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Experts denounce clinical trials of unscientific, ‘alternative’ medicines

Experts denounce clinical trials of unscientific, ‘alternative’ medicines

Experts writing in the Cell Press journal Trends in Molecular Medicine on August 20th call for an end to clinical trials of “highly implausible treatments” such as homeopathy and reiki. Continue reading

Scientists confirm effectiveness of cognitive rehabilitation in MS

Scientists confirm effectiveness of cognitive rehabilitation in MS

Date: August 8, 2014 Source: Kessler Foundation Summary: In individuals with MS, patterns of brain activity associated with learning were maintained at six months post training, scientists report in a new article following up on a long term study. For the pilot study, participants underwent evaluation of memory performance and brain activity at baseline, immediately following memory retraining, and at 6-month followup. Results showed that the patterns of increased cerebral activation that correlated with learning were maintained at 6-month followup Continue reading

Scientists confirm effectiveness of cognitive rehabilitation in MS

Scientists confirm effectiveness of cognitive rehabilitation in MS

Date: August 8, 2014 Source: Kessler Foundation Summary: In individuals with MS, patterns of brain activity associated with learning were maintained at six months post training, scientists report in a new article following up on a long term study. Continue reading

Flores bones show features of Down syndrome, not a new ‘Hobbit’ human

Flores bones show features of Down syndrome, not a new ‘Hobbit’ human

In October 2004, excavation of fragmentary skeletal remains from the island of Flores in Indonesia yielded what was called “the most important find in human evolution for 100 years.” Its discoverers dubbed the find Homo floresiensis, a name suggesting a previously unknown species of human. Now detailed reanalysis by an international team of researchers including Robert B. Eckhardt, professor of developmental genetics and evolution at Penn State, Maciej Henneberg, professor of anatomy and pathology at the University of Adelaide, and Kenneth Hsü, a Chinese geologist and paleoclimatologist, suggests that the single specimen on which the new designation depends, known as LB1, does not represent a new species. Continue reading

Novel mechanism for invasion of EV71 virus demonstrated

Novel mechanism for invasion of EV71 virus demonstrated

Date: July 18, 2014 Source: Springer Summary: A novel mechanism for EV71 entry mediated by its receptor SCARB2 has been reported by scientists. These findings make a significant conceptual advance in the understanding of non-enveloped virus entry, to which EV71 belongs Continue reading

Extinct human cousin gave Tibetans advantage at high elevation

Extinct human cousin gave Tibetans advantage at high elevation

Tibetans were able to adapt to high altitudes thanks to a gene picked up when their ancestors mated with a species of human they helped push to extinction, according to a new report by University of California, Berkeley, scientists. An unusual variant of a gene involved in regulating the body’s production of hemoglobin — the molecule that carries oxygen in the blood — became widespread in Tibetans after they moved onto the high-altitude plateau several thousand years ago. This variant allowed them to survive despite low oxygen levels at elevations of 15,000 feet or more, whereas most people develop thick blood at high altitudes, leading to cardiovascular problems Continue reading

Nut allergy boy died after takeaway

Nut allergy boy died after takeaway

unable to retrieve full-text contentA teenager with a nut allergy died after eating a Chinese takeaway containing peanut butter, an inquest hears. Continue reading

Conditions linked to deadly bird flu revealed: High risk areas identified

Conditions linked to deadly bird flu revealed: High risk areas identified

A dangerous strain of avian influenza, H7N9, that’s causing severe illness and deaths in China may be inhabiting a small fraction of its potential range and appears at risk of spreading to other suitable areas of India, Bangladesh, Vietnam, Indonesia and the Philippines, according to a new study published today in the journal Nature Communications . Continue reading

Mechanism that forms cell-to-cell catch bonds found by researchers

Mechanism that forms cell-to-cell catch bonds found by researchers

Certain bonds connecting biological cells get stronger when they’re tugged. Those bonds could help keep hearts together and pumping; breakdowns of those bonds could help cancer cells break away and spread. Those bonds are known as catch bonds and they’re formed by common adhesion proteins called cadherins. Continue reading

Humans have a nose for gender: Chemical cues influence perceptions of movement as more masculine or feminine

Humans have a nose for gender: Chemical cues influence perceptions of movement as more masculine or feminine

The human body produces chemical cues that communicate gender to members of the opposite sex, according to researchers who report their findings in the Cell Press journal Current Biology on May 1. Whiffs of the active steroid ingredients (androstadienone in males and estratetraenol in females) influence our perceptions of movement as being either more masculine or more feminine Continue reading