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Can Neuroscience Inform Everyday Life? The “Translation Problem”

October 18, 2017

A new paper asks why neuroscience hasn’t had more “impact on our daily lives.”
The article, Neuroscience and everyday life: facing the translation problem, comes from Dutch researchers Jolien C. Francken and Marc Slors. It’s a thought-provoking piece, but it left me feeling that the authors are expecting too much from neuroscience. I don’t …

Alcohol industry using tobacco-style tactics to confuse cancer link, says study

The alcohol industry is spreading misinformation about the established link between alcohol and cancer, in tactics similar to those used by tobacco manufacturers, a study has found.
Alcohol is estimated to cause more than 1500 cancer deaths in Australia every year, with breast and bowel cancers of particular concern.
But an international study …

More traits associated with your Neandertal DNA

October 11, 2017

After humans and Neandertals met many thousands of years ago, the two species began interbreeding. Although Neandertals aren’t around anymore, about two percent of the DNA in non-African people living today comes from them. Recent studies have shown that some of those Neandertal genes have contributed to human immunity and …

Artificial sweeteners trick the brain: study

October 04, 2017

Researchers at Yale University School of Medicine say that in nature the intensity of sweetness reflects the amount of energy present. But in modern-day life, the body’s metabolism is fooled when a beverage is either too sweet or not sweet enough for the amount of calories it contains.
That means that a sweet-tasting, …

Australian researchers say they can stop melanoma spreading

Researchers say a combination of new treatments can stop the world’s deadliest form of skin cancer—melanoma—in its tracks and halt its spread to other organs. Results from two international drug trials conducted by the Sydney-based Melanoma Institute Australia have proved successful in preventing the disease spreading in stage three patients …

In the U.S., 110 Million S.T.D. Infections

The incidence of chlamydia, gonorrhea and syphilis is increasing, according to a new report from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. At any given time, there are an estimated 110 million sexually transmitted infections in the United States.
While HPV is the most common sexually transmitted disease, according to the C.D.C., chlamydia is the …

Stress and social media fuel mental health crisis among UK girls

September 27, 2017

Girls and young women are experiencing a “gathering crisis” in their mental health linked to conflict with friends, fears about their body image and pressures created by social media, experts have warned.
Rates of stress, anxiety and depression are rising sharply among teenage girls in what mental health specialists say is a “deeply …

Could modifying gut microbes prevent or delay type 1 diabetes?

Autoimmune diseases such as type 1 diabetes are controlled by our genes. While researchers are eager to find out what other factors could contribute to this disease, a new study published by Yale researchers provides direct evidence that environmental factors, such as microbes that inhabit our intestines, may influence the …

Your stools reveal whether you can lose weight

Something as simple as a faeces sample reveals whether you can lose weight by following dietary recommendations characterized by a high content of fruit, vegetables, fibers and whole grains. This is a finding of a new study conducted at the Department of Nutrition, Exercise and Sports at the University of …

Study challenges perception that empathy erodes during medical school

September 20, 2017

The relationship between a doctor and patient relies heavily on the physician’s capacity to empathize with or be sensitive to a patient’s emotional state. Empathy has been associated with patients’ increased adherence to treatment, fewer malpractice complaints, improved patient satisfaction and favorable health outcomes.
Some studies have documented troubling declines in empathy during …

‘Microbiomes’ may hold key to kids’ ear infections

Recurrent ear infections are the bane of many children—and the parents who have to deal with their care. Now, research suggests that naturally occurring, “helpful” bacterial colonies in the ear—called “microbiomes” by scientists—may help decide a person’s vulnerability to these infections.
“The children and adults with normal middle ears differed significantly …

Surgeons have major influence on breast cancer treatment

A woman’s choice of surgeon plays a significant role in whether she’s likely to receive an increasingly popular aggressive breast cancer surgery.
The procedure, called contralateral prophylactic mastectomy or CPM, involves removing both breasts even when cancer is found only in one. It is seen to be strongly driven by patients‘ preferences.
A new study, …

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