8 Stories

Where Parkinson's May Start: the Appendix

But scientists say don't run out and get an appendectomy just yet

(Newser) - Scientists have found a new clue that Parkinson's disease may get its start not in the brain but in the gut—maybe in the appendix. People who had their appendix removed early in life had a lower risk of getting the tremor-inducing brain disease decades later, researchers report. Why?... More »

Couple Quit Jobs, Became Scientists to Save Her Life

'You're healthy, and then you're falling off a cliff'

(Newser) - When Sonia Vallabh watched her mother die a horrible death in 2010, caught in limbo between sleep and wakefulness that led to severe dementia, she and her husband, Eric Minikel, wanted answers. The autopsy revealed a harrowing diagnosis: a prion disease called fatal familial insomnia, or FFI, reports the Boston ... More »

Seeds of Alzheimer's Could Pass From Person to Person

Alzheimer's protein may have been passed to patients via growth hormone

(Newser) - Alzheimer's isn't exactly contagious, but a protein that goes on to form the disease was perhaps passed to patients during surgery, meaning there could be an acquired form of the disease, a new study finds. UK researchers, who describe their finding in Nature , studied the brains of eight... More »

Boil an Egg by Mistake? That Can Be Reversed

Researchers "unboil" a 20-minute egg

(Newser) - Want to unboil an egg? Probably not, but researchers in the US and Australia have found a way to do so with a primary ingredient from pee, Popular Science reports. "Yes, we have invented a way to unboil a hen egg," biochemist Gregory Weiss says in a statement... More »

Discovered: Sperm's Docking Station

Protein allows sperm to link with egg

(Newser) - Scientists are announcing a breakthrough in the study of fertility. They've learned more about how a sperm cell links to an egg cell, offering hope for future treatments—for both fertility and contraception, Nature reports. Scientists already knew of a protein on the surface of a sperm cell that... More »

Worldwide Mega-Organism Spawned All Life

Ocean-wide network of cells survived by sharing proteins

(Newser) - Here's a subject for a monster movie—only there would be no victims, because it happened about 3 billion years ago. According to a new theory, the first life form on Earth was a mega-organism that once filled the world's oceans, then split up into parts that later... More »

RNA: Secret Weapon Against Disease

Once seen as weak partner of DNA, gene helps control cells' activity

(Newser) - RNA has long been seen as DNA’s little brother, a messenger between the human genome and cells’ protein factories. But studies point to a bigger role—ribonucleic acid can “turn off” certain genes, for example, fighting a range of health problems, the New York Times reports. “This... More »

Blood Test Predicts Alzheimer's

Breakthrough diagnosis could aid treatment

(Newser) - A new blood test not only diagnoses Alzheimer's, but it can predict with 91% accuracy who will suffer from the disease in the future, reports the San Jose Mercury News. The test, developed by San Francisco company Satoris, identifies the disease by detecting unusual activity in 18 proteins associated with... More »

8 Stories