Therapy could improve and prolong sight in those suffering vision loss: Damping noise in hyperactive eye cells allows details to emerge

Millions of Americans are progressively losing their sight as cells in their eyes deteriorate, but a new therapy developed by researchers at the University of California, Berkeley, could help prolong useful vision and delay total blindness. The treatment — involving either a drug or gene therapy — works by reducing the noise generated by nerve cells in the eye, which […]

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Imaging technique finds differences between radiation-sensitive and resistant tumors: Pilot clinical trials begun

Researchers have started pilot clinical studies in head and neck cancer patients to determine if Raman spectroscopy, a noninvasive imaging technique, can effectively spare some patients of the toxic side effects of ineffective radiation therapy. Researchers at the University of Arkansas, Johns Hopkins University and the University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences (UAMS) used the imaging technique and discovered differences […]

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Study reveals that night and weekend births have substantially higher risk of delivery complications

As if expecting mothers didn’t have enough to worry about, a new study published in Risk Analysis: An International Journal found that the quantity of delivery complications in hospitals are substantially higher during nights, weekends and holidays, and in teaching hospitals. Each year, nearly four million women give birth in U.S. hospitals, making childbirth the most common cause of hospitalization […]

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Genetic study of impulsiveness reveals associations with psychiatric disorders

Impulsiveness and substance use share a genetic basis, according to genome-wide association studies published in JNeurosci by academic and industry researchers. With more than 20,000 participants, the research represents the largest genetic analysis of impulsive personality traits to date. Dr. Abraham Palmer and colleagues compared genetic data with self-reported impulsive personality traits and history of drug experimentation from a large […]

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Method to ‘turn off’ mutated melanoma: New study provides novel insights into the pathogenesis and treatment of NRAS mutant melanoma

Melanoma is the deadliest form of skin cancer and notorious for its resistance to conventional chemotherapy. Approximately 25 percent of melanoma is driven by oncogenic mutations in the NRAS gene, making it a very attractive therapeutic target. However, despite decades of research, no effective therapies targeting NRAS have been forthcoming. For the first time, an international group of researchers has […]

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Bioethicists call for more robust system of ethical governance in human gene-editing

University of Otago bioethicists are calling for a more robust system of ethical governance in human gene-editing in the wake of the Chinese experiment aiming to produce HIV immune children. In an opinion article in the latest issue of the Journal of Zhejian University-SCIENCE B, a major international journal based in China, Professor Jing-Bao Nie, Dr Simon Walker and Jing-ru […]

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Hand-knitted molecules: Chemistry at very small scales

The fabrication of electronic components usually follows a top-down pathway in specialized physical laboratories. Using special carving tools in clean rooms, scientists are capable of fabricating structures reaching only a few nanometers. However, atomic precision remains very challenging and usually requires special microscopes such as an Atomic Force Microscope (AFM) or a Scanning Tunneling Microscope (STM). Chemists on the other […]

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Early clinical trial data show gene therapy reversing sickle cell anemia: Treatment uses reduced-intensity preconditioning to enhance its global transportability

After over a decade of preclinical research and development, a new gene therapy treatment for sickle cell anemia (SCA) is reversing disease symptoms in two adults and showing early potential for transportability to resource-challenged parts of the world where SCA is most common. Preliminary data from a pilot Phase 1-2 clinical trial testing the gene-addition therapy were presented Dec. 3 […]

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Increasing staffing levels could reduce cesarean delivery use

High staffing levels for obstetricians and midwives at hospital maternal units are associated with lower cesarean rates, according to a study published November 28 in the open-access journal PLOS ONE by Saad Zbiri of Versailles Saint Quentin University, Carine Milcent of the Paris School of Economics (PSE) and the French National Center for Scientific Research (CNRS), and colleagues. Cesarean delivery […]

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Alcohol dependence, psychiatric disorders share genetic links: Key alcoholism gene influences how quickly body metabolizes alcohol

In the largest study of genetic factors linked to alcohol dependence, an international team of researchers identified a gene known to affect risk, and they determined that many other genes also contribute to risk for alcohol dependence to a lesser degree. In addition, the study linked genetic factors associated with alcohol dependence to other psychiatric disorders, such as depression, and […]

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