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Scientists cut main heart disease risk locus out of DNA by genome editing

Mié, 12/05/2018 - 23:00
Scientists have made a major breakthrough in unveiling the major genetic risk factor for heart disease by precisely cutting the DNA culprit from the genome, which prevents blood vessel cell abnormalities related to these devastating diseases.

Link between neonatal vitamin D deficiency and schizophrenia confirmed

Mié, 12/05/2018 - 23:00
Newborns with vitamin D deficiency have an increased risk of schizophrenia later in life, a team of Australian and Danish researchers has reported.The discovery could help prevent some cases of the disease by treating vitamin D deficiency during the earliest stages of life. The study found newborns with vitamin D deficiency had a 44 percent increased risk of being diagnosed with schizophrenia as adults compared to those with normal vitamin D levels.

Stanford researchers use zinc to target insulin-producing cells with regenerative drug

Mié, 12/05/2018 - 23:00
A team of Stanford University endocrinologists and chemists has taken a step toward targeting the cells in the pancreas that produce insulin more precisely, using a property that researchers have long known about but never exploited for treatment: Beta cells, the insulin-producing cells in the pancreas, have a particularly strong taste for zinc.

Acrobatic geckos, highly maneuverable on land and in the air, can also race on water

Mié, 12/05/2018 - 23:00
Asian geckos were observed running over water at nearly a meter per second, as fast as on land. Lab experiments at UC Berkeley show how. They get support from surface tension but also slap the water rapidly with their feet. They also semi-plane over the surface and use their tail for stabilization and propulsion. They thus sit between insects, which use only surface tension, and larger animals, which run upright via foot slapping alone.

Missing the forest for the trees: An unexpected picture of New York City forests

Mié, 12/05/2018 - 23:00
An inventory of New York City's expansive yet overlooked 'forested natural areas' reveals that, contrary to previous reports, native species still comprise about 82 percent of the city's forest stands. In the forests' mid- and understory, however, the proportion of native species fell significantly, suggesting that their dominance could decline in coming decades.

Providing supervised medical-grade heroin to heavy users can reduce harms

Mié, 12/05/2018 - 23:00
Some nations -- but not the US -- provide heroin-assisted treatment and supervised consumption sites as approaches to reduce the harms caused by addiction to opioids. A new study finds that the experiences in other parts of the work find that providing supervised access to medical-grade heroin to people whose use continues after trying multiple traditional treatments has been successful in other countries, and should be piloted and studied in the US.

Cardiac rehabilitation linked to improved sexual functioning and frequency

Mié, 12/05/2018 - 23:00
A new systematic review of the literature comparing the sexual health of patients with cardiovascular disease (CVD) who attended cardiac rehabilitation (CR) with patients who did not, found that rehab attendance is associated with improved sexual function and sexual frequency. Published in the Canadian Journal of Cardiology, the study validates the benefit of exercise training and points to the need for more high quality research to better understand the role of counseling and other therapies in easing the sexual repercussions of a cardiac event.

Silicosis is on the rise, but is there a therapeutic target?

Mié, 12/05/2018 - 23:00
Researchers from the CNRS, the University of Orléans, and the company Artimmune, in collaboration with Turkish clinicians from Atatürk University, have identified a key mechanism of lung inflammation induced by silica exposure, which leads to silicosis, an incurable disease. Their study in mice and patients, published in Nature Communications, shows that this inflammation can be prevented by extracellular DNA degradation, suggesting a new therapeutic target.

Performance on exercise test predicts risk of death from cardiovascular disease and cancer

Mié, 12/05/2018 - 23:00
Performance on an exercise test predicts the risk of death from cardiovascular disease, cancer, and other causes, reports a study presented today at EuroEcho-Imaging 2018. Good performance on the test equates to climbing three floors of stairs very fast, or four floors fast, without stopping. The findings underline the importance of fitness for longevity.

Acute heart failure patients with 'metabolically healthy obesity' have better survival

Mié, 12/05/2018 - 23:00
Acute heart failure patients with 'metabolically healthy obesity' have better survival than those with 'metabolically unhealthy obesity' or with normal weight regardless of metabolic status, according to a study presented today at EuroEcho-Imaging 2018. Obese patients had less deterioration in heart structure and function.

Axillary RT and lymph node surgery yielded comparable outcomes for patients with breast cancer

Mié, 12/05/2018 - 23:00
Patients with early-stage breast cancer who had cancer detected in a sentinel lymph node biopsy had comparable 10-year recurrence and survival rates following either axillary radiotherapy or axillary lymph node dissection, according to data from the randomized, phase III AMAROS clinical trial presented at the 2018 San Antonio Breast Cancer Symposium.

Liquid biopsies in SOLAR-1 trial predict benefit of Alpelisib in PIK3CA-mutant breast cancer

Mié, 12/05/2018 - 23:00
Liquid biopsy-based assessment of PIK3CA mutational status served as a better indicator of progression-free survival compared with analysis of tissue biopsy in breast cancer patients enrolled in the phase III clinical trial SOLAR-1, according to data presented at the 2018 San Antonio Breast Cancer Symposium.

Low-dose tamoxifen reduced recurrence and new disease for patients with DCIS, LCIS, and ADH

Mié, 12/05/2018 - 23:00
Treatment with a low dose of tamoxifen (5 mg per day) halved the risk of disease recurrence and new disease for women who had been treated with surgery following a diagnosis of breast intraepithelial neoplasia compared with placebo, and it did not cause more serious adverse events, according to data from the randomized, phase III TAM-01 clinical trial presented at the 2018 San Antonio Breast Cancer Symposium.

Circulating tumor cell count could help choose treatment for metastatic breast cancer patients

Mié, 12/05/2018 - 23:00
Circulating tumor-cell (CTC) count could be used to choose hormone therapy or chemotherapy as frontline treatment for patients with estrogen receptor-positive (ER+), HER2-negative (HER2-) metastatic breast cancer, according to data from the phase III STIC CTC clinical trial presented at the 2018 San Antonio Breast Cancer Symposium. In the case of discrepancy between CTC count-based treatment choice and physician's choice of treatment, frontline chemotherapy was associated with a significant gain in overall survival.

'Chemo brain' caused by malfunction in three types of brain cells, Stanford study finds

Mié, 12/05/2018 - 23:00
In a new study explaining the cellular mechanisms behind cognitive impairment from chemotherapy, scientists at the Stanford University School of Medicine have demonstrated that a widely used chemotherapy drug, methotrexate, causes a complex set of problems in three major cell types within the brain's white matter. The study, which will be published online Dec. 6 in Cell, also identifies a potential remedy.

An ancient strain of plague may have led to the decline of Neolithic Europeans

Mié, 12/05/2018 - 23:00
A team of researchers from France, Sweden, and Denmark have identified a new strain of Yersinia pestis, the bacteria that causes plague, in DNA extracted from 5,000-year-old human remains. Their analyses, publishing Dec. 6 in the journal Cell, suggest that this strain is the closest ever identified to the genetic origin of plague. Their work also suggests that plague may have been spread among Neolithic European settlements by traders, contributing to their decline.

Watch how geckos run across water

Mié, 12/05/2018 - 23:00
Geckos run across water at up to almost a meter a second using a unique mix of surface tension and slapping, say researchers reporting Dec. 6 in the journal Current Biology. They found that the mouse-sized lizards are too big to float on water using only surface tension, like insects, but too small to use only foot slapping, like basilisks.

Wild African fruit flies offer clues to their modern-day domestic life

Mié, 12/05/2018 - 23:00
The fruit fly Drosophila melanogaster is quite possibly the most studied organism on the planet. Fruit flies are also quite familiar residents in many of our kitchens, attracted as they are to the fruit bowl. But how do the flies live in the wild? Surprisingly little is known.