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Sugar Molecule Key to Cancer Diagnosis Sans Biopsies

March 27, 2015 3:00 pm | by Johns Hopkins Univ. | News | Comments

Imaging tests like mammograms or CT scans can detect tumors, but figuring out whether a growth is or isn't cancer usually requires a biopsy to study cells directly. Now, results of a study suggest that MRI could one day make biopsies more effective or even replace them altogether by noninvasively detecting telltale sugar molecules shed by the outer membranes of cancerous cells.

HIV Can Evolve in Brain Early in Illness

March 27, 2015 7:00 am | by National Institutes of Health | News | Comments

The AIDS virus can genetically evolve and independently replicate in patients' brains early in...

Tissue Samples Can Be Painted with Light

March 27, 2015 7:00 am | by Univ. of Illinois | News | Comments

One infrared scan can give pathologists a window into the structures and molecules inside...

Oral Benefit of Natural Sweeter is Unproven

March 26, 2015 3:00 pm | by Wiley | News | Comments

New research concludes that there is limited evidence to show that xylitol is effective in...

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Popular Antacids May Up Bone Fracture Risk

March 26, 2015 3:00 pm | by Forsyth Institute | News | Comments

Newly published research details a discovery explaining why the 100 million Americans estimated to be taking prescription and over-the-counter antacid and heartburn medications may be at an increased risk of bone fractures.

Oral Benefit of Natural Sweeter is Unproven

March 26, 2015 3:00 pm | by Wiley | News | Comments

New research concludes that there is limited evidence to show that xylitol is effective in preventing dental cavities in children and adults. Xylitol is a natural sweetener that is widely promoted globally, and can be found in wide range of everyday products including sugar-free chewing gum, toothpaste, gels, lozenges and sweets.

Tissue Model Assesses Inhaled Chemicals, Pollutants

March 26, 2015 7:00 am | by British American Tobacco | News | Comments

Effective lab-based tests are required to eliminate the need for animal testing in assessing the toxicological effects of inhaled chemicals and safety of medicines. A 3-D model of human respiratory tissue has been shown to be an effective platform for measuring the impact of chemicals, like those found in cigarette smoke, or other aerosols, on the lung.

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Will New Drugs Actually Fight Antibiotic Resistance?

March 26, 2015 7:00 am | by BMJ | News | Comments

Antimicrobial resistance is a major health care problem worldwide. In the first installment of a new series in The BMJ, a professor asks why authorities are approving drugs with little evidence they do anything to tackle the problem of antimicrobial resistance.

Raw Milk Dramatically Ups Foodborne Illness Risk

March 26, 2015 7:00 am | by Johns Hopkins Center for a Livable Future | News | Comments

An analysis found that the risks of drinking raw (unpasteurized) cow’s milk are significant. Consumers are nearly 100 times more likely to get foodborne illness from drinking raw milk than pasteurized milk. In fact, the work found raw milk was associated with more than half of all milk-related foodborne illness, even though only an estimated 3.5 percent of the U.S. population consumes it.

Tiny DNA Sequencer May Aid Disease Surveillance

March 26, 2015 7:00 am | by BioMed Central | News | Comments

A pocket-sized device that can rapidly determine the sequence of an organism's DNA has shown its potential in disease detection. In the first analysis of its kind, researchers were able to use the device to accurately identify a range of closely related bacteria and viruses within six hours, demonstrating the potential for this technology to be used as a mobile diagnostic clinic during outbreaks.

Food Additive May Be Safer, Greener Antifreeze

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

The sweet taste and smell of antifreeze tempts children and animals to drink the poisonous substance, resulting in thousands of accidental poisonings in the U.S. every year. But today, researchers are describing a new, nontoxic product based on a common food additive that could address this health issue and help the environment at the same time.

Non-modified Foods May Get Organic-style Labels

March 25, 2015 3:00 pm | by Associated Press, Mary Jalonick | News | Comments

Inspired by the popular "USDA organic" label, House Republicans are proposing a new government certification for foods free of genetically modified ingredients. The idea is part of an attempt to block mandatory labeling of foods that include genetically modified organisms, or GMOs.

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Industrial Metal Harms Honey Bees

March 25, 2015 3:00 pm | by Washington Univ. in St. Louis | News | Comments

Scientists have looked at the effect of low levels of manganese, a common industrial pollutant, on the behavior of honey bees. At levels considered safe for human food, the metal seemed to addle bees. The bees advanced through age-related work assignments faster than normal, yet completed fewer foraging trips than their sisters who were not exposed to manganese.

Science, Patients Drive Rare Disease Drug Search

March 25, 2015 3:00 pm | by Associated Press, Linda Johnson | News | Comments

Drugmakers are pouring billions into developing treatments for rare diseases, which once drew little interest from the industry but now point the way toward a new era of innovative therapies and big profits. The investments come as researchers harness recent scientific advances, including the mapping of the human genome, sophisticated and affordable genetic tests and robots that screen thousands of compounds per hour.

Supreme Court to Consider EPA's Mercury Limits

March 25, 2015 8:56 am | by Associated Press, Mark Sherman | News | Comments

The Supreme Court is taking up a challenge by industry groups and Republican-led states that want to roll back Obama administration environmental rules aimed at reducing power plant emissions of mercury and other hazardous air pollutants that contribute to respiratory illnesses, birth defects and developmental problems in children.

Cleaning Could Remove 95% of Contaminates from Wastewater

March 25, 2015 7:00 am | by Lappeenranta Univ. of Technology | News | Comments

Improving the efficiency of the current wastewater cleaning process, using membrane filtration and oxidation, can remove more than 95 percent of contaminants, such as drug residues and pesticides, from water. The results show that these technologies remove up to 99 percent of contaminants and nutrients.

Internet Breast Milk is Dangerous

March 25, 2015 7:00 am | by BMJ | News | Comments

The nutritional benefits of breast milk for babies are widely documented, but many new mothers find it difficult or are unable to breastfeed. This pushes some mothers to purchase human breast milk on the Internet. Despite appearing as healthy and beneficial products, many new mothers— and even some healthcare workers— are not aware that this market is dangerous because it is not regulated.

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Recalls Issued for Spinach, Ice Cream Because of Listeria

March 25, 2015 7:00 am | by Associated Press, Kristin Bender, David Warren | News | Comments

Three organic food companies that use spinach in their food have recalled hundreds of thousands of items over listeria concerns. And, Blue Bell is expanding the recall of some ice cream products to include 3-ounce cups of chocolate, strawberry and vanilla ice cream that have tab lids because of possible exposure to the listeria bacteria.

Today in Lab History: Dame Mary Douglas

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

Dame Mary Douglas (nee Margaret Mary Tew) was a British anthropologist born to colonial parents in Italy on March 25, 1921. Raised as a Roman Catholic, she was a supporter of structural analysis with an interest in comparative religion.

Air Pollution Linked to Anxiety, Stroke

March 25, 2015 7:00 am | by BMJ | News | Comments

Two separate studies have found that air pollution is linked to a higher risk of stroke, particularly in developing countries, and is associated with anxiety. Stroke is a leading cause of death and kills around 5 million people each year worldwide. Anxiety is the most common psychiatric disorder and globally affects around 16 percent of people at some point in life.

Whole Grains, Cereal Linked to Reduced Death Risk

March 24, 2015 3:00 pm | by BioMed Central | News | Comments

A diet high in whole grains and cereal fibers is associated with a reduced risk of premature death, according to research. The results also show cereal fibers to be associated with reduced risk of deaths in varying degrees for chronic diseases including cancer, heart disease, respiratory disease and diabetes.

Farmers Fund Wheat, Gluten Research

March 24, 2015 3:00 pm | by Associated Press, Roxana Hegeman | News | Comments

Kansas farmers are paying for genetic research to figure out exactly why some people struggle to digest wheat. The hard science is aimed at developing new varieties of wheat at a time when the gluten-free industry is worth nearly a billion dollars a year in the U.S. alone.

Gene Influences Body Shape, Disease Risks

March 24, 2015 7:00 am | by Duke Univ. | News | Comments

Scientists have known for some time that people who carry a lot of weight around their bellies are more likely to develop diabetes and heart disease than those who have bigger hips and thighs. But what hasn't been clear is why fat accumulates in different places to produce classic "apple" and "pear" shapes.

Tastier, Healthier Chocolate Possible

March 24, 2015 7:00 am | by ACS | News | Comments

Chocolate has many health benefits— it can potentially lower blood pressure and cholesterol and reduce stroke risk. But just as connoisseurs thought it couldn't get any better, there's this tasty new tidbit: researchers have found a way to make the treat even more nutritious— and sweeter.  

Popular Sweetener Key to Treating Aggressive Cancers

March 23, 2015 3:00 pm | by ACS | News | Comments

Saccharin, the artificial sweetener that is the main ingredient in Sweet 'N Low, Sweet Twin and Necta, could do far more than just keep our waistlines trim. According to new research, this popular sugar substitute could potentially lead to the development of drugs capable of combating aggressive, difficult-to-treat cancers with fewer side effects.  

Popular Weed Killer is One Likely Cause of Cancer

March 23, 2015 8:17 am | by Associated Press, Joshua Goodman | News | Comments

The new labeling of the world's most-popular weed killer as a likely cause of cancer is raising more questions for an aerial spraying program in Colombia that is the cornerstone of the U.S.-backed war on drugs. A research arm of WHO has reclassified the herbicide glyphosate as a result of convincing evidence the chemical produces cancer in lab animals and more limited findings it causes non-Hodgkin's lymphoma in humans.

Science is Not Just About Facts: Readers React

March 23, 2015 7:00 am | by Michelle Taylor, Editor-in-Chief | Blogs | Comments

Earlier this month, I wrote an editorial based on the release of a study that revealed stark differences between the general public and scientists on science-related issues. It received a lot of attention, garnering comments and sparking debate. Here are a few of the best comments and reaction to them.

Special Microbes May Fight Obesity from the Gut

March 23, 2015 7:00 am | by ACS | News | Comments

Microbes may just be the next diet craze. Researchers have programmed bacteria to generate a molecule that, through normal metabolism, becomes a hunger-suppressing lipid. Mice that drank water laced with the programmed bacteria ate less, had lower body fat and staved off diabetes— even when fed a high-fat diet— offering a potential weight-loss strategy for humans.

Opossums Hold Key to Treating Poisonous Snake Bites

March 23, 2015 7:00 am | by ACS | News | Comments

Scientists have turned to the opossum to develop a promising new and inexpensive antidote for poisonous snake bites. They predict it could save thousands of lives worldwide without the side effects of current treatments.

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