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ADHD: Scientists discover brain’s anti-distraction system

ADHD: Scientists discover brain’s anti-distraction system

Two Simon Fraser University psychologists have made a brain-related discovery that could revolutionize doctors’ perception and treatment of attention-deficit disorders. This discovery opens up the possibility that environmental and/or genetic factors may hinder or suppress a specific brain activity that the researchers have identified as helping us prevent distraction. The Journal of Neuroscience has just published a paper about the discovery by John McDonald, an associate professor of psychology and his doctoral student John Gaspar, who made the discovery during his master’s thesis research. Continue reading

Recalculating costs of combination vaccines

Recalculating costs of combination vaccines

One of the most popular vaccine brands for children may not be the most cost-effective choice. And doctors may be overlooking some cost factors when choosing vaccines, driving the market toward what is actually a more expensive option, according to a new study by University of Illinois researchers. “The choice of vaccines to administer can be driven by numerous factors,” says Sheldon H Continue reading

Multitarget TB drug could treat other diseases, evade resistance

Multitarget TB drug could treat other diseases, evade resistance

A drug under clinical trials to treat tuberculosis could be the basis for a class of broad-spectrum drugs that act against various bacteria, fungal infections and parasites, yet evade resistance, according to a study by University of Illinois chemists and collaborators. Led by U. Continue reading

Target for treating dengue fever discovered

Target for treating dengue fever discovered

Two recent papers by a University of Colorado School of Medicine researcher and colleagues may help scientists develop treatments or vaccines for Dengue fever, West Nile virus, Yellow fever, Japanese encephalitis and other disease-causing flaviviruses. Jeffrey S. Continue reading

How the immune system protects children from malaria

How the immune system protects children from malaria

According to a study published today in PLOS Pathogens , children who live in regions of the world where malaria is common can mount an immune response to infection with malaria parasites that may enable them to avoid repeated bouts of high fever and illness and partially control the growth of malaria parasites in their bloodstream. The findings may help researchers develop future interventions that prevent or mitigate the disease caused by the malaria parasite. Continue reading

Gene variant raises risk for aortic tear, rupture

Gene variant raises risk for aortic tear, rupture

Researchers from Yale School of Medicine and Celera Diagnostics have confirmed the significance of a genetic variant that substantially increases the risk of a frequently fatal thoracic aortic dissection or full rupture. The study appears online in PLOS ONE . Thoracic aortic aneurysms, or bulges in the artery wall, can develop without pain or other symptoms Continue reading

Tracking flu levels with Wikipedia

Tracking flu levels with Wikipedia

Can monitoring Wikipedia hits show how many people have the flu? Researchers at Boston Children’s Hospital, USA, have developed a method of estimating levels of influenza-like illness in the American population by analysing Internet traffic on specific flu-related Wikipedia articles. David McIver and John Brownstein’s model, publishing in PLOS Computational Biology on April 17th, estimates flu levels in the American population up to two weeks sooner than data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention becomes available, and accurately estimates the week of peak influenza activity 17% more often than Google Flu Trends data Continue reading

Deadly human pathogen Cryptococcus fully sequenced

Deadly human pathogen Cryptococcus fully sequenced

Within each strand of DNA lies the blueprint for building an organism, along with the keys to its evolution and survival. These genetic instructions can give valuable insight into why pathogens like Cryptococcus neoformans — a fungus responsible for a million cases of pneumonia and meningitis every year — are so malleable and dangerous Continue reading

Fighting malaria drug resistance: Scientists find new way

Fighting malaria drug resistance: Scientists find new way

An anti-malarial treatment that lost its status as the leading weapon against the deadly disease could be given a new lease of life, with new research indicating it simply needs to be administered differently. The findings could revive the use of the cheap anti-malarial drug chloroquine in treating and preventing the mosquito-bourne disease, which claims the lives of more than half a million people each year around the world. The parasite that causes malaria has developed resistance to chloroquine, but research carried out at the Australian National University (ANU) and Germany’s University of Heidelberg has shown that the parasite protein that causes resistance has an Achilles’ heel 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