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United Academics Connects Science to Society.
Cardiac muscle that has survived an infarction has nonetheless lost in part its functionality, and is at risk for complications such as arrhythmias. Scientists have been researching methods to promote heart repair that imply the replacement of the dead CMs with healthy and functional ones. Their technique consists of producing in the lab CMs starting from embryonic stem cells and then injecting them into the damaged heart.... Read more »
Chong JJ, Yang X, Don CW, Minami E, Liu YW, Weyers JJ, Mahoney WM, Van Biber B, Cook SM, Palpant NJ.... (2014) Human embryonic-stem-cell-derived cardiomyocytes regenerate non-human primate hearts. Nature, 510(7504), 273-7. PMID: 24776797
Statements of the Cynical Distrust Scale include (i) I think most people would like to get ahead; (ii) no one cares much what happens to you, etc. The higher one scores, the more cynical distrust they have, and a greater chance of incident dementia. These are the results of a recent study in Finland.... Read more »
Neuvonen, E., Rusanen, M., Solomon, A., Ngandu, T., Laatikainen, T., Soininen, H., Kivipelto, M., & Tolppanen, A. (2014) Late-life cynical distrust, risk of incident dementia, and mortality in a population-based cohort. Neurology. DOI: 10.1212/WNL.0000000000000528
What you should know about sun cream ingredients.
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Brand RM, Pike J, Wilson RM, & Charron AR. (2003) Sunscreens containing physical UV blockers can increase transdermal absorption of pesticides. Toxicology and industrial health, 19(1), 9-16. PMID: 15462532
Schlumpf M, Schmid P, Durrer S, Conscience M, Maerkel K, Henseler M, Gruetter M, Herzog I, Reolon S, Ceccatelli R.... (2004) Endocrine activity and developmental toxicity of cosmetic UV filters--an update. Toxicology, 205(1-2), 113-22. PMID: 15458796
Serpone, N., Dondi, D., & Albini, A. (2007) Inorganic and organic UV filters: Their role and efficacy in sunscreens and suncare products. Inorganica Chimica Acta, 360(3), 794-802. DOI: 10.1016/j.ica.2005.12.057
There’s an age old stereotype that women are made to be mothers, so being a parent comes more naturally to them. A recent paper by Abraham et al. examined brain activity in first-time mothers and fathers, and the results may surprise you.... Read more »
Abraham E, Hendler T, Shapira-Lichter I, Kanat-Maymon Y, Zagoory-Sharon O, & Feldman R. (2014) Father's brain is sensitive to childcare experiences. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America. PMID: 24912146
Rilling JK. (2013) The neural and hormonal bases of human parental care. Neuropsychologia, 51(4), 731-47. PMID: 23333868
Ruscio MG, Sweeny TD, Hazelton JL, Suppatkul P, Boothe E, & Carter CS. (2008) Pup exposure elicits hippocampal cell proliferation in the prairie vole. Behavioural brain research, 187(1), 9-16. PMID: 17913255
Mak GK, & Weiss S. (2010) Paternal recognition of adult offspring mediated by newly generated CNS neurons. Nature neuroscience, 13(6), 753-8. PMID: 20453850
Enrique Iglesias might have had a heart attack because of his beloved, in reality the culprit are bacteria. Research published online in mBio®, indicates that stress, fear or over exertion may trigger these bacteria to cause a heart attack in vulnerable people. Hormones released during such events cause bacterial biofilm to disperse and rupture the plaque deposits into the bloodstream. This causes clogging of artery and restriction of blood flow and hence death.... Read more »
Lanter, B., Sauer, K., & Davies, D. (2014) Bacteria Present in Carotid Arterial Plaques Are Found as Biofilm Deposits Which May Contribute to Enhanced Risk of Plaque Rupture. mBio, 5(3). DOI: 10.1128/mBio.01206-14
From killing 19th century chickens to protecting today’s humans: the historic Pasteurian approach for a new malaria vaccine could save many lives in the near future.... Read more »
Seder RA, Chang LJ, Enama ME, Zephir KL, Sarwar UN, Gordon IJ, Holman LA, James ER, Billingsley PF, Gunasekera A.... (2013) Protection against malaria by intravenous immunization with a nonreplicating sporozoite vaccine. Science (New York, N.Y.), 341(6152), 1359-65. PMID: 23929949
Good MF. (2013) Immunology. Pasteur approach to a malaria vaccine may take the lead. Science (New York, N.Y.), 341(6152), 1352-3. PMID: 24052298
Recent studies reveal that bullied children are at risk for chronic inflammation and illness in adult life.
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Copeland, W., Wolke, D., Lereya, S., Shanahan, L., Worthman, C., & Costello, E. (2014) Childhood bullying involvement predicts low-grade systemic inflammation into adulthood. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, 111(21), 7570-7575. DOI: 10.1073/pnas.1323641111
Wolke, D., Copeland, W., Angold, A., & Costello, E. (2013) Impact of Bullying in Childhood on Adult Health, Wealth, Crime, and Social Outcomes. Psychological Science, 24(10), 1958-1970. DOI: 10.1177/0956797613481608
Researchers from the University of Oxford performed a meta-review based on clinical studies of mental illness. These included mental health problems, substance and alcohol abuse, dementia, autistic spectrum disorders, learning disability and childhood behavioural disorders. They found that most of these reduce life expectancy with 7 to 24 years, whereas heavy smoking reduces life expectancy with 8 to 10 years.... Read more »
Chesney E, Goodwin GM, Fazel S. (2014) Risks of all-cause and suicide mortality in mental disorders: a meta-review. World Psychiatry . info:/
“The erroneous theory is: to speak is to understand. Tell that to Stephen Hawking” - Speech is one of the quickest and most efficient methods of communication, but not as easy for everyone to understand.... Read more »
An interview with Dr. Jan Van den Bulcke. He is an expert on X-ray computed tomography (CT) on wood, a technique that allows to see the inner structure of objects in 3D by irradiating them with X-rays. This technique has long been used in medicine and geology, but it was only recently applied in many other research fields, resulting in a tremendously fast evolution... Read more »
Van den Bulcke, J., Boone, M., Van Acker, J., & Van Hoorebeke, L. (2009) Three-Dimensional X-Ray Imaging and Analysis of Fungi on and in Wood. Microscopy and Microanalysis, 15(05), 395-402. DOI: 10.1017/S1431927609990419
Researchers create a transgenic mouse that stays healthier on a diet of carbohydrates and saturated fats... Read more »
Pai VJ, Wang B, Li X, Wu L, & Kang JX. (2014) Transgenic mice convert carbohydrates to essential Fatty acids. PloS one, 9(5). PMID: 24836606
(1) It is more effective than antibiotics, and it works in a fraction of the time, (2) It can cure all sorts of warts caused by HPV, (3) It has been proven to combat malaria and cancer, and (4) It puts an end to brain cancers with no side-effects.... Read more »
Lu, X., Samuelson, D., Rasco, B., & Konkel, M. (2012) Antimicrobial effect of diallyl sulphide on Campylobacter jejuni biofilms. Journal of Antimicrobial Chemotherapy, 67(8), 1915-1926. DOI: 10.1093/jac/dks138
Das, A., Banik, N., & Ray, S. (2007) Garlic compounds generate reactive oxygen species leading to activation of stress kinases and cysteine proteases for apoptosis in human glioblastoma T98G and U87MG cells. Cancer, 110(5), 1083-1095. DOI: 10.1002/cncr.22888
Current therapies of heavily injured muscles imply surgical removal of the scar tissue and transplantation of immature muscles cells. Unfortunately, the transplanted cells are often unable to survive after transfer into patients. Now scientists bypassed this problem by providing the damaged tissue only with a biological scaffold of Extracellular Matrix (ECM). The results are promising.... Read more »
Brian M. Sicari, J. Peter Rubin, Christopher L. Dearth, Matthew T. Wolf, Fabrisia Ambrosio, Michael Boninger, Neill J. Turner, Douglas J. Weber, Tyler W. Simpson, Aaron Wyse, Elke H. P. Brown, Jenna L. Dziki, Lee E. Fisher, Spencer Brown, Stephen F. Badyl. (2014) An acellular biological scaffold promotes skeletal muscle formation in mice and humans with Volumetric Muscle Loss. Science Translational Medicine . info:/
The company Foc.us Labs has recently released a commercial tDCS headset directed towards video-gamers. The electrodes are placed on the gamer’s forehead so that the prefrontal cortex is targeted with 1-2 milliamps of current for 5-40 minutes. It improves performance, shows research. But is it really healthy?... Read more »
McIntire, L., McKinley, R., Goodyear, C., & Nelson, J. (2014) A Comparison of the Effects of Transcranial Direct Current Stimulation and Caffeine on Vigilance and Cognitive Performance During Extended Wakefulness. Brain Stimulation. DOI: 10.1016/j.brs.2014.04.008
Santarnecchi, E., Feurra, M., Galli, G., Rossi, A., & Rossi, S. (2013) Overclock Your Brain for Gaming? Ethical, Social and Health Care Risks. Brain Stimulation, 6(5), 713-714. DOI: 10.1016/j.brs.2013.07.005
The origin of zebra stripes has long been a mystery: in over a century, scientists developed various hypotheses. Social factors, cooling mechanisms and camouflage against predators, were proposed as possible explanations. However, no striking evidence could support one particular theory, so the black and white striping in zebra was believed to remain a grey area.... Read more »
Growth of biomedical research simultaneously hinders and advances its development.
This week brought to the forefront two important pieces of news in the field of biomedical research. Bad news first – the future of biomedical research looks bleak if things are not going to change. Then the good news – depending on your views on science, this second bit could be either head-scratching or eye opening: Scientists in the Scripps Research Institute, following years of research, have been able to create a synthetic organism with an “artificial DNA”.... Read more »
Alberts B, Kirschner MW, Tilghman S, & Varmus H. (2014) Rescuing US biomedical research from its systemic flaws. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America, 111(16), 5773-7. PMID: 24733905
Malyshev DA, Dhami K, Lavergne T, Chen T, Dai N, Foster JM, Corrêa IR Jr, & Romesberg FE. (2014) A semi-synthetic organism with an expanded genetic alphabet. Nature, 509(7500), 385-8. PMID: 24805238
Recent research shows how alpha-ketoglutarate increases life-span of worms... Read more »
Chin RM, Fu X, Pai MY, Vergnes L, Hwang H, Deng G, Diep S, Lomenick B, Meli VS, Monsalve GC.... (2014) The metabolite α-ketoglutarate extends lifespan by inhibiting ATP synthase and TOR. Nature. PMID: 24828042
Research reveals that fungus from the Dead Sea can address environmental challenges.... Read more »
Kis-Papo, T., Weig, A., Riley, R., Peršoh, D., Salamov, A., Sun, H., Lipzen, A., Wasser, S., Rambold, G., Grigoriev, I.... (2014) Genomic adaptations of the halophilic Dead Sea filamentous fungus Eurotium rubrum. Nature Communications. DOI: 10.1038/ncomms4745
It was easy for Dodo's to perish since they were stuck in one place. But, some dodos travelled. Or were forced to travel anyway. As it goes with rare things, the rarer they get, the more of a collector’s item they become for the wealthy. ... Read more »
Maybe you have already heard about the magic effects of adding a ‘Medium’ size. It makes the ‘Small’ look a little too cheap to order. But the Medium size can do even more. If it is positioned strategically close to the Large option, it even makes the most expensive option look like a fairer deal.... Read more »
Terry Connolly, & Jochen Reb Edgar E. Kausel. (2013) Regret salience and accountability in the decoy effect. Judgment and Decision Making. info:/
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