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Health - Social Sciences - 22.10.2021
Unplanned pregnancies nearly doubled during lockdown
There were nearly twice as many unplanned pregnancies during the first lockdown compared to before, finds a major study led by researchers from UCL and University College London Hospital. The study, published today in BMJ Sexual and Reproductive Health, is the first to assess changes in women's self-reported access to contraception as a consequence of the COVID-19 pandemic in the UK.

Pharmacology - Health - 22.10.2021
Mechanism Behind Ineffective Psoriasis Drugs Identified
Mechanism Behind Ineffective Psoriasis Drugs Identified
Interleukin-12 - a messenger molecule of immune cells - was long considered to trigger the development of psoriasis. Now, researchers at the University of Zurich have shown that interleukin-12 does not actually cause the skin disease but protects against it. This also explains why common psoriasis drugs that block the messenger show insufficient treatment efficacy.

Health - Social Sciences - 21.10.2021
Policymakers must prepare for pandemics as if readying for war
Policymakers must prepare for pandemics as if readying for war
Politicians and businesses must treat pandemics as if their country is preparing for war - they are too focused on the current pandemic and not paying enough attention to developing strategies to lessen the impact of the next one, researchers reveal.

Life Sciences - Health - 21.10.2021
VR experiment with rats offers new insights about how neurons enable learning
Scientists have long understood that the region of the brain called the hippocampus is important for memory, learning and navigation. Now, scientists in a UCLA lab led by neurophysicist Mayank Mehta are gaining a deeper understanding of how the hippocampus works on a circuit level — that is, functions involving networks of millions of neurons.

Life Sciences - Health - 21.10.2021
Lab-grown 'mini brains' hint at treatments for neurodegenerative diseases | University of Cambridge
Lab-grown ’mini brains’ hint at treatments for neurodegenerative diseases | University of Cambridge
Cambridge researchers have developed 'mini brains' that allow them to study a fatal and untreatable neurological disorder causing paralysis and dementia - and for the first time have been able to grow these for almost a year.

Health - Pharmacology - 21.10.2021
New, promising opportunities for treating skin fibrosis
New, promising opportunities for treating skin fibrosis
Skin fibrosis impairs skin tissue function, and has a strong aesthetic impact. French researchers have now shown that applying an electric field to the skin could cure skin fibrosis by reducing overly high collagen levels. Collagen, the main component of the skin's extracellular matrix, can cause a pathological condition if it is in excess.

Health - Life Sciences - 21.10.2021
Researchers identify new pathways to target breast cancer
Researchers identify new pathways to target breast cancer
A pathway helping the breast cancer protein BRCA1 repair damaged DNA has been identified by University of Queensland researchers in a study that will inform future targeted therapies. Professor Robert Parton , Professor Alpha Yap and Dr Kerrie-Ann McMahon from UQ's Institute for Molecular Bioscience (IMB) identified an association between two proteins that are lost in cancer cells - the well-known BReast CAncer gene 1 (BRCA1) and a new player - cavin3.

Life Sciences - Health - 21.10.2021
Fighting viruses with interchangeable defense genes
Fighting viruses with interchangeable defense genes
Bacteria rapidly modify mobile parts of their genome to develop resistance to viruses Bacterial viruses, so-called phages, destroy bacteria. Bacteria are constantly exposed to viral attacks. A research team led by Martin Polz, a microbiologist at the University of Vienna, has now studied how bacteria defend themselves against viral predators.

Health - 20.10.2021
The key to understanding asthma may lie in our body clock
Our body clock allows bodily processes to occur at certain times of the day, like eating, sleeping and body temperature. But did you know that monitoring a person's body clock (or circadian rhythm) could help diagnose and treat asthma? New research supported by Asthma UK, a charity which provides health advice and a helpline to people with asthma as well as funding research into the condition, has revealed that asthma is "highly rhythmic", meaning it is impacted by a person's body clock.

Health - 20.10.2021
Blood flow simulations may improve the monitoring of atrial fibrillation
A team of physicians and researchers from UPF and from the hospitals Santa Creu i Sant Pau and Clínic de Barcelona, shows that the use of this innovative technique can help patients suffering from this disease not to develop thrombotic episodes Atrial fibrillation (AF) is one of the most common arrhythmias, especially among the elderly, occurring in the left atrium.

Health - Pharmacology - 20.10.2021
A new therapeutic target to combat addiction?
A new therapeutic target to combat addiction?
Drug addiction is a psychiatric disorder for which no pharmacological treatment with long-term efficacy currently exists. All addictive substances share the property of raising concentrations of the neurotransmitter dopamine within brain regions forming the neural reward circuit. This increase in dopamine levels results in long-lasting alteration of signal transmission that is dependent on another neurotransmitter, glutamate, which causes addictive behaviours.

Health - Pharmacology - 20.10.2021
Towards Precision Medicine for Dialysis Patients
Towards Precision Medicine for Dialysis Patients
A common gene variant for the protein Aquaporin-1 lowers the amount of water channels in the cell membranes. This reduces water transport and leads to a higher risk of death in patients with kidney failure treated with peritoneal dialysis. In such cases, specific osmotic solutions should be used, as an international research team led by the University of Zurich has shown.

Health - Life Sciences - 20.10.2021
To selectively kill cancer cells, target a protein channel in the cell’s lysosome, U-M study suggests
Cancer treatments necessarily target unchecked cell growth, and selectively kill cancer cells while sparing normal cells and avoiding general toxicity in the human body. To develop new treatments for cancer, scientists are focused on finding the malfunctioning machinery within cancer cells that can be targeted using small molecule pharmaceuticals.

Health - Life Sciences - 19.10.2021
New values for better diagnoses
New values for better diagnoses
MHH study develops reference tool for blood tests Lymphocytes belong to the white blood cells. They consist of several subgroups with different tasks in immune defence. Which and how many lymphocytes are in the blood provides information about our current state of health as well as congenital or acquired immune deficiencies.

Health - Pharmacology - 19.10.2021
Cell fitness used to determine outcomes in COVID patients
Cell fitness has been identified as a way of predicting health outcomes in COVID patients, according to a University of Queensland study. The study investigated a cellular fitness marker, known as hfwe-Lose, to identify sub-optimal cells in patients who had been hospitalised or died from COVID at the start of the pandemic.

Life Sciences - Health - 19.10.2021
DNA tangles can help predict evolution of mutations
DNA tangles can help predict evolution of mutations
Researchers from the Milner Centre for Evolution have identified evolutionary hotspots in DNA where mutations are more likely. Last updated on Tuesday 19 October 2021 Tangles in unwound DNA can create mutational hotspots in the genomes of bacteria, according to a new study by the Milner Centre for Evolution at the University of Bath.

Health - Life Sciences - 18.10.2021
The human immune system is an early riser
The human immune system is an early riser
Swiss and German scientists show that activation of the immune system oscillates throughout the day, with a peak just before the start of the day. Circadian clocks, which regulate most of the physiological processes of living beings over a rhythm of about 24 hours, are one of the most fundamental biological mechanisms.

Life Sciences - Health - 18.10.2021
New active agent against parasites
New active agent against parasites
Researchers at the Paul Scherrer Institute PSI have identified a chemical compound that may be suitable as an active agent against several different unicellular parasites. Among these are the pathogens that cause malaria and toxoplasmosis. The point of attack for this promising substance is the protein tubulin: It helps cells divide and therefore is essential for the multiplication of the parasites.

Health - 18.10.2021
Wastewater testing takes flight in the fight against COVID-19
Wastewater testing takes flight in the fight against COVID-19
Researchers from The University of Queensland and Australia's national science agency CSIRO have found SARS-CoV-2 virus in wastewater samples from long haul flights of returning Aussies, proving they can detect it before passengers show symptoms. The CSIRO and UQ scientists worked with Qantas to demonstrate that wastewater surveillance can provide valuable data for public health agencies and help improve confidence in Australia's safe reopening to the world.

Life Sciences - Health - 18.10.2021
So-called junk DNA plays critical role in mammalian development
Viral elements called transposons have invaded mammalian genomes for millions of years and currently make up nearly half the DNA in the genomes of all living mammals. The image depicts species-specific transposon integrations as unique events in the evolutionary history of each species. (UC Berkeley image by Kerry Lin) Nearly half of our DNA has been written off as junk, the discards of evolution: sidelined or broken genes, viruses that got stuck in our genome and were dismembered or silenced, none of it relevant to the human organism or human evolution.
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