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Training your brain to prefer healthy foods

Training your brain to prefer healthy foods

It may be possible to train the brain to prefer healthy low-calorie foods over unhealthy higher-calorie foods, according to new research by scientists at the Jean Mayer USDA Human Nutrition Research Center on Aging (USDA HNRCA) at Tufts University and at Massachusetts General Hospital. Published online today in the journal Nutrition & Diabetes , a brain scan study in adult men and women suggests that it is possible to reverse the addictive power of unhealthy food while also increasing preference for healthy foods. “We don’t start out in life loving French fries and hating, for example, whole wheat pasta,” said senior and co-corresponding author Susan B Continue reading

Scientists call for investigation of mysterious cloud-like collections in cells

Scientists call for investigation of mysterious cloud-like collections in cells

About 50 years ago, electron microscopy revealed the presence of tiny blob-like structures that form inside cells, move around and disappear. But scientists still don’t know what they do — even though these shifting cloud-like collections of proteins are believed to be crucial to the life of a cell, and therefore could offer a new approach to disease treatment. In the Journal of Cell Biology , two researchers are issuing a call to investigators from various backgrounds, from biophysics to cell biology, to focus their attention on the role of these formations — for which they coin a new unifying term “assemblages.” “I want to know what these assemblages are doing in Ewing sarcoma, the disease I concentrate on — and I would think all other researchers who study human biology would want to know their functions in both health and disease,” says Jeffrey Toretsky, MD, professor in the department of oncology and pediatrics at Georgetown Lombardi Comprehensive Cancer Center. Continue reading

How Ebola blocks immune system

How Ebola blocks immune system

Researchers at the Washington University School of Medicine have identified one way the Ebola virus dodges the body’s antiviral defenses, providing important insight that could lead to new therapies, in research results published in the journal Cell Host & Microbe. In work performed at Beamline 19ID at Argonne National Laboratory’s Advanced Photon Source, the researchers developed a detailed map of how a non-pathogenic Ebola protein, VP24, binds to a host protein that takes signaling molecules in and out of the cell nucleus. Their map revealed that the viral protein takes away the host protein’s ability to carry an important immune signal into the nucleus. Continue reading

Revealing novel mode of action for osteoporosis drug

Revealing novel mode of action for osteoporosis drug

Raloxifene is a U.S. Continue reading

Leading Ebola researcher says there’s an effective treatment for Ebola

Leading Ebola researcher says there’s an effective treatment for Ebola

A leading U.S. Ebola researcher from the University of Texas Medical Branch at Galveston has gone on record stating that a blend of three monoclonal antibodies can completely protect monkeys against a lethal dose of Ebola virus up to 5 days after infection, at a time when the disease is severe. Thomas Geisbert, professor of microbiology and immunology, has written an editorial for Nature discussing advances in Ebola treatment research. Continue reading

New model predicts patients with type 1 diabetes who will go on to develop major complications

New model predicts patients with type 1 diabetes who will go on to develop major complications

New research published in Diabetologia (the journal of the European Association for the Study of Diabetes) presents a new model for predicting which patients with type 1 diabetes will go on to develop major complications, through easily and routinely measured risk factors. The research is by Assistant Professor Sabita Soedamah-Muthu, Wageningen University, Netherlands, and colleagues. To create the model, data were analysed from 1,973 participants with type 1 diabetes followed for seven years in the EURODIAB Prospective Complications Study, and strong prognostic factors of major outcomes were combined into a computer model Continue reading

Home is where the microbes are

Home is where the microbes are

A person’s home is their castle, and they populate it with their own subjects: millions and millions of bacteria. A study published tomorrow in Science provides a detailed analysis of the microbes that live in houses and apartments. Continue reading

Genomic sequencing reveals mutations, insights into 2014 Ebola outbreak

Genomic sequencing reveals mutations, insights into 2014 Ebola outbreak

In response to an ongoing, unprecedented outbreak of Ebola virus disease (EVD) in West Africa, a team of researchers from the Broad Institute and Harvard University, in collaboration with the Sierra Leone Ministry of Health and Sanitation and researchers across institutions and continents, has rapidly sequenced and analyzed more than 99 Ebola virus genomes. Their findings could have important implications for rapid field diagnostic tests. The team reports its results online in the journal Science . Continue reading

Synthesis produces new fungus-derived antibiotic

Synthesis produces new fungus-derived antibiotic

A fortuitous collaboration at Rice University has led to the total synthesis of a recently discovered natural antibiotic. The laboratory recreation of a fungus-derived antibiotic, viridicatumtoxin B, may someday help bolster the fight against bacteria that evolve resistance to treatments in hospitals and clinics around the world. 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