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Potential impact of a dengue vaccine in the Yucatan

Thu, 26/05/2016 - 7:17pm
While no dengue vaccine has yet been approved for general use, several candidates are in clinical development. Data from the clinical trials can be used in mathematical models to estimate the benefits and risks and of different vaccination strategies. A new study suggests that even a moderately efficient dengue vaccine -- if it induces long-lasting immunity -- can substantially reduce disease burden.
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The brain needs cleaning to stay healthy

Thu, 26/05/2016 - 7:17pm
New research has revealed the mechanisms that keep the brain clean during neurodegenerative diseases.
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How prions kill neurons: New culture system shows early toxicity to dendritic spines

Thu, 26/05/2016 - 7:17pm
Prion diseases are fatal and incurable neurodegenerative conditions of humans and animals. Yet, how prions kill nerve cells (or neurons) remains unclear. A new study describes a system in which to study the early assault by prions on brain cells of the infected host.
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New malaria drugs kill Plasmodium parasites by promoting premature parasite division

Thu, 26/05/2016 - 7:17pm
Several new malaria drugs under development share a common feature: they promote an influx of sodium ions into Plasmodium parasites that have invaded red blood cells and multiply there. A study published on May 26 in PLOS Pathogens suggests that this increase in sodium concentration kills the parasite by changing the composition of its outer membrane (the skin equivalent) and promoting division of the parasite before its genome has been replicated.
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Surrogate endpoints poor proxy for survival in cancer drug approval process

Thu, 26/05/2016 - 6:17pm
Surrogate endpoints used to support the majority of new cancer drugs approved in the US often lack formal study, according to the authors of a new report. This analysis questions whether the US Food and Drug Administration is adhering to standards that demand that surrogates be 'reasonably likely to predict' or 'established' to be used to grant approvals.
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For millions on long-term opioid medications, change will be a challenge

Thu, 26/05/2016 - 6:17pm
A recent study surveyed patients to understand barriers to reducing the use of opioids to manage chronic pain. Millions of Americans take opioid medications daily to manage chronic pain, but there are growing concerns among health care professionals of opioid misuse and overdose.
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Scientists illuminate hidden regulator in gene transcription

Thu, 26/05/2016 - 6:17pm
Gene transcription is the process by which DNA is copied and synthesized as messenger RNA (mRNA) -- which delivers its genetic blueprints to the cell's protein-making machinery. Now researchers have identified a hidden, ephemeral phenomenon in cells that may play a major role in jump-starting mRNA production and regulating gene transcription.
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Finding a new formula for concrete

Thu, 26/05/2016 - 6:17pm
Researchers are seeking to redesign concrete -- the most widely used human-made material in the world -- by following nature's blueprints. In a new paper, the team contrasts cement paste -- concrete's binding ingredient -- with the structure and properties of natural materials such as bones, shells, and deep-sea sponges.
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New 3-D hydrogel biochips prove to be superior in detecting bowel cancer at early stages

Thu, 26/05/2016 - 6:17pm
A new method of diagnosing colorectal cancer has been developed by researchers. The scientists have created a hydrogel-based biochip to help detect bowel cancer (colorectal cancer).
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Another reason to stay active as we age

Thu, 26/05/2016 - 4:52pm
Researchers found that individuals who maintain an active jogging habit into their senior years are spending nearly the same amount of metabolic energy as a 20-year-old.
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Brain picks up the beat of music automatically

Thu, 26/05/2016 - 4:50pm
A sense of rhythm is a uniquely human characteristic. Music cognition scientists discovered that the sense of rhythm – also known as the beat – is so fundamental to humans that we recognize patterns in music even without paying any attention or receiving any training.
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Difficult decisions involving perception increase activity in brain's insular cortex, study finds

Thu, 26/05/2016 - 4:50pm
As the difficulty of making a decision based on sensory evidence increases, activity in the brain's insular cortex also increases, according to researchers.
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Global warming: Spring snow a no-go?

Thu, 26/05/2016 - 4:49pm
Spring snowpack, relied on by ski resorts and water managers throughout the Western United States, may be more vulnerable to a warming climate in coming decades, according to a new study.
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New discovery from the molecular machinery for depression and addiction

Thu, 26/05/2016 - 4:49pm
Researchers have described how a group of the brain's transport proteins with important roles in depression and dependence overcome the step which limits their effectiveness. The discovery makes it possible to describe the full function of the transport protein and can provide better opportunities for counteracting the effect of amphetamine and ecstasy on the brain.
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Astronomers find giant planet around very young star

Thu, 26/05/2016 - 4:49pm
In contradiction to the long-standing idea that larger planets take longer to form, astronomers have announced the discovery of a giant planet in close orbit around a star so young that it still retains a disk of circumstellar gas and dust.
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Powering up the circadian rhythm

Thu, 26/05/2016 - 4:49pm
An American research team is the first to discover a protein that controls the strength of body's circadian rhythms. In new work, the team analyzed levels and molecular characteristics of REV-ERB? in the livers of mice throughout the day. They found that after its levels peaked during the day, two proteins, CDK1 and FBXW7, interacted with REV-ERB? to help reduce its levels to a low point by the middle of the night.
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Study identifies risk factors associated with eye abnormalities in infants with presumed Zika virus

Thu, 26/05/2016 - 4:49pm
Researchers have assessed and identified possible risk factors for ophthalmoscopic (an instrument used to visualize the back of the eye) findings in infants born with microcephaly (a birth defect characterized by an abnormally small head) and a presumed clinical diagnosis of Zika virus intrauterine infection.
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Slime mold reveals clues to immune cells' directional abilities

Thu, 26/05/2016 - 4:49pm
How white blood cells in our immune systems home in on and engulf bacterial invaders -- like humans following the scent of oven-fresh pizza -- has long been a mystery to scientists. But biologists have now uncovered important clues about this mechanism.
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Using a model to estimate breast cancer risk in effort to improve prevention

Thu, 26/05/2016 - 4:49pm
A model developed to estimate the absolute risk of breast cancer suggests that a 30-year-old white woman in the United States has an 11.3 percent risk, on average, of developing invasive breast cancer by the age of 80, according to a new study.
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Study visualizes proteins involved in cancer cell metabolism

Thu, 26/05/2016 - 4:49pm
Scientists using cryo-EM have broken through a technological barrier in visualizing proteins with an approach that may have an impact on drug discovery and development. The scientists have also reported achieving another major milestone, by showing that the shapes of cancer target proteins too small to be considered within the reach of current cryo-EM capabilities can now be determined at high resolution.
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