ScienceDaily: Health - October 26, 2023
Top health research news
Researchers have now developed a technique that advances the ability of these tools, such as ChatGPT, to make compositional generalizations. This technique, Meta-learning for Compositionality, outperforms existing approaches and is on par with, and in some cases better than, human performance.
A team of researchers has gained new insights into the respiratory system of fruit flies -- the so-called tracheal system -- which could be important for future research into aneurysms. Scientists carried out genetic, cell biological and biochemical studies on Drosophila embryos. They found that the cells in the fruit fly's tracheal system are connected to the extracellular matrix by the proteins Dumpy and Piopio.
A holistic transformation is needed for the planet to accommodate people's pursuit of well-being. A new study explores a Theory of Planetary Social Pedagogy as a driver of a transformative process based on a learning society.
Scientists have found success in treating a 'neglected' inflammatory condition, polymyalgia rheumatica, with a drug that could provide an alternative to steroids for patients.
10-20-30 interval training is an effective way to improve running performance and overall health. A new study demonstrates that this kind of training is just as effective for improving your running times and overall fitness, even if your sprints are only at 80 percent. The researchers hope that the new knowledge can encourage more people to adopt this type of training, which benefits both blood pressure and cholesterol levels.
Schizophrenia is a severe neuropsychiatric disease that remains poorly understood and treated. Schizophrenia onset is typically in adolescence or early adulthood, but its underlying causes are thought to involve neurodevelopmental abnormalities. Because human prenatal and postnatal brain tissue is exceedingly difficult to procure and therefore study, researchers have had limited opportunities to identify early disease mechanisms, especially during the critical prenatal period. Now, a pair of studies use new technology to study schizophrenia in models of early human brain development.
Curiosity paradoxically increases people's eagerness for answers and their patience to see the whole picture, finds a new study by neuroscientists. The research might help teachers and students alike by describing a side of curiosity that encourages us to stay engaged instead of seeking immediate relief.
Developing a new, light-activated method to produce the molecule opens doors for future biomedical applications.
Which sustainability goals do people find more important: Animal welfare? Or environmental protection? Human health is another one of these competing sustainability goals. A team of researchers have now found that consumers surveyed in their study would rather pay more for salami with an 'antibiotic-free' label than for salami with an 'open barn' label that indicates that the product promotes animal welfare.
New research reveals how the bacteria strain Wolbachia pipientis enhances the fertility of the insects it infects, an insight that could help scientists increase the populations of mosquitoes that do not carry human disease.
Health professionals have long praised the benefits of insoluble fiber for bowel regularity and overall health. New research suggests even more reasons we should be prioritizing fiber in our regular diets. Researchers found that each plant source of insoluble fiber contains unique bioactives -- compounds that have been linked to lower incidence of cardiovascular disease, cancer and Type 2 diabetes -- offering potential health benefits beyond those of the fiber itself.
A course of treatment with existing drugs prior to chemo-radiation led to a 35% reduction in the risk of death or return of cancer.
A research team has found that polysulfides are abundant in broccoli sprouts. They found that the amount of polysulfides increased dramatically during growth, by an approximately 20-fold in seeds by the fifth day of germination. Furthermore, a comprehensive analysis of the polysulfides detected a number of polysulfide candidates whose structures have not yet been determined. The identification of these unknown polysulfides and detailed analysis of their pharmacological activities are expected to enable the development of new preventive and therapeutic strategies and medicines for cancer, neurodegenerative diseases, stroke, inflammation, and other diseases.
In a meta-study, a research team has provided evidence that the consumption of fruit and vegetables contributes positively to bacterial diversity in the human gut.
Two different regions of the brain are critical to integrating semantic information while reading, which could shed more light on why people with aphasia have difficulty with semantics, according to new research.
A new study has shown that children as young as four years old eat 79% more calories when they are bored, compared to when they are in a neutral mood.
Newly published research proves that it's possible to treat high blood pressure by using specially engineered Lactobacillus paracasei to produce a protein called ACE2 in the gut, reducing gut angiotensin II and, in turn, lowering blood pressure. The study, done in lab rats that are predisposed to hypertension and unable to naturally produce ACE2, opens new doors in the pursuit of harnessing our body's own microbiome to regulate blood pressure.
Recent research has found that backers of crowdfunding projects participate, in part, because they enjoy a sense of indirect success and the feeling that they are contributing to something bigger than themselves.
Researchers have discovered a link between certain per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS) and an increased risk for thyroid cancer.
A new smartphone attachment could enable people to screen for a variety of neurological conditions, such as Alzheimer's disease and traumatic brain injury, at low cost -- and do so accurately regardless of their skin tone. The attachment fits over a smartphone's camera to capture clear video of pupil size changes, which can offer clues about an individual's neurological functions. The device helps the camera see the pupil easily in dark eye colors.
One problem in gene therapy is that not all genes transfer equally well into the target cells. Researchers have now developed a flexible method to transfer large genes efficiently and without significant side effects. The approach has strong potential for therapeutic use.
Harnessing new advances in genomic surveillance technology could help detect the rise of deadly 'superbugs'.
A new study sheds light on the vital role of communication and expertise within organizations, revealing their impact on group performance. Researchers examined how individuals become part of communication networks and the effect of selection processes on group performance. The study found that people who communicated more during training were more likely to be chosen as a central member of the network. In addition, teams that chose their central member performed as well as and often better than teams whose central member was randomly assigned.
A research team has identified a crucial mechanism on a specific cell receptor that can cause cells to self-destruct. Being able to activate the receptor -- Fas -- and trigger cell death could open the door for improved cancer treatments. Modulating Fas may also extend the benefits of chimeric antigen receptor (CAR) T-cell therapy to solid tumors.
An international team of researchers has provided valuable insights into the brain's noradrenaline (NA) system, which has been a longtime target for medications to treat attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder, depression, and anxiety. Equally important beyond the findings is the groundbreaking methodology that the researchers developed to record real-time chemical activity from standard clinical electrodes which are routinely implanted for epilepsy monitoring.
A team of researchers has created smart, advanced materials that will be the building blocks for a future generation of soft medical microrobots. These tiny robots have the potential to conduct medical procedures, such as biopsy, and cell and tissue transport, in a minimally invasive fashion.
The perception of persistent thermal sensations, such as changes in temperature, tends to gradually diminish in intensity as our bodies become accustomed to the temperature. This phenomenon leads to a shift in our perception of temperature when transitioning between different scenes in a virtual environment. Researchers have now developed a technology to generate a virtual cold sensation via a non-contact method without physically altering the skin temperature.
Scientists have uncovered a group of immune cells that may drive severe asthma. These cells gather in the lungs and appear to cause the most harm in men who develop asthma in later life.
In a randomized controlled clinical trial of adults with moderate-to-severe depression, those who participated in heated yoga sessions experienced significantly greater reductions in depressive symptoms compared with a control group.
A new lab-made substance mimics human tissue and could reduce or replace the use of animal-derived materials in biomedical research.
A regimen of pre-surgical immunotherapy and chemotherapy followed by post-surgical immunotherapy significantly improved event-free survival (EFS) and pathologic complete response (pCR) rates compared to chemotherapy alone for patients with operable non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC), according to results of a Phase III trial.
For the first time, a new study in rats teases apart the role of the hippocampus in two functions of memory -- one that remembers associations between time, place and what one did, and another that allows one to predict or plan future actions based on past experiences.
A team of researchers has developed a software tool that provides a way for the safer design of genome editing in all organisms with a transcriptome. For about a decade, researchers have used the CRISPR technology for genome editing. However, there are some challenges in the use of CRISPR. The new analysis system overcomes these challenges and allows researchers to perform safer on- and off-target assessments without a reference genome. It holds the potential for applications in medicine, agriculture, and biological research.
Cannabis use, even for medical purposes, could make some people sick due to harmful fungi that contaminate the plants. That is the finding of a recently published peer-reviewed journal article, whose authors recommend further study and consideration of changes to regulations to protect consumers, especially those who are immunocompromised. They examined data, previous studies, and U.S. and international regulations related to the cannabis and hemp industry.
Millions of couples worldwide experience infertility with half of the cases originating in men. For 10 percent of infertile males, little or no sperm are produced. Now, new research is shedding light on what may be going wrong in the process of sperm formation, leading to potential theories on possible treatments.
In the largest-ever review of faculty retention in the United States, researchers reveal how harassment, a sense of not belonging and other factors contribute to a lack of gender diversity among senior faculty.
Stimulating muscle fibers with magnets causes them to grow in the same direction, aligning muscle cells within tissue. The findings offer a simpler, less time-consuming way for medical researchers to program muscle cell alignment, which is strongly tied to healthy muscle function.
The ability of Mycobacterium tuberculosis (MTB), a serious respiratory infection, to form snake-like cords was first noted nearly 80 years ago. Investigators report the biophysical mechanisms by which these cords form and demonstrate how several generations of dividing bacteria hang together to create these structures that enable resistance to antibiotics.
Being suspended from school or sent to the office is tied to a big drop in grade point average (GPA), especially for Black and Latinx children, according to researchers.
Researchers are studying the dramatic physical transformation that some insects undergo to give birth to live young. This includes suppressing their immune systems to accommodate babies, which is something some insects and people have in common. Understanding how these systems work can help improve treatments for fibromyalgia and other immune disorders. An international team of researchers has examined the complex structural and physiological changes that take place in Hawaii's beetle-mimic cockroaches, which give birth to live young.
Anthropologists challenge the traditional view of men as hunters and women as gatherers in prehistoric times. Their research reveals evidence of gender equality in roles and suggests that women were physically capable of hunting. The study sheds light on the gender bias in past research and calls for a more nuanced understanding of prehistoric gender roles.
Women with diets during middle age designed to lower blood pressure were about 17 percent less likely to report memory loss and other signs of cognitive decline decades later, a new study finds.
New findings suggest that measuring changes in how pupils react to light could help predict recovery from depression and personalize transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS) treatment of major depressive disorder.
Researchers looking to develop a long-acting, injectable malaria preventive using atovaquone have shown in a new study that resistance may not be the challenge scientists thought it was, particularly when using atovaquone as a malaria preventive. Malaria parasites in infected patients being treated with atovaquone tend to develop a resistance to the drug. Because of this, atovaquone by itself is not used as a malaria treatment nor has not been seen as a strong candidate for use as a preventive.
Married couples and long-term romantic partners typically engage in a variety of behaviors that sustain and nourish the relationship. These actions promote higher levels of commitment, which benefits couples' physical and psychological health. A new study looks at how such relationship maintenance behaviors interact with satisfaction and commitment.
Researchers conducted a phase I pilot study to assess the feasibility of using potato starch as a dietary intervention to modify the gut microbiome in bone marrow transplant patients. The study is the first part of a two-phase ongoing clinical trial evaluating the effect of modifying the microbiome on the incidence of graft-versus-host disease (GVHD), a major complication that develops in up to half the patients who receive a bone marrow transplant and can lead to injury and death.
Increasingly used in medicine, AI raises both hopes and concerns. An international task force has laid out recommendations to ensure AI medical devices help patients and avoid worsening health inequity.
Findings from the study, which analyzed 50 years of data, highlighted the health risks that can occur when more weight is gained in pregnancy than recommended, especially when it comes to heart disease and diabetes.
A new kind of hormone replacement therapy that more closely replicates the natural circadian and ultradian rhythms of our hormones has shown to improve symptoms in patients with adrenal conditions.
The study analyzed data from people with an average age of 65 and found short sleep was associated with the onset of depressive symptoms.
New perspective argues pursuing fair AI for healthcare requires cross-disciplinary collaboration to translate methods into real-world benefits.
A research team recently published findings on adding an anti-inflammatory painkiller used for arthritis pain to an oral emergency contraceptive pill (also known as the morning-after pill) to increase the effectiveness of pregnancy prevention.
A 2000-year-old practice by Chinese herbalists -- examining the human tongue for signs of disease -- is now being embraced by computer scientists using machine learning and artificial intelligence.
Researchers have pinpointed a particular peptide's role in activating atopic dermatitis, or eczema. The work could lead to more effective treatments for the condition.
Researchers have conducted a large-scale meta-analyses of genome-wide association studies (GWAS) to investigate the genetic architecture of PPD.
In an unusual trial, researchers found that a patient's belief that they had received ketamine, even if they didn't, could improve their depression.
Researchers have examined the association between number of children and several key health indicators among older adults across multiple global regions.
Whether a mouse is a good or bad parent can be traced back to imprinted genes in key neurons in the 'parenting hub' in the brain, according to a new study.
In vitro fertilization (IVF) is a time-intensive and often stress-inducing fertility procedure. Yet how does that stress impact its success? Investigators have now assessed the effects of anxiety and depression in men on fertility and IVF outcomes.