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Scientists identify which genes are active in muscles of men, women

Scientists identify which genes are active in muscles of men, women

If you want your doctor to know what goes wrong with your muscles because of age, disease or injury, it’s a good idea to know what “normal” actually is. Continue reading

DNA signature found in Ice Storm babies: Prenatal maternal stress exposure to natural disasters predicts epigenetic profile of offspring

DNA signature found in Ice Storm babies: Prenatal maternal stress exposure to natural disasters predicts epigenetic profile of offspring

The number of days an expectant mother was deprived of electricity during Quebec’s Ice Storm (1998) predicts the epigenetic profile of her child, a new study finds. Scientists from the Douglas Mental Health University Institute and McGill University have detected a distinctive ‘signature’ in the DNA of children born in the aftermath of the massive Quebec ice storm Continue reading

How physical exercise protects the brain from stress-induced depression

How physical exercise protects the brain from stress-induced depression

Physical exercise has many beneficial effects on human health, including the protection from stress-induced depression. However, until now the mechanisms that mediate this protective effect have been unknown Continue reading

Improving medicines for children in Canada

Improving medicines for children in Canada

Due to concerns about their vulnerability, children have historically been neglected in drug research and development, including clinical trials. But the reality is that children need medicines and are taking them. Data shows that each year, about half of Canadian children use at least one prescription drug. Continue reading

Combining Epilepsy Drug, Morphine Can Result in Less Pain, Lower Opioid Doses

Combining Epilepsy Drug, Morphine Can Result in Less Pain, Lower Opioid Doses

Adding a common epilepsy drug to a morphine regimen can result in better pain control with fewer side effects. Moreover, the combination can reduce the dosage of the opioid needed to be effective, according to a team of pain researchers at Indiana University. The result could bring significant relief to many patients with neuropathic pain, a difficult-to-treat condition often felt in the arms and legs and associated with nerve tissue damage. 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

Children with autism have extra synapses in brain: May be possible to prune synapses with drug after diagnosis

Children with autism have extra synapses in brain: May be possible to prune synapses with drug after diagnosis

Children and adolescents with autism have a surplus of synapses in the brain, and this excess is due to a slowdown in a normal brain “pruning” process during development, according to a study by neuroscientists at Columbia University Medical Center (CUMC). Continue reading

Novel gene predicts both breast cancer relapse, response to chemotherapy

Novel gene predicts both breast cancer relapse, response to chemotherapy

Scientists have made it easier to predict both breast cancer relapses and responses to chemotherapy, through the identification of a unique gene. Continue reading

New mouse model points to therapy for liver disease

New mouse model points to therapy for liver disease

Non-alcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD) is a common affliction, affecting almost 30 percent of Americans, with a significant number suffering from its most severe form, called non-alcoholic steatohepatitis or NASH, which can lead to cirrhosis and liver cancer. In recent years, NASH has become the leading cause of liver transplantation Continue reading