Brightsurf Science News & Current Events

December 25, 2006
Longevity gene also protects memory, cognitive function
A gene variation that helps people live into their 90s and beyond also protects their memories and ability to think and learn new information, according to a study published in the December 26, 2006, issue of Neurology, the scientific journal of the American Academy of Neurology.

Prompting men to have syphilis tests
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Wound botulism
In a case study in PLoS Medicine, doctors report on the case of a 35-year-old heroin user who came to the accident and emergency department with double vision, slurred speech, drooping eyelids and eye muscle weakness.

Methamphetamine use increases risks of artery tears and stroke
Methamphetamine use may be associated with increased risks of major neck artery tears and stroke, according to an article published in the December 26, 2006, issue of Neurology, the scientific journal of the American Academy of Neurology.

Circumcision for prevention of HIV: new analysis demonstrates cost-effectiveness
A team of researchers who conducted a landmark trial in Orange Farm, South Africa, which concluded that male circumcision can substantially reduce the risk of becoming infected with HIV, have now studied the economic aspects of this approach to preventing HIV/AIDS.

Stem cells as cancer therapy
It is widely hoped that neural stem cells will eventually be useful for replacing nerves damaged by degenerative diseases like Alzheimer disease and multiple sclerosis.

Tuberculosis risks for health workers in developing countries
Latent infection with tuberculosis is common and some infected people develop the active form of the disease.

New compound isolated from Madagascan plant shows activity against malaria
Two papers in this week's PLoS Medicine suggest possible new avenues of treatment against malaria.

Structural mechanism of the E. coli drug efflux pump AcrB
The high-resolution crystal structure of trimeric AcrB solved using DARPin inhibitors reveals insights into the drug export mechanism via hemi-channels in each subunit.

Complexity constrains evolution of human brain genes
Despite the explosive growth in size and complexity of the human brain, the pace of evolutionary change among the thousands of genes expressed in brain tissue has actually slowed since the split, millions of years ago, between human and chimpanzee.

Erythrocyte G protein as a novel target for malarial chemotherapy
Kasturi Haldar and colleagues from Northwestern University Medical School, Chicago, investigated a protein in red blood cells (erythrocyte guanine nucleotide regulatory protein Gs) as a novel antimalarial target.

Molecular 'on/off switch' controls immune defenses against viruses
Much like flipping a light switch, the hepatitis C virus turns on human immune defenses upon entering the body but also turns off those defenses by manipulating interaction of key cellular proteins, UT Southwestern Medical Center researchers have found.

A simple feedback resistor switch keeps latent HIV from awakening
By incorporating the idea of a feedback resistor into the HIV Tat transcriptional circuit, and by using real-time imaging experiments, this study provides insight into how HIV enters periods of latency.

Do we need a world health insurance to realize the right to health?
There has been growing recognition in the international community that health should be considered a human right, but much less attention has been paid to the ensuing legal obligation to provide international assistance, says a team of authors from Médecins Sans Frontières, led by Gorik Oooms.

Profiling of cancer genes may lead to better and earlier detection
A research team at UT Southwestern Medical Center has for the first time identified several genes whose expression is lost in four of the most common solid human cancers -- lung, breast, prostate and colon cancer.

Gene tied to longevity also preserves ability to think clearly
A gene variant linked to living a very long life -- to 90 and beyond -- also serves to help very old people think clearly and retain their memories, according to new research by scientists at the Albert Einstein College of Medicine of Yeshiva University.

Deaths of severely malnourished children: identifying those most at risk
Severe malnutrition is responsible for the deaths of millions of children every year.

Ocean temperature predicts spread of marine species
Scientists can predict how the distance marine larvae travel varies with ocean temperature -- a key component in conservation and management of fish, shellfish and other marine species -- according to a new study from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.
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