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In The News

A Scary New Superbug Gene has Reached at Least 19 Countries

January 28, 2016

Just two months ago, researchers in China identified a gene that can make bacteria resistant to a last-resort antibiotic called colistin. It was a bombshell discovery for people who follow superbugs. Now that gene has been detected in at least 19 countries, and scientists are alarmed.
Colistin is what doctors give you in …

E-Cigarettes Tied to Reduced Odds of Quitting Smoking

People who use electronic cigarettes, or e-cigarettes, are less likely to quit traditional cigarettes than people who don’t use the devices, suggests a fresh look at some past research.
“The odds of quitting were 28 percent lower for smokers using e-cigarettes than people not using e-cigarettes,” said senior author Stanton Glantz, …

Pattern of Brain Chatter ‘Clue to Anaesthesia Response’

January 21, 2016

Taking readings of brain activity before patients go for surgery could help doctors give a more accurate dose of anaesthetic, researchers suggest.
At present, a patient’s body weight is the main factor in deciding the dose. But a University of Cambridge study indicated people with high levels of brain connectivity or …

Learning a Second Language May Depend on the Strength of Brain’s Connections

Learning a second language is easier for some adults than others, and innate differences in how the various parts of the brain “talk” to one another may help explain why, according to a study published January 20 in the Journal of Neuroscience.

“These findings have implications for predicting language learning success …

A New Role for ApoE Explains its Diverse Range of Effects, Particularly in Alzheimer’s

A study from the Buck Institute and UCLA offers an explanation for why a particular genetic form (allele) of apolipoprotein E (ApoE) poses the most significant genetic risk for Alzheimer’s disease. Publishing on January 20th in The Journal of Neuroscience, researchers cast the lipid-binding ApoE4 in an entirely new light, …

Implanted Coils Help Some Lung Disease Patients, Study Says

January 14, 2016

A novel, minimally invasive way to treat severe breathing problems caused by lung disease showed modest but promising benefits in a small French study.
The technique involves inserting several small metal alloy coils through a scope into the lungs, aiming to tighten diseased tissue and open up healthy airways. It’s among …

New Insights into Causes of Loss of Orientation in Dementia

New research has revealed how disease-associated changes in two interlinked networks within the brain may play a key role in the development of the symptoms of dementia.
The University of Exeter Medical School led two studies, each of which moves us a step closer to understanding the onset of dementia, and …

Potato Rich Diet ‘May Increase Pregnancy Diabetes Risk’

Eating potatoes or chips on most days of the week may increase a woman’s risk of diabetes during pregnancy, say US researchers.
This is probably because starch in spuds can trigger a sharp rise in blood sugar levels, they say. Their study in the BMJ tracked more than 21,000 pregnancies. But …

Eighty Children Get Chickenpox at Brunswick North West Primary, a School that Calls for ‘Tolerance’ of Vaccine Dodgers

December 17, 2015

One in four of the children who attend a Brunswick school that calls for tolerance for vaccine dodgers has contracted chickenpox. At least 80 of the 320 pupils at Brunswick North West Primary in Melbourne’s north have become ill with the disease in the past fortnight. It is understood the …

Obesity ‘Biggest Threat to Women’s Health’ in England

Obesity is the biggest threat to women’s health and the health of future generations, warns England’s chief medical officer Dame Sally Davies. Her annual report, which focuses on women this year, said tackling obesity should be a national priority to avert a “growing health catastrophe”. She said the food industry …

First Serotonin Neurons Made from Human Stem Cells

Su-Chun Zhang, a pioneer in developing neurons from stem cells at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, has created a specialized nerve cell that makes serotonin, a signaling chemical with a broad role in the brain.

Serotonin affects emotions, sleep, anxiety, depression, appetite, pulse and breathing. It also plays a role in serious …

Why Focusing on a Visual Task Will Make Us Deaf to Our Surroundings

December 10, 2015

Concentrating attention on a visual task can render you momentarily ‘deaf’ to sounds at normal levels, reports a new UCL study funded by the Wellcome Trust.
The study, published in the Journal of Neuroscience, suggests that the senses of hearing and vision share a limited neural resource. Brain scans from 13 …