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Moving beyond race-based drugs

Prescribing certain medications on the basis of a patient's race has long come under fire from those uneasy with using race as a surrogate for biology when treating disease. But there are multiple challenges to overcome before we can move beyond race-based treatment decisions, writes a geneticist and a bioethicist in a new perspective piece.

Coping with active surveillance anxiety in prostate cancer

Men with prostate cancer who are under medical surveillance reported significantly greater resilience and less anxiety after receiving an intervention of mindfulness meditation, a study found. The anxiety and uncertainty that men who...Show More Summary

Fasting-like diet reduces multiple sclerosis symptoms

A mouse study, followed by a human study, indicates that the fasting-mimicking diet holds promise as a treatment for autoimmune diseases. A fasting-like diet switches on a process in which body kills bad cells, begins to generate new healthy ones, report scientists.

How the brain makes, and breaks, a habit

Not all habits are bad. Some are even necessary. But inability to switch from acting habitually to acting in a deliberate way can underlie addiction and obsessive compulsive disorders. Working with a mouse model, an international team of researchers demonstrates what happens in the brain for habits to control behavior.

Surrogate endpoints poor proxy for survival in cancer drug approval process

Surrogate endpoints used to support the majority of new cancer drugs approved in the US often lack formal study, according to the authors of a new report. This analysis questions whether the US Food and Drug Administration is adhering to standards that demand that surrogates be 'reasonably likely to predict' or 'established' to be used to grant approvals.

Finding a new formula for concrete

Researchers are seeking to redesign concrete -- the most widely used human-made material in the world -- by following nature's blueprints. In a new paper, the team contrasts cement paste -- concrete's binding ingredient -- with the structure and properties of natural materials such as bones, shells, and deep-sea sponges.

Study visualizes proteins involved in cancer cell metabolism

Scientists using cryo-EM have broken through a technological barrier in visualizing proteins with an approach that may have an impact on drug discovery and development. The scientists have also reported achieving another major milestone,...Show More Summary

New study uncovers mechanisms underlying how diabetes damages the heart

Cardiac complications are the number one cause of death among diabetics. Now a team of scientists has uncovered a molecular mechanism involved in a common form of heart damage found in people with diabetes.

Engineers discover a new gatekeeper for light

Imagine a device that is selectively transparent to various wavelengths of light at one moment, and opaque to them the next, following a minute adjustment. Researchers report a discovery that brings us one step closer to this imagined future.

Beating the limits of the light microscope, one photon at a time

The world's most advanced light microscopes allow us to see single molecules, proteins, viruses and other very small biological structures -- but even the best microscopes have their limits. Now scientists are pushing the limits of a...Show More Summary

New discovery from the molecular machinery for depression and addiction

Researchers have described how a group of the brain's transport proteins with important roles in depression and dependence overcome the step which limits their effectiveness. The discovery makes it possible to describe the full function of the transport protein and can provide better opportunities for counteracting the effect of amphetamine and ecstasy on the brain.

Powering up the circadian rhythm

An American research team is the first to discover a protein that controls the strength of body's circadian rhythms. In new work, the team analyzed levels and molecular characteristics of REV-ERB? in the livers of mice throughout the day. Show More Summary

Study identifies risk factors associated with eye abnormalities in infants with presumed Zika virus

Researchers have assessed and identified possible risk factors for ophthalmoscopic (an instrument used to visualize the back of the eye) findings in infants born with microcephaly (a birth defect characterized by an abnormally small head) and a presumed clinical diagnosis of Zika virus intrauterine infection.

Researchers show experience plays strong role in early stages of brain circuit development

A new study suggests that external stimulation guides certain neurons' early development so that inhibitory neurons split into two different types of neurons, each with a different job, adding another level of complexity and regulation to the brain's circuitry.

The taste or smell of foods can affect aging, say scientists

Animals can perceive changes in many environmental factors such as temperature and the taste or smell of foods. This is achieved by specialized nerve cells called sensory neurons. Interestingly, sensory neurons have been known to control the rate of aging in various animals, including the tiny free living roundworm C. elegans. read more

New malaria drugs kill by promoting premature parasite division

Several new malaria drugs under development share a common feature: they promote an influx of sodium ions into Plasmodium parasites that have invaded red blood cells and multiply there. A study published on May 26th in PLOS Pathogens...Show More Summary

How prions kill neurons: New culture system shows early toxicity to dendritic spines

Prion diseases are fatal and incurable neurodegenerative conditions of humans and animals. Yet, how prions kill nerve cells (or neurons) remains unclear. A study published on May 26, 2016 in PLOS Pathogens describes a system in which to study the early assault by prions on brain cells of the infected host. read more

The brain needs cleaning to stay healthy

Research led by the Achucarro Basque Center for Neuroscience, the University of the Basque Country (UPV/EHU), and the Ikerbasque Foundation has revealed the mechanisms that keep the brain clean during neurodegenerative diseases. read more

In brain-injured patients, a way to measure awareness or its impending return

The precise diagnosis and prognosis of recovery of consciousness of patients after a severe brain injury is a challenging clinical task, as some brain-injured patients retain certain levels of awareness despite appearing fully unresponsive. Show More Summary

Alternative odor receptors discovered in mice

Smell in mammals turns out to be more complex than we thought. Rather than one receptor family exclusively dedicated to detecting odors, a study in mice reports that a group of neurons surrounding the olfactory bulb use an alternative mechanism for catching scents. Show More Summary

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