Iberian hunter-gather groups, a process that continued ...

'Clever adaptation' allows yeast infection fungus to evade immune system attack

2015-09-07
Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health researchers say they have discovered a new way that the most prevalent disease-causing fungus can thwart immune system attacks. The findings, published Sept. 7 in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, offer new clues about how Candida albicans, the fungus responsible for vaginal yeast infections and the mouth infection thrush, is able to cause a deadly infection once it enters the bloodstream. When the body is faced with an infection, cells give a burst of free radicals to kill the germs. C. albicans ...

Mobile phone records may predict epidemics of mosquito-borne dengue virus

2015-09-07
Boston, MA -- A new study led by researchers at Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health finds that mobile phone records can be used to predict the geographical spread and timing of dengue epidemics. More people around the world are becoming vulnerable to this deadly virus as climate change expands the range of the mosquito that transmits dengue and infected travelers spread the disease across borders. Utilizing the largest data set of mobile phone records ever analyzed to estimate human mobility, the researchers developed an innovative model that can predict epidemics ...

Widespread convergence in toxin resistance by predictable molecular evolution

2015-09-07
Researchers at LSTM have shown that under certain circumstances evolution can be highly predictable, especially in terms of how creatures become resistant to dangerous toxins. Biologists looking at the control of malaria have known for some time that mosquito populations often become resistant to insecticides designed to kill them, but in a paper published today in the journal PNAS, researchers examine the response of a variety of insects, reptiles, amphibians and mammals to a natural selection pressure in the form of cardiac glycosides - toxins produced by certain plants ...

Poison in the Arctic and the human cost of 'clean' energy

Poison in the Arctic and the human cost of clean energy
2015-09-07
Methylmercury, a potent neurotoxin, is especially high in Arctic marine life but until recently, scientists haven't been able to explain why. Now, research from the Harvard John A. Paulson School of Engineering and Applied Science (SEAS) and Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health suggests that high levels of methylmercury in Arctic life are a byproduct of global warming and the melting of sea-ice in Arctic and sub-Arctic regions. To mitigate global warming, many governments are turning to hydroelectric power but the research also suggests that flooding for hydroelectric ...

Study shows common molecular tool kit shared by organisms across the tree of life

2015-09-07
In one of the largest and most detailed studies of animal molecular biology ever undertaken, researchers at The University of Texas at Austin and the University of Toronto discovered the assembly instructions for nearly 1,000 protein complexes shared by most kinds of animals, revealing their deep evolutionary relationships. Those instructions offer a powerful new tool for studying the causes of diseases such as Alzheimer's, Parkinson's and cancer. Proteins come together to form protein complexes, or molecular machines, to carry out many specific biological functions in ...

Dually noted: New CRISPR-Cas9 strategy edits genes 2 ways

2015-09-07
(BOSTON) -The CRISPR-Cas9 system has been in the limelight mainly as a revolutionary genome engineering tool used to modify specific gene sequences within the vast sea of an organism's DNA. Cas9, a naturally occurring protein in the immune system of certain bacteria, acts like a pair of molecular scissors to precisely cut or edit specific sections of DNA. More recently, however, scientists have also begun to use CRISPR-Cas9 variants as gene regulation tools to reversibly turn genes on or off at whim. Both of these tasks, genome engineering and gene regulation, are initiated ...

Researchers use laser to levitate, glowing nanodiamonds in vacuum

Researchers use laser to levitate, glowing nanodiamonds in vacuum
2015-09-07
Researchers have, for the first time, levitated individual nanodiamonds in vacuum. The research team is led by Nick Vamivakas at the University of Rochester who thinks their work will make extremely sensitive instruments for sensing tiny forces and torques possible, as well as a way to physically create larger-scale quantum systems known as macroscopic Schrödinger Cat states. While other researchers have trapped other types of nanoparticles in vacuum, those were not optically active. The nanodiamonds, on the other hand, can contain nitrogen-vacancy (NV) centers that ...

Mathematical 'Gingko trees' reveal mutations in single cells that characterize diseases

2015-09-07
National Institutes of Health, National Science Foundation, Starr Cancer Consortium, Breast Cancer Research Foundation, Simons Foundation, Susan G. Komen Foundation, Prostate Cancer Foundation, CSHL Cancer Center, WSBS Cold Spring Harbor, NY - Seemingly similar cells often have significantly different genomes. This is often true of cancer cells, for example, which may differ one from another even within a small tumor sample, as genetic mutations within the cells spread in staccato-like bursts. Detailed knowledge of these mutations, called copy number variations, in individual ...

Men and women with autism have 'extreme male' scores on the 'eyes test' of mindreading

2015-09-07
Scientists at the University of Cambridge University have published new results in the journal PLoS ONE from the largest ever study of people with autism taking the 'Reading the Mind in the Eyes' test. Whilst typical adults showed the predicted and now well-established sex difference on this test, with women on average scoring higher than men, in adults with autism this typical sex difference was conspicuously absent. Instead, both men and women with autism showed an extreme of the typical male pattern on the test, providing strong support for the 'extreme male brain' theory ...

Early warning gene signature for Alzheimer's

2015-09-07
A 'gene signature' that could be used to predict the onset of diseases, such as Alzheimer's, years in advance has been developed in research published in the open access journal Genome Biology. The study aimed to define a set of genes associated with 'healthy ageing' in 65 year olds. Such a molecular profile could be useful for distinguishing people at earlier risk of age-related diseases. This could improve upon the use of chronological age and complement traditional indicators of disease, such as blood pressure. Lead author James Timmons, from King's College London, ...

Study suggests that local anesthetic may affect the development of children's teeth

2015-09-07
A study led by Dr. Bing Hu at Plymouth University Peninsula Schools of Medicine and Dentistry and involving other researchers from China and Switzerland, suggests for the first time that the use of local anaesthetic may affect tooth cell growth and the development of children's teeth. The study is published today, Monday 7th September 2015, in Cell Death Discovery, a new leading translational medical research journal from Nature Publishing Group, and comes at a time when more children than ever before are subjected to dental surgery - and local anaesthetic - because of ...

Quit-smoking drug not linked to heart disease or depression

2015-09-07
A highly effective drug that helps smokers to quit does not increase their risk of heart attack and depression as was previously thought, research suggests. Researchers who carried out the study say doctors can prescribe varenicline - also known as Champix™ or ChantixTM - more widely to help people stop smoking. Varenicline is the most effective medication to help smokers quit but previous reports have suggested that users may be more likely to suffer a heart attack. The drug has also been linked to depression, self-harm and suicide. This latest research ...

Higher risk of death for patients admitted to NHS hospitals at the weekend

2015-09-06
Fewer patients are admitted at weekends, but are more likely to be sicker and have a higher risk of death from Friday through until Monday Authors caution against using the data to estimate avoidable deaths, but call for more research into how services can be improved to reduce risk Patients admitted to hospital at the weekend are more likely to be sicker and have a higher risk of death, compared with those admitted during the week, finds an analysis published in The BMJ this week. The analysis was carried out as a collaboration between University Hospital Birmingham ...

Supervised tooth brushing and fluoride varnish schemes benefit kids and the health economy

2015-09-04
Action to prevent tooth decay in children, such as supervised tooth brushing and fluoride varnish schemes, are not just beneficial to children's oral health but could also result in cost savings to the NHS of hundreds of pounds per child, so says a leading dental health researcher. Professor Elizabeth Kay, Foundation Dean of the Peninsula Dental School from Plymouth University Peninsula Schools of Medicine and Dentistry, has carried out the first economic evaluation of public health measures to reduce tooth decay in children at high risk, in association with the National ...

New nanomaterial maintains conductivity in three dimensions

2015-09-04
An international team of scientists has developed what may be the first one-step process for making seamless carbon-based nanomaterials that possess superior thermal, electrical and mechanical properties in three dimensions. The research holds potential for increased energy storage in high efficiency batteries and supercapacitors, increasing the efficiency of energy conversion in solar cells, for lightweight thermal coatings and more. The study is published today (Sept. 4) in the online journal Science Advances. In early testing, a three-dimensional (3D) fiber-like ...

Decontamination exterminates antibiotic-resistant bacteria from pig farm

2015-09-04
Washington, DC - September 4, 2015 - Decontamination protocols eradicated both methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) and antibiotic resistant, pathogenic intestinal bacteria, the Enterobacteriaceae, from a pig farm. The research appears online September 4th in ASM's journal Applied and Environmental Microbiology. The study involved a farm on which both pathogens had been discovered through routine monitoring. The farmer had approached the investigators for help. The Enterobacteriaceae were expressing resistance genes called extended-spectrum β-lactamases ...

Common antidepressant may change brain

2015-09-04
WINSTON-SALEM, N.C. - Sept. 4, 2015 - A commonly prescribed antidepressant may alter brain structures in depressed and non-depressed individuals in very different ways, according to new research at Wake Forest Baptist Medical Center. The study - conducted in nonhuman primates with brain structures and functions similar to those of humans - found that the antidepressant sertraline, a selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor (SSRI) marketed as Zoloft, significantly increased the volume of one brain region in depressed subjects but decreased the volume of two brain areas in ...

Climate change could leave Pacific Northwest amphibians high and dry

Climate change could leave Pacific Northwest amphibians high and dry
2015-09-04
Far above the wildfires raging in Washington's forests, a less noticeable consequence of this dry year is taking place in mountain ponds. The minimal snowpack and long summer drought that have left the Pacific Northwest lowlands parched also affect the region's amphibians due to loss of mountain pond habitat. According to a new paper published Sept. 2 in the open-access journal PLOS ONE, this summer's severe conditions may be the new normal within just a few decades. "This year is an analog for the 2070s in terms of the conditions of the ponds in response to climate," ...

Highly effective seasickness treatment on the horizon

Highly effective seasickness treatment on the horizon
2015-09-04
The misery of motion sickness could be ended within five to ten years thanks to a new treatment being developed by scientists. The cause of motion sickness is still a mystery but a popular theory among scientists says it is to do with confusing messages received by our brains from both our ears and eyes, when we are moving. It is a very common complaint and has the potential to affect all of us, meaning we get a bit queasy on boats or rollercoasters. However, around three in ten people experience hard-to-bear motion sickness symptoms, such as dizziness, severe nausea, ...

Spasm at site of atherosclerotic coronary artery narrowing increases risk of heart attack

Spasm at site of atherosclerotic coronary artery narrowing increases risk of heart attack
2015-09-04
This news release is available in Japanese. Researchers at Kumamoto University in Japan have found that patients with coronary spasm have a higher risk of experiencing future heart attack particularly when a spasm occurs at the site of atherosclerotic coronary artery narrowing, i.e., coronary atherosclerotic stenosis. Angina is caused by the narrowing of the blood vessels that carry blood to the heart, and vasospastic angina patients account for about 40% of all angina patients. The incidence and progression of the disease can be reduced through appropriate drug treatment ...

GVSU professor, student help discover one-million-year-old monkey fossil

GVSU professor, student help discover one-million-year-old monkey fossil
2015-09-04
ALLENDALE, Mich. -- An international team of scientists, including a Grand Valley State University professor and alumni, recently discovered a species of monkey fossil the team has dated to be more than one million years old. The discovery was made after the team recovered a fossil tibia (shin bone) belonging to the species of extinct monkey Antillothrix bernensis from an underwater cave in Altagracia Province, Dominican Republic. The species was roughly the size of a small cat, dwelled in trees, and lived largely on a diet of fruits and leaves. "We know that there ...

Polar bears may survive ice melt, with or without seals

Polar bears may survive ice melt, with or without seals
2015-09-04
As climate change accelerates ice melt in the Arctic, polar bears may find caribou and snow geese replacing seals as an important food source, shows a recent study published in the journal PLOS ONE. The research, by Linda Gormezano and Robert Rockwell at the American Museum of Natural History, is based on new computations incorporating caloric energy from terrestrial food sources and indicates that the bears' extended stays on land may not be as grim as previously suggested. "Polar bears are opportunists and have been documented consuming various types and combinations ...
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