medical research

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Smoking Damages Our DNA— in Some Cases Permanently

But the vast majority of genes 'recover' within 5 years of quitting

(Newser) - Scientists are learning more about how smoking impacts our health all the way down to our genes, and experts say they're not terribly surprised by new findings that some of the changes to a smoker's DNA appear to be permanent, lingering even decades after the smoker quits, reports... More »

Want Lower BMI? Pot Might Help

Daily marijuana use linked to lower body mass for both women and men

(Newser) - People who smoke weed on a daily basis tend to have slightly lower body mass indexes than people who don't, and while researchers say they're not suggesting that people take up regular marijuana smoking, they're keen to understand the mechanism at play. Specifically, they followed more than... More »

Scientists Find a Mouse That Gets Periods

Spiny mouse could help in researching human conditions

(Newser) - Just 1.5% of mammals menstruate and 99.9% of those are primates. That's why scientists are amazed by the spiny mouse—the first rodent shown to menstruate with a cycle remarkably similar to humans, according to a study that still needs to be peer-reviewed. Researchers at Monash University... More »

Woman Can Smell Disease That's Very Hard to Diagnose

She may lead scientists to a 'life-changing' diagnostic test for Parkinson's

(Newser) - Joy Milne noticed a small difference in her husband just before he turned 40. "His smell changed," the Scottish woman tells the BBC . "It wasn't all of a sudden. It was very subtle—a musky smell." He was diagnosed with Parkinson's disease six years... More »

Jane Goodall May Have Just Ended Experiments on Chimps

US rules give more protection to those in captivity

(Newser) - The US is alone in conducting medical experiments on chimps, but a move yesterday by federal officials may end the practice, reports the Washington Post . The US Fish and Wildlife Service declared that all chimps are now endangered. Previously it made a distinction between those in the wild, which have... More »

Study Surfaces Potential Cause of Alzheimer's

Immune cells could be 'going rogue'

(Newser) - It's the hopeful sort of line you want to see in a press release about an Alzheimer's disease study: Research out of Duke University "not only points to a new potential cause of Alzheimer's but also may eventually lead to a new treatment strategy." The... More »

Scientists Slip Bob Dylan Quotes Into Articles

Swedish professors enjoy mixing medicine and Dylan

(Newser) - Think medical research and Bob Dylan are a natural combination? Five Swedish scientists would agree, and have even started a contest to see who can stuff the most Dylan words into articles before they call it a career, the Local reports. It started 17 years ago when two professors, Eddie... More »

$43M Quest: Solve Mystery of Rarest Diseases

NIH will pour millions into 6 research centers over 4 years

(Newser) - They're baffling, mysterious, confounding: the rarest of rare diseases, ones that often plague no more than 50 people on the globe. The quest to diagnose them is getting a big boost from the National Institutes of Health, which yesterday announced the creation of a an "Undiagnosed Diseases Network.... More »

'Cured' HIV Patients Get Some Bad News

Disease reappears after promising bone marrow treatment

(Newser) - The world let up a tentative cheer this summer when Boston researchers revealed that they'd seemingly eradicated HIV in two patients following risky bone marrow transplants. But it turns out the virus was more resilient than they'd thought. The virus has returned in both patients, the researchers revealed... More »

Work for NASA: Lie in Bed for 15 Weeks

And get paid about $5K a month

(Newser) - Best job ever? NASA wants test subjects to spend 15 weeks in bed and get paid about $5,000 a month for doing it, the Metro reports. Sounds like a dream job (literally), until you realize that you'd be prohibited from sitting or standing up, the Houston Chronicle notes.... More »

Brits May Create Babies With DNA From 3 People

Proposed move would help parents avoid passing on diseases

(Newser) - Can a baby have three biological parents? Maybe. Britain may allow a controversial technique to create babies using DNA from a mother, father, and a donor. The idea behind it is to help couples from passing on rare genetic diseases. For a woman with faulty mitochondria, scientists take only the... More »

Scientists Decry Worst Case of Censorship Since Galileo

... and it involves magic mushrooms

(Newser) - It's the kind of claim that makes your ears perk up: A group of scientists yesterday came out swinging against what one described as "the worst case of scientific censorship since the Catholic Church banned the works of Copernicus and Galileo." More colorful still, it involves magic... More »

US: Chimps Too 'Endangered' for Research

Agency might give status to all chimps, both in captivity and wild

(Newser) - A new proposal by the US Fish and Wildlife Service to declare chimpanzees living in captivity as "endangered" rather than "threatened" is more than just semantics: It will help protect the primates from being the subjects of medical research. Since 1990, only wild chimps have classified by the... More »

Obama Announces $100M Brain-Mapping Project

Set to devote $100M to initiative

(Newser) - President Obama today unveiled a major federal project to map out the human brain , discovering "how millions of brain cells interact," in the words of a White House scientist. Obama is directing $100 million toward the program, which has been compared to the Human Genome Project and could... More »

FDA Tweak Could Be Boon for Alzheimer's Drugs

Proposal could make it easier to get early-stage drugs OKed

(Newser) - Good news in the Alzheimer's arena: The FDA could ease the rules for approving new drugs to treat the disease, reports the New York Times . Under the proposed plan, the FDA would be able to OK drugs that returned improved results on memory or reasoning tests in clinical trials... More »

Tech Giants Fund Big Annual Award for Scientists

Mark Zuckerberg, Sergey Brin, will shell out $3M to each winner

(Newser) - Forget the Nobel Prize; pretty soon, enterprising medical researchers will really be after the Life Sciences Breakthrough Prize. Some of the biggest names in tech—including Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg and Google co-founder Sergey Brin—have teamed to create the award, which rewards biological breakthroughs with fat, $3 million checks.... More »

Scientists Revive Bird Flu Research Amid Contagion Fear

But US funding not quite ready

(Newser) - Bird flu experts decided to shut down their research last year over government concerns that samples could cause contagion outside the lab. Now, some 40 scientists—in countries which have set up research guidelines—are set to dive back into their investigations, they say. The US hasn't established its... More »

NIH May Soon Retire Almost All Its Research Chimps

New recommendations would keep just 50 on hand

(Newser) - The National Institutes of Health could soon be letting most of its 451 research chimpanzees retire in sanctuaries, if new recommendations are put into effect. The NIH Council of Councils approved a report yesterday that unanimously recommends almost all the chimps should no longer be used for research, with just... More »

Simple Eye Scan Tracks Progress of MS

New tool could aid creation of new therapies

(Newser) - A quick and simple new test can help monitor how fast multiple sclerosis is progressing in patients, researchers say. The eye scan measures the thickness of the retina, which has been linked to the progress of the nervous system disease, reports the BBC . The course of MS can be unpredictable... More »

Leg Wound? Spray On New Skin

New technique helps heal leg ulcers: study

(Newser) - How do you heal an open wound? Try spray-on skin. US and Canadian scientists have developed a new technique that entails spraying a leg ulcer with a layer of donated skin cells and blood-clotting proteins, reports BBC . The researchers tested the spray on 228 people with the hard-to-treat leg wounds... More »

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