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Dyscalculia: The deficiency to calculate runs as high as 7% in the Western population

Dyscalculia: The deficiency to calculate runs as high as 7% in the Western population | Science Communication from mdashf | Scoop.it

Brian Butterworth is on a crusade to understand the number deficit called dyscalculia — and to help those who have it. Researchers estimate that as much as 7% of the population has dyscalculia, which is marked by severe difficulties in dealing with numbers despite otherwise normal. The disorder illuminates the inner workings of the brain's number sense — the ability to understand and manipulate quantities. This sense is every bit as innate as vision or hearing, yet scientists disagree over its cognitive and neural basis, a debate that dyscalculics may help to settle.


Via Dr. Stefan Gruenwald
mdashf's insight:

When numbers are screwed !!

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It's time to stop being obsessed about the dangers of knowing what's in your genome

It's time to stop being obsessed about the dangers of knowing what's in your genome | Science Communication from mdashf | Scoop.it

There are lots of popular articles I could point to, but let’s start with a recent series in Time that included eight online features and the Dec. 13 cover story, ominously titled “The DNA Dilemma.”

 

The series, written by Bonnie Rochman, is thoroughly reported, balanced, and full of fascinating personal stories about children whose genomes have been sequenced. It’s also timely: The primary question Rochman raises—how much information is too much information?—has been dominating commentaries about genetic testing in the medical literature.

 

But this is the wrong question, or at least one that’s becoming increasingly irrelevant. The personal genomics horse has bolted, and yet many paternalistic members of the medical community are still trying to shut the barn door. In doing so, they’re fostering a culture of DNA fear when what we really need is a realistic and nuanced genetics education.

 

There are many kinds of genetic tests, but most of the hoopla revolves around whole-genome sequences—the impossibly long, letter-by-letter readouts of the DNA inside the nucleus of each of your cells. In 2003, the first human genome was fully sequenced for just shy of $3 billion. Today a doctor can order yours for around $10,000.

 

Though dropping every day, the cost is still prohibitive enough that most people who get their genome sequenced are part of a medical research study. But the technology is beginning to seep into everyday clinical settings, especially for children with rare diseases. In either situation, the doctor or researcher might inadvertently discover genomic information—known as “incidental findings” in the scientific literature and “dark DNA secrets” in one of the Timearticles—that has nothing to do with the child’s sickness or the study at hand. Hence the big dilemma: How much do patients want to know? How much do they need to know?


Via Dr. Stefan Gruenwald
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Promising compound restores memory loss and reverses symptoms of Alzheimer’s Disease

Promising compound restores memory loss and reverses symptoms of Alzheimer’s Disease | Science Communication from mdashf | Scoop.it

New research in the FASEB Journal by NIH scientists suggests that a small molecule called TFP5 rescues plaques and tangles by blocking an overactive brain signal, thereby restoring memory in mice with Alzheimer’s — without obvious toxic side effects.

 

“We hope that clinical trial studies in AD patients yield an extended and a better quality of life, as observed in mice upon TFP5 treatment,” said Harish C. Pant, Ph.D., a senior researcher involved in the work from the Laboratory of Neurochemistry at the National Institute of Neurological Disorders at Stroke at the National Institutes of Health.

 

“We suggest that TFP5 should be an effective therapeutic compound.”

To make this discovery, Pant and colleagues used mice with a disease considered the equivalent of Alzheimer’s. One set of these mice were injected with the small molecule TFP5, while the other was injected with saline as placebo. The mice, after a series of intraperitoneal injections of TFP5, displayed a substantial reduction in the various disease symptoms along with restoration of memory loss.

 

In addition, the mice receiving TFP5 injections experienced no weight loss, neurological stress (anxiety) or signs of toxicity. The disease in the placebo mice, however, progressed normally as expected.

 

TFP5 was derived from the regulator of a key brain enzyme, called Cdk5. Over-activation of Cdk5 is implicated in the formation of plaques and tangles, the major hallmark of Alzheimer’s disease.


Via Dr. Stefan Gruenwald
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pdeppisch's comment, January 8, 2013 3:40 PM
That would be nice as both my parents died from Alzheimer's as best I could tell.
Audrey's comment, January 8, 2013 5:20 PM
If this is true, then it would be fantastic.
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Algae can be a big cost-cutter in making drugs

Algae can be a big cost-cutter in making drugs | Science Communication from mdashf | Scoop.it

Expensive biotech drugs now made in high-tech manufacturing plants can be grown much more cheaply in genetically engineered algae, according to a paper published Monday in the prestigious Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.

 

Manufacturing costs can be reduced by 90 percent for these drugs, translating into half off their sales price, said Stephen Mayfield, a UC San Diego professor and senior author of the paper. The savings would provide financial relief to patients, health insurers and the federal government -- and the technology could boost San Diego's growing algae biotech sector.

 

The technology could make obsolete the manufacturing plants that grow specialized mammal cells in carefully monitored and chemically controlled vats, plants that cost hundreds of millions to build.

In their place would stand greenhouses containing transparent plastic bags filled with algae, water and diluted fertilizer. In Mayfield’s vision, scientists will design drugs on a computer, get the appropriate DNA by mail order from a manufacturer, then slip the DNA into the algae of choice. Ramping up production would be simply a matter of adding more bags.


Via Dr. Stefan Gruenwald
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Alan Yoshioka's curator insight, December 28, 2012 5:28 PM

Algae photobioreactors can easily be planned into vertical farms to provide some additional high end cash flows to boost economics of the facilities ...

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Newly discovered form of cell division may help ward off cancer

Newly discovered form of cell division may help ward off cancer | Science Communication from mdashf | Scoop.it

Cell biologists have long thought that cytokinesis, the final step of cell division in which the cytoplasm and its contents are split, is necessary for the proper assortment of chromosomes. Disrupt this process, the prevailing wisdom held, and aneuploidy will result, with cancerous implications. But a team led byMark Burkard at the University of Wisconsin–Madison has discovered a new type of cell division, dubbed ‘klerokinesis’, that protects cells from failed cytokinesis.

 

Using live-cell imaging, the researchers watched retinal pigment epithelial cells for five days after they had chemically inhibited cytokinesis. Reporting today at the American Society for Cell Biology’s annual meeting in San Francisco, they showed that many cells managed to split into two during the first growth phase of the next cell cycle—not during mitosis—allowing each to recover a normal chromosome set. Burkard says that therapeutic strategies that boost this type of nonmitotic cell fission could prevent cancer in people at high risk of developing tumors marked by abnormal chromosomal counts.


Via Dr. Stefan Gruenwald
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Daniel R Colgan's comment, January 13, 2013 8:47 PM
Sight restoration using Induced Mitosis could be controlled via above, allowing the healthy cells to duplicate and regenerate the retina!
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HPV and obesity-related cancers on the rise in US, but cancer rates in general continue to drop

HPV and obesity-related cancers on the rise in US, but cancer rates in general continue to drop | Science Communication from mdashf | Scoop.it

New report finds overall cancer and cancer death rates are declining among Americans, but more needs to be done to curb HPV, cancer.

 

The "Annual Report to the Nation on the Status of Cancer" is a joint project from researchers at the government's Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and National Cancer Institute, in addition to the American Cancer Society and North American Association of Central Cancer Registries. It was published Jan. 7 online in the Journal of the National Cancer Institute.

 

Fewer Americans have been dying of cancer since about 1990, and the new report found cancer death rates continued to drop from 2000 to 2009, by about 1.8 percent per year among men and 1.4 percent per year among women over that time period.

 

Men were less likely to die from 10 of the 17 most common types of cancers, including lung, prostate, colon, stomach cancers and leukemia, while cancer death rates for women fell for 15 of the 18 most common types of cancers, including cancers of the breast, cervix, ovary, bladder and lung.

 

The researchers said these declines in cancer death rates may be because of reductions in risk factors like smoking and improvements in early detection and treatments.

 

Cancer death rates among children 14 and under also fell overall by 1.8 percent.

 


Via Dr. Stefan Gruenwald
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Permanently dye white hair with gold nanoparticles

Permanently dye white hair with gold nanoparticles | Science Communication from mdashf | Scoop.it

Attention seniors: French scientists have developed a process that permanently dyes white hair without harmful chemicals.

 

Philippe Walter and colleagues soaked white hairs in a solution containing fluorescent gold nanoparticles.

 

The hairs turned pale yellow and then darkened to a deep brown. The color remained even after repeated washings.

 

 


Via Ray and Terry's , Dr. Stefan Gruenwald
mdashf's insight:

where do you think the golden aura in my hair comes from ?

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Steve Kingsley's curator insight, October 12, 2013 7:35 PM

When is this going to be commercially avaiable?

Ramanathan's curator insight, August 11, 2014 5:03 AM

Permanent hair dye with nanoparticles!