Study of circular DNA comes full circle with use of old technique

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A 50-year-old lab technique is helping researchers better understand circular DNA, a lesser-known and poorly understood cousin of the linear version commonly associated with life’s genetic blueprint. With the aid of a process called density gradient centrifugation, a research team, which included scientists from The University of Texas at Dallas and Stanford University School of […]

Respiratory tract infections in young children linked to asthma and worse lung function

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Respiratory tract infections in young children are linked to an increased risk of asthma and worse lung function in later life, according to new research to be presented at the European Respiratory Society International Congress today (Sunday). An international study of 154,492 European children found that those who had had upper respiratory infections, such as […]

Human skin cells transformed directly into motor neurons

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Scientists working to develop new treatments for neurodegenerative diseases have been stymied by the inability to grow human motor neurons in the lab. Motor neurons drive muscle contractions, and their damage underlies devastating diseases such as amyotrophic lateral sclerosis and spinal muscular atrophy, both of which ultimately lead to paralysis and early death. In new […]

Eat fat, live longer?

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As more people live into their 80s and 90s, researchers have delved into the issues of health and quality of life during aging. A recent mouse study at the UC Davis School of Veterinary Medicine sheds light on those questions by demonstrating that a high fat, or ketogenic, diet not only increases longevity but also […]

Older adults with HIV: An overlooked population?

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When it comes to HIV prevention and treatment, there is a growing population that is being overlooked — older adults — and implicit ageism is partially responsible for this neglect, according to a presentation at the 125th Annual Convention of the American Psychological Association. “The lack of perceived HIV risk in late adulthood among older […]

Face value: Brain’s ability to recognize faces is shaped through repeated exposure, study suggests

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Scientists have long deemed the ability to recognize faces innate for people and other primates — something our brains just know how to do immediately from birth. However, the findings of a new Harvard Medical School study published Sept. 4 in the journal Nature Neuroscience cast doubt on this longstanding view. Working with macaques temporarily deprived of […]

Unraveling Alzheimer’s: New study documents how brain cells go bad

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In the brains of people with Alzheimer’s disease, there are abnormal deposits of amyloid beta protein and tau protein, and swarms of activated immune cells. But scientists do not fully understand how these three major factors combine to drive the disease. Now, UNC School of Medicine and National Institutes of Health researchers have untangled the […]