Face It, Mom and Dad: I’m Not Special

I come from a polite Midwestern family. We never argue. We acknowledge each other’s viewpoint and honor each other’s truth. But to the pantheon of complaints children lodge against their parents (affairs, abandonment, forgotten birthdays), I’m adding this: unbridled optimism. My parents believe in the power of positive thinking. Some fathers sing in the shower;…

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Increased use of antibiotics may predispose to Parkinson’s disease

Higher exposure to commonly used oral antibiotics is linked to an increased risk of Parkinson’s disease according to a recently published study by researchers form the Helsinki University Hospital, Finland. The strongest associations were found for broad spectrum antibiotics and those that act against against anaerobic bacteria and fungi. The timing of antibiotic exposure also…

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Accelerating Medicines Partnership launches data knowledge portal for Parkinson’s disease

The Accelerating Medicines Partnership (AMP) program for Parkinson’s disease (PD) has launched a data portal to provide de-identified information collected from 4,298 PD patients and healthy controls to researchers working to develop effective therapies for the disease. The portal enables researchers to study complex data sets and perform genome-wide analyses at a scale previously impossible.…

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New study provides insight into the mechanisms of blood clots in cancer patients

(Boston)—Researchers have identified a potential new signaling pathway that may help further the understanding of blood clot formation in cancer patients and ultimately help prevent this complication from occurring. A pulmonary embolism generally occurs when a clot from the deep veins of the extremities also known as deep vein thrombosis (DVT) becomes dislodged and travels…

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In a first for cell biology, scientists observe ribosome assembly in real time

LA JOLLA, CA — A team of scientists from Scripps Research and Stanford University has recorded in real time a key step in the assembly of ribosomes—the complex and evolutionarily ancient «molecular machines» that make proteins in cells and are essential for all life forms. The achievement, reported in Cell, reveals in unprecedented detail how…

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Discovery paves the way for blocking malaria transmission in Brazil

The bacteria that form the gut microbiota influence important processes of the human body, such as digestion, nutrient absorption, and defense against pathogens. The same type of relationship is present in most animals, including in the Anhopheles darlingi mosquito, the main vector of malaria in Brazil. In the case of this insect, the composition of…

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Virtual reality would make attending therapy easier for stroke survivors

Researchers have created a virtual reality clinic to make it easier for stroke survivors to attend their physical and occupational therapy sessions. Results from a proof-of-concept study suggest that the technology — and the social connection it facilitates — are effective at encouraging therapy participation. «Physical and occupational therapy are important parts of stroke recovery,…

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Breast cancer recurrence after lumpectomy & RT is treatable with localized RT without mastectomy

Approximately 10% of breast cancer patients treated with lumpectomy (breast-conserving surgery [BCS]) and whole-breast radiation (WBI) will have a subsequent in-breast local recurrence of cancer (IBTR) when followed long term. The surgical standard of care has been to perform mastectomy if breast cancer recurs following such breast-preserving treatment. However, a new multi-center study led by…

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Tiny devices made of DNA detect cancer with fewer false alarms

DURHAM, N.C. — A new cancer-detecting tool uses tiny circuits made of DNA to identify cancer cells by the molecular signatures on their surface. Duke University researchers fashioned the simple circuits from interacting strands of synthetic DNA that are tens of thousands of times finer than a human hair. Unlike the circuits in a computer,…

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