Health News

Thursday, June 5, 2014 - 12:26

While chemotherapy can save lives, it can also cause many side effects, including the depletion of immune cells. Also, even in the absence of chemotherapy, normal aging takes a heavy toll on the immune system, leading to immune deficiencies and a higher risk of developing leukemia and a variety of malignancies with age. Now researchers reporting in the June 5th issue of the Cell Press journal Cell Stem Cell have found that a simple dietary intervention—periodic fasting—may combat both chemotherapy-induced and aging-related changes in immune cell function by replenishing stem cells in the blood. The findings suggest that fasting may provide benefits for cancer patients, the elderly, and people with various immune defects.


Thursday, June 5, 2014 - 11:00

Psoriasis is a common, long-lasting disease that causes itchy or sore patches of thick, red skin with silvery scales. Environmental contaminants can trigger psoriasis and other autoimmune disorders, and it is thought that a protein called the aryl hydrocarbon receptor (AhR), which senses environmental toxins, could play a role. A study published by Cell Press on June 5 in the journal Immunity shows that the severity of inflammation associated with psoriasis is unexpectedly suppressed by AhR. The findings suggest that stimulation of AhR could improve symptoms and may represent a novel strategy for treating chronic inflammatory skin disorders.

Wednesday, June 4, 2014 - 17:26

Interaction of the monoamine oxidase A genotype with childhood adversity is predictive of crime rates in a group of incarcerated men. This is the main finding of a new study from researchers in Sam Houston State University published in the journal Psychiatric Genetics.


Wednesday, June 4, 2014 - 11:00

Studies suggest that some people may be at increased risk of criminal behavior due to their genes. Such research holds potential for helping judges and juries with some of the difficult decisions they must make, but it also brings a substantial risk of misinterpretation and misuse within the legal system. Addressing these issues will be of critical importance for upholding principles of justice and fairness, according to an essay being published in the June 4 issue of the Cell Press journal Neuron.


Tuesday, May 27, 2014 - 10:16

Like salmon traveling upstream to spawn, sperm cells are extremely efficient at swimming against the current, according to research to be published this week. The discovery, to be published in the journal eLife by researchers at MIT and Cambridge University, may help us to understand how some sperm travel such long distances, through difficult terrain, to reach and fertilize an egg.


Tuesday, May 27, 2014 - 10:01

A new drug targeting the protein PTP1B, which is up-regulated in HER2-positive breast cancer, has given positive results in reducing tumour growth and lung metastases in a mouse model of HER2-positive breast cancer. This is the major finding of a paper appearing online in the journal Nature Chemical Biology, from a multi-institution team led by Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory scientists.