To experience beauty, we need to think

In a recent study, two of Immanuel Kant’s theories on experiencing beauty were assessed. The conclusion is that beauty might be in the eye of the beholder, but the beholder will need to think about it to appreciate it. Beauty is an ephemeral term. Many of us will find beauty in a tropical beach or…

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South African cave yields yet more fossils of a newfound relative

Probing deeper into the South African cave system known as Rising Star, a subterranian maze that last year yielded the largest cache of hominin fossils known to science, an international team of researchers has discovered another chamber with more remains of a newfound human relative, Homo naledi. The discovery, announced May 9, 2017 with the publication…

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Inflammatory breast cancer: Symptoms, diagnosis, and treatment

  Inflammatory breast cancer is when cancer cells block the lymph vessels in the skin of the breast.   This rare and aggressive type of breast cancer is known as inflammatory breast cancer because the breast typically looks swollen, red, or inflamed.   Inflammatory breast cancer tends to be diagnosed at younger ages than other…

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DNA Replication Errors Contribute to Cancer Risk

  A follow-up study confirms that random mutations acquired during normal stem cell division likely play a major role in cancer incidence.   Two years ago, researchers at Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine analyzed data on 31 cancer types, finding that the number of stem cell divisions within a tissue—over a lifetime—could partly explain…

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How insulin and glucagon work to regulate blood sugar levels

  The pancreas secretes insulin and glucagon, both of which play a vital role in regulating blood sugar levels. The two hormones work in balance. If the level of one hormone is outside the ideal range, blood sugar levels may spike or drop. Together, insulin and glucagon help keep conditions inside the body steady. When…

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Breakthrough: Scientists create mouse embryo

Because stem cells have the ability to transform into many different types of cells during the body’s early development, embryonic stem cell research offers unique insights into how an organism grows from a single cell. For the first time, scientists have now been able to create a mouse embryo entirely artificially. [Stem cell-modelled embryo ]Researchers…

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Bacteria’s amyloids display surprising structure

Protein clumps in S. aureus differ from those in Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s   Clusters of a toxic bacterial protein have a surprising structure, differing from similar clumps associated with Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s in humans, scientists report in the Feb. 24 Science.   These clusters, called amyloids, are defined in part by their structure: straight regions of…

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Research: Biomaterials that mimic bone marrow can alter blood cell development

  Researchers at the University of Illinois report they can alter blood cell development through the use of biomaterials designed to mimic characteristics of the bone marrow.   The findings, reported in the journal Science Advances, are a first step toward developing more effective bone marrow treatments for diseases like leukemia and lymphoma.   Blood…

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Questions remain about the benefits of taking testosterone

Graph of results after 12 month treatment with testosterone gel Five new studies say hormone replacement is a mixed bag for aging men As a treatment for the ailments of aging, testosterone’s benefits are hit or miss. For men with low testosterone, the hormone therapy is helpful for some health problems, but not so much…

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Study: Neurotransmitter Dopamine Plays Role in Human Bonding

  “Animal studies have shown the role of dopamine in bonding but this was the first scientific evidence that it is involved in human bonding,” said Northeastern University Professor Lisa Feldman Barrett, corresponding author of the study.   “That suggests that other animal research in this area could be directly applied to humans as well.”…

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Multiple sclerosis: Stem cell transplantation may halt disease progression

  New research provides further evidence of autologous hematopoietic stem cell transplantation as an effective treatment for multiple sclerosis, after finding the procedure halted disease progression for 5 years in almost half of patients.   New research reveals that almost half of MS patients treated with AHSCT experienced no disease progression in the subsequent 5…

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Ultra-flexible, nanoelectronic thread (NET) brain probes have been designed that can achieve more reliable long-term neural recording than existing probes and don’t elicit scar formation when implanted. These smaller-than-a-capillary-sized probes could provide the reliable brain interface needed to control prosthetics, or follow the progression of neurodegenerative diseases. A rendering of the ultra-flexible probe in neural…

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Do you have an underactive thyroid?

  Hypothyroidism – or an underactive thyroid – affects one in 70 women and one in 1,000 men according to the NHS. But it can be a tricky disease to diagnose and treat. Dr Michael Mosley, of Trust Me I’m a Doctor, asks if sufferers are slipping through the net.   Someone emailed me the…

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MRIs predict which high-risk babies will develop autism as toddlers

  This first-of-its-kind study used MRIs to image the brains of infants, and then researchers used brain measurements and a computer algorithm to accurately predict autism before symptoms set in   Using magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) in infants with older siblings with autism, researchers from around the country were able to correctly predict 80 percent…

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Aspirin increases pregnancy rate in women with inflammation

Infertility affects a large number of couples and individuals who are trying to conceive. New research suggests that a daily low dose of aspirin may increase chances of conception for women with chronic inflammation.   New research suggests that a low dose of aspirin may help women with inflammation to conceive. Infertility – largely defined…

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Bacteria ‘sleep’, then rapidly evolve, to survive antibiotic treatments

Biophysicists use quantitative approaches from physics to understand biology The Hebrew University of Jerusalem Using quantitative approaches from physics, biophysicists discovered a surprising way that bacteria can evolve resistance to antibiotics. After evolving a sleeping mechanism, the bacteria can then wake up and evolve resistance 20 times faster than normal — at which point continuing…

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How Common Is Magnesium Deficiency—and Could You Have It?

  Magnesium is an important mineral that aids in energy production, the immune system, heart health, and more. But are you getting enough of it through diet alone?   What to know about magnesium deficiency You may not be as familiar with magnesium as you are with better-known minerals such as iron, calcium, and zinc….

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Harvard scientists discuss promise and peril of emerging IVG technique

In vitro fertilization has transformed reproductive medicine and sparked a number of therapeutic and diagnostic breakthroughs.   Now a new, still experimental, technique known as in vitro gametogenesis (IVG) is poised to usher in the next era in reproductive and regenerative medicine. The approach—thus far successful only in mice—allows scientists to create embryos in a…

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Higher Heart Disease Risk for Disadvantaged Women than Men

Women from low socioeconomic strata are 25 percent more likely to suffer a heart attack than disadvantaged men, according to a new study published in Journal of Epidemiology and Community Health. The results highlight the need for tailored interventions for women to address the gender gap and deliver the best possible care.     Researchers…

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A Smart Guide To Scary Chemicals

  Every week, our Facebook feeds explode with new warnings about toxins in our daily lives. But is that couch with flame retardants or your nonstick skillet really going to kill you? We dug deep into the research to find out which chemicals actually pose a risk and what we all can do about them…

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Exploring the Epigenetics of Ethnicity

  Researchers attempt to estimate how much of the human genome’s methylation patterns can be attributed to genetic ancestry.   When conducting clinical trials, researchers collect demographic data on study participants, such as gender, age, height, race and ethnicity. But while most of these traits are phenotypes that can be easily assessed or measured, race…

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Overcoming Multiple Sclerosis: Tips for Recovery from an MS Attack

  Multiple sclerosis is a disease that affects the central nervous system and the transmission of information between the brain and the body.   Multiple sclerosis (MS) can be difficult to predict, making it hard for those with MS to manage the disease. However, there are some changes that people with MS can make to…

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Scientists design high precision DNA probes for breast cancer detection

  New Delhi: Scientists from India have designed high precision DNA probes for breast cancer detection and they claim that this can bring down the treatment for cancer ten-folds.   Researchers at the Indian Institute of Technology – Guwahati relied on `magic bullets` of science, a class of molecules called aptamers, that can bind to…

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Retroviruses Originated in Ocean 450 Million Years Ago, New Study Says

  Retroviruses (Retroviridae) — a family of viruses that includes pathogens such as HIV, feline leukemia, and several cancer-causing viruses — have an ancient marine origin and originated together with, if not before, their jawed vertebrate hosts nearly 450 million years ago in the Ordovician period, according to a new study published today in the…

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CRISPR gene editing takes on rare immunodeficiency disorder

American Association for the Advancement of Science Researchers have harnessed the CRISPR-Cas9 technology to correct mutations in the blood stem cells of patients with a rare immunodeficiency disorder; the engineered cells successfully engrafted in mice for up to five months.   Researchers have harnessed the CRISPR-Cas9 technology to correct mutations in the blood stem cells…

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Year in review: ‘Three-parent baby’ technique raises hope and concern

Safety and ethical questions surround controversial mitochondrial replacement therapy SPINDLE SWAP A boy born in April has DNA from mom and dad, as well as mitochondria from a female donor. To make “three-parent” embryos, the chromosome-containing spindle, shown at the tip of the pipette, is removed from a woman’s egg and inserted into a donor…

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Fertility Preservation for Cancer Patients: Options for Men and Women

  In fertility preservation, reproductive tissues are saved, so that a person may have a child in the future. It usually involves freezing and storing eggs, sperm, or embryos, although other methods may be employed.   Men and women can preserve their fertility if they wish to delay parenthood, or if they are undergoing treatment…

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What’s Going on with My Body? IBS Causes and Risk Factors

  Irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) is chronic digestive condition. Common symptoms include:   cramping abdominal pain bloating gas diarrhea constipation IBS is different from other bowel disorders, such as Crohn’s disease or ulcerative colitis, because it does not change any of the bowel tissue.   An estimated 10 to 15 percent of adults experience IBS…

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Baking Soda for Acid Reflux: Does it Work?

Acid reflux occurs when some of the acid in the stomach flows back up into the food pipe, or esophagus. The acid irritates the lining of the food pipe and a person may experience a burning sensation in the chest, known as heartburn. A person with acid reflux might also have a sour taste in…

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