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In-depth analysis of bat influenza viruses concludes they pose low risk to humans

In-depth analysis of bat influenza viruses concludes they pose low risk to humans

Zoonosis — transmission of infections from other vertebrates to humans — causes regular and sometimes serious disease outbreaks. Bats are a well-known vertebrate reservoir of viruses like rabies and Ebola Continue reading

Sense of invalidation uniquely risky for troubled teens

Sense of invalidation uniquely risky for troubled teens

Among the negative feelings that can plague a teen’s psyche is a perception of “invalidation,” or a lack of acceptance. Continue reading

Ebola genome browser now online to aid researchers’ response to crisis

Ebola genome browser now online to aid researchers’ response to crisis

The UC Santa Cruz Genomics Institute late Tuesday (Sept. 30) released a new Ebola genome browser to assist global efforts to develop a vaccine and antiserum to help stop the spread of the Ebola virus. The team led by University of California, Santa Cruz researcher Jim Kent worked around the clock for the past week, communicating with international partners to gather and present the most current data. Continue reading

DNA ‘bias’ may keep some diseases in circulation, biologists show

DNA ‘bias’ may keep some diseases in circulation, biologists show

It’s an early lesson in genetics: we get half our DNA from Mom, half from Dad. But that straightforward explanation does not account for a process that sometimes occurs when cells divide. Called gene conversion, the copy of a gene from Mom can replace the one from Dad, or vice versa, making the two copies identical. Continue reading

Dog’s epigenome gives clues to human cancer

Dog’s epigenome gives clues to human cancer

The bond between humans and dogs is strong and ancient. Continue reading

Decreased ability to identify odors can predict death: Olfactory dysfunction is a harbinger of mortality

Decreased ability to identify odors can predict death: Olfactory dysfunction is a harbinger of mortality

For older adults, being unable to identify scents is a strong predictor of death within five years, according to a study published October 1, 2014, in the journal PLOS ONE . Thirty-nine percent of study subjects who failed a simple smelling test died during that period, compared to 19 percent of those with moderate smell loss and just 10 percent of those with a healthy sense of smell. The hazards of smell loss were “strikingly robust,” the researchers note, above and beyond most chronic diseases. Continue reading

Gut bacteria are protected by host during illness

Gut bacteria are protected by host during illness

To protect their gut microbes during illness, sick mice produce specialized sugars in the gut that feed their microbiota and maintain a healthy microbial balance. Continue reading

ZEB1: Oscar for leading role in fat storage

ZEB1: Oscar for leading role in fat storage

A team from EPFL, in collaboration with ETH Zurich, has managed to decode the process of adipogenesis by identifying the precise proteins that play the leading roles in fat absorption. Their findings have been published in the open-access scientific journal eLife Continue reading

Study uncovers important process for immune system development

Study uncovers important process for immune system development

Research by UC Irvine immunologists reveals new information about how our immune system functions, shedding light on a vital process that determines how the body’s ability to fight infection develops. In the online version of Nature Immunology , neurology professor Dr. Continue reading

Disease decoded: Gene mutation may lead to development of new cancer drugs

Disease decoded: Gene mutation may lead to development of new cancer drugs

The discovery of a gene mutation that causes a rare premature aging disease could lead to the development of drugs that block the rapid, unstoppable cell division that makes cancer so deadly. Scientists at the University of Michigan and the U-M Health System recently discovered a protein mutation that causes the devastating disease dyskeratosis congenita, in which precious hematopoietic stem cells can’t regenerate and make new blood Continue reading