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Updated: 4 min 44 sec ago

How environment contributes to several human diseases

Tue, 25/11/2014 - 3:17pm
Using a new imaging technique, researchers have found that the biological machinery that builds DNA can insert molecules into the DNA strand that are damaged as a result of environmental exposures. These damaged molecules trigger cell death that produces some human diseases, according to the researchers. The work provides a possible explanation for how one type of DNA damage may lead to cancer, diabetes, hypertension, cardiovascular and lung disease, and Alzheimer’s disease.
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Researchers Identify Genetic Markers That May Predispose Individuals for Kidney Injury

Tue, 25/11/2014 - 3:17pm
Researchers have identified genetic markers that may help to identify individuals at risk for acute kidney injury (AKI) in the hospital setting. The study offers new clues about the development of AKI and could lead to potential therapeutic interventions.
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Scientists completed the first orchid whole genome sequencing

Tue, 25/11/2014 - 2:54pm
As one of the most diverse plant family, orchid now has its first genome sequenced. All around the world, orchids are highly endangered species because of illegal collection and habitat loss. The complete genome sequence of P. equestris will provide an important resource to explore orchid diversity and evolution at the genome level.
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Breakthrough in flexible electronics enabled by inorganic-based laser lift-off

Tue, 25/11/2014 - 2:54pm
Engineers have developed an easier methodology to make high performance flexible electronics by using the Inorganic-based Laser Lift-off (ILLO), which enables nanoscale processes for high density flexible devices and high temperature processes that were previously difficult to achieve on plastic substrates.
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One-two punch of drugs better than either alone against colorectal cancer

Tue, 25/11/2014 - 2:11pm
Experimental anti-cancer agents PF-04691502 and PD-0325901 excel in lab tests against colorectal cancer models and enter phase 1 trial, scientists report. "This study demonstrates strong potential for this combination in treating laboratory models of colorectal cancer. We hope that if we can discover biomarkers that predict which tumors respond and which don't respond to the combination that we can optimize its use," one researcher says.
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Sialic acid shields human cells from attack by immune system

Tue, 25/11/2014 - 2:11pm
Biochemists have identified molecular structures that allow the immune system to tell friend from foe. The researchers identified and crystallized a complex that forms the contact point between the healthy human cell and the complement system. Using nuclear magnetic resonance spectroscopy and X-ray structure analysis, they were able to solve the molecular structure of the complex. It is composed of a glycan containing sialic acid and two domains of the complement system regulator, factor H.
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Researchers find way to turn sawdust into gasoline

Tue, 25/11/2014 - 2:11pm
Researchers have successfully converted sawdust into building blocks for gasoline. Using a new chemical process, they were able to convert the cellulose in sawdust into hydrocarbon chains. These hydrocarbons can be used as an additive in gasoline, or as a component in plastics.
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Does a yogurt a day keep diabetes away?

Tue, 25/11/2014 - 12:48pm
A high intake of yogurt has been found to be associated with a lower risk of developing type 2 diabetes, according to research. This highlights the importance of having yogurt as part of a healthy diet.
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El Niño stunts children's growth in Peru

Tue, 25/11/2014 - 12:48pm
Extreme weather events, such as El Niño, can have long-lasting effects on health, according to research. The study, in coastal Peru, shows that children born during and after the 1997-98 El Niño have a lower height-for-age than others born before the event.
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P2X3 inhibitor shows 75 percent reduction in chronic cough frequency

Tue, 25/11/2014 - 12:48pm
Results from a Phase 2 clinical trial have been published, demonstrating that a drug candidate -- AF-219 -- reduced daytime cough frequency by 75 percent compared to placebo in patients with treatment-refractory chronic cough. AF-219 is a selective, non-narcotic, orally administered P2X3 receptor antagonist targeting the mechanism by which certain nerve fibers become hyper-sensitized.
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Scientists could save thousands with student's DIY microscope

Tue, 25/11/2014 - 12:48pm
Expensive tests for measuring everything from sperm motility to cancer diagnosis have just been made hundreds of thousands of dollars cheaper by a Ph.D. student from England who hacked his own microscope.
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Why cancer cells grow despite a lack of oxygen

Tue, 25/11/2014 - 12:48pm
Healthy cells reduce their growth when there is a lack of oxygen (hypoxia). This makes it even more surprising that hypoxia is a characteristic feature of malignant tumors. In two publications, researchers report on how cancer cells succeed at circumventing the genetic program of growth inhibition.
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Asymptomatic atherosclerosis linked to cognitive impairment

Tue, 25/11/2014 - 12:48pm
In a study of nearly 2,000 adults, researchers found that a buildup of plaque in the body's major arteries was associated with mild cognitive impairment. Atherosclerosis is a condition in which fat, cholesterol and other substances collect in the arteries, forming a substance called plaque that can build up, limiting blood flow. It can occur in any artery of the body, including the carotid, which supplies blood to the brain, coronary arteries and the aorta, which carries oxygenated blood from the heart through the abdomen to the rest of body.
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New device may ease mammography discomfort

Tue, 25/11/2014 - 12:48pm
A new device that may result in more comfortable mammography for women has been created by researchers. According to a new study, standardizing the pressure applied in mammography would reduce pain associated with breast compression without sacrificing image quality.
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Homosexuality may help us bond, experts say

Tue, 25/11/2014 - 12:47pm
Homosexual behavior may have evolved to promote social bonding in humans, according to new research. Researchers found that heterosexual women who have higher levels of progesterone are more likely to be open to the idea of engaging in sexual behaviour with other women. Similarly, when heterosexual men are subtly reminded of the importance of having male friends and allies, they report more positive attitudes toward engaging in sexual behaviour with other men. This pattern is particularly dramatic in men who have high levels of progesterone.
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Gene discovered that reduces risk of stroke

Tue, 25/11/2014 - 12:47pm
A gene that protects people against one of the major causes of stroke in young and middle-aged adults has been discovered, and researchers say that it could hold the key to new treatments.
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Problem gambling, personality disorders often go hand in hand

Tue, 25/11/2014 - 12:47pm
The treatment of people who cannot keep their gambling habits in check is often complicated because they also tend to suffer from personality disorders. Problem gambling creates a multitude of intrapersonal, interpersonal and social difficulties for the roughly 2.3 percent of the population internationally that suffers from this behavior.
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Bitcoin, virtual money: User's identity can be revealed much easier than thought

Tue, 25/11/2014 - 12:47pm
Bitcoin is the new money: minted and exchanged on the Internet. Faster and cheaper than a bank, the service is attracting attention from all over the world. But a big question remains: are the transactions really anonymous? Several research groups worldwide have shown that it is possible to find out which transactions belong together, even if the client uses different pseudonyms. However it was not clear if it is also possible to reveal the IP address behind each transaction. This has changed: researchers have now demonstrated how this is feasible with only a few computers and about €1500.
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New ways to drain cancer's 'fuel tank' discovered

Tue, 25/11/2014 - 12:47pm
A potential weakness in cancer’s ability to return or become resistant to treatment has been discovered, targeting the ‘fuel’ part of stem cells which allows tumors to grow. By observing cancer stem cells in a lab setting, researchers discovered that mitochondria are especially important for the proliferative expansion and survival of cancer stem cells, also known as 'tumor initiating cells', which would then promote treatment resistance.
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Better assessment of decision-making capacity

Tue, 25/11/2014 - 12:47pm
Physicians often find it hard to tell if a patient suffering from dementia or depression is capable of making sound judgements. Through a new study, researchers now aim to shed more light on this issue, developing a better way to assess a patient's decision-making capacity.
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