Health News

Friday, May 23, 2014 - 17:20

A microRNA cluster believed to be important for suppressing colon cancer has been found to play a critical role in wound healing in the intestine, UT Southwestern cancer researchers have found. The findings, first discovered in mice and later reproduced in human cells, could provide a fresh avenue for investigating chronic digestive diseases and for potentially repairing damage in these and other disease or injury settings.

 

Thursday, May 22, 2014 - 10:36

The risk of experiencing an oxygen deficit at birth (birth asphyxia) increases for babies born to women who are overweight or obese, according to a study by Swedish and US researchers published in the journal PLOS Medicine. “These findings are important given the high prevalence of overweight and obesity worldwide, and suggest that preventing women of reproductive age from becoming overweight or obese is important to the health of their children”, says Dr. Martina Persson at Karolinska Institutet’s Department of Medicine, Solna, Clinical Epidemiology Unit, who led the study.

 

Wednesday, May 21, 2014 - 11:18

While touch always involves awareness, it also sometimes involves emotion. For example, picking up a spoon triggers no real emotion, while feeling a gentle caress often does. Now, scientists in the Cell Press journal Neuron describe a system of slowly conducting nerves in the skin that respond to such gentle touch. Using a range of scientific techniques, investigators are beginning to characterize these nerves and to describe the fundamental role they play in our lives as a social species—from a nurturing touch to an infant to a reassuring pat on the back. Their work also suggests that this soft touch wiring may go awry in disorders such as autism.

 

Tuesday, May 20, 2014 - 21:46

Liposomes are spheres made of a double layer of phospholipids, the fat complexes that are the building blocks for animal cell membranes. They resemble simples cells with the "guts" removed. Widespread application of manufactured liposomes as artificial drug carriers has been hindered by a number of limiting factors such as inconsistency in size, structural instability and high production costs.

 

Tuesday, May 20, 2014 - 21:25

Crowding has notoriously negative effects at large size scales, blamed for everything from human disease and depression to community resource shortages. But relatively little is known about the influence of crowding at the cellular level. A new JILA study shows that a crowded environment has dramatic effects on individual biomolecules.

 

Tuesday, May 20, 2014 - 13:25

A chip-scale device that both produces and detects a specialized gas used in biomedical analysis and medical imaging has been built and demonstrated at the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST). Described in Nature Communications, the new microfluidic chip produces polarized (or magnetized) xenon gas and then detect seven the faintest magnetic signals from the gas.