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Health - Life Sciences - 25.11.2013
How golden staph paralyses our immune defences
25 November 2013 When golden staph enters our skin it can identify the key immune cells and 'nuke' our body's immune response. Now we know how, thanks to an international research group led by dermatologists from the Centenary Institute and the University of Sydney. Using state-of-the art microscopy techniques, the team identified the key immune cells that orchestrate the body's defenders against invading golden staph, and also how the bacteria can target and destroy these cells, circumventing the body's immune response.

Life Sciences - Health - 22.11.2013
Different gene expression in male and female brains helps explain differences in brain disorders
UCL scientists have shown that there are widespread differences in how genes, the basic building blocks of the human body, are expressed in men and women's brains. Based on post-mortem adult human brain and spinal cord samples from over 100 individuals, scientists at the UCL Institute of Neurology were able to study the expression of every gene in 12 brain regions.

Life Sciences - Computer Science - 22.11.2013
Computer scientists study how animals initiate locomotion
Scientists from Plymouth University are beginning to develop computer models of tadpole brains as part of a £1.3 million project to understand how the brain makes the decision to initiate motion. A collaborative project, funded by the Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council (BBSRC), will see the Plymouth team working in conjunction with biologists at the University of Bristol and the University of St Andrews to understand and build computer models of how sensory signals are interpreted by the brain and lead to the initiation of locomotion.

Life Sciences - 21.11.2013
Dreading pain can be worse than pain itself
Dreading pain can be worse than pain itself
Faced with inevitable pain, most people would choose to get it out of the way as soon as possible, according to a new study. Researchers from the Institute of Global Health Innovation (IGHI) at Imperial College London and the Wellcome Trust Centre for Neuroimaging at UCL asked 35 volunteers to choose between electric shocks of different intensity occurring at different times.

Health - Life Sciences - 21.11.2013
New technique diagnoses cancer from bodily fluids
A team of researchers from Harvard University and the University of California, Los Angeles, have demonstrated a technique that, by measuring the physical properties of individual cells in body fluids, can diagnose cancer with a high degree of accuracy. The technique, which uses a deformability cytometer to analyze individual cells, could reduce the need for more cumbersome diagnostic procedures and the associated costs, while improving accuracy over current methods.

Life Sciences - Health - 21.11.2013
Follow the genes: Yale team finds clues to origin of autism
Finding major new clues to the origins of autism, a Yale-led team of researchers has pinpointed which cell types and regions of the developing human brain are affected by gene mutations linked to autism. They report their findings in the Nov. 21 issue of the journal Cell. Analyzing massive amounts of gene expression data generated by the BrainSpan project, the team identified common neural circuits affected by autism-risk genes and when, where, and in what cell types those genes exert their effects on the developing human brain and lead to autism spectrum disorders.

Health - Life Sciences - 21.11.2013
High-tech study of mastitis now underway
Mastitis, a highly prevalent dairy cow disease, strikes fear in the hearts of many farmers. The udder infections it entails can ruin cows' health and productivity, wreak economic havoc on farms worldwide and cost the dairy industry billions of dollars per year. Now with nearly $500,000 over three years from the U.S. Department of Agriculture's Cornell National Institute of Food and Agriculture, faculty at Cornell's College of Veterinary Medicine will employ a new technology that is revolutionizing bacteriology to examine mastitis in ways it has never been studied before.

Life Sciences - 21.11.2013
Company you keep shapes what you learn
Company you keep shapes what you learn
Locust research shows how the company you keep shapes what you learn A team of scientists has shown how the environment shapes learning and memory by training locusts like Pavlov's dog to associate different smells with reward or punishment. Desert locusts are notorious for their devastating swarms.

Life Sciences - Health - 21.11.2013
Research leads to greater understanding of DNA repair processes
Sussex research leads to greater understanding of DNA repair processes A five-year programme of research led by a team of scientists at the University of Sussex has resulted in significant breakthroughs in our understanding of how enzymes that make DNA help to replicate damaged genomes. In three related studies, the researchers looked at whether a particular group of enzymes that make DNA called primases, found in both lower organisms, such as bacteria, as well as in humans, play significant roles in DNA repair processes in cells.

Health - Life Sciences - 20.11.2013
Long-term unemployment may accelerate ageing in men
Long-term unemployment may accelerate ageing in men
Men who are unemployed for more than two years show signs of faster ageing in their DNA, a new study has found. Researchers at Imperial College London and the University of Oulu , Finland studied DNA samples from 5,620 men and women born in Finland in 1966. They measured structures called telomeres, which lie at the ends of chromosomes and protect the genetic code from being degraded.

Life Sciences - Health - 20.11.2013
Focusing on Faces
Focusing on Faces
Difficulties in social interaction are considered to be one of the behavioral hallmarks of autism spectrum disorders (ASDs). Previous studies have shown these difficulties to be related to differences in how the brains of autistic individuals process sensory information about faces.

Life Sciences - 20.11.2013
Changing children’s understanding of the brain
The impact attending a neuroscience lecture can have on children's understanding of the brain has been analysed by researchers from the University of Bristol in a paper published this week in PLoS ONE. Professor Bruce Hood and Dr Nathalie Gjersoe of the School of Experimental Psychology analysed the impact of a science lecture based on the 2011 Royal Institution (Ri) Christmas Lectures  'Meet Your Brain' on Bristol children from low performing schools.

Life Sciences - 20.11.2013
Synaesthesia is more common in autism
People with autism are more likely to also have synaesthesia, suggests new research in the journal Molecular Autism . Genes play a substantial role in autism and scientists have begun to pinpoint some of the individual genes involved Professor Simon Fisher Synaesthesia involves people experiencing a 'mixing of the senses', for example, seeing colours when they hear sounds, or reporting that musical notes evoke different tastes.

Health - Life Sciences - 19.11.2013
Fruit bat population covering central Africa is carrier of two deadly viruses
A population of fruit bats which is found across much of continental Africa is widely infected with two deadly viruses that could spread to humans, new research reveals. This new information indicates that the unique population of freely mixing bats across the entire continent facilitates the spread of the viruses Professor James Wood The study, conducted jointly by the University of Cambridge and the Zoological Society of London's Institute of Zoology and published today , found that the "gregarious" bats span over 4,500 km of central Africa (around the distance from California to New York).

Health - Life Sciences - 19.11.2013
Promising target found for better brain cancer drugs
Promising target found for better brain cancer drugs
The deadliest brain cancer requires grueling treatment with bleak prospects for survival. Cornell researchers have discovered a key component to how these aggressive tumors grow that could lead to better solutions. Published in the June issue of Cell Reports, their study opens a path for new drugs to block brain tumor growth with fewer side effects and lower resistance rates than most conventional cancer drugs.

Life Sciences - Health - 19.11.2013
Neighbourhood deprivation linked to structural changes in the brain
Researchers from the University of Glasgow have published findings demonstrating a link between neighbourhood deprivation and brain structure. The tests demonstrated that the cortical morphology (thickness and surface area) of the regions of the brain responsible for controlling a range of core functions such as language and problem solving were significantly smaller in people living in the most socio-economically deprived populations.

Health - Life Sciences - 19.11.2013
Neanderthal viruses found in modern humans
Neanderthal viruses found in modern humans
Ancient viruses from Neanderthals have been found in modern human DNA by researchers at Oxford University and Plymouth University. The researchers compared genetic data from fossils of Neanderthals and another group of ancient human ancestors called Denisovans to data from modern-day cancer patients.

Health - Life Sciences - 19.11.2013
HIV virus spread and evolution studied through computer modeling
HIV virus spread and evolution studied through computer modeling
This approach distinguishes between susceptible and infected individuals to capture the full infection history, including contact tracing data for infected individuals. "We have developed novel ways of estimating epidemics dynamics such as who infected whom, and the true population incidence of infection versus mere diagnoses dates," said Thomas Leitner, principal investigator.

Health - Life Sciences - 18.11.2013
Neanderthal viruses found in modern humans
The researchers compared genetic data from fossils of Neanderthals and another group of ancient human ancestors called Denisovans to data from modern-day cancer patients. They found evidence of Neanderthal and Denisovan viruses in the modern human DNA, suggesting that the viruses originated in our common ancestors more than half a million years ago.

Health - Life Sciences - 18.11.2013
Manipulation of protein could help stop spread of cancer cells
Understanding how and why cancer cells move away from their original location is important to find ways to stop the spread of the disease. New findings, published in the Nature journal Oncogene , reveal how a protein, called 'PRH', is normally able to prevent cells from unnecessary migration. It is likely that this protein is less effective in cancer cells allowing the cells to venture away.