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Part of brain stays as active in old age as it was in youth

Thu, 07/08/2014 - 4:14pm
At least one part of the human brain may be able to process information the same way in older age as it does in the prime of life, according to new research. "Our studies have found that older and younger adults perform in a similar way on a range of visual and non-visual tasks that measure spatial attention," says one researcher. Spatial attention is critical for many aspects of life, from driving, to walking, to picking up and using objects.
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Gene increases risk of breast cancer to one in three by age 70

Thu, 07/08/2014 - 2:55pm
Medical researchers have studied breast cancer risks for one of potentially the most important genes associated with breast cancer after the BRCA1/2 genes. Women with mutations in the PALB2 gene have on average a one in three chance of developing breast cancer by the age of 70.
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Nasal test developed for to diagnose Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease

Thu, 07/08/2014 - 2:55pm
A nasal brush test can rapidly and accurately diagnose Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease (CJD), an incurable and ultimately fatal neurodegenerative disorder, according to a study. CJD is a prion disease. These diseases originate when, for reasons not fully understood, normally harmless prion protein molecules become abnormal and gather in clusters. Prion diseases affect animals and people. Human prion diseases include variant, familial and sporadic CJD. The most common form, sporadic CJD, affects an estimated 1 in one million people annually worldwide.
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Racial makeup of private prisons shows disparities, new study finds

Thu, 07/08/2014 - 2:55pm
A disproportionate number of Hispanics are housed in private prisons across the United States, a pattern that could leave such prisons vulnerable to legal challenges, new research shows. "This is a systemic issue," one investigator said. "Prison administrators should be aware of racial disparities in inmate placement to ensure that inmates' rights are being upheld and to avoid future lawsuits."
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Increased adoption of complex care management can help meet cost savings, quality goals

Thu, 07/08/2014 - 2:55pm
Best practices in complex care management have been outlined in a new article that also discusses barriers to wider adoption of the approach and describe potential strategies to surmount those barriers. "Not only can fully addressing the needs of complex care patients keep them healthier, but it also can reduce costs by avoiding emergency departments visits and unnecessary hospitalizations," says one author.
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Stress during pregnancy can be passed down through generations, rat study shows

Thu, 07/08/2014 - 2:54pm
To better understand problems during pregnancies today, we should look to the experiences of our ancestors, research suggests. Scientists investigating pregnancies in four generations of rats show that inherited epigenetic effects of stress could affect pregnancies for generations.
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Companies' religious affiliation can buffer negative reactions

Thu, 07/08/2014 - 2:54pm
While companies like Hobby Lobby and Chick-fil-A are at the forefront of debate over the religious rights of employers, a new study shows religious affiliation can safeguard companies against negative reactions to store policies.
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Losing weight won't necessarily make you happy, researchers say

Thu, 07/08/2014 - 2:54pm
Weight loss significantly improves physical health but effects on mental health are less straightforward, finds new research. In a study of 1,979 overweight and obese adults in the UK, people who lost 5 percent or more of their initial body weight over four years showed significant changes in markers of physical health, but were more likely to report depressed mood than those who stayed within 5 percent of their original weight.
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Study shines new light on genetic alterations of aggressive breast cancer subtype

Thu, 07/08/2014 - 2:52pm
New information about the genetic alterations that may contribute to the development of a subtype breast cancer typically associated with more aggressive forms of the disease and higher recurrence rates has been uncovered by researchers. The study focused on the more aggressive molecular subtype of the estrogen-receptor positive breast cancer known as luminal B breast cancer.
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Eating at fast food, full service restaurants linked to more calories, poorer nutrition

Thu, 07/08/2014 - 2:52pm
Eating at both fast-food and full-service restaurants is associated with significant increases in the intake of calories, sugar, saturated fat, and sodium, according to a new study. The researchers say the larger adverse effect they measured on energy intake for some lower socio-economic and minority populations has policy implications. They say efforts to improve diet and reduce energy intake from restaurant sources could actually help to reduce racial and socio-economic disparities in Americans' diets.
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Pancreatic cancer survival rates at standstill for four decades

Thu, 07/08/2014 - 2:51pm
Long term survival from pancreatic cancer has failed to improve in 40 years – with the outlook remaining the lowest of the 21 most common cancers, according to new figures. Today just over three per cent of pancreatic cancer patients survive for at least five years, only a fraction more than the two per cent who survived that long in the early 1970s.
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Financial incentives for hospitals only reduce patient death rates in short-term

Thu, 07/08/2014 - 2:51pm
Pay-for-performance schemes – which reward hospitals financially for improving the quality of care provided to patients – only reduce patient death rates in the short term, according to new research. A variety of programs have been introduced in the UK over the past decade, with mixed results.
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Prostate cancer screening reduces deaths by a fifth: Large, long-term European trial

Thu, 07/08/2014 - 2:50pm
Screening for prostate cancer could reduce deaths from the disease by about a fifth, according to the long-term results of a major European study involving over 162 000 men. Despite this new evidence for the effectiveness of prostate-specific antigen (PSA) testing to reduce mortality, doubts as to whether the benefits of screening outweigh the harms remain, and routine PSA screening programmes should not be introduced at this time, conclude the authors.
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Astronomers find stream of gas, 2.6 million light years long

Thu, 07/08/2014 - 2:50pm
Astronomers and students have found a bridge of atomic hydrogen gas 2.6 million light years long between galaxies 500 million light years away. The stream of atomic hydrogen gas is the largest known, a million light years longer than a gas tail found in the Virgo Cluster by another Arecibo project a few years ago.
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New insights into how young and developing readers make sense of words

Thu, 07/08/2014 - 2:50pm
Skilled readers are often able to make sense of words suffering from 'typos' and jumbled up letter orders as long as the beginning and end letters of the words are correct.
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Uranium exposure, skin cancer: Study may help explain link

Thu, 07/08/2014 - 2:47pm
The varying health risks from exposure to natural uranium are well established, but now researchers have identified a new target organ for uranium exposure: skin. "Our hypothesis is that if uranium is photoactivated by UV radiation it could be more harmful to skin than either exposure alone," the lead researcher said.
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Wellness coaching: Expert explains how it improves overall quality of life

Thu, 07/08/2014 - 2:47pm
Wellness coaching has become an increasingly prevalent strategy to help individuals improve their health and well-being. Recently, wellness coaching was found to improve quality of life, mood and perceived stress, according to a new study. Now one expert answers some common questions about wellness coaching.
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Single-cell analysis holds promise for stem cell and cancer research

Thu, 07/08/2014 - 2:46pm
Researchers have identified cells’ unique features within the developing human brain, using the latest technologies for analyzing gene activity in individual cells, and have demonstrated that large-scale cell surveys can be done much more efficiently and cheaply than was previously thought possible.
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U.S. medical schools urged to increase enrollment of undocumented immigrants

Thu, 07/08/2014 - 2:43pm
Medical schools should increase their enrollment of undocumented immigrants in the U.S. under the federal DACA program who are seeking access to the medical professions. These students are often highly motivated and qualified and can help alleviate the nationwide shortage of primary care physicians, experts say.
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The rise of the urban marmot

Thu, 07/08/2014 - 2:43pm
Scientists are spending this summer researching why the local population of yellow-bellied marmots -- those gregarious, burrowing rodents ubiquitous near the Spokane River -- are not only surviving but thriving in the urban areas of Spokane. Most research exploring patterns of species survival has focused on birds; little is known about the physiological mechanisms that allow mammals to survive in urban environments.
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