- Health policy researchers lack confidence in social media for communicating scientific evidence
- Biologists pave the way for improved epilepsy treatments
- HIV transmission networks mapped to reduce infection rate
- Fecal source tracking in Norwegian water catchments: New methods
- Infection in malaria-transmitting mosquito discovered
- New evidence links air pollution to autism, schizophrenia
- Brain circuit problem likely sets stage for the 'voices' that are symptom of schizophrenia
- On-off switch to burning stored fat found by scientists
- A new model of liver regeneration: Switch causes mature liver cells to revert back to stem cell-like state
Posted: 06 Jun 2014 10:54 AM PDT
Though Twitter boats 645 million users across the world, only 14 percent of health policy researchers reported using Twitter – and approximately 20 percent used blogs and Facebook – to communicate their research findings over the past year, according to a new study. In contrast, sixty-five percent used traditional media channels, such as press releases or media interviews. While participants believed that social media can be an effective way to communicate research findings, many lacked the confidence to use it and felt their academic peers and institutions did not value it or respect it as much as traditional media and direct contact with policy makers.
Posted: 06 Jun 2014 09:04 AM PDT
Biologists leading an investigation into the cells that regulate proper brain function, have identified and located the key players whose actions contribute to afflictions such as epilepsy and schizophrenia. The discovery is a major step toward developing improved treatments for these and other neurological disorders.
Posted: 06 Jun 2014 06:18 AM PDT
The transmission network of human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) has been mapped in San Diego. The mapping of HIV infections, which used genetic sequencing, allowed researchers to predictively model the likelihood of new HIV transmissions and identify persons at greatest risk for transmitting the virus.
Posted: 06 Jun 2014 06:15 AM PDT
A set of methods for the detection of fecal pollution in Norwegian watercourses has been tested and implemented. The methods, which combine microbial and molecular biological techniques, can give answers as to whether the contamination is a result of human or animal excreta. In addition, the methods provide grounds for assessing whether the water pollution poses a health risk or not.
Posted: 06 Jun 2014 06:11 AM PDT
The first evidence of an intercellular bacterial infection in natural populations of two species of Anopheles mosquitoes, the major vectors of malaria in Africa, has been found by scientists. The infection, called Wolbachia, has been shown in labs to reduce the incidence of pathogen infections in mosquitoes and has the potential to be used in controlling malaria-transmitting mosquito populations.
Posted: 05 Jun 2014 12:57 PM PDT
A new study describes how exposure to air pollution early in life produces harmful changes in the brains of mice, including an enlargement of part of the brain that is seen in humans who have autism and schizophrenia. The mice performed poorly in tests of short-term memory, learning ability, and impulsivity. Study authors say the findings are very suggestive that air pollution may play a role in autism, as well as in other neurodevelopmental disorders.
Posted: 05 Jun 2014 11:19 AM PDT
Scientists have identified problems in a connection between brain structures that may predispose individuals to hearing the 'voices' that are a common symptom of schizophrenia. Researchers linked the problem to a gene deletion. This leads to changes in brain chemistry that reduce the flow of information between two brain structures involved in processing auditory information.
Posted: 05 Jun 2014 11:19 AM PDT
Scientists' discovery of how white fat cells are converted to beige, and the on-off switch for the process, could lead to novel diabetes and obesity drugs. "Understanding how beigeing is controlled is so very important because if we can improve energy expenditure, we can reduce obesity," the lead author said.
Posted: 05 Jun 2014 11:17 AM PDT
Scientists have new evidence in mice that it may be possible to repair a chronically diseased liver by forcing mature liver cells to revert back to a stem cell-like state. The researchers happened upon this discovery while investigating whether a biochemical cascade called Hippo, which controls how big the liver grows, also affects cell fate. The unexpected answer is that switching off the Hippo-signaling pathway in mature liver cells generates very high rates of dedifferentiation. This means the cells turn back the clock to become stem-cell like again, thus allowing them to give rise to functional progenitor cells that can regenerate a diseased liver.
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