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New culprit identified in metabolic syndrome

New culprit identified in metabolic syndrome

A new study suggests uric acid may play a role in causing metabolic syndrome, a cluster of risk factors that increases the risk of heart disease and type 2 diabetes. Uric acid is a normal waste product removed from the body by the kidneys and intestines and released in urine and stool. Continue reading

Mystery of brain cell growth unraveled by scientists

Mystery of brain cell growth unraveled by scientists

In the developing brain, special proteins that act like molecular tugboats push or pull on growing nerve cells, or neurons, helping them navigate to their assigned places amidst the brain’s wiring. How a single protein can exert both a push and a pull force to nudge a neuron in the desired direction is a longstanding mystery that has now been solved by scientists from Dana-Farber Cancer Institute and collaborators in Europe and China. Jia-huai Wang, PhD, who led the work at Dana-Farber and Peking University in Beijing, is a corresponding author of a report published in the August 7 online edition of Neuron that explains how one guidance protein, netrin-1, can either attract or repel a brain cell to steer it along its course. Continue reading

Down syndrome: Behind the scenes of genetics, leukemia

Down syndrome: Behind the scenes of genetics, leukemia

Children affected by trisomy 21 (or Down syndrome) are 50 to 500 times more likely to develop leukemia than other children. A group of geneticists working in the Faculty of Medicine at the University of Geneva (UNIGE) focused for many years on the genetic characteristics of Down syndrome. Continue reading

Lipids boost the brain, study finds

Lipids boost the brain, study finds

Consuming oils with high polyunsaturated fatty acid content, in particular those containing omega-3s, is beneficial for the health. But the mechanisms underlying this phenomenon are poorly known. Researchers at the Institut de Pharmacologie Moléculaire et Cellulaire (CNRS/Université Nice Sophia Antipolis), the Unité Compartimentation et Dynamique Cellulaires (CNRS/Institut Curie/UPMC), the INSERM and the Université de Poitiers investigated the effect of lipids bearing polyunsaturated chains when they are integrated into cell membranes. Continue reading

Hybrid-motor helps cells push their way through tissues

Hybrid-motor helps cells push their way through tissues

Research has uncovered how two cellular motors, previously thought to compete with each other, can actually work together to help cells squeezing through a crowded mass of cells. Continue reading

Phthalate compounds contaminating your glass of wine

Phthalate compounds contaminating your glass of wine

We all know what risks our favourite wines and spirits pose to our health but now scientists reveal that the packaging of these drinks may be just as damaging. Is it time to leave that extra bottle of red on the supermarket shelf Continue reading

Pictures in five seconds: Digital x-ray imaging

Pictures in five seconds: Digital x-ray imaging

Wanting to replace the medical equipment for taking X-rays, the Mexican Society of Radiology (CMR) created a system of digital x-ray imaging, which replaces the traditional plaque by a solid detector, which delivers results in five seconds. Continue reading

Best way to brush teeth? Even dentists, dental associations don’t agree

Best way to brush teeth? Even dentists, dental associations don’t agree

Advice on how we should brush our teeth from dental associations and toothpaste companies is ‘unacceptably inconsistent’, finds new UCL research. The study, published in the British Dental Journal , looked at the brushing advice given by dental associations across ten countries, toothpaste and toothbrush companies and in dental textbooks Continue reading

Parents part of problem in distracted teen driving, study finds

Parents part of problem in distracted teen driving, study finds

Parents play a direct role in distracted teen driving, with more than half of teens talking on cellphones with their mother or father while driving, according to new research presented at the American Psychological Association’s 122nd Annual Convention. Continue reading

Type 2 diabetics can live longer than people without the disease

Type 2 diabetics can live longer than people without the disease

Patients treated with a drug widely prescribed for type 2 diabetes can live longer than people without the condition, a large-scale study involving over 180,000 people has shown. Continue reading