Testing (News/Activism)

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  • A molecule central to diabetes is uncovered

    08/11/2012 3:20:17 PM PDT · by neverdem · 17 replies
    Biology News Net ^ | August 8, 2012 | NA
    At its most fundamental level, diabetes is a disease characterized by stress -- microscopic stress that causes inflammation and the loss of insulin production in the pancreas, and system-wide stress due to the loss of that blood-sugar-regulating hormone. Now, researchers led by scientists at the University of California, San Francisco (UCSF) have uncovered a new key player in amplifying this stress in the earliest stages of diabetes: a molecule called thioredoxin-interacting protein (TXNIP). The molecule, they've discovered, is central to the inflammatory process that leads to the death of the cells in the human pancreas that produce insulin. "This molecule...
  • New Approach of Resistant Tuberculosis (not exactly)

    08/10/2012 10:36:39 PM PDT · by neverdem · 9 replies
    ScienceDaily ^ | Aug. 10, 2012 | NA
    Scientists of the Antwerp Institute of Tropical Medicine have breathed new life into a forgotten technique and so succeeded in detecting resistant tuberculosis in circumstances where so far this was hardly feasible. Tuberculosis bacilli that have become resistant against our major antibiotics are a serious threat to world health. If we do not take efficient and fast action, 'multiresistant tuberculosis' may become a worldwide epidemic, wiping out all medical achievements of the last decades. A century ago tuberculosis was a lugubrious word, more terrifying than 'cancer' is today. And rightly so. Over the nineteenth and twentieth century it took a...
  • Stem-cell pioneer banks on future therapies - Japanese researcher plans cache of induced stem...

    08/10/2012 12:29:09 AM PDT · by neverdem · 3 replies
    Nature News ^ | 07 August 2012 | David Cyranoski
    Japanese researcher plans cache of induced stem cells to supply clinical trials. Progress toward stem-cell therapies has been frustratingly slow, delayed by research challenges, ethical and legal barriers and corporate jitters. Now, stem-cell pioneer Shinya Yamanaka of Kyoto University in Japan plans to jump-start the field by building up a bank of stem cells for therapeutic use. The bank would store dozens of lines of induced pluripotent stem (iPS) cells, putting Japan in an unfamiliar position: at the forefront of efforts to introduce a pioneering biomedical technology. A long-held dream of Yamanaka’s, the iPS Cell Stock project received a boost...
  • 1.5 Million Years of Climate History Revealed After Scientists Solve Mystery of the Deep

    08/09/2012 11:10:33 PM PDT · by neverdem · 20 replies
    ScienceDaily ^ | Aug. 9, 2012 | NA
    A new study has successfully reconstructed temperature from the deep sea to reveal how global ice volume has varied over the glacial-interglacial cycles of the past 1.5 million years. Scientists have announced a major breakthrough in understanding Earth's climate machine by reconstructing highly accurate records of changes in ice volume and deep-ocean temperatures over the last 1.5 million years. The study, which is reported in the journal Science, offers new insights into a decades-long debate about how the shifts in Earth's orbit relative to the sun have taken Earth into and out of an ice-age climate. Being able to reconstruct...
  • The Roots of Jewishness

    08/09/2012 6:34:33 PM PDT · by neverdem · 34 replies
    ScienceNOW ^ | 6 August 2012 | Gisela Telis
    Enlarge Image Family ties. Most Jewish populations share a genetic connection, but some groups, such as Ethiopian Jews (pictured here, sharing unleavened bread ahead of Passover), stand alone. Credit: Eliana Aponte/Reuters Scholars of all kinds have long debated one seemingly simple question: What is "Jewishness?" Is it defined by genetics, culture, or religion? Recent findings have revealed genetic ties that suggest a biological basis for Jewishness, but this research didn’t include data from North African, Ethiopian, or other Jewish communities. Now a new study fills in the genetic map—and paints a more complex picture of what it means to...

    08/09/2012 12:45:30 AM PDT · by neverdem · 10 replies
    Express (UK) ^ | August 9,2012 | Jo Willey
    A POTENT new pill has been developed which harnesses the body’s natural inflammation-busting ability to beat crippling arthritis. The “smart” drug not only helps relieve the devastating joint inflammation which leaves sufferers in daily agony but researchers also say it has no side-effects. The breakthrough offers real hope that the hundreds of thousands of Britons struck down by rheumatoid arthritis could soon be treated with a powerful medication which uses their own body to fight the disease naturally. Current drug treatments, once the disease has taken hold, have unpleasant and potentially dangerous side-effects. Methotrexate, or MTX, is the standard treatment...
  • Pfizer and J&J end testing of intravenous bapineuzumab Alzheimer’s treatment

    08/08/2012 10:33:52 PM PDT · by neverdem · 15 replies
    Washington ^ | August 6, 2012 | Associated Press
    NEW YORK — Pfizer Inc. and Johnson & Johnson said Monday they are ending development of an intravenous formulation of a drug to treat Alzheimer’s disease after the treatment failed in two late-stage clinical trials. The companies said bapineuzumab intravenous did not work better than placebo in two late-stage trials in patients who had mild to moderate Alzheimer’s disease. The drug is designed to prevent the buildup of plaque in the brain. J&J said it is not discontinuing development of the compound and noted it has ongoing studies including a mid-stage neuroimaging study with bapineuzumab delivered subcutaneously...
  • Turning White Fat Into Energy-Burning Brown Fat: Hope for New Obesity and Diabetes Treatments

    08/06/2012 1:46:58 AM PDT · by neverdem · 17 replies
    ScienceDaily ^ | Aug. 2, 2012 | NA ,
    Columbia University Medical Center (CUMC) researchers have identified a mechanism that can give energy-storing white fat some of the beneficial characteristics of energy-burning brown fat. The findings, based on studies of mice and of human fat tissue, could lead to new strategies for treating obesity and type 2 diabetes. The study was published August 2 in the online edition of the journal Cell. Humans have two types of fat tissue: white fat, which stores excess energy in the form of triglycerides, and brown fat, which is highly efficient at dissipating stored energy as heat. Newborns have a relative abundance of...
  • Eye spy cyanide

    08/05/2012 3:43:52 PM PDT · by neverdem · 24 replies
    Chemistry World ^ | 3 August 2012 | Francesca Burgoyne poisoning
    The two-step method to detect cyanide. (A) Adding a chemosensor to a blood sample, followed by extracting the purple chemosensor–cyano complex from the sample. (B) Washing the column with water The colour of cyanide poisoning is purple, according to researchers in Switzerland who have developed a method that enables them to quickly detect blood cyanide levels through a simple colour change. Cyanide poisoning as a result of smoke inhalation can have serious or fatal consequences unless an antidote is rapidly administered. Current methods for determining cyanide poisoning, including microdiffusion, microdistillation and liquid chromatography-mass spectrometry detection, can take up to an...
  • Finished heart switches stem cells off

    08/04/2012 11:00:31 PM PDT · by neverdem · 2 replies
    Biology News Net ^ | July 12, 2012 | NA
    It is not unusual for babies to be born with congenital heart defects. This is because the development of the heart in the embryo is a process which is not only extremely complex, but also error-prone. Scientists from the Max Planck Institute for Heart and Lung Research in Bad Nauheim have now identified a key molecule that plays a central role in regulating the function of stem cells in the heart. As a result, not only could congenital heart defects be avoided in future, but new ways of stimulating the regeneration of damaged hearts in adults may be opened up....
  • Bacteria-immune system 'fight' can lead to chronic diseases, study suggests

    08/04/2012 7:16:59 PM PDT · by neverdem · 31 replies
    Biology News Net ^ | August 2, 2012 | NA
    Results from a study conducted at Georgia State University suggest that a "fight" between bacteria normally living in the intestines and the immune system, kicked off by another type of bacteria, may be linked to two types of chronic disease. The study suggests that the "fight" continues after the instigator bacteria have been cleared by the body, according to Andrew Gewirtz, professor of biology at the GSU Center for Inflammation, Immunity and Infection. That fight can result in metabolic syndrome, an important factor in obesity, or inflammatory bowel disease (IBD). The results were published in the journal Cell Host &...
  • How Blasts Injure the Brain

    08/04/2012 2:01:57 PM PDT · by neverdem · 7 replies
    ScienceNOW ^ | 22 July 2011 | Greg Miller
    Enlarge Image Occupational hazard. A new study provides clues about the cellular mechanisms of traumatic brain injury, a signature injury of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. Credit: Adrees Latif/Reuters According to some estimates, more than 300,000 United States troops have suffered a traumatic brain injury (TBI) in the current wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. Most of these injuries have resulted from blasts from roadside bombs and other explosives planted by insurgents. The lack of knowledge about how an explosive blast injures the brain has hampered efforts to treat these injuries. Now, two studies offer a potentially important insight,...
  • Squabble Over NEJM Paper Puts Spotlight on Antishock Drug

    08/04/2012 1:34:09 AM PDT · by neverdem · 3 replies
    ScienceInsider ^ | 2 August 2012 | Kai Kupferschmidt
    A seemingly small mistake in a paper in The New England Journal of Medicine (NEJM) landed a Danish physician-researcher in hot water last month after a German company threatened to sue him for potential losses that could run in the millions of dollars. The exchange prompted media consternation in Denmark over whether academic freedom was being censored, but the researcher, Anders Perner of Copenhagen University Hospital has corrected the error, which occurred in the publication of a study of a widely used drug to prevent shock, and thereby averted legal action. Still, the episode has shone a light on a...
  • Cancer May Result From Wrong Number of Genes

    08/04/2012 12:52:20 AM PDT · by neverdem · 5 replies
    ScienceNOW ^ | 2 August 2012 | Sarah C. P. Williams
    When a young person develops cancer, doctors most often assume that genetics are the reason, because the patient hasn’t lived long enough to accumulate environmental damage. But it’s been hard to find the faulty DNA behind many tumors. Now, using new genomic technology, scientists have discovered a novel explanation for some testicular cancers, the most common cause of cancer in men under 35. Rather than being triggered by a single gene mutation, the tumors are caused by too many or too few copies of a gene in a person’s cells. These “copy number variations” have been linked to other conditions...
  • Pregnancy alters resident gut microbes

    08/03/2012 11:30:26 PM PDT · by neverdem · 7 replies
    Nature News ^ | 02 August 2012 | Monya Baker
    Third-trimester microbiota resembles that of people at risk of diabetes. Women's gut microbe populations change as pregnancy advances, becoming more like those of people who might develop diabetes. These changes, which do not seem to damage maternal health, correspond with increases in blood glucose and fat deposition thought to help a mother nourish her child. Although scientists have profiled microbial communities around the world and throughout the human body, this is the first time they have tracked the gut microbiome during pregnancy, says Ruth Ley, a microbiologist at Cornell University in Ithaca, New York, who led the work1. Ley had...
  • Panel recommends against ECG tests for heart disease

    08/02/2012 5:38:15 PM PDT · by neverdem · 22 replies
    Reuters ^ | Jul 31, 2012 | Genevra Pittman
    Testing electrical activity of the heart using an electrocardiogram is unlikely to help doctors figure out who is at risk of coronary heart disease, according to recommendations from a U.S. government-backed panel. The United States Preventive Services Task Force wrote on Monday that there's no good evidence the test, also known as an ECG, helps doctors predict heart risks any better than traditional considerations such as smoking, blood pressure and cholesterol levels in people with no symptoms. "It could potentially be helpful if we had evidence that doing a test like an ECG or an exercise ECG would better classify...
  • TB drugs chalk up rare win

    07/24/2012 2:58:56 PM PDT · by neverdem · 7 replies
    Nature |ews ^ | 24 July 2012 | Amy Maxmen
    Combination therapy is just one emerging weapon in the fight against tuberculosis. AIDS is infamous for its rampant rise in Africa. Yet the biggest killer of Africa’s HIV-positive population — tuberculosis (TB) — has a much lower profile. Its reach is global: it has appeared in pernicious new drug-resistant forms among addicts, prisoners and impoverished people worldwide. In the face of this deadly march, however, medicine has made little apparent progress. That is now set to change. Earlier this year, two companies filed for regulatory approval for drugs that should enhance existing TB therapies, and at the XIX International AIDS...
  • Dumping iron at sea does sink carbon

    07/24/2012 1:06:15 PM PDT · by neverdem · 31 replies
    Natue News ^ | 18 July 2012 | Quirin Schiermeier
    Geoengineering hopes revived as study of iron-fertilized algal blooms shows they deposit carbon in the deep ocean when they die. In the search for methods to limit global warming, it seems that stimulating the growth of algae in the oceans might be an efficient way of removing excess carbon dioxide from the atmosphere after all. Despite other studies suggesting that this approach was ineffective, a recent analysis of an ocean-fertilization experiment eight years ago in the Southern Ocean indicates that encouraging algal blooms to grow can soak up carbon that is then deposited in the deep ocean as the algae...
  • Mystery Tug on Spacecraft Is Einstein’s ‘I Told You So’

    07/24/2012 3:42:38 AM PDT · by neverdem · 49 replies
    NY Times ^ | July 23, 2012 | DENNIS OVERBYE
    It’s been a bad year to bet against Albert Einstein. In the spring physicists had to withdraw a sensational report that the subatomic particles known as neutrinos were going faster than light, Einstein’s cosmic speed limit; they discovered they had plugged in a cable wrong. Now scientists from NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory have reported that they have explained one of the great mysteries of the space age, one that loomed for 30 years as a threat to the credibility of Einsteinian gravity. The story starts with the Pioneer 10 and 11 space probes, which went past Jupiter and Saturn in...
  • Diabetes drug makes brain cells grow (neural stem cells)

    07/12/2012 5:27:30 PM PDT · by neverdem · 30 replies
    EurekAlert! ^ | 5-Jul-2012 | NA
    Public release date: 5-Jul-2012 Contact: Elisabeth (Lisa) Lyons elyons@cell.com 617-386-2121 Cell Press Diabetes drug makes brain cells grow The discovery is an important step toward therapies that aim to repair the brain not by introducing new stem cells but rather by spurring those that are already present into action, says the study's lead author Freda Miller of the University of Toronto-affiliated Hospital for Sick Children. The fact that it's a drug that is so widely used and so safe makes the news all that much better. Earlier work by Miller's team highlighted a pathway known as aPKC-CBP for its essential...
  • Killing with the flip of a switch

    07/12/2012 2:42:08 PM PDT · by neverdem · 10 replies
    Science News ^ | July 6th, 2012 | Tina Hesman Saey
    One genetic transformation turns friendly bacteria into assassins Glow-in-the-dark bacteria living in nematode worms flip a genetic switch to change from peaceful cohabitants into killers. The M-form (M for mutualism) of Photorhabdus luminescens bacteria make friendly colonies inside nematodes. But the microbes switch to the deadly toxin-producing P-form (P for pathogenic) when their hosts are ready to eat an insect from the inside out. Worms vomit up the bacteria into insects, and the bacterial toxins kill and help digest the feast...
  • Stem Cell Study Scrambles Egg Debate, Again

    07/11/2012 1:10:55 AM PDT · by neverdem · 5 replies
    ScienceNOW ^ | 10 July 2012 | Emily Underwood
    Enlarge Image Beyond in vitro? A new study suggests that ovarian stem cells may not replace traditional IVF techniques (shown). Credit: iStockphoto/Thinkstock A handful of "rainbow" mice have persuaded some researchers that biology textbooks don't need to be rewritten quite yet. A study of the animals—rodents genetically engineered to display a variety of colorful fluorescent markers in select cells—indicate that they don't have stem cells that continue making new egg cells after birth, a conclusion that supports a long-held but recently questioned tenet of mammalian reproductive biology. Yet those who have challenged that belief aren't backing down, claiming the...
  • A Gene for Fish Odor

    06/26/2012 9:27:47 PM PDT · by neverdem · 18 replies
    NOVA ^ | 03.22.12 | Ari Daniel Shapiro
    British scientists have developed a genetic test for a disorder that causes people to emit an unusual body odor: The gene causes sufferers to smell like rotten fish. For those who have been ostracized—shunned by friends and unable to hold jobs because they are perceived as unhygienic—the test offers some solace. But one patient says the genetic discovery has not changed his life as much as he had hoped for. The discovery of a gene that explains an embarrassing body odor offers a little comfort to those who suffer. Genetic tests allow doctors to diagnose disease and patients to glimpse...
  • Scavenged Bullets Dooming Condors

    06/25/2012 5:28:56 PM PDT · by neverdem · 57 replies
    ScienceNOW ^ | 25 June 2012 | Elizabeth Norton
    Enlarge Image In danger. The California condor is threatened by lead poisoning from bullets in scavenged carcasses. Credit: Joe Burnett Spreading its wings to a 3-meter span, flying at a speed of up to 96 kph, and living as long as 60 years, the California condor (Gymnogyps californianus) is one of the world’s most magnificent birds. It’s also one of the rarest. Only 22 condors were alive in 1982, due to poaching, habitat destruction, DDT poisoning, and shooting by cattle ranchers who mistakenly believed that the carrion-eating birds were killing young calves. An intensive captive breeding program has increased...
  • Genetic Variants Build a Smarter Brain

    06/25/2012 10:11:22 AM PDT · by neverdem · 3 replies
    ScienceNOW ^ | 19 June 2012 | Moheb Costandi
    Enlarge Image Brain gain. Brain scan data showing regions where two of the newly identified SNPs interact with each other to affect white matter tract integrity. Credit: Paul Thompson/UCLA Researchers have yet to understand how genes influence intelligence, but a new study takes a step in that direction. An international team of scientists has identified a network of genes that may boost performance on IQ tests by building and insulating connections in the brain. Intelligence runs in families, but although scientists have identified about 20 genetic variants associated with intelligence, each accounts for just 1% of the variation in...
  • Molecule Thought Cancer Foe Actually Helps Thyroid Tumors Grow

    06/21/2012 10:16:09 AM PDT · by neverdem · 3 replies
    ScienceDaily ^ | June 20, 2012 | NA
    A molecule widely believed to fight many forms of cancer actually helps deadly thyroid tumors grow, and cancer therapies now being tested in humans might boost the activity of this newly revealed bad guy, researchers at Mayo Clinic in Florida say. Their findings are published online this month in the Journal of Cell Science. The study found that in anaplastic thyroid cancer, the Forkhead transcription factor, FOXO3a, is not the helpful tumor suppressor everyone thought it was, but, instead, is a lethal promoter of tumor growth. When FOXO3a was silenced in laboratory models of human anaplastic thyroid cancer, the cells...
  • Anti-cocaine vaccine described in Human Gene Therapy Journal

    06/19/2012 11:34:35 PM PDT · by neverdem · 12 replies
    Biology News Net ^ | June 18, 2012 | NA
    A single-dose vaccine capable of providing immunity against the effects of cocaine offers a novel and groundbreaking strategy for treating cocaine addiction is described in an article published Instant Online in Human Gene Therapy, a peer-reviewed journal from Mary Ann Liebert, Inc. (http://www.liebertpub.com) The article is available free online at the Human Gene Therapy website (http://www.liebertpub.com/hum). "This is a very novel approach for addressing the huge medical problem of cocaine addiction," says James M. Wilson, MD, PhD, Editor-in-Chief, and Director of the Gene Therapy Program, Department of Pathology and Laboratory Medicine, University of Pennsylvania Perelman School of Medicine, Philadelphia. In...
  • BHR Pharma Expands SyNAPSe® Trial into Thailand, China and Russia

    06/19/2012 10:56:42 PM PDT · by neverdem
    BHR Pharma via Yahoo ^ | Jun 12, 2012 | NA
    Study Evaluating Intravenous Progesterone Formulation BHR-100 to Treat Traumatic Brain Injury Set to Complete in 2013 BHR Pharma's SyNAPSe® clinical trial is now enrolling patients suffering from severe traumatic brain injury (TBI) at 14 sites in Thailand, China and Russia. The trial currently has 153 participating sites (Level 1 and 2 trauma centers) worldwide. The 500th of 1,180 patients needed to complete the global Phase III, multi-center trial was enrolled at the end of May in the United States. SyNAPSe is evaluating the effectiveness of BHR-100, a... --snip-- TBI is a serious public health problem that affects more than 1.7...
  • Stem Cells Move Into Prime Time

    06/18/2012 6:49:31 PM PDT · by neverdem · 21 replies
    ScienceNOW ^ | 18 June 2012 | Dennis Normile
    Enlarge Image Ring of protection. In experiments, myelin produced by injected human neural stem cells (green) formed protective sleeves around the nerve fibers in mouse brains (red). Credit: RIKEN CDB; StemCells Inc. YOKOHAMA, JAPAN—For more than a decade, stem cell therapies have been touted as offering hope for those suffering from genetic and degenerative diseases. The promise took another step toward reality last week with announcements here at the annual meeting of the International Society for Stem Cell Research (ISSCR) that two groups are moving forward with human clinical research, one focusing on a rare genetic neurological disease and...
  • Antibody cocktail cures monkeys of Ebola

    06/17/2012 9:54:57 PM PDT · by neverdem · 17 replies
    Nature News ^ | 13 June 2012 | Deborah-Fay Ndhlovu
    Regime extends treatment window from minutes to hours. Monkeys infected with Ebola have been cured by a cocktail of three antibodies first administered 24 hours or more after exposure. The result raises hopes that a future treatment could improve the chances of humans surviving the disease caused by the deadly virus, which kills up to 90% of infected people and could potentially be used as a biological weapon. Most treatment regimes tested to date only improve chances of survival if administered within one hour of infection. Researchers based at the National Microbiology Laboratory in Winnipeg, Canada, administered an antibody cocktail...
  • Notebooks Shed Light on an Antibiotic’s Contested Discovery

    06/17/2012 7:36:45 PM PDT · by neverdem · 14 replies
    NY Times ^ | June 11, 2012 | PETER PRINGLE
    NEW BRUNSWICK, N.J. — For as long as archivists at Rutgers University could remember, a small cardboard box marked with the letter W in black ink had sat unopened in a dusty corner of the special collections of the Alexander Library. Next to it were 60 sturdy archive boxes of papers, a legacy of the university’s most famous scientist: Selman A. Waksman, who won a Nobel Prize in 1952 for the discovery of streptomycin, the first antibiotic to cure tuberculosis. The 60 boxes contained details of how streptomycin was found — and also of the murky story behind it, a...
  • Alzheimer’s Vaccine Trial a Success

    06/09/2012 12:43:55 AM PDT · by neverdem · 26 replies
    ScienceDaily ^ | June 7, 2012 | NA
    A study led by Karolinska Institutet in Sweden reports for the first time the positive effects of an active vaccine against Alzheimer's disease. The new vaccine, CAD106, can prove a breakthrough in the search for a cure for this seriously debilitating dementia disease. The study is published in the scientific journal Lancet Neurology. Alzheimer's disease is a complex neurological dementia disease that is the cause of much human suffering and a great cost to society. According to the World Health Organisation, dementia is the fastest growing global health epidemic of our age. The prevailing hypothesis about its cause involves APP...
  • New Brain Target for Appetite Control Identified

    06/08/2012 11:13:19 PM PDT · by neverdem · 3 replies
    Finding raises hopes for new anti-obesity medications New York, NY (June 7, 2012) — Researchers at Columbia University Medical Center (CUMC) have identified a brain receptor that appears to play a central role in regulating appetite. The findings, published today in the online edition of Cell, could lead to new drugs for preventing or treating obesity. “We’ve identified a receptor that is intimately involved in regulating food intake,” said study leader Domenico Accili, MD, professor of Medicine at CUMC. “What is especially encouraging is that this receptor belongs to a class of receptors that turn out to be good targets...
  • World Health Organization warns Gonorrhea Could Join HIV as 'Uncurable'

    06/07/2012 9:30:08 AM PDT · by neverdem · 26 replies
    U.S.News & World Report ^ | June 6, 2012 | Jason Koebler
    Both the WHO and the CDC say it's time to "sound the alarm" on the increase in drug-resistant gonorrheaFirst, it was the Centers for Disease Control—now, the World Health Organization is warning that Gonorrhea could join herpes and HIV/AIDS as "uncurable" sexually-transmitted diseases. "We're sitting on the edge of a worldwide crisis," says Manjula Lusti-Narasimhan, of WHO's department of reproductive health and research. "There's a general complacency around sexually transmitted infections in general, and this doesn't have the same political or social pressure as HIV. That's because gonorrhea has been so easily curable so far, but in the future, that...
  • Photosynthesis: A New Way of Looking at Photosystem II

    06/06/2012 9:35:55 PM PDT · by neverdem · 7 replies
    ScienceDaily ^ | June 6, 2012 | NA
    Future prospects for clean, green, renewable energy may hinge upon our ability to mimic and improve upon photosynthesis -- the process by which green plants, algae and some bacteria convert solar energy into electrochemical energy. An artificial version of photosynthesis, for example, could use sunlight to produce liquid fuels from nothing more than carbon dioxide and water. First, however, scientists need a better understanding of how a large complex of proteins, called photosystem II, is able to split water molecules into oxygen, electrons and hydrogen ions (protons). A new road to reaching this understanding has now been opened by an...
  • New Epilepsy Tactic: Fight Inflammation

    06/06/2012 8:41:55 PM PDT · by neverdem · 14 replies
    NY Times ^ | June 4, 2012 | ALASTAIR GEE
    In November 2008, when he was just 6, William Moller had his first epileptic seizure, during a reading class at school. For about 20 seconds, he simply froze in place, as if someone had pressed a pause button. He could not respond to his teacher. This is known as an absence seizure, and over the next year William, now 10, who lives with his family in Brooklyn, went from having one or two a day to suffering constant seizures. Not all were absence seizures; others were frightening tonic-clonics, also known as grand mals, during which he lost consciousness and convulsed....
  • Zinc supplement can reduce infant deaths

    06/06/2012 8:06:43 PM PDT · by neverdem · 2 replies
    The Hindu ^ | June 2, 2012 | P. Sunderarajan
    Giving zinc as a supplement along with antibiotics can significantly reduce mortality by lowering treatment failure in children suffering from serious infections such as pneumonia and meningitis, according to a study. The study, reported in the latest issue of the international medical journal, The Lancet, has found that babies who were given zinc supplement were 40 per cent less likely to experience treatment failure and their risk of death was reduced by 43 per cent. The study covered 700 babies aged between seven and 120 days — 352 of them were given zinc supplement along with the standard antibiotics and...
  • 'Silent Killer' May Be Disease of the Affluent

    06/02/2012 7:05:57 PM PDT · by neverdem · 28 replies
    ScienceNOW ^ | 31 May 2012 | Ann Gibbons
    Enlarge Image Early exposure. The Shuar people of the Amazon do not suffer from a chronic inflammatory response. Credit: Courtesy of the Shuar Health and Life History Project From an early age, the indigenous Shuar people of the Ecuadorian Amazon are exposed to an army of parasites, viruses, and other microbes. But if children survive to adulthood—no guarantee, given that they're three times more likely to die before the age of 5 than children in the United States and Canada—they seem to end up with more efficient immune systems than people living in industrialized nations. That's the conclusion of...
  • Conquering Cancer by Thwarting Tumor's Immune Shield

    06/02/2012 6:06:18 PM PDT · by neverdem · 7 replies
    SccienceNOW ^ | 2 June 2012 | Jocelyn Kaiser
    Enlarge Image Vulnerable. A new type of drug blocks a tumor cell's shield (left) against T cells (knights) so that they can attack. Credit: Ryan Snook, www.ryansnook.com A type of drug that helps the body's immune system attack tumors is showing promise. In early clinical trials involving several hundred patients with various kinds of advanced cancer, up to one-quarter of those who received the treatment saw their tumors shrink, and some are still alive more than a year later. The results are the latest good news for so-called immunotherapy treatments that work by overcoming a tumor's ability to evade...
  • Psychiatric Drug May Kill Cancer Stem Cells

    05/31/2012 11:44:24 PM PDT · by neverdem · 6 replies
    ScienceNOW ^ | 24 May 2012 | Jocelyn Kaiser
    Enlarge Image Root killer. Cancer-like stem cells treated with the antipsychotic drug thioridazine (right) are scarce compared with control cells. Credit: E. Sachlos et al., Cell, 149 (8 June), ©2012 Elsevier Inc. A well-known drug for treating schizophrenia may be a cancer killer, too. In lab studies, the drug wiped out a precursor to leukemia cells without harming normal cells. That means it could give doctors a long-sought way to eliminate every trace of leukemia in patients so that the cancer can never come back. Even though surgery, chemotherapy, and radiation can get rid of a tumor or leukemia...
  • New online service promises to match up women with the perfect bra

    05/31/2012 5:06:03 AM PDT · by shove_it · 26 replies
    Yahoo Technology ^ | 31 May 2012 | Tecca
    Struggling to find the right bras for you? This website could help you out. Shopping for bras online is tough, especially when you don't wear the proper bra size, and you're not sure what types work best for you. Today a new website called True & Co launched a service that promises to make buying underwear on the web a lot easier. It even had us wondering: "Is this the future of online (bra) shopping?" [...]
  • One Drug to Shrink All Tumors

    05/31/2012 1:16:07 AM PDT · by neverdem · 40 replies
    ScienceNOW ^ | 26 March 2012 | Sarah C. P. Williams
    Enlarge Image Survivor. When mice with human tumors received doses of anti-CD47, which sets the immune system against tumor cells, the cancers shrank and disappeared. Credit: Fotosearch A single drug can shrink or cure human breast, ovary, colon, bladder, brain, liver, and prostate tumors that have been transplanted into mice, researchers have found. The treatment, an antibody that blocks a "do not eat" signal normally displayed on tumor cells, coaxes the immune system to destroy the cancer cells. A decade ago, biologist Irving Weissman of the Stanford University School of Medicine in Palo Alto, California, discovered that leukemia cells...
  • Tumor Blocker May Fight Fibrosis

    05/30/2012 10:29:17 PM PDT · by neverdem · 7 replies
    ScienceNOW ^ | 30 May 2012 | Mitch Leslie
    Enlarge Image Thick-skinned. Fragments of the anticancer drug endostatin can halt fibrosis in a slab of human skin. Credit: Feghali-Bostwick Laboratory Connective tissue holds our bodies together, but in a condition called fibrosis, an overabundance of the material devastates organs such as the liver, heart, and lungs. A new study suggests that fragments of a promising cancer drug can rein in fibrosis, which is currently untreatable. Fibrosis occurs when cells pump out excess collagen and other connective tissue proteins, which harm organs. Pulmonary fibrosis, for example, stiffens the lungs, eventually suffocating patients unless they receive a lung transplant. In...
  • New Stem Cell Technique Promises Abundance of Key Heart Cells

    05/29/2012 4:35:53 PM PDT · by neverdem · 5 replies
    ScienceDaily ^ | May 28, 2012 | NA
    Cardiomyocytes, the workhorse cells that make up the beating heart, can now be made cheaply and abundantly in the laboratory. Writing this week (May 28, 2012) in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, a team of Wisconsin scientists describes a way to transform human stem cells -- both embryonic and induced pluripotent stem cells -- into the critical heart muscle cells by simple manipulation of one key developmental pathway. The technique promises a uniform, inexpensive and far more efficient alternative to the complex bath of serum or growth factors now used to nudge blank slate stem cells to...
  • 'Personality Genes' May Help Account for Longevity

    05/29/2012 12:35:21 AM PDT · by neverdem · 11 replies
    ScienceDaily ^ | May 24, 2012 | NA
    "It's in their genes" is a common refrain from scientists when asked about factors that allow centenarians to reach age 100 and beyond. Up until now, research has focused on genetic variations that offer a physiological advantage such as high levels of HDL ("good") cholesterol. But researchers at Albert Einstein College of Medicine and Ferkauf Graduate School of Psychology of Yeshiva University have found that personality traits like being outgoing, optimistic, easygoing, and enjoying laughter as well as staying engaged in activities may also be part of the longevity genes mix. The findings, published online May 21 in the journal...
  • Discovery Promises Unique Medicine for Treatment of Chronic and Diabetic Wounds

    05/28/2012 11:43:40 PM PDT · by neverdem · 6 replies
    ScienceDaily ^ | May 28, 2012 | NA
    A unique new medicine that can start and accelerate healing of diabetic and other chronic wounds is being developed at Umeĺ University in Sweden. After several years of successful experimental research, it is now ready for clinical testing. Behind this new medicine is a group of researchers at the Department of Medical Chemistry and Biophysics who have made the unique finding that the protein plasminogen is a key-regulator that initiates and accelerates wound healing by triggering the inflammatory reaction. Their discovery is now being published in the journal Blood. “Today we have the knowledge needed to develop a medicine,” says...
  • Key gene found responsible for chronic inflammation, accelerated aging and cancer

    05/28/2012 9:33:51 PM PDT · by neverdem · 14 replies
    e! Science News ^ | May 25, 2012 | NA
    Researchers at NYU School of Medicine have, for the first time, identified a single gene that simultaneously controls inflammation, accelerated aging and cancer. "This was certainly an unexpected finding," said principal investigator Robert J. Schneider, PhD, the Albert Sabin Professor of Molecular Pathogenesis, associate director for translational research and co-director of the Breast Cancer Program at NYU Langone Medical Center. "It is rather uncommon for one gene to have two very different and very significant functions that tie together control of aging and inflammation. The two, if not regulated properly, can eventually lead to cancer development. It's an exciting scientific...
  • High School Freshman Confounds Researchers, Invents New Pancreatic Cancer Test

    05/28/2012 6:20:23 PM PDT · by neverdem · 24 replies
    DailyTech ^ | May 25, 2012 | Jason Mick
    15-year-old nabs $100,000 top prize in Intel-sponsored competition; his "dipstick" test is 90 percent accurate Jack Andraka. Andraka. "Keep that last name in mind. You're going to read about him a lot in the years to come. What I tell my lab is, 'Think of Thomas Edison and the light bulb.' This kid is the Edison of our times. There are going to be a lot of light bulbs coming from him." Those are bold words, bolder still given that their source is one of the top medical researchers in the nation. But Dr. Anirban Maitra, a pathology professor at...
  • E.U. Science Panel Dismisses French GM Concerns--Again

    05/23/2012 1:49:50 AM PDT · by neverdem · 10 replies
    ScienceInsider ^ | 22 May 2012 | Martin Enserink
    Enlarge Image Defensive maize. MON810 produces a toxin that protects it from the European corn borer. Credit: Keith Weller/U.S. Department of Agriculture France's latest attempt to keep genetically modified (GM) crops from its fields has been rebuked by a scientific panel at the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA). Yesterday, EFSA issued an opinion dismissing France's argument that a GM maize variety produced by Monsanto might be harmful to the environment or human health. The opinion is the latest blow in a long-running battle over MON810, also known as YieldGard, whose cultivation has been banned in a handful of European...
  • Bovine TB disguised by liver fluke

    05/22/2012 11:35:03 PM PDT · by neverdem · 3 replies
    Nature News ^ | 22 May 2012 | Alice Lighton
    Cattle infected with a common parasite could be spreading TB across Britain undetected. Bovine tuberculosis (bTB) could be spreading across Britain because the most widely used test for the disease is ineffective when cattle are infected with a common liver parasite. The liver fluke Fasciola hepatica was already known to affect the standard skin test for bTB, but it was unclear whether the fluke stopped the disease developing or merely hid the symptoms. A study published today in Nature Communications suggests that the latter is more likely, and that the effect is significant. It estimates that around a third of...