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Space station inspired robot to help heal sick children

Space station inspired robot to help heal sick children

Children love robots. In all shapes, sizes, “personalities” and “smarts,” these electronic wonders have been found under Christmas trees by kids and unwrapped on birthdays for years. The gift of space-inspired robotics now goes beyond toys Continue reading

Severing nerves may shrink stomach cancers: Botox injections slow growth of stomach tumors in mice

Severing nerves may shrink stomach cancers: Botox injections slow growth of stomach tumors in mice

Research from Columbia University Medical Center shows that nerves may play a critical role in stomach cancer growth and that blocking nerve signals using surgery or Botox® (onabotulinumtoxinA) could be an effective treatment for the disease. Continue reading

Scientists learn more about rare skin cancer that killed Bob Marley

Scientists learn more about rare skin cancer that killed Bob Marley

Acral melanomas, the rare type of skin cancer that caused musician Bob Marley’s death, are genetically distinct from other types of skin cancer. Cancer Research UK scientists have discovered that acral melanomas — the rare type of skin cancer that caused reggae musician Bob Marley’s death — are genetically distinct from other more common types of skin cancer, according to a study published in the journal Pigment Cell & Melanoma Research Continue reading

Teen sleeplessness piles on risk for obesity

Teen sleeplessness piles on risk for obesity

Teenagers who don’t get enough sleep may wake up to worse consequences than nodding off during chemistry class. According to new research, risk of being obese by age 21 was 20 percent higher among 16-year-olds who got less than six hours of sleep a night, compared with their peers who slumbered more than eight hours. (The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends nine to ten hours of sleep for teenagers.) Researchers at the Mailman School of Public Health at Columbia University and the University of North Carolina Gillings School of Public Health are the first to examine the effect of sleeplessness on obesity in teenagers over time, providing the strongest evidence yet that lack of sleep raises risk for an elevated BMI 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

Engineering bone growth: Coated tissue scaffolds help body grow new bone to repair injuries or congenital defects

Engineering bone growth: Coated tissue scaffolds help body grow new bone to repair injuries or congenital defects

MIT chemical engineers have devised a new implantable tissue scaffold coated with bone growth factors that are released slowly over a few weeks. When applied to bone injuries or defects, this coated scaffold induces the body to rapidly form new bone that looks and behaves just like the original tissue. Continue reading

Ruxolitinib for myelofibrosis: Indication of considerable added benefit

Ruxolitinib for myelofibrosis: Indication of considerable added benefit

Ruxolitinib (trade name: Jakavi) has been approved since August 2012 for the treatment of adults with myelofibrosis. Continue reading

Red v. Blue state knowledge about abortion examined

Red v. Blue state knowledge about abortion examined

A new national survey reveals that the political divide among red-versus-blue states does not support the hypothesis that knowledge about abortion and health is shaped by the state in which one lives. Research led by Danielle Bessett, a University of Cincinnati assistant professor of sociology, was presented at the 109th Meeting of the American Sociological Association in San Francisco. 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

Do gut bacteria rule our minds?  In an ecosystem within us, microbes evolved to sway food choices

Do gut bacteria rule our minds? In an ecosystem within us, microbes evolved to sway food choices

It sounds like science fiction, but it seems that bacteria within us — which outnumber our own cells about 100-fold — may very well be affecting both our cravings and moods to get us to eat what they want, and often are driving us toward obesity. In an article published this week in the journal BioEssays , researchers from UC San Francisco, Arizona State University and University of New Mexico concluded from a review of the recent scientific literature that microbes influence human eating behavior and dietary choices to favor consumption of the particular nutrients they grow best on, rather than simply passively living off whatever nutrients we choose to send their way Continue reading