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Brain Circuit Stops Us from Being Overwhelmed by Powerful Odors

July 1, 2015 2:24 pm | by Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory | News | Comments

Researchers have reported their discovery of a neural circuit in the mouse olfactory bulb that explains how our mammalian cousins— and by extension, we— are able to adjust the gain on intense odors. There’s a need to dial down powerful signals sampled from the environment, for the simple reason that they would otherwise overpower the nerve cells that receive and process them.

'Safe Alternative' St. John's Wort Has Same Side Effects as Antidepressants

July 1, 2015 2:20 pm | by Univ. of Adelaide | News | Comments

Researchers have compared the pattern of spontaneous reported adverse drug reactions to St. John...

How Old You Feel Impacts Your Well-being

July 1, 2015 2:20 pm | by NC State Univ. | News | Comments

New research has found that how old you feel changes on a daily basis– and that may have very...

Scientific Beliefs Divided by Age as Well as Politics

July 1, 2015 2:20 pm | by Associated Press, Seth Borenstein | News | Comments

Age divides U.S. public opinion about science issues as much as political ideology, a new...

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Cranberry Juice Each Day Keeps Disease Risk at Bay

July 1, 2015 12:39 pm | by Seth Augenstein, Digital Reporter | News | Comments

Two glasses of cranberry juice a day might keep some disease away, according to a new study. Low-calorie cranberry juice improves several risk factors for diabetes and heart disease.

Hitler Had a Diseased Brain that Caused His Downfall

July 1, 2015 10:00 am | by Seth Augenstein, Digital Reporter | News | Comments

Adolf Hitler, the fascist leader responsible for millions of deaths through genocide and world war, has long been suspected of having Parkinson’s Disease toward the end of this life. It was the disease that helped bring about crucial mistakes leading to his downfall, according to a new study.

South Africans Used Milk-based Paint 49,000 Years Ago

July 1, 2015 7:00 am | by Univ. of Colorado Boulder | News | Comments

An international research team has discovered a milk-and ochre-based paint dating to 49,000 years ago that inhabitants of South Africa may have used to adorn themselves with or to decorate stone or wooden slabs.

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FDA Considers Safety Precautions for Liquid Nicotine

July 1, 2015 7:00 am | by Associated Press, Matthew Perrone | News | Comments

Federal health officials are considering whether to require new warnings and child-resistant packaging on liquid nicotine formulas used with e-cigarettes and other emerging tobacco products. The FDA says it is responding to an uptick in nicotine poisonings reported by emergency rooms and poison centers nationwide, many involving infants and children.

'Pulse' May Rejuvenate Skin's Look, Function

June 30, 2015 2:20 pm | by American Friends of Tel Aviv Univ. | News | Comments

Researchers have devised a non-invasive technique that harnesses pulsed electric fields to generate new skin tissue growth. The novel non-invasive tissue stimulation technique, utilizing microsecond-pulsed, high-voltage, non-thermal electric fields, produces scarless skin rejuvenation and may revolutionize the treatment of degenerative skin diseases.

Nature Hikes Battle Mental Illness, Study Says

June 30, 2015 11:54 am | by Seth Augenstein, Digital Reporter | News | Comments

Take a hike– it might just clear your mind of the clutter of the modern world. A 90-minute walk in a natural setting reduces a harmful thought process, and decreases activity in a part of the brain associated with mental illness and depression.

Twitter Can Be Early Warning System for Drug Interactions

June 30, 2015 7:00 am | by Univ. of Vermont | News | Comments

Scientists have invented a technique for discovering potentially dangerous drug interactions and unknown side-effects— before they show up in medical databases. The far-seeing tool? A computer program that can efficiently search millions of tweets on Twitter for the names of many drugs and medicines— and build a map of how they’re connected, using the hashtags that link them.

Digital Fear is Real, Fun

June 30, 2015 7:00 am | by Indiana Univ. | News | Comments

With the advent of video games, a frequently asked question has been whether we get as engrossed in them emotionally as we do when we see a scary movie. The answer is yes and many game players enjoy the fear caused by the zombies, disfigured humans and darkness they often encounter.

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Sugary Beverages Kill 184,000 Globally Each Year, Study Says

June 29, 2015 4:45 pm | by Seth Augenstein, Digital Reporter | News | Comments

Sugar-sweetened beverages cause an estimated 184,000 deaths each year across the globe, according to a new study. The analysis was compiled using death and disability statistics factoring in rates of diabetes, heart disease and cancers from 2010.

Forgetfulness and Errors Can Signal Alzheimer’s Decades Before Diagnosis

June 29, 2015 2:04 pm | by Seth Augenstein, Digital Reporter | News | Comments

More than 2,000 people from Chicago without Alzheimer’s were cognitively tested every three years for 18 years. The study found that mistakes on memory and thought tests may give an indication of the future onset of Alzheimer’s, up to 18 years before diagnosis, according to a new study.

Study: Whooping Cough Comeback Caused by Those Vaccinated?

June 29, 2015 12:26 pm | by Santa Fe Institute | News | Comments

The dramatic resurgence of whooping cough has puzzled public health officials, who have pointed to the waning effectiveness of the current vaccine and growing anti-vaccine sentiment as the most likely culprits. But that might not be the whole story.

Scientists: Why Are Most Alzheimer's Patients Women?

June 29, 2015 9:31 am | by Associated Press, Lauren Neergaard | News | Comments

Nearly two-thirds of Americans with Alzheimer's disease are women, and now some scientists are questioning the long-held assumption that it's just because they tend to live longer than men. What else may put woman at extra risk? Could it be genetics? Biological differences in how women age? Maybe even lifestyle factors?

Concrete Heals Itself Like Skin

June 29, 2015 8:01 am | by American Concrete Institute | News | Comments

Concrete is like a living body, in that it can self-heal its own small wounds— cracks— as an intrinsic characteristic. However, cracks do not heal easily in conventional concrete because of its rather brittle nature, which calls into question the effectiveness of self-healing in conventional concrete materials with no control over crack formation.

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Spectrum of Sun Damage Discovered

June 26, 2015 2:26 pm | by Newcastle Univ. | News | Comments

As pharmacists warn that the public is confused by sunscreen labeling, scientists have detailed the DNA damage that can occur to skin across the full range of ultraviolet radiation providing an invaluable tool for sun-protection and the manufacturers of sunscreen. 

Rats Dream of a Happy Future

June 26, 2015 2:20 pm | by Univ. College London | News | Comments

During sleep or rest, a rat’s hippocampus starts planning future paths to seek out food. According to researchers, the brain appears to be rehearsing totally novel journeys that the animals need to take in order to reach the food.

California Vaccine Bill Clears Legislative Hurdle

June 26, 2015 10:08 am | by Seth Augenstein, Digital Reporter | News | Comments

A split California Assembly has approved a bill that would require nearly all public school kids to get basic vaccines. The bill passed on a bipartisan 46 to 30 vote and, if signed by the governor, would give California one of the strictest vaccine requirements, by eliminating the “personal belief” exemption used by anti-vaccine parents.

Today in Lab History: Chinese Emperor Patents Toothbrush

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

On June 26, 1498, the Chinese Emperor patented the first toothbrush. It was made from hogback bristles attached to bone or bamboo. While that might sound unhygienic to people with electric toothbrushes, floss and mouthwash, the emperor’s toothbrush was— compared to what came before it— highly advanced.

Researchers Watch How Anthrax Spores Grow in Cultured Human Tissues

June 26, 2015 7:00 am | by Pacific Northwest National Laboratory | News | Comments

Cultured human lung cells infected with a benign version of anthrax spores have yielded insights into how anthrax grows and spreads in exposed people. The study will help provide credible data for human health related to anthrax exposure and help officials better understand risks related to a potential anthrax attack.

Serotonin May Reduce Dementia Related-impulsiveness

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

Restoring the low levels of the chemical serotonin may help improve brain function and reduce impulsiveness in some dementia patients, according researchers. Their study suggests a potential new treatment for people affected by frontotemporal dementia.

Disabled People Pilot Robot with Thoughts

June 26, 2015 7:00 am | by EPFL | Videos | Comments

Using a telepresence system, 19 people– including nine quadriplegics– were able to remotely control a robot located in a university laboratory. This multi-year research project aims to give a measure of independence to paralyzed people.

Breast Cancer Paper to Be Retracted– 3 Years After False Data Exposed

June 25, 2015 2:20 pm | by Seth Augenstein, Digital Reporter | News | Comments

An academic paper that outlined how breast cancer molecules metastasize will be retracted next week, because of falsified data. But the retraction will come more than three years after an internal university ethics panel called foul on the paper.

Supreme Court Upholds Obamacare Subsidies

June 25, 2015 2:20 pm | by Associated Press, Mark Sherman | News | Comments

The Supreme Court on Thursday upheld the nationwide tax subsidies under President Barack Obama's health care overhaul, in a ruling that preserves health insurance for millions of Americans. The justices said in a six to three ruling that the subsidies 8.7 million people currently receive to make insurance affordable do not depend on where they live, under the 2010 health care law.

Brain Atlas Could Aid Diagnosis of Diseases

June 25, 2015 2:20 pm | by Univ. of Edinburgh | News | Comments

A digital map of the aging brain could aid the diagnosis of Alzheimer’s disease and other neurodegenerative disorders, a study suggests. The atlas could aid diagnosis by comparing patients’ MRI scans with a map of the healthy aging brain.

Together, Weight Loss, Vitamin D Reduce Disease-causing Inflammation

June 25, 2015 2:20 pm | by Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center | News | Comments

For the first time, researchers have found that weight loss, in combination with vitamin D supplementation, has a greater effect on reducing chronic inflammation than weight loss alone. Chronic inflammation is known to contribute to the development and progression of several diseases, including some cancers.

Q&A: Emmanuel Asante, Brain-eating and Prion Diseases

June 25, 2015 7:00 am | by Lily Barback, Associate Editor | News | Comments

Laboratory Equipment’s scientist of the week is Emmanuel Asante from University College London. He and a team, inspired by brain-eating cannibals from Papua New Guinea who survived a scourge of brain disease, used genetically engineered mice to study resistance to mad cow disease.

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