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Promising agents burst through ‘superbug’ defenses to fight antibiotic resistance

Promising agents burst through ‘superbug’ defenses to fight antibiotic resistance

In the fight against “superbugs,” scientists have discovered a class of agents that can make some of the most notorious strains vulnerable to the same antibiotics that they once handily shrugged off. The report on the promising agents called metallopolymers appears in the Journal of the American Chemical Society . Chuanbing Tang and colleagues note that the antibiotic-resistant bacteria known as MRSA (methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus ) is responsible for a significant fraction of the infections that patients acquire in hospitals Continue reading

Stressful environments genetically affect African American boys

Stressful environments genetically affect African American boys

Stressful upbringings can leave imprints on the genes of children as young as age 9, according to a study led by Princeton University and Pennsylvania State University researchers. Such chronic stress during youth leads to physiological weathering similar to aging. A study of 40 9-year-old black boys, published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences , shows that those who grow up in disadvantaged environments have shorter telomeres — DNA sequences that generally shrink with age — than their advantaged peers Continue reading

Cancer cells may respond to mechanical force

Cancer cells may respond to mechanical force

The push and pull of physical force can cause profound changes in the behavior of a cell. Two studies from researchers working at the UNC Lineberger Comprehensive Cancer Center reveal how cells respond to mechanical manipulation, a key factor in addressing the underlying causes of cancer and other diseases. Continue reading

Physical activity is beneficial for late-life cognition

Physical activity is beneficial for late-life cognition

Physical activity in midlife seems to protect from dementia in old age, according to a study carried out at the University of Eastern Finland. Those who engaged in physical activity at least twice a week had a lower risk of dementia than those who were less active. The protective effects were particularly strong among overweight individuals Continue reading

Proprioceptive feedback helps rehab patients learning to operate robotic prosthetic

Proprioceptive feedback helps rehab patients learning to operate robotic prosthetic

The unconscious process by which human beings perceive the position of their body parts — known as proprioception — is a critical element of the body’s motor control system. Proprioceptive feedback plays a key role in rehabilitation following a brain injury. Continue reading

Small cash incentives dramatically improve hepatitis B vaccination rates among injecting drug users

Small cash incentives dramatically improve hepatitis B vaccination rates among injecting drug users

Small financial incentives, totalling as little as £30, can dramatically increase the likelihood of people who inject drugs completing a course of hepatitis B virus (HBV) vaccination, according to new research published in The Lancet . Researchers in the UK found that people undergoing treatment for heroin addiction who received a maximum total of £30 supermarket vouchers in equal or graduated installments in return for full compliance with a regimen of three HBV vaccine injections were at least 12 times as likely to complete the course within 28 days compared to those not receiving a financial incentive (45% for equal payment installments and 49% for graduated payment installments vs 9% for no payment incentive). The study was led by Professor John Strang from the National Addiction Centre at King’s College London, UK, working in close collaboration with senior colleagues at Imperial College London and University College London (UCL), in the UK Continue reading

Small cash incentives dramatically improve hepatitis B vaccination rates among injecting drug users

Small cash incentives dramatically improve hepatitis B vaccination rates among injecting drug users

Small financial incentives, totalling as little as £30, can dramatically increase the likelihood of people who inject drugs completing a course of hepatitis B virus (HBV) vaccination, according to new research published in The Lancet . Researchers in the UK found that people undergoing treatment for heroin addiction who received a maximum total of £30 supermarket vouchers in equal or graduated installments in return for full compliance with a regimen of three HBV vaccine injections were at least 12 times as likely to complete the course within 28 days compared to those not receiving a financial incentive (45% for equal payment installments and 49% for graduated payment installments vs 9% for no payment incentive). The study was led by Professor John Strang from the National Addiction Centre at King’s College London, UK, working in close collaboration with senior colleagues at Imperial College London and University College London (UCL), in the UK Continue reading

Consumer, be aware: Quality of health-related internet searches varies

Consumer, be aware: Quality of health-related internet searches varies

If you’re like most people, you’ve gone online to find out what’s causing that ringing in your ears or whether a gluten-free diet is worth considering. Be careful. Continue reading

Online registry to drive brain disease research

Online registry to drive brain disease research

A new online project led by researchers at UC San Francisco promises to dramatically cut the time and cost of conducting clinical trials for brain diseases, while also helping scientists analyze and track the brain functions of thousands of volunteers over time. With easy online registration, the Brain Health Registry is designed to create a ready pool of research subjects for studies on neurological diseases, such as Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s, as well as depression, post-traumatic stress disorder and many other brain ailments. Continue reading

Surprising truth about obsessive-compulsive thinking

Surprising truth about obsessive-compulsive thinking

People who check whether their hands are clean or imagine their house might be on fire are not alone. New research from Concordia University and 15 other universities worldwide shows that 94 per cent of people experience unwanted, intrusive thoughts, images and/or impulses Continue reading