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Your Brain Knows Your Next Move Before You Do

February 27, 2015 3:00 pm | by Howard Hughes Medical Institute | News | Comments

With half a second's planning, an animal’s brain prepares it to quickly and precisely execute complex movements. Scientists have identified a neural circuit that transforms the flurry of activity that occurs during this preparatory period into commands that direct muscle movements.

Smokers Use Nicotine in Multiple Forms

February 27, 2015 3:00 pm | by Associated Press, Lauran Neergaard | News | Comments

The first peek at a major study of how Americans smoke suggests many use combinations of...

Raw Milk is More Dangerous than Beneficial

February 27, 2015 3:00 pm | by Tufts Univ. | News | Comments

Raw milk is milk that has not undergone pasteurization, the bacteria-killing heat treatment...

Cancer Drug Tested in Dogs Moves on to Humans

February 27, 2015 3:00 pm | by Univ. of Illinois | News | Comments

A new drug that prompts cancer cells to self-destruct while sparing healthy cells is now...

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Smokers Use Nicotine in Multiple Forms

February 27, 2015 3:00 pm | by Associated Press, Lauran Neergaard | News | Comments

The first peek at a major study of how Americans smoke suggests many use combinations of products, and often e-cigarettes are part of the mix. It's a preliminary finding, but it highlights some key questions as health officials assess electronic cigarettes.

Cancer Drug Tested in Dogs Moves on to Humans

February 27, 2015 3:00 pm | by Univ. of Illinois | News | Comments

A new drug that prompts cancer cells to self-destruct while sparing healthy cells is now entering phase I clinical trials in humans. The drug, called PAC-1, first showed promise in the treatment of pet dogs with spontaneously occurring cancers, and is still in clinical trials in dogs with osteosarcoma.

Mollusks Produce Optical Displays

February 27, 2015 7:00 am | by MIT, Jennifer Chu | Videos | Comments

Scientists have identified two optical structures within the limpet’s shell that give its blue-striped appearance. The structures are configured to reflect blue light while absorbing all other wavelengths of incoming light. The findings represent the first evidence of an organism using mineralized structural components to produce optical displays.

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Wheat Discovery Points to Ancient Trading Links

February 27, 2015 7:00 am | by Associated Press, Frank Jordans | News | Comments

Britons may have discovered a taste for bread thousands of years earlier than previously thought, thanks to trade with more advanced neighbors on the European continent. That's the conclusion scientists have drawn after discovering that samples from a now-submerged prehistoric camp in southern England contained traces of ancient wheat DNA.

Pollution Drives Nuisance Algae Growth

February 27, 2015 7:00 am | by McGill Univ. | News | Comments

The organisms commonly known as blue-green algae have proliferated much more rapidly than other algae in lakes across North America and Europe over the past two centuries– and in many cases the rate of increase has sharply accelerated since the mid-20th century.

Asian Herb May Treat Ebola

February 27, 2015 7:00 am | by Texas Biomedical Research Institute | News | Comments

A team of scientists has announced that a small molecule called Tetrandrine, derived from an Asian herb, has shown to be a potent small molecule inhibiting infection of human white blood cells in vitro or petri dish experiments and prevented Ebola virus disease in mice.

Cats Prefer Sight Over Scent

February 27, 2015 7:00 am | by Univ. of Lincoln | News | Comments

Felines have a tremendous sense of smell and vision, but a new study using a maze test has investigated which sense they prefer to use under test conditions and found that sight may be more important than smell.

Lager, Stout Yeast Share DNA

February 26, 2015 3:00 pm | by Trinity College Dublin | News | Comments

There are few drinks as iconic as a pint of Guinness. It might, therefore, surprise beer connoisseurs to learn that the DNA of the all-important brewing yeast– the building blocks of the perfect stout– is the same as that which encodes the yeast required to brew a clean, crisp lager.

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Belief is as Powerful as Nicotine in Brain

February 26, 2015 3:00 pm | by Virginia Tech | News | Comments

Two identical cigarettes led to a discovery by scientists. Study participants inhaled nicotine, yet they showed significantly different brain activity. Why the difference? Some subjects were told their cigarettes were nicotine free.

One Million Men Used to Study Effects of Blocking Inflammation

February 26, 2015 3:00 pm | by Univ. of Cambridge | News | Comments

Inflammation— the body’s response to damaging stimuli— may have a protective effect against cardiovascular disease, according to a study. The finding is one of the outcomes of research using a powerful new genetic tool— containing data from over a million individuals— that mimics the behavior of certain anti-inflammatory drugs.

African Lakes to Answer Human Evolution Questions

February 26, 2015 3:00 pm | by Aberystwyth Univ. | News | Comments

How was human evolution and migration influenced by past changes in climate? This question has led researchers to drill day and night to great depths in a dried up lake in east Africa. The Chew Bahir Drilling Project, in a remote part of south Ethiopia, will provide a sedimentary record of changes in rainfall, temperature and vegetation, spanning the last 500,000 years of human evolution.

Quarantines Should Be Based on Science

February 26, 2015 3:00 pm | by Associated Press, Lauran Neergaard | News | Comments

Attempts to quarantine health workers returning from Ebola-stricken West Africa were a mistake, the president's bioethics advisers said today. The panel concluded that the nation must improve its health infrastructure and emergency response to be ready to respond quickly to next major disease outbreak.

How Eyelash Length Protects Health

February 26, 2015 3:00 pm | by Georgia Institute of Technology | News | Comments

A team has discovered that 22 species of mammals– from humans, to hedgehogs to giraffes­– are the same: their eyelash length is one-third the width of their eye. Anything shorter or longer, including the fake eyelashes that are popular in Hollywood and make-up aisles, increases airflow around the eye and leads to more dust hitting the surface.

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Q&A: Kay Tye and Food Cravings in the Brain

February 26, 2015 7:00 am | by Lily Barback, Associate Editor | News | Comments

Laboratory Equipment’s scientist of the week is Kay Tye from MIT. She and a team found that the desire for sugar and the urge to eat healthy foods are on separate neural circuits. This means that it might be possible to reduce the urge to eat unhealthy foods without impacting the drive to eat healthily when hungry.

Natural Antifreeze in Ticks Fights Frostbite in Mice

February 26, 2015 7:00 am | by Yale Univ. | News | Comments

A protein that protects ticks from freezing temperatures also prevents frostbite when introduced in mice, a study has found. The research is the first to demonstrate the protein's ability to boost frostbite resistance in an adult mammal.

Today in Lab History: John Harvey Kellogg

February 26, 2015 7:00 am | by Lily Barback, Associate Editor | News | Comments

John Harvey Kellogg, born Feb. 26, 1852, was an American medical doctor who ran a sanitarium using holistic methods, with a particular focus on nutrition, enemas and exercise. Kellogg was an advocate of vegetarianism who advised low calorie diets and developed peanut butter, corn flakes and granola.

Many GMO Crops Aren't Treated as GMOs

February 26, 2015 7:00 am | by Cell Press | News | Comments

A survey of rice, wheat, barley, fruit and vegetable crops found that most mutants created by advanced genetic engineering techniques may be out of the scope of current genetically modified organism (GMO) regulations. Now, two bioethicists are proposing new regulatory models for genome-edited crops and call for clarifying the social issues associated with such genetically engineered crops.

More than Eight Hours of Sleep Linked to Higher Stroke Risk

February 26, 2015 7:00 am | by Univ. of Cambridge | News | Comments

People who sleep for more than eight hours a day have an increased risk of stroke, according to a study. This risk doubles for older people who persistently sleep longer than average. However, the researchers say it is unclear why this association exists and call for further research to explore the link.

First Direct Observation of CO2 Effect at Earth's Surface

February 25, 2015 3:00 pm | by Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory | News | Comments

Scientists have observed an increase in carbon dioxide's greenhouse effect at the Earth's surface for the first time. The researchers measured atmospheric carbon dioxide's increasing capacity to absorb thermal radiation emitted from the Earth's surface over an eleven-year period at two locations in North America. They attributed this upward trend to rising CO2 levels from fossil fuel emissions.

Healthy Cereal May Contain Mold-related Toxin

February 25, 2015 3:00 pm | by ACS | News | Comments

Oats are often touted for boosting heart health, but scientists warn that the grain and its products might need closer monitoring for potential mold contamination. They report that some oat-based breakfast cereals in the U.S. contain a mold-related toxin called ochratoxin A, which has been linked to kidney cancer in animal studies.

Could Brain Imaging Be Used as Evidence?

February 25, 2015 3:00 pm | by Inside Science News Service, Carrie Peyton Dahlberg | News | Comments

Brain imaging can already pull bits of information from the minds of willing volunteers in laboratories. What happens when police or lawyers want to use it to pry a key fact from the mind of an unwilling person? Will your brain be protected under the Fourth Amendment from unreasonable search and seizure? Or will your brain have a Fifth Amendment right against self-incrimination?

Widely Used Food Additive Poses Health Risks

February 25, 2015 3:00 pm | by Georgia State Univ. | News | Comments

Emulsifiers, which are added to most processed foods to aid texture and extend shelf life, can alter the gut microbiota composition and localization to induce intestinal inflammation that promotes the development of inflammatory bowel disease and metabolic syndrome.

HIV Drug May Fight Strep, Flesh-eating Bacteria

February 25, 2015 3:00 pm | by ACS | News | Comments

With antibiotic resistance on the rise, scientists are looking for innovative ways to combat bacterial infections. The pathogen that causes conditions from strep throat to flesh-eating disease is among them, but scientists have now found a tool that could help them fight it: a drug approved to treat HIV.

Himalayas Show Chemical Ban is Working

February 25, 2015 10:50 am | by Lancaster Univ. | News | Comments

A unique study of frozen ice cores from the Tibetan Himalayas has shown that international agreements on phasing out the use of toxic persistent organic pollutants are working. Scientists collected and analyzed samples from ice cores that had been laid down over 30 years, to show how residues of Perfluoroalkyl substances in the environment have changed over time.

New Polio Vaccine Gets Funding for Development, Trail

February 25, 2015 7:00 am | by Georgia Institute of Technology | News | Comments

A research team has been awarded $2.5 million in grants from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation to advance the development of dissolvable microneedle patches for polio immunization. The patches will be studied to evaluate their potential role as part of the worldwide efforts to eradicate polio.

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