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Tag Archives: laboratory

Innovation improves drowsy driver detection

Innovation improves drowsy driver detection

Researchers at Washington State University Spokane have developed a new way to detect when drivers are about to nod off behind the wheel. Continue reading

Some astronauts at risk for cognitive impairment, animal studies suggest

Some astronauts at risk for cognitive impairment, animal studies suggest

Johns Hopkins scientists report that rats exposed to high-energy particles, simulating conditions astronauts would face on a long-term deep space mission, show lapses in attention and slower reaction times, even when the radiation exposure is in extremely low dose ranges. The cognitive impairments — which affected a large subset, but far from all, of the animals — appear to be linked to protein changes in the brain, the scientists say. The findings, if found to hold true in humans, suggest it may be possible to develop a biological marker to predict sensitivity to radiation’s effects on the human brain before deployment to deep space Continue reading

More Americans in their golden years are going hungry

More Americans in their golden years are going hungry

In a country as wealthy as the United States, it may come as a surprise that one in 12 seniors do not have access to adequate food due to lack of money or other financial resources. Continue reading

Applying math to biology: Software identifies disease-causing mutations in undiagnosed illnesses

Applying math to biology: Software identifies disease-causing mutations in undiagnosed illnesses

A computational tool developed at the University of Utah (U of U) has successfully identified diseases with unknown gene mutations in three separate cases, U of U researchers and their colleagues report in a new study in The American Journal of Human Genetics . The software, Phevor (Phenotype Driven Variant Ontological Re-ranking tool), identifies undiagnosed illnesses and unknown gene mutations by analyzing the exomes, or areas of DNA where proteins that code for genes are made, in individual patients and small families. Sequencing the genomes of individuals or small families often produces false predictions of mutations that cause diseases. Continue reading

Researchers identify a new variant of Ebola virus in Guinea

Researchers identify a new variant of Ebola virus in Guinea

In an article which appeared in The New England journal of Medicine on 16 April, researchers from Inserm (Jean Mérieux-Inserm BSL-4 Laboratory, Lyon) and the Institut Pasteur have published their initial findings on the characteristics of the Ebola virus discovered in Guinea. Initial virological investigations enabled them to identify Zaire ebolavirus as the pathogen responsible for this epidemic. Performed in less than a month, sequencing of the complete genome and subsequent phylogenetic analysis show that the virus present in Guinea forms a clade (variant) that is distinct from strains previously identified in the Democratic Republic of Congo and in Gabon. Continue reading

A protein required for integrity of induced pluripotent stem cells

A protein required for integrity of induced pluripotent stem cells

Cell reprogramming converts specialised cells such as nerve cells or skin cells towards an embryonic stem cell state. This reversal in the evolutionary development of cells also requires a reversal in the biology of telomeres, the structures that protect the ends of chromosomes; whilst under normal conditions telomeres shorten over time, during cell reprogramming they follow the opposite strategy and increase in length. A study published today in the journal Stem Cell Reports , from the Cell Publishing Group, reveals that the SIRT1 protein is needed to lengthen and maintain telomeres during cell reprogramming Continue reading

Some immune cells defend only one organ

Some immune cells defend only one organ

Scientists have uncovered a new way the immune system may fight cancers and viral infections. The finding could aid efforts to use immune cells to treat illness. Continue reading

Potential use of Google Glass in surgical settings

Potential use of Google Glass in surgical settings

An article recently published in the International Journal of Surgery shows the potential applications for Google Glass in the surgical setting, particularly in relation to training. Personal portable information technology is advancing at a breathtaking speed. Continue reading

Penicillin redux: Rearming proven warriors for the 21st century

Penicillin redux: Rearming proven warriors for the 21st century

Penicillin, one of the scientific marvels of the 20 th century, is currently losing a lot of battles it once won against bacterial infections. But scientists at the University of South Carolina have just reported a new approach to restoring its combat effectiveness, even against so-called “superbugs.” Bacteria have been chipping away at the power of the penicillin family of drugs since their first wide-scale use as antibiotics in the 1940s Continue reading

Lashing out at your spouse? Check your blood sugar

Lashing out at your spouse? Check your blood sugar

Lower levels of blood sugar may make married people angrier at their spouses and even more likely to lash out aggressively, new research reveals. In a 21-day study, researchers found that levels of blood glucose in married people, measured each night, predicted how angry they would be with their spouse that evening. At the end of the 21 days, people who had generally lower levels of glucose were willing to blast their spouses with unpleasant noises at a higher volume and for a longer time than those who had higher glucose levels. Continue reading