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Brain Scans Help Reveal How the Brain Ignores Distractions

February 4, 2015

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How the Brain Ignores Distractions

By scanning the brains of people engaged in selective attention to sensations, researchers from Brown University have learned how the brain appears to coordinate the response needed to ignore distractions. Providence, Rhode Island (Brown University) — When we concentrate on something, we also engage in the unsung, parallel act of purposefully ignoring other things. A […]

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Researchers Uncover Genetic Trigger for Immune Response

February 3, 2015

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Yale Uncovers Genetic Trigger for Immune Response

Yale researchers have identified an unexpected relationship between mtDNA and the innate immune response, showing a new source of inflammation that could promote common diseases and aging. The thousands of mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA) molecules present in each cell are known primarily for their role converting food and oxygen into energy. But Yale researchers have identified […]

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How Cancer Uses Notch Signaling to Promote Metastasis

January 29, 2015

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How Cancer Turns Good Cells Bad

A new computational study shows how cancer cells take advantage of the system by which cells communicate with their neighbors as they pass messages to “be like me” or “be not like me.” Cancer uses a little-understood element of cell signaling to hijack the communication process and spread, according to Rice University researchers. Led by […]

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Yale Research Shows Immune Cells Are an Ally, Not Enemy, in Battle Against Alzheimer’s

January 29, 2015

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Study Shows Immune Cells Are An Ally Against Alzheimer’s

New research in battle against Alzheimer’s shows that brain immune cells (called microglia) seem to protect the brain by keeping amyloid plaques corralled, and are not re responsible for inflammation and damage to surrounding brain cells as previously thought. Beta-amyloid is a sticky protein that aggregates and forms small plaques in the brains of the […]

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New Experiments and Simulations Help Explain Collagen’s Force

January 27, 2015

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New Analysis Explains Collagen’s Force

New research from MIT shows that adding or removing small amounts of water from collagen in tendons can generate surprisingly strong forces, as much as 300 times stronger than the forces generated by muscles. Research combining experimental work and detailed molecular simulations has revealed, for the first time, the complex role that water plays in […]

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Modified RNA Extends Telomeres in Human Cells, Turns Back Aging Clock

January 26, 2015

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Telomere Extension Turns Back Aging Clock in Cultured Human Cells

Biologists from the Stanford University School of Medicine used a modified type of RNA to demonstrate a way to lengthen human telomeres by as much as 1,000 nucleotides, turning back the internal clock in these cells by the equivalent of many years of human life. A new procedure can quickly and efficiently increase the length […]

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Reducing Myc Gene Activity Significantly Increases the Healthy Lifespan of Mice

January 23, 2015

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Reducing Myc Gene Activity Extends Healthy Lifespan in Mice

In a newly published study, scientists reveal that reducing Myc gene activity extended the lifespan of mice. The mice lived 15 percent longer on average — 20 percent longer for females and 10 percent longer among males. Providence, Rhode Island (Brown University) — A team of scientists based at Brown University has found that reducing […]

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Yale Study Details Recent Shifts in Occurrence, Cause, and Magnitude of Mass Animal Die-Offs

January 13, 2015

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New Research Shows Mass Animal Die-Offs May Be Increasing

A newly published study from Yale University shows that an increase in mass animal die-offs appears to be associated with a rise in disease emergence, biotoxicity, and multiple interacting stressors. Mass die-offs of animals may be increasing in frequency and — for birds, fishes, and marine invertebrates — in severity as well, according to a […]

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Yale Study Explains How We Live in Harmony With Gut Bacteria

January 9, 2015

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How We Live in Harmony With Gut Bacteria

New research from Yale University identifies a strategy that non-harmful gut bacteria employ to preserve this stable relationship with their host during inflammation. Stability in the composition of the hundred trillion bacterial cells in the human gastrointestinal tract is crucial to health, but scientists have been perplexed how our microbiota withstands an onslaught of toxins, […]

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Study Shows Diabetes Risk Varies with Mg Intake, Genes and Ethnicity

January 8, 2015

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Study Links Magnesium Intake to Diabetes

New research from Brown University investigates the complex interactions between magnesium intake, genes, and ethnicity in determining risk for type 2 diabetes in African American and Hispanic American Women. Providence, Rhode Island (Brown University) — Magnesium is an important nutrient, in part because it appears to help regulate insulin secretion and/or action. Sure enough, studies […]

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Yale Biologists Show Cold Virus Replicates Better at Cooler Temperatures

January 6, 2015

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Study Shows Cold Virus Replicates Better at Cooler Temps

New research from Yale University shows that the common cold virus can reproduce itself more efficiently in cooler temperatures, reaffirming the popular, yet contested, notion that people are more likely to catch a cold in cool-weather conditions. Researchers have long known that the most frequent cause of the common cold, the rhinovirus, replicates more readily […]

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Signal Molecule Gives Rise to New Blood Stem Cells in Embryos

January 2, 2015

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Molecule Gives Rise to New Blood Stem Cells in Embryos

A newly published study from the Max Planck Institute details how interferon gamma plays a key role in the development of blood stem cells during the early phase of embryonic development. In the early stage of embryonic development, stem cells with defined tasks, including blood-forming stem cells, gradually emerge. Scientists from the Max Planck Institute […]

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Scientists Shed New Light on How ‘Microbial Dark Matter’ Might Cause Disease

December 31, 2014

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How Microbial Dark Matter Might Cause Disease

A landmark discovery reveals new insights on the biological, ecological and medical importance of TM7, and could lead to better understanding of other elusive bacteria. One of the great recent discoveries in modern biology was that the human body contains 10 times more bacterial cells than human cells. But much of that bacteria is still […]

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The Role of Genetics Varies Over Time

December 30, 2014

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Nature and Nurture Vary Over Time

New research from Yale University shows that the effect of genes may depend on the total, historical environment in which the researcher and subject are embedded. Nature and nurture have found a new companion — historical context. A new study has produced the best evidence yet that the role of genetics in complex traits, including […]

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New Method for Detecting Unwanted DNA Breaks in Human Cells

December 18, 2014

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New Method for Detecting Unwanted DNA Breaks

Researchers at the Harvard Medical School have developed a new method for detecting unwanted DNA breaks across the entire genome of human cells induced by the popular gene-editing tools called CRISPR-Cas RNA-guided nucleases. Members of the same team that first described these off-target effects in human cells describe their new platform, called GUIDE-seq (Genome-wide Unbiased […]

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Scientists Create the First 3D Maps of Entire Folded Genomes

December 15, 2014

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The First High-Resolution 3D Maps of Entire Folded Genomes

A team of researchers has created the first 3D maps of entire folded genomes, identifying approximately 10,000 folding loops in the human genome. In a triumph for cell biology, researchers have assembled the first high-resolution, 3-D maps of entire folded genomes and found a structural basis for gene regulation, a kind of “genomic origami” that […]

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Gene-Editing System Allows Rapid, Large-Scale Studies of Gene Function

December 11, 2014

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Researchers Develop a New Technique to Study Gene Function

Using a gene-editing system that was originally developed to delete specific genes, researchers from MIT developed a new technique to reliably turn on any gene of their choosing in living cells. This new application for the CRISPR/Cas9 gene-editing system should allow scientists to more easily determine the function of individual genes, according to Feng Zhang, […]

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A Pill to Shed Fat? Researchers Turn White Fat Cells Into Brown Fat Cells

December 10, 2014

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Researchers Turn White Fat Cells into Brown Fat Cells

Scientists from Harvard have created a system using human stem cells to screen for compounds that have the potential to turn white fat cells into brown fat cells. Harvard Stem Cell Institute (HSCI) researchers have taken what they describe as “the first step toward a pill that can replace the treadmill” for the control of […]

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