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Showing posts from April, 2015

EIGHT OILS THAT HEAL YOUR BODY

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Using an adequate amount of the right kinds of fats and oils can play a pivotal role in slowing down the ageing of your body. Good fats provide the body with fuel alongside the feeling of fullness. These can also stimulate fat burning. Studies show the value of supplementing our diet with additional essential fats to prevent and treat a broad spectrum of diseases. Distinguishing good fats from bad fats can be tricky, so here are the top eight healthy fats and oils, reports femalefirst.co.uk. Coconut Oil: It has rightly earned the title of a ‘superfood’ and it is consumed in large amounts by some of the healthiest populations around the world. It is also brilliant for those looking to lose or maintain their weight. The fatty acids in coconut oil have been shown to speed up overall metabolism, helping people expend more energy compared with long-chain fats. It can also help with neurological disorders and can significantly benefit common skin issues. It also helps in reducing scars and marks…

CITY AIR CAN DAMAGE BRAIN STRUCTURES

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Air pollution, even at moderate levels, has long been recognized as a factor in raising the risk of stroke. A new study led by scientists from Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center and Boston University School of Medicine suggests that long-term exposure can cause damage to brain structures and impair cognitive function in middle-aged and older adults Writing in the May 2015 issue of Stroke, researchers who studied more than 900 participants of the Framingham Heart Study found evidence of smaller brain structure and of covert brain infarcts, a type of "silent" ischemic stroke resulting from a blockage in the blood vessels supplying the brain. The study evaluated how far participants lived from major roadways and used satellite imagery to assess prolonged exposure to ambient fine particulate matter, particles with a diameter of 2.5 millionth of a meter, referred to as PM2.5. These particles come from a variety of sources, including power plants, factories, trucks and automobiles…

DEVICE IDENTIFIES DRUGS THAT WILL WORK BEST FOE EACH PATIENT

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More than 100 drugs have been approved to treat cancer, but predicting which ones will help a particular patient is an inexact science at best. A new device developed at MIT may change that. The implantable device, about the size of the grain of rice, can carry small doses of up to 30 different drugs. After implanting it in a tumor and letting the drugs diffuse into the tissue, researchers can measure how effectively each one kills the patient's cancer cells. Such a device could eliminate much of the guesswork now involved in choosing cancer treatments, says Oliver Jonas, a postdoc at MIT's Koch Institute for Integrative Cancer Research and lead author of a paper describing the device in the April 22 issue of Science Translational Medicine. "You can use it to test a patient for a range of available drugs, and pick the one that works best," Jonas says. The paper's senior authors are Robert Langer, the David H. Koch Professor at MIT and a member of the Koch Institute, …

SUGAR SWEETENED BEVERAGES SUPPRESS BODY'S STRESS RESPONSE

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Drinking sugar-sweetened beverages can suppress the hormone cortisol and stress responses in the brain, but diet beverages sweetened with aspartame do not have the same effect, according to a new study published in the Endocrine Society'sJournal of Clinical Endocrinology & Metabolism "This is the first evidence that high sugar -- but not aspartame -- consumption may relieve stress in humans," said one of the study's authors, Kevin D. Laugero, PhD, of the University of California, Davis, and the U.S. Department of Agriculture's Agricultural Research Service. "The concern is psychological or emotional stress could trigger the habitual overconsumption of sugar and amplify sugar's detrimental health effects, including obesity." About 35 percent of adults and nearly 17 percent of children nationwide are obese, according to the Society's Endocrine Facts & Figures report. Sugary drinks such as soda and juice have been linked to this problem. Half…

CHEMICALS IN SWEAT MAY SHOW OUR HAPPINESS

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Humans may be able to communicate positive emotions like happiness through the smell of our sweat, according to new research published inPsychological Science, a journal of the Association for Psychological Science. The research indicates that we produce chemical compounds, or chemosignals, when we experience happiness that are detectable by others who smell our sweat. While previous research has shown that negative emotions related to fear and disgust are communicated via detectable regularities in the chemical composition of sweat, few studies have examined whether the same communicative function holds for positive emotions. "Our study shows that being exposed to sweat produced under happiness induces a simulacrum of happiness in receivers, and induces a contagion of the emotional state," explains psychological scientist Gün Semin of Utrecht University in the Netherlands, senior researcher on the study. "This suggests that somebody who is happy will infuse others in the…

NEW BLOOD TEST CAN PREDICT FUTURE BREAST CANCER

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According to the World Health Organization, breast cancer is one of the most common cancer in women both in the developed and less developed world, and in the long term the scientists hope that the new method will lead to better prevention and early treatment of the disease. The method is better than mammography, which can only be used when the disease has already occurred. It is not perfect, but it is truly amazing that we can predict breast cancer years into the future," said Rasmus Bro, a professor of chemometrics in the Department of Food Science at University of Copenhagen. He stressed the method has been tested and validated only for a single population (cohort) and needs to be validated more widely before it can be used practically. A new way of detecting diseases Nevertheless, the method could create a paradigm shift in early diagnosis of breast cancer as well as other diseases. "The potential is that we can detect a disease like breast cancer much earlier than today. Th…

PLUCK HAIR IN A SPECIFIC PATTERN TO GROW NEW HAIR

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If  there's a cure for male pattern baldness, it might hurt a little. A team led by USC Stem Cell Principal Investigator Cheng-Ming Chuong has demonstrated that by plucking 200 hairs in a specific pattern and density, they can induce up to 1,200 replacement hairs to grow in a mouse. These results are published in the April 9 edition of the journalCell. It is a good example of how basic research can lead to a work with potential translational value," said Chuong, who is a professor of pathology at the Keck School of Medicine of USC. "The work leads to potential new targets for treating alopecia, a form of hair loss." The study began a couple of years ago when first author and visiting scholar Chih-Chiang Chen arrived at USC from National Yang-Ming University and Veterans General Hospital, Taiwan. As a dermatologist, Chen knew that hair follicle injury affects its adjacent environment, and the Chuong lab had already established that this environment in turn can influenc…

SHORTER HEIGHT IS DIRECTLY ASSOCIATED WITH INCREASED RISK OF CORONARY HEART DISEASE

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The shorter you are- the more your risk of coronary heart disease. That's the key finding of a new study led by the University of Leicester which discovered that every 2.5 inches change in your height affected your risk of coronary heart disease by 13.5%. For example, compared to a 5ft 6inch tall person, a 5 foot tall person on average has a 32% higher risk of coronary heart disease because of their relatively shorter stature. The research, led by Professor Sir Nilesh Samani, British Heart Foundation Professor of Cardiology at the University of Leicester, is published online in the New England Journal of Medicine. The research was supported by the British Heart Foundation, The National Institute for Health Research (NIHR) and others. Professor Samani said: "For more than 60 years it has been known that there is an inverse relationship between height and risk of coronary heart disease. "It is not clear whether this relationship is due to confounding factors such as poor socio…

SMART PHONE APPS DETECTS BACTERIA DISEASES

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In much the same way that glucometers and pregnancy tests have revolutionized in-home diagnostic testing, researchers from Florida Atlantic University and collaborators have identified a new biosensing platform that could be used to remotely detect and determine treatment options for HIV,E-coli,Staphylococcus aureas and other bacteria. Using a drop of blood from a fingerprick, this novel biosensing platform provides clinically relevant specificity, sensitivity and detection of pathogens from whole blood and plasma. The thin, lightweight and flexible materials developed by these researchers can be fabricated and operated without the need for expensive infrastructure and skilled personnel, potentially solving real-world healthcare problems for both developed and developing countries. Using this technology, they also have developed a phone app that could detect bacteria and disease in the blood using images from a cellphone that could easily be analyzed from anywhere in the world. Waseem A…

ELEMENTS OF SURPRISE HELPS BABIES LEARN

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Infants have innate knowledge about the world and when their expectations are defied, they learn best, researchers at Johns Hopkins University found. In a paper to be published April 3 in the journalScience, cognitive psychologists Aimee E. Stahl and Lisa Feigenson demonstrate for the first time that babies learn new things by leveraging the core information they are born with. When something surprises a baby, like an object not behaving the way a baby expects it to, the baby not only focuses on that object, but ultimately learns more about it than from a similar yet predictable object. "For young learners, the world is an incredibly complex place filled with dynamic stimuli. How do learners know what to focus on and learn more about, and what to ignore? Our research suggests that infants use what they already know about the world to form predictions. When these predictions are shown to be wrong, infants use this as a special opportunity for learning," said Feigenson, a profes…

HOW WE HEAR DISTANCE , ECHOES ESSENTIAL

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Mammals are good at figuring out which direction a sound is coming from, whether it's a rabbit with a predator breathing down its neck or a baby crying for its mother. But how we judge how far away that sound is was a mystery until now. Researchers from UConn Health report in the 1 April issue of theJournal of Neuroscience that echoes and fluctuations in volume (amplitude modulation) are the cues we use to figure the distance between us and the source of a noise. "This opens up a new horizon," says Duck O. Kim, a neuroscientist at UConn Health. Researchers have long understood how we can tell a sound's direction--whether it's to our left or right, front or back, and above or below us. But how we tell how far away it is had remained a mystery. "The third dimension of sound location was pretty much unknown," says Kim. All natural sounds, including speech, have amplitude modulation. Kim and his colleague Shigeyuki Kuwada suspected that amplitude modulation, …