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Why humans (and not mice) are susceptible to Zika

Thu, 19/05/2016 - 5:01pm
Flaviviruses -- such as Zika, dengue, and yellow fever -- have emerged as human pathogens because of their ability to specifically overcome our anti-viral defenses. In the case of Zika, researchers that one of the virus's seven non-structural proteins (NS5) is singularly responsible for blocking the action of interferons (proteins that stop viral replication) in human cells, while mouse cells are unaffected.
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'Piggybacking' mitochondrial DNA can compromise mitochondrial replacement therapy

Thu, 19/05/2016 - 5:01pm
Mitochondrial replacement therapy shows promise for preventing the inheritance of mitochondrial DNA diseases. However, small amounts of mitochondrial DNA can sometimes hitch a ride with the transferred nucleus, and a new study shows that this DNA can override the mitochondria in the donor cell. The findings may call into question the beneficial effect of nuclear transfer for mitochondrial replacement therapy.
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Antibiotics that kill gut bacteria also stop growth of new brain cells

Thu, 19/05/2016 - 5:01pm
Antibiotics strong enough to kill off gut bacteria can also stop the growth of new brain cells in the hippocampus, a section of the brain associated with memory, reports a new study in mice. Researchers also uncovered a clue to why -- a type of white blood cell seems to act as a communicator between the brain, the immune system, and the gut.
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How do some birds get such bright red feathers?

Thu, 19/05/2016 - 5:01pm
In the bird world, the color red has special significance. Many species use red signals to attract mates or deter rivals, adding the color to their beaks, feathers, or bare skin. As far as many birds are concerned, redder is better. Now, two teams of researchers have identified a gene that allows some bird species to convert yellow pigments from their diets into that remarkable red.
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Benefit of organizational misconduct: Others in group may work harder, study says

Thu, 19/05/2016 - 4:15pm
Misconduct within an organization is generally seen as a predicament at best, a catastrophe at worst. But a new study shows that such misconduct, or “deviance,” can prove beneficial by causing “non-deviant” members of the group to work harder in order to alleviate their own discomfort with the organization’s tarnished image.
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Cancer can be combated with reprogrammed macrophage cells

Thu, 19/05/2016 - 4:12pm
Researchers have generated antibodies that reprogram a type of macrophage cell in the tumor, making the immune system better able to recognize and kill tumor cells. The study, say the scientists, could lead to a new therapy and provide a potentially important diagnostic tool for breast cancer and malignant melanoma.
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How plants conquered the land

Thu, 19/05/2016 - 4:11pm
A key gene has been found that assisted the transition of plants from water to the land around 500 million years ago. The ANR gene is required to tolerate 'extreme dehydration' in the moss Physcomitrella patens, a land plant that is used as an experimental model.
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Lower income families less likely to use online learning tools

Thu, 19/05/2016 - 4:11pm
Parents looking to help their children succeed academically can access free online educational programs, games and services to help them outside the classroom. A plethora of these tools have popped up in recent years in an attempt to close the achievement gap and digital divide between the rich and poor. Instead, the gap seems to be getting larger because of these tools, according to a new study.
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Prediabetes: Fatty liver, visceral obesity, production and action of insulin modulate risk

Thu, 19/05/2016 - 4:11pm
Prediabetes is associated with increased risk of diabetes, cardiovascular disease, dementia and cancer. However, the disease risk considerably varies among subjects. Scientists have now summarized information from the literature and have provided novel data indicating that in future the determination of the 4 major phenotypes fatty liver, visceral obesity and impaired production and action of insulin may help to improve prediction and prevention of cardiometabolic risk in prediabetes.
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Surgical Risk Calculator has good prediction accuracy, new study finds

Thu, 19/05/2016 - 4:11pm
The American College of Surgeons National Surgical Quality Improvement Program Surgical Risk Calculator accurately estimates the chance of a patient experiencing postoperative complications, and its performance can improve with recalibration of the tool, according to new research findings.
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Confidence in Iron Dome, coupled with resilience, can reduce PTSD symptoms

Thu, 19/05/2016 - 4:11pm
Belief in the success of the Iron Dome air defense system, coupled with a strong sense of resilience (an inner trait that results in positive adaptation to trauma), can reduce post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) symptoms, suggests a new study examining PTSD symptoms in Israeli civilians following Operation Protective Edge, the Israel-Gaza conflict in 2014.
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'Right to try' laws make safety, efficacy secondary to speedy access

Thu, 19/05/2016 - 4:11pm
State 'right to try' laws can give terminally ill patients early access to experimental drugs and medical devices, but they arguably make safety and efficacy secondary to speedy access, according to a new report by science policy experts.
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Executive powers in the nursery

Thu, 19/05/2016 - 4:09pm
A baby's cry not only commands our attention, it also rattles our executive functions -- the very neural and cognitive processes we use for making everyday decisions, according to a new study.
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How is rattlesnake venom like fine wine? Both have regional varieties

Thu, 19/05/2016 - 4:09pm
If you're a rattlesnake, you want to bring the right weapon to a squirrel fight. And that venomous weapon varies from place to place, evolutionarily calibrated to overpower the local squirrels' defenses, according to new research.
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Why do animals hide their warning signals? Paradox explained

Thu, 19/05/2016 - 4:09pm
Because of sudden bright displays made by distasteful prey at the moment of being attacked, their predators quickly learn to discriminate the distasteful prey from the tasty ones even if both types of prey are dull and inconspicuous, say investigators.
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Shedding light on the 'dark matter' of the genome

Thu, 19/05/2016 - 4:09pm
What used to be dismissed by many as 'junk DNA' is back with a vengeance as growing data points to the importance of non-coding RNAs (ncRNAs) -- genome's messages that do not code for proteins -- in development and disease. Researchers have developed a method that enables scientists to explore in depth what ncRNAs do in human cells.
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Cosmic heavy metals help scientists trace the history of galaxies

Thu, 19/05/2016 - 4:09pm
The origin of many of the most precious elements on the periodic table, such as gold, silver and platinum, has perplexed scientists for more than six decades. Recently, however, a team of astrophysicists has provided an answer.
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Social media poses threat to people with intellectual disabilities

Thu, 19/05/2016 - 4:09pm
People with intellectual disabilities are more susceptible to exploitation and abuse, and the rise of the internet only increases their vulnerability, say researchers.
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Vitamin E a potential biomarker for development of brain tumors

Thu, 19/05/2016 - 4:07pm
Researchers have studied possible causes behind the development of brain tumors. The results show differences in expression of certain molecules known as metabolites when comparing healthy individuals with people who would eventually develop brain tumors. The greatest difference were found when looking at vitamin E.
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Support from family, friends important to helping prevent depression in teenagers

Thu, 19/05/2016 - 4:07pm
The importance of friendships and family support in helping prevent depression among teenagers has been highlighted in new research. The study also found that teenagers who had grown up in a difficult family environment were more likely than their peers to be bullied at school.
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