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Broader definition of successful aging explored by researchers

Broader definition of successful aging explored by researchers

An aging population poses challenges for governments around the globe as nations grapple with how to satisfy the physical, social and economic needs of older adults. Continue reading

Screen of existing drugs finds compounds active against MERS coronavirus

Screen of existing drugs finds compounds active against MERS coronavirus

Clinicians treating patients suffering from Middle East respiratory syndrome (MERS) currently have no drugs specifically targeted to the MERS coronavirus (MERS-CoV), a virus first detected in humans in 2012 that has since caused 614 laboratory-confirmed infections, including 181 that were fatal, according to the World Health Organization. The case count escalated sharply in the spring of this year, and the first cases in the United States were announced in early May. To address the urgent need for therapies, researchers supported by the National Institutes of Health screened a set of 290 compounds already approved by the U.S Continue reading

Herpes-loaded stem cells used to kill brain tumors

Herpes-loaded stem cells used to kill brain tumors

Harvard Stem Cell Institute (HSCI) scientists at Massachusetts General Hospital have a potential solution for how to more effectively kill tumor cells using cancer-killing viruses. The investigators report that trapping virus-loaded stem cells in a gel and applying them to tumors significantly improved survival in mice with glioblastoma multiforme, the most common brain tumor in human adults and also the most difficult to treat. The work, led by Khalid Shah, MS, PhD, an HSCI Principal Faculty member, is published in the Journal of the National Cancer Institute. Continue reading

Intersection of aging, chronic disease studied

Intersection of aging, chronic disease studied

A new collection of articles appearing in The Journals of Gerontology, Series A: Biological Sciences and Medical Sciences focuses on how the basic biology of aging drives chronic disease. Continue reading

How gut bacteria regulate weight gain: Study provides further understanding

How gut bacteria regulate weight gain: Study provides further understanding

Researchers at the Alimentary Pharmabiotic Centre in University College Cork have discovered how gut bacteria communicate with their host to specifically regulate weight gain and serum cholesterol levels. The research, funded by Science Foundation Ireland, has implications for the rational selection and design of probiotics for the control of obesity, high cholesterol and diabetes. Continue reading

Intensive insulin provides survival benefit in patients with type 2 diabetes after heart attack

Intensive insulin provides survival benefit in patients with type 2 diabetes after heart attack

Long-term follow-up of the DIGAMI 1 trial — a landmark study of type 2 diabetes in Sweden — shows that intensive insulin treatment prolonged life by more than 2 years in patients with diabetes after a heart attack, compared with standard treatment for diabetes, reports Dr Viveca Ritsinger from the Unit of Cardiology of the Department of Medicine, Karolinska Institute, Stockholm, Sweden and colleagues in The Lancet Diabetes & Endocrinology . Continue reading

Alternative pathways let right and left communicate in early split brains

Alternative pathways let right and left communicate in early split brains

During the last century, many patients have undergone a variety of brain surgeries in an attempt to alleviate all sorts of psychiatric maladies, from hysteria and depression (mainly in women) to schizophrenia and epilepsy. Early on, doctors believed that psychiatric patients suffered from aberrant wiring among different brain areas and that cutting the connections between these areas would help patients regain normal brain circuits as well as their mental health. For instance, since the 1940s, several patients with intractable epilepsy have been treated with callosotomy, a surgical procedure that severs part or most of the corpus callosum. Continue reading

Longevity gene may boost brain power: Researchers discover the gene may enhance cognitive abilities

Longevity gene may boost brain power: Researchers discover the gene may enhance cognitive abilities

Scientists showed that people who have a variant of a longevity gene, called KLOTHO, have improved brain skills such as thinking, learning and memory regardless of their age, sex, or whether they have a genetic risk factor for Alzheimer’s disease. Increasing KLOTHO gene levels in mice made them smarter, possibly by increasing the strength of connections between nerve cells in the brain. The study was partly funded by the National Institutes of Health Continue reading

Longevity gene may boost brain power: Researchers discover the gene may enhance cognitive abilities

Longevity gene may boost brain power: Researchers discover the gene may enhance cognitive abilities

Scientists showed that people who have a variant of a longevity gene, called KLOTHO, have improved brain skills such as thinking, learning and memory regardless of their age, sex, or whether they have a genetic risk factor for Alzheimer’s disease. Increasing KLOTHO gene levels in mice made them smarter, possibly by increasing the strength of connections between nerve cells in the brain. The study was partly funded by the National Institutes of Health Continue reading

Black male incarceration can compromise research studies

Black male incarceration can compromise research studies

Federal restrictions on including prisoners in medical research have negatively impacted research involving black men, who are disproportionately imprisoned, according to a study by Yale School of Medicine researchers. Because individuals who are already in ongoing studies must be dropped if they are incarcerated, this compromises the ability of researchers to examine racial disparities in health outcomes studies. Published in the May issue of the journal Health Affairs , the study found that during the past three decades, high rates of incarceration of black men may have accounted for up to 65% of the loss of follow-up among this group Continue reading