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First study of brain activation in MS using fNIRS

First study of brain activation in MS using fNIRS

Using functional near infrared spectroscopy (fNIRS), Kessler Foundation researchers have shown differential brain activation patterns between people with multiple sclerosis (MS) and healthy controls. This is the first MS study in which brain activation was studied using fNIRS while participants performed a cognitive task Continue reading

Encyclopedia of how genomes function gets much bigger

Encyclopedia of how genomes function gets much bigger

A big step in understanding the mysteries of the human genome was unveiled today in the form of three analyses that provide the most detailed comparison yet of how the genomes of the fruit fly, roundworm, and human function. The research, appearing August 28 in in the journal Nature, compares how the information encoded in the three species’ genomes is “read out,” and how their DNA and proteins are organized into chromosomes. The results add billions of entries to a publicly available archive of functional genomic data Continue reading

Junk food makes rats lose appetite for balanced diet

Junk food makes rats lose appetite for balanced diet

A diet of junk food not only makes rats fat, but also reduces their appetite for novel foods, a preference that normally drives them to seek a balanced diet, reports a study published in the open-access journal Frontiers in Psychology . The study helps to explain how excessive consumption of junk food can change behavior, weaken self-control and lead to overeating and obesity Continue reading

Dosage of HIV drug may be ineffective for half of African-Americans

Dosage of HIV drug may be ineffective for half of African-Americans

Many African-Americans may not be getting effective doses of the HIV drug maraviroc, a new study from Johns Hopkins suggests. Continue reading

Sorting cells with sound waves

Sorting cells with sound waves

Researchers from MIT, Pennsylvania State University, and Carnegie Mellon University have devised a new way to separate cells by exposing them to sound waves as they flow through a tiny channel. Their device, about the size of a dime, could be used to detect the extremely rare tumor cells that circulate in cancer patients’ blood, helping doctors predict whether a tumor is going to spread. Separating cells with sound offers a gentler alternative to existing cell-sorting technologies, which require tagging the cells with chemicals or exposing them to stronger mechanical forces that may damage them Continue reading

Expanding age of eligibility for measles vaccination could increase childhood survival in Africa

Expanding age of eligibility for measles vaccination could increase childhood survival in Africa

Expanding the age of eligibility for measles vaccination from 12 to 15 months could have potentially large effects on coverage in Africa, according to a new report published by Princeton University’s Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs. Continue reading

Cancer-fighting drugs might also stop malaria early

Cancer-fighting drugs might also stop malaria early

Scientists searching for new drugs to fight malaria have identified a number of compounds — some of which are currently in clinical trials to treat cancer — that could add to the anti-malarial arsenal. Duke University assistant professor Emily Derbyshire and colleagues identified more than 30 enzyme-blocking molecules, called protein kinase inhibitors, that curb malaria before symptoms start Continue reading

Protein’s ability to inhibit HIV release discovered

Protein’s ability to inhibit HIV release discovered

A family of proteins that promotes virus entry into cells also has the ability to block the release of HIV and other viruses, University of Missouri researchers have found. “This is a surprising finding that provides new insights into our understanding of not only HIV infection, but also that of Ebola and other viruses,” said Shan-Lu Liu, MD, PhD, associate professor in the MU School of Medicine’s Department of Molecular Microbiology and Immunology. The study was recently published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences Continue reading

Exposure to toxins makes great granddaughters more susceptible to stress

Exposure to toxins makes great granddaughters more susceptible to stress

Scientists have known that toxic effects of substances known as endocrine disrupting chemicals (EDCs), found in both natural and human-made materials, can pass from one generation to the next, but new research shows that females with ancestral exposure to EDC may show especially adverse reactions to stress. Continue reading

New biomarker highly promising for predicting breast cancer outcomes

New biomarker highly promising for predicting breast cancer outcomes

A protein named p66ShcA shows promise as a biomarker to identify breast cancers with poor prognoses, according to research published ahead of print in the journal Molecular and Cellular Biology . Continue reading