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Three person IVF plans ‘progress’

Three person IVF plans ‘progress’

unable to retrieve full-text contentA public review into the three person IVF technique has been broadly supportive, says the Department of Health. Continue reading

New clues to brain’s wiring found by scientists

New clues to brain’s wiring found by scientists

New research provides an intriguing glimpse into the processes that establish connections between nerve cells in the brain. Continue reading

Genetic variations may modify cardiovascular benefit of aspirin

Genetic variations may modify cardiovascular benefit of aspirin

Aspirin is the gold standard for antiplatelet therapy and a daily low-dose aspirin is widely prescribed for the prevention of cardiovascular disease. Now, a new study suggests that common genetic variation in the gene for catechol-O-methyltransferase (COMT) may modify the cardiovascular benefit of aspirin, and in some people, may confer slight harm Continue reading

Poor sleep quality linked to lower physical activity in people with PTSD

Poor sleep quality linked to lower physical activity in people with PTSD

A new study shows that worse sleep quality predicts lower physical activity in people with post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). Results show that PTSD was independently associated with worse sleep quality at baseline, and participants with current PTSD at baseline had lower physical activity one year later. Further analysis found that sleep quality completely mediated the relationship between baseline PTSD status and physical activity at the one-year follow-up, providing preliminary evidence that the association of reduced sleep quality with reduced physical activity could comprise a behavioral link to negative health outcomes such as obesity. Continue reading

Self-assembling nanoparticle could improve MRI scanning for cancer diagnosis

Self-assembling nanoparticle could improve MRI scanning for cancer diagnosis

Scientists have designed a new self-assembling nanoparticle that targets tumours, to help doctors diagnose cancer earlier. The new nanoparticle, developed by researchers at Imperial College London, boosts the effectiveness of Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) scanning by specifically seeking out receptors that are found in cancerous cells. The nanoparticle is coated with a special protein, which looks for specific signals given off by tumours, and when it finds a tumour it begins to interact with the cancerous cells. Continue reading

Fungicides for crops: Worrying link to fungal drug resistance in UK, warns scientists

Fungicides for crops: Worrying link to fungal drug resistance in UK, warns scientists

Crop spraying on British farms could be aiding a life-threatening fungus suffered by tens of thousand of people in the UK each year. New research by British and Dutch scientists has found that Aspergillus — a common fungus that attacks the lungs and is found in soil and other organic matter — has become resistant to life — saving drugs in parts of rural Yorkshire. Continue reading

Obesity alone does not cause arthritis in animals

Obesity alone does not cause arthritis in animals

The link between obesity and osteoarthritis may be more than just the wear and tear on the skeleton caused by added weight. A Duke University study has found that the absence of the appetite hormone leptin can determine whether obese mice experience arthritis, no matter how heavy they are. “We were completely surprised to find that mice that became extremely obese had no arthritis if their bodies didn’t have leptin,” said Farshid Guilak, PhD, director of orthopaedic research in the Duke Department of Surgery Continue reading

Stem cell researcher targets ‘seeds’ of breast cancer metastasis

Stem cell researcher targets ‘seeds’ of breast cancer metastasis

For breast cancer patients, the era of personalized medicine may be just around the corner, thanks to recent advances by USC Stem Cell researcher Min Yu and scientists at Massachusetts General Hospital and Harvard Medical School. In a July 11 study in Science , Yu and her colleagues report how they isolated breast cancer cells circulating through the blood streams of six patients. Some of these deadly cancer cells are the “seeds” of metastasis, which travel to and establish secondary tumors in vital organs such as the bone, lungs, liver and brain. Continue reading

Non-invasive urine test could be used to predict premature birth, delivery of small babies

Non-invasive urine test could be used to predict premature birth, delivery of small babies

Testing for the presence of specific molecules present in the urine of pregnant women can give an indication in early pregnancy of whether a baby will be born premature or the fetus will suffer poor growth, according to research published in the open access journal BMC Medicine . Identifying these conditions early in pregnancy could potentially help reduce complications and manage any difficulties, although more work is needed before the findings can be translated to clinical settings Continue reading

DARPA taps Lawrence Livermore to develop world’s first neural device to restore memory

DARPA taps Lawrence Livermore to develop world’s first neural device to restore memory

The Department of Defense’s Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) awarded Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory (LLNL) up to $2.5 million to develop an implantable neural device with the ability to record and stimulate neurons within the brain to help restore memory, DARPA officials announced this week. The research builds on the understanding that memory is a process in which neurons in certain regions of the brain encode information, store it and retrieve it. Certain types of illnesses and injuries, including Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI), Alzheimer’s disease and epilepsy, disrupt this process and cause memory loss. Continue reading