Exploring Spectacular Caves in a Quiet Corner of Vietnam

When Le Thi Bich brought her soon-to-be husband, Ben Mitchell, to visit her parents’ village of Phong Nha in 2007, tourism essentially consisted of day-tripping Vietnamese exploring a government-run cave by boat. In the narrowest part of Vietnam between Laos and the sea, the region is a captivating, almost prehistoric landscape of sweeping valleys and…

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How to Travel With Medical Marijuana

This fall, Sierra Riddle queued up at security at Los Angeles International Airport with a tincture bottle of THC oil — the psychoactive ingredient in cannabis — in her purse. Ms. Riddle, 31, a nursing assistant from southern Oregon, was traveling with her son Landon, 9, and uses medical marijuana to treat his severe nerve…

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How Cutting Food Stamps Can Add Costs Elsewhere

ImageA volunteer delivering produce donated by local grocery stores to a food pantry at South Congregational Church in Pittsfield, Mass., this fall.Credit…Ben Garver/The Berkshire Eagle, via Associated Press The Department of Agriculture recently finished work on a new rule that may take food stamps away from nearly 700,000 Americans by tightening work requirements. Several times…

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How to Talk to Someone With Alzheimer’s

“I don’t think anyone’s ever won an argument with a person with Alzheimer’s,” says Ruth Drew, who worked as a counselor in a hospital’s geriatric psychiatric ward before becoming a director with the Alzheimer’s Association, where she oversees the 24-hour 1-800 help line. Drew’s grandfather was afflicted with the degenerative brain disease. He would often…

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Objective subtle cognitive difficulties predict amyloid accumulation and neurodegeneration

Writing in the December 30, 2019 online issue of Neurology, researchers at University of California San Diego School of Medicine and Veterans Affairs San Diego Healthcare System report that accumulating amyloid — an abnormal protein linked to neurodegenerative conditions such as Alzheimer’s disease (AD) — occurred faster among persons deemed to have «objectively-defined subtle cognitive…

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A new breakthrough in developing effective antimalarial drugs

Parasites in the genus Plasmodium, which cause malaria, are transmitted to humans through bites from infected mosquitoes. The parasites manage to acclimatize to these two completely different hosts because the plasticity of their genome enables them to adapt as necessary. Scientists at the Institut Pasteur and the CNRS decided to investigate the epigenetic mechanisms behind…

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Betrayed by bile: bile acids help norovirus sneak into cells

A new study led by researchers at Baylor College of Medicine and published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences reveals that human noroviruses, the leading viral cause of foodborne illness and acute diarrhea around the world, infect cells of the small intestine by piggybacking on a normal cellular process called endocytosis that…

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Making blood on demand: How far have we come?

The reconstitution of the blood system in humans holds great therapeutic potential to treat many disorders, like blood cancers, sickle-cell anemia and others. Successful reconstitution requires the transplantation and engraftment of hematopoietic (or blood) stem cells (HSCs), which after reaching their niche, start producing all types of blood cells, including platelets, white and red blood…

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