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High-speed evolution in the lab: Geneticists evaluate cost-effective genome analysis

High-speed evolution in the lab: Geneticists evaluate cost-effective genome analysis

Life implies change. And this holds true for genes as well. Organisms require a flexible genome in order to adapt to changes in the local environment. Continue reading

Tailored ‘activity coaching’ by smartphone

Tailored ‘activity coaching’ by smartphone

Today’s smartphone user can obtain a lot of data about his or her health, thanks to built-in or separate sensors. Researcher Harm op den Akker of the University of Twente (CTIT Institute) now takes this health monitoring to a higher level. Continue reading

Presence of enzyme may worsen effects of spinal cord injury and impair long-term recovery

Presence of enzyme may worsen effects of spinal cord injury and impair long-term recovery

Traumatic spinal cord injury (SCI) is a devastating condition with few treatment options. Studies show that damage to the barrier separating blood from the spinal cord can contribute to the neurologic deficits that arise secondary to the initial trauma. Through a series of sophisticated experiments, researchers reporting in The American Journal of Pathology suggest that matrix metalloproteinase-3 (MMP-3) plays a pivotal role in disruption of the brain/spinal cord barrier (BSCB), cell death, and functional deficits after SCI. Continue reading

Cellular self-destruct program has deep roots throughout evolution

Cellular self-destruct program has deep roots throughout evolution

In what seems like a counter-intuitive move against survival, within animals, some cells are fated to die from the triggering of an elaborate cell death program, known as apoptosis. Now, Sakamaki et. al., have honed in on understanding the evolution of caspase-8, a key cell death initiator molecule that was first identified in humans Continue reading

How a molecular Superman protects genome from damage

How a molecular Superman protects genome from damage

How many times have we seen Superman swoop down from the heavens and rescue a would-be victim from a rapidly oncoming train? It’s a familiar scenario, played out hundreds of times in the movies. But the dramatic scene is reenacted in real life every time a cell divides Continue reading

I have to walk how many miles to burn off this soda?

I have to walk how many miles to burn off this soda?

Adolescents who saw printed signs explaining the number of miles they would need to walk to burn off the calories in a sugary drink were more likely to leave the store with a lower calorie beverage, a healthier beverage or a smaller size beverage, according to new Johns Hopkins University Bloomberg School of Public Health research. Continue reading

Modeling tumor dormancy: What makes a tumor switch from dormant to malignant?

Modeling tumor dormancy: What makes a tumor switch from dormant to malignant?

Cancer constantly wages war on the human body. Battles are won, lost or sometimes end in a stalemate Continue reading

‘Paradigm shift’ in understanding of potassium channels

‘Paradigm shift’ in understanding of potassium channels

A new discovery relating to one of the most common processes in human cells is being described as a ‘paradigm shift’ in understanding. Continue reading

Scientists find ‘hidden brain signatures’ of consciousness in vegetative state patients

Scientists find ‘hidden brain signatures’ of consciousness in vegetative state patients

Scientists in Cambridge have found hidden signatures in the brains of people in a vegetative state, which point to networks that could support consciousness even when a patient appears to be unconscious and unresponsive. Continue reading

Diabetic men with low testosterone run higher risk of developing atherosclerosis

Diabetic men with low testosterone run higher risk of developing atherosclerosis

Men who have low testosterone and Type 2 diabetes face a greater risk of developing atherosclerosis — a condition where plaque builds up in the arteries — than men who have diabetes and normal testosterone levels, according to a new study published in the Endocrine Society’s Journal of Clinical Endocrinology & Metabolism ( JCEM ). Atherosclerosis occurs when fats, cholesterol and other substances build up in and on the walls of the body’s arteries. This can restrict blood flow through the body’s blood vessels. Continue reading