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Current Cambridge News and Events, Cambridge News Articles.
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Medical school link to wide variations in pass rate for specialist exam
Wide variations in doctors' pass rates, for a professional exam that is essential for one type of specialty training, seem to be linked to the particular medical school where the student graduated, indicates research published online in Postgraduate Medical Journal. (2012-02-13)

A mineral way to catalysis?
Catalytic materials, which lower the energy barriers for chemical reactions, are used in everything from the commercial production of chemicals to catalytic converters in car engines. However, with current catalytic materials becoming increasingly expensive, scientists are exploring viable alternatives. (2012-02-10)

Here comes the sun...
New solar cells could increase the maximum efficiency of solar panels by over 25 percent, according to scientists from the University of Cambridge. (2012-02-08)

The heart can make 'bad' fat burn calories
Brown fat burns calories to generate body heat in rodents and newborn humans. Researchers seeking to combat the obesity epidemic are trying to develop ways to increase the amount of brown fat an adult human has in the hope that this will make them lose weight. New research indicates that hormones produced by the heart can cause regular fat cells from mice and humans to take on characteristics of brown fat cells. (2012-02-06)

Chaos in the cell's command center
Whitehead Institute researchers have determined the critical role one enzyme, lysine-specific demethylase 1, plays as mouse embryonic stem cells differentiate. As the cells mature, LSD1 uses a previously unknown gene-silencing mechanism to inactivate the ESC gene expression program. This research gives insight into how gene expression programs are deactivated, and may provide targets for developing drugs to push cells with dysfunctional gene expression programs back to a more normal, healthier state. (2012-02-01)

New research to enhance speech recognition technology
New research is hoping to understand how the human brain hears sound to help develop improved hearing aids and automatic speech recognition systems. (2012-01-17)

Discovery in Africa gives insight for Australian Hendra virus outbreaks
A new study on African bats provides a vital clue for unraveling the mysteries in Australia's battle with the deadly Hendra virus. (2012-01-12)

First step toward treatment for painful flat feet
A team led by the University of East Anglia has made an advance in understanding the causes of adult-acquired flat feet -- a painful condition particularly affecting middle-aged women. (2012-01-11)

Fusion plasma research helps neurologists to hear above the noise
Fusion plasma researchers at the University of Warwick have teamed up with Cambridge neuroscientists to apply their expertise developed to study inaccessible fusion plasmas in order to significantly improve the understanding of the data obtained from noninvasive study of the fast dynamics of networks in the human brain. (2012-01-10)

New gene, new mechanism for neuron loss in hereditary spastic paraplegias
Hereditary spastic paraplegias are a group of inherited neurodegenerative disorders characterized by progressive weakness and spasticity of the legs. Mutations in more than 30 genes have been linked to HSPs. Researchers have now associated mutations in the gene reticulon two with hereditary spastic paraplegia type 12 and defined how these mutations are likely to cause neurodegeneration. (2012-01-09)

Study finds age-related effects in MS may be reversible
Scientists at Joslin Diabetes Center, Harvard University, and the University of Cambridge have found that the age-related impairment of the body's ability to replace protective myelin sheaths, which normally surround nerve fibers and allow them to send signals properly, may be reversible, offering new hope that therapeutic strategies aimed at restoring efficient regeneration can be effective in the central nervous system throughout life. (2012-01-06)

Hopes for reversing age-associated effects in MS patients
New research highlights the possibility of reversing aging in the central nervous system for multiple sclerosis patients. (2012-01-06)

New insight into why locusts swarm
New research has found that a protein associated with learning and memory plays an integral role in changing the behavior of locusts from that of harmless grasshoppers into swarming pests. (2011-12-19)

Crows show advanced learning abilities
A team of researchers from the University of Auckland and the University of Cambridge have now shown these crows can learn to use new types of tools. (2011-12-14)

Scientists discover why buttercups reflect yellow on chins
Scientists have found that the distinctive glossiness of the buttercup flower, which children like to shine under the chin to test whether their friends like butter, is related to its unique anatomical structure. Their findings were published today, Dec. 14, in the Royal Society journal Interface. (2011-12-13)

15 new conservation concerns
A review carried out by a group of international specialists has identified several emerging issues that are likely to damage biodiversity in the coming years. (2011-12-12)

A beast with 4 tails
The Milky Way galaxy continues to devour its small neighboring dwarf galaxies and the evidence is spread out across the sky. (2011-11-29)

Research reveals shocking new way to create nanoporous materials
Scientists have developed a new method of creating nanoporous materials with potential applications in everything from water purification to chemical sensors. (2011-11-27)

3 p.m. slump? Why a sugar rush may not be the answer
A new study has found that protein and not sugar activates the cells responsible for keeping us awake and burning calories. The research, published in the Nov. 17 issue of the scientific journal Neuron, has implications for understanding obesity and sleep disorders. (2011-11-16)

Novel surface triples stem-cell growth in culture
By irradiating typical polystyrene lab plates with ultraviolet waves, Whitehead Institute and MIT scientists have created a surface capable of tripling the number of human embryonic stem and induced pluripotent stem cells that can be grown in culture by current methods. Moreover, use of this novel surface eliminates the need for layers of mouse (2011-11-07)

Researchers discover genes involved in colorectal cancer
A jumping gene has helped to unlock vital clues for researchers investigating the genetics of colorectal cancer. In a study published online Sunday Nov. 6 researchers used DNA transposon system to profile the repertoire of genes that can drive colorectal cancer in a mouse model, identifying many more than previously thought. Around one third of these genes are mutated in human cancer, which provides strong evidence that they are driver mutations in human tumours. (2011-11-06)

Adolescent amphetamine use linked to permanent changes in brain function and behavior
Amphetamine use in adolescence can cause neurobiological imbalances and increase risk-taking behavior, and these effects can persist into adulthood, even when subjects are drug free. These are the conclusions of a new study using animal models conducted by MUHC researcher Dr. Gabriella Gobbi and her colleagues. The study published in The International Journal of Neuropsychopharmacology, is one of the first to shed light on how long-term amphetamine use in adolescence affects brain chemistry and behavior. (2011-11-03)

Chiral metal surfaces may help to manufacture pharmaceuticals
New research shows how metal surfaces that lack mirror symmetry could provide a novel approach towards manufacturing pharmaceuticals. (2011-10-26)

Low levels of BNP hormone linked to development of Type 2 diabetes
Using Mendelian randomization, Roman Pfister of the University of Cambridge, UK, and colleagues demonstrate a potentially causal link between low levels of B-type natriuretic peptide (BNP), a hormone released by damaged heart tissue, and the development of Type 2 diabetes. (2011-10-25)

There are still 453,000 deaths per year due to rotavirus-related diarrhea
New research published online first in the Lancet Infectious Diseases shows there are still 453,000 deaths due to rotavirus-related diarrhea, despite availability of a vaccine. (2011-10-24)

Steps towards the use of adult stem cells for gene therapy
As part of a project conducted by teams from the University of Cambridge and the Sanger Institute, with collaboration from a team from the Institut Pasteur and INSERM, researchers have demonstrated for the first time that adult stem cells, produced using cells from patients with liver disease, may be genetically corrected before being differentiated to hepatic cells and contributing to liver regeneration in an animal model. (2011-10-13)

Clean correction of a patient's genetic mutation
For the first time, scientists have cleanly corrected a gene mutation in a patient's stem cells, bringing the possibility of patient-specific therapies closer to reality. The team, led by researchers from the Wellcome Trust Sanger Institute and the University of Cambridge, targeted a mutation responsible for cirrhotic liver disease and lung emphysema. Using cutting-edge methods, they corrected the sequence of a patient's genome, removed all exogenous DNA and showed that the gene worked normally. (2011-10-12)

University of Alberta discovery could change the face of cell-biology research
Rewrite the textbooks and revisit old experiments, because there's a new cog in our cellular machinery that has been discovered by researchers from the University of Alberta and the University of Cambridge Institute for Medical Research. (2011-10-11)

Health effects of financial crisis: Omens of a Greek tragedy
There are signs that health outcomes in Greece have worsened during the financial crisis, especially in vulnerable groups. These concerns are detailed in Correspondence published online first by the Lancet, written by Alexander Kentikelenis and Dr. David Stuckler, University of Cambridge, UK, and Professor Martin McKee, London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine, UK, and colleagues. (2011-10-09)

Scientists identify cause of severe hypoglycemia
Cambridge scientists have identified the cause of a rare, life-threatening form of hypoglycemia. Their findings, which have the potential to lead to pharmaceutical treatments for the disorder, were published today, Oct. 7, in the journal Science. (2011-10-06)

Predicting prognosis in patients with inflammatory bowel disease
Crohn disease (CD) and ulcerative colitis (UC) are forms of inflammatory bowel disease. The severity of the disease varies widely among patients. Researchers have now identified a gene expression profile that can predict prognosis in patients with CD and UC. This should allow physicians to identify those patients that require aggressive therapies and prevent those that do not need such drugs from being exposed to their rare but potentially life-threatening side effects. (2011-09-26)

Serotonin levels affect the brain's response to anger
Fluctuations of serotonin levels in the brain, which often occur when someone hasn't eaten or is stressed, affects brain regions that enable people to regulate anger, new research from the University of Cambridge has shown. (2011-09-15)

More evidence that spicing up broccoli boosts its cancer-fighting power
Teaming fresh broccoli with a spicy food that contains the enzyme myrosinase significantly enhances each food's individual cancer-fighting power and ensures that absorption takes place in the upper part of the digestive system where you'll get the maximum health benefit, suggests a new University of Illinois study. (2011-09-13)

Sparing or sharing? Protecting wild species may require growing more food on less land
In parts of the world still rich in biodiversity, separating natural habitats from high-yielding farmland could be a more effective way to conserve wild species than trying to grow crops and conserve nature on the same land, according to a new study published today in the journal Science. (2011-09-01)

Smoking after menopause may increase sex hormone levels
A recent study accepted for publication in The Endocrine Society's Journal of Clinical Endocrinology & Metabolism (JCEM) found that postmenopausal women who smoke have higher androgen and estrogen levels than non-smoking women, with sex hormone levels being highest in heavy smokers. (2011-08-31)

The 9/11 Effect: Comparative Counter-Terrorism by Prof. Kent Roach (Cambridge University Press)
University of Toronto law professor Kent Roach takes a hard-hitting look at the failures of global anti-terrorism policies over the last 10 years in his latest book The 9/11 Effect: Comparative Counter-Terrorism. (2011-08-31)

Graphene's shining light could lead to super-fast Internet
Internet connection speeds could be tens of times faster than they currently are, thanks to research by University of Manchester scientists using wonder material graphene. (2011-08-30)

No bones about it: Eating dried plums helps prevent fractures and osteoporosis
When it comes to improving bone health in postmenopausal women -- and people of all ages, actually -- a Florida State University researcher has found a simple, proactive solution to help prevent fractures and osteoporosis: eating dried plums. (2011-08-17)

Increased tropical forest growth could release carbon from the soil
A new study shows that as climate change enhances tree growth in tropical forests, the resulting increase in litterfall could stimulate soil microorganisms leading to a release of stored soil carbon. The research was led by scientists from the Centre for Ecology & Hydrology and the University of Cambridge, UK. The results are published online Aug. 14, 2011, in the scientific journal Nature Climate Change. (2011-08-14)

Psychiatrists failing to adequately monitor patients for metabolic side-effects of prescribed drugs
People treated in psychiatric settings are receiving inadequate medical monitoring following high risk antipsychotic medication. (2011-08-09)

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