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The future of medicine and health
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How Exercise Changes Fat and Muscle Cells

How Exercise Changes Fat and Muscle Cells | The future of medicine and health | Scoop.it
Several striking new studies provide some clarity by showing that exercise seems able to drastically alter how genes operate, perhaps altering the risk for problems like obesity and diabetes.

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Exercise promotes health, reducing most people’s risks of developing diabetes and growing obese. But just how, at a cellular level, exercise performs this beneficial magic — what physiological steps are involved and in what order — remains mysterious to a surprising degree.

Several striking new studies, however, provide some clarity by showing that exercise seems able to drastically alter how genes operate.

Genes are, of course, not static. They turn on or off, depending on what biochemical signals they receive from elsewhere in the body. When they are turned on, genes express various proteins that, in turn, prompt a range of physiological actions in the body.

One powerful means of affecting gene activity involves a process called methylation, in which methyl groups, a cluster of carbon and hydrogen atoms, attach to the outside of a gene and make it easier or harder for that gene to receive and respond to messages from the body. In this way, the behavior of the gene is changed, but not the fundamental structure of the gene itself. Remarkably, these methylation patterns can be passed on to offspring – a phenomenon known as epigenetics.

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Phased Out: Human Sleep Patterns Linked to Full Moon: Scientific American

Phased Out: Human Sleep Patterns Linked to Full Moon: Scientific American | The future of medicine and health | Scoop.it
“It must be the moon”—the newest excuse for why you’re tired today

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Moonstruck madness has long been relegated to the annals of folklore, but new findings raise questions about if the moon may actually hold some sway over human sleep patterns. At the very least, it would be a promising explanation for why you’re tired today.

A new study finds that around the full moon humans get less shut-eye and their slumber is not as deep, even if sleep is restricted to windowless rooms free of environmental and time-based cues—such as those found in a sleep lab. The findings, published today in Current Biology, suggest that restful sleep takes a hit during a full moon as well as a few days before and after the phase. Still, no one has any idea why that would occur or what biological mechanism could be at work. The authors found that during and for the few days around the full moon—the period in its monthly phase cycle when it is brightest and appears in the sky from sunset to sunrise—it takes about five minutes longer to fall asleep, sleep duration is reduced by 20 minutes and slumber is not as deep.

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Marine compound first new natural antibiotic in decades

A new antibiotic that is effective at killing anthrax and superbug MRSA bacteria could be a weapon in the fight against antibiotic resistance – and terrorism.

Anthracimycin, a chemical compound derived from the Steptomyces bacteria, was discovered in the ocean off the coast of Santa Barbara in California. Its unique chemical structure makes it a new addition to the antibiotic family that could pave the way for new drugs.

Most new antibiotics are derivatives of existing compounds. The last new naturally-derived antibiotic that entered the market was Daptomycin, a soil-derived compound from Streptomyces roseosporus, approved a decade ago in 2003. It was originally discovered in 1986.

“The discovery of truly new antibiotic compounds is quite rare,” said William Fenical, Professor of Oceanography and Pharmaceutical Science at the Scripps Institution of Oceanography at UC San Diego, who led the research team.

“It’s not just one discovery,” he said. “It opens up the opportunity to develop analogues – potentially hundreds. Alexander Fleming discovered Penicillin in the 1928 and from that more than 25 drugs were developed. When you find a new antibiotic structure, it goes beyond just one.”

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Mobile Real-Time DNA Analysis on Your Smartphone

Mobile Real-Time DNA Analysis on Your Smartphone | The future of medicine and health | Scoop.it
Biomeme, a new company out of Philadelphia, PA, is planning on launching an easy to use system that can perform real-time qPCR and provide results through
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Exercise in a Pill? The Search Continues

Exercise in a Pill? The Search Continues | The future of medicine and health | Scoop.it

Two newly published studies investigate the enticing possibility that we might one day be able to gain the benefits of exercise by downing a pill, rather than by actually sweating. But while some of the research holds out promise for an effective workout pill, there remains the question of whether such a move is wise.


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Injectable smart sponges could deliver medications only where needed | ExtremeTech

Injectable smart sponges could deliver medications only where needed | ExtremeTech | The future of medicine and health | Scoop.it
Microscopic smart sponges know where and when to deliver a dose, and could potentially be used to treat a wide range of diseases.

Medical science is always hard at work developing the next miraculous medication, but some of them will be of limited use without an equally miraculous delivery system. Advanced materials science may hold the key to delivering drugs with high precision when an injection simply won’t do. Biomedical scientists and engineers at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill have joined forces looking for a breakthrough. What they’ve come up with is a so-called “smart sponge” that can be loaded up with medication, then release it only when and where it’s needed.

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Two Boston Patients Free of HIV After Bone-Marrow Transplant

Two Boston Patients Free of HIV After Bone-Marrow Transplant | The future of medicine and health | Scoop.it
In June, at the 2013 International AIDS Society conference, medical researchers made an extraordinary announcement. Two HIV positive cancer patients are HIV-free after undergoing bone marrow transplants.
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UK government backs three-person IVF

The UK looks set to become the first country to allow the creation of babies using DNA from three people, after the government backed the IVF technique.

It will produce draft regulations later this year and the procedure could be offered within two years.

Experts say three-person IVF could eliminate debilitating and potentially fatal mitochondrial diseases that are passed on from mother to child.

Opponents say it is unethical and could set the UK on a "slippery slope".

They also argue that affected couples could adopt or use egg donors instead.

Mitochondria are the tiny, biological "power stations" that give the body energy. They are passed from a mother, through the egg, to her child.

Defective mitochondria affect one in every 6,500 babies. This can leave them starved of energy, resulting in muscle weakness, blindness, heart failure and death in the most extreme cases.

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Herbal extract boosts fruit fly lifespan by nearly 25 percent | KurzweilAI

Herbal extract boosts fruit fly lifespan by nearly 25 percent | KurzweilAI | The future of medicine and health | Scoop.it

Rhodiola rosea (golden root) is a plant in the Crassulaceae family that grows in cold regions of the world (credit: Wikimedia Commons).

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The herbal extract of a yellow-flowered mountain plant long used for stress relief was found to increase the lifespan of fruit fly populations by an average of 24 percent, according to UC Irvine researchers.

But it’s how Rhodiola rosea, also known as golden root, did this that grabbed the attention of study leaders. They discovered that Rhodiola works in a manner completely unrelated to dietary restriction and affects different molecular pathways.

This is significant, said Mahtab Jafari, associate professor of pharmaceutical sciences, because dietary restriction is considered the most robust method of improving lifespan in laboratory animals, and scientists have been scrambling to identify compounds that can mimic its effects.

“We found that Rhodiola actually increases lifespan on top of that of dietary restriction,” Jafari said. “It demonstrates that Rhodiola can act even in individuals who are already long-lived and healthy. This is quite unlike resveratrol, which appears to only act in overfed or unhealthy individuals.”

The researchers proved this by putting flies on a calorie-restricted diet. It has been shown that flies live longer when the amount of yeast they consume is decreased. Jafari and Schriner expected that if Rhodiola functioned in the same manner as dietary restriction, it would not work in these flies. But it did. They also tested Rhodiola in flies in which the molecular pathways of dietary restriction had been genetically inactivated. It still worked.

Not only did Rhodiola improve lifespan an average of 24 percent in both sexes and multiple strains of flies, but it also delayed the loss of physical performance in flies as they aged and even extended the lives of old flies. Jafari’s group previously had shown that the extract decreased the natural production of reactive oxygen species molecules in the fly mitochondria and protected both flies and cultured human cells against oxidative stress.

The researchers are not claiming that Rhodiola supplements will enable humans to live longer, but their discovery is enhancing scientific understanding of how supplements believed to promote longevity actually work in the body.

Rhodiola has already shown possible health benefits in humans, such as decreasing fatigue, anxiety and depression; boosting mood, memory and stamina; and preventing altitude sickness. Grown in cold climates at high elevations, the herb has been used for centuries by Scandinavians and Russians to reduce stress. It’s also thought to have antioxidant properties.

Jafari’s research group is currently exploring the plant’s potential to kill cancer cells, improve Alzheimer’s disease and help stem cells grow.

Rhodiola is readily available online and in health food stores. Jafari, though, has analyzed several commercial products and found them to not contain sufficient amounts of the reputed active compounds, such as rosavin and salidroside, that characterize high-quality products.

The study was supported by the National Institutes of Health. Study results appear online in PLOS ONE (open access)

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Sleep Deprivation in Hospitals Is a Real Problem

Sleep Deprivation in Hospitals Is a Real Problem | The future of medicine and health | Scoop.it
subcircle/Flickr The importance of sleep is perhaps most realized when we become sick. When we are hospitalized and most in need of every ounce of health, though, hospital care practically guarantees that we won't get good sleep.
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Real-Life True Blood: Synthetic Blood Is Coming — And So Are a Host of Potential Complications | Underwire | Wired.com

Real-Life True Blood: Synthetic Blood Is Coming — And So Are a Host of Potential Complications | Underwire | Wired.com | The future of medicine and health | Scoop.it
The arrival of real synthetic blood is also likely to bring with it its own set of serious socioeconomic issues, including ones that have complicated many medical advances that before it.
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Brain Implants Could Help Alzheimer’s and Others with Severe Memory Damage | #neuroscience #health

Brain Implants Could Help Alzheimer’s and Others with Severe Memory Damage | #neuroscience #health | The future of medicine and health | Scoop.it
A maverick neuroscientist believes he has deciphered the code by which the brain forms long-term memories.

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luiy's curator insight, June 14, 2013 5:18 AM

Theodore Berger, a biomedical engineer and neuroscientist at the University of Southern California in Los Angeles, envisions a day in the not too distant future when a patient with severe memory loss can get help from an electronic implant. In people whose brains have suffered damage from Alzheimer’s, stroke, or injury, disrupted neuronal networks often prevent long-term memories from forming. For more than two decades, Berger has designed silicon chips to mimic the signal processing that those neurons do when they’re functioning properly—the work that allows us to recall experiences and knowledge for more than a minute. Ultimately, Berger wants to restore the ability to create long-term memories by implanting chips like these in the brain.

 

The idea is so audacious and so far outside the mainstream of neuroscience that many of his colleagues, says Berger, think of him as being just this side of crazy. “They told me I was nuts a long time ago,” he says with a laugh, sitting in a conference room that abuts one of his labs. But given the success of recent experiments carried out by his group and several close collaborators, Berger is shedding the loony label and increasingly taking on the role of a visionary pioneer.

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Glowing eels may help save human lives

Glowing eels may help save human lives | The future of medicine and health | Scoop.it
A protein that allows eels to glow may also find use in detecting liver problems in humans.

Just about any sushi-lover knows what unagi is – it’s eel, or more specifically, the Japanese freshwater eel Anguilla japonica. What those people might not know, however, is that the eel glows green in the dark. Now, it looks like the protein that allows the fish to do so could also help doctors to assess human liver function.

Led by Drs. Atsushi Miyawaki and Akiko Kumagai, a team at Japan’s Riken Brain Science Institute have dubbed the protein UnaG, standing for Unagi Green protein. The first known fluorescent protein to be found in a vertebrate, UnaG only fluoresces when combined with naturally-occurring bilirubin present in the eels’ muscles.

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(Ever)lasting Beauty: A Sexual Attraction to the Elderly | Bering in Mind, Scientific American Blog Network

(Ever)lasting Beauty: A Sexual Attraction to the Elderly | Bering in Mind, Scientific American Blog Network | The future of medicine and health | Scoop.it

Gerontophilia is an “erotic age orientation” in which one is most strongly aroused by the elderly, and so it is at the opposite end of the spectrum from pedophilia. In fact, perhaps the most bizarre theory concerning its etiological (or clinical) origins was put forth, without any supporting data, by the British psychiatrist T. C. Gibbens in 1982. This inventive author argued that gerontophiles are likely to have underlying pedophilic tendencies as well, with both paraphilias stemming from a phobia of pubic hair.

It was the father of abnormal sexuality studies, Richard von Krafft-Ebing, who first sketched out this condition of being aroused primarily by the elderly, offering a few impromptu case reports and a rather bland definition of gerontophilia as “the love of persons of advanced age.” In 1981, the sexologist John Money clarified this by defining gerontophilia as, “the condition in which a young adult is dependent on the actuality or fantasy of erotosexual activity with a much older partner in order to initiate and maintain arousal and facilitate or achieve orgasm.”

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Psychotherapy via Internet found as good as or better than face-to-face | KurzweilAI

Psychotherapy via Internet found as good as or better than face-to-face | KurzweilAI | The future of medicine and health | Scoop.it
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Online psychotherapy is just as efficient as conventional therapy, University of Zurich clinical researchers have found in a study of online psychotherapy vs. conventional face-to-face therapy.

And three months after the end of the therapy, patients given online treatment even displayed fewer symptoms.

Six therapists treated 62 patients, the majority of whom were suffering from moderate depression. The patients were divided into two equal groups and randomly assigned to one of the therapeutic forms.

The treatment consisted of eight sessions with different established techniques that stem from cognitive behavior therapy and could be carried out both orally and in writing. Patients treated online had to perform one predetermined written task per therapy unit — such as querying their own negative self-image.

Online therapy even more effective in the medium term

“In both groups, the depression values fell significantly,” says Professor Andreas Maercker, summing up the results of the study. At the end of the treatment, no more depression could be diagnosed in 53 percent of the patients who underwent online therapy — compared to 50 percent for face-to-face therapy.

Three months after completing the treatment, the depression in patients treated online even decreased whereas those treated conventionally only displayed a minimal decline: no more depression could be detected in 57 percent of patients from online therapy compared to 42 percent with conventional therapy.

For both patient groups, the degree of satisfaction with the treatment and therapists was more or less equally high. 96 percent of the patients given online therapy and 91 percent of the recipients of conventional treatment rated the contact with their therapist as “personal.”

In the case of online therapy, the patients tended to use the therapy contacts and subsequent homework very intensively to progress personally. For instance, they indicated that they had re-read the correspondence with their therapist from time to time.

“In the medium term, online psychotherapy even yields better results. Our study is evidence that psychotherapeutic services on the Internet are an effective supplement to therapeutic care,” concludes Maercker.

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Modifying the Human Genome with Ease | UA Magazine

Modifying the Human Genome with Ease | UA Magazine | The future of medicine and health | Scoop.it

Genetics is becoming a bigger and bigger part of modern medicine as our knowledge increases. From diagnostics, to research, and even potential treatments, advanced biotechnologies are becoming more common.

Each of these medical fields requires precise analysis and often manipulation of human DNA. Diagnostics may require mutating certain genes to see what the effect is, in the hopes of identifying disease risk. For research and drug testing scientists need to have cell cultures that mimic the genetic characteristics of various diseases. And for many conditions with a genetic component, gene therapy is being researched as a potential cure. The issue was that scientists didn’t have a standard tool for manipulating DNA in this way, until now.

Researchers from Duke University have found a protein that can be used to precisely and easily manipulate the human genome. After years of tinkering with genes using specially engineered proteins, they took a look at one found in nature. Called Cas9 and found in a streptococcus bacteria, its original function was splicing in virus DNA as part of the bacteria’s adaptive immune system. Previous research showed that these proteins could function in a human cell, so the Duke scientists changed the proteins target. Because Cas9 is guided by RNA it’s easy to manipulate and the research have already achieved promising results.

They demonstrated this tool could activate specific human genes, in particular those related to reducing inflammation, and creating neurons, muscle cells, and stem cells. They were also able to activate a gene known to alleviate the symptoms of sickle cell anemia, in tissue samples. With this protein’s versatility and relative simplicity, they will be making this tool freely available to other research groups. Potentially starting a new wave of genetic discoveries and therapies.

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Getting Straight to the Site of Disease - Nanomedicine is going to battle against brain disease in Iraq veterans

Getting Straight to the Site of Disease - Nanomedicine is going to battle against brain disease in Iraq veterans | The future of medicine and health | Scoop.it

In today’s finest medical pavilions, where therapies are touted as cutting edge, the treatment of breast cancer still involves going under the knife. With luck, the tumor can be cut out without sacrificing the whole breast. For the unlucky, a lot of tissue must be removed in order to get rid of the malignant cells.

As advanced as modern medicine is, it’s often not possible to get at a diseased area without affecting the entire body. Surgery and radiation kill good cells along with bad, and chemotherapy and antibiotics infiltrate the whole body, producing unwanted side effects on normal organs. Even when we want to direct a drug to influence one part of the body, modern medicine still can’t transport a drug precisely to the diseased area or make sure that the drug releases its dose exactly where we want it to. For this reason, treatments today are still blunt weapons.

The promise of nanomedicine is to completely revolutionize treatment by transporting the medicine directly to the diseased site without compromising the rest of the body. The key in nanomedicine is the transport feature, which is also its greatest challenge.

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Robots: The future of elder care?

Robots: The future of elder care? | The future of medicine and health | Scoop.it

Would you let a robot take over as a live-in nurse for your aging parent or grandparent?

In 2050, the elderly will account for 16 percent of the global population. That's 1.5 billion people over the age of 65, according to the Population Reference Bureau. Caring for those seniors - physically, emotionally and mentally - will be an enormous undertaking, and experts say there will be a shortage of professionals trained and willing to take on the job.

"We have to find more resources and have to get new ways of delivering those resources and delivering the quality of care," says Antonio Espingardeiro, an expert in robotics and automation at the University of Salford in Manchester, England.

Enter the elder-care robot.


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Overweight? Maybe You Really Can Blame Your Genes

Overweight? Maybe You Really Can Blame Your Genes | The future of medicine and health | Scoop.it
Researchers have found a genetic mutation that may help explain why some people can eat the same amount as others but gain more weight.

The mice were eating their usual chow and exercising normally, but they were getting fat anyway. The reason: researchers had deleted a gene that acts in the brain and controls how quickly calories are burned. Even though they were consuming exactly the same number of calories as lean mice, they were gaining weight. So far, only one person — a severely obese child — has been found to have a disabling mutation in the same gene. But the discovery of the same effect in mice and in the child — a finding published Wednesday in the journal Science — may help explain why some people put on weight easily while others eat all they want and seem never to gain an ounce. It may also offer clues to a puzzle in the field of obesity: Why do studies find that people gain different amounts of weight while overeating by the same amount?

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New theory uncovers cancer’s deep evolutionary roots | KurzweilAI

New theory uncovers cancer’s deep evolutionary roots | KurzweilAI | The future of medicine and health | Scoop.it
This typical four-week-old human embryo looks similar to fish embryos, with proto-gills and a tail.(credit: University of New South Wales) A new way to look

Authors predict that if cancer cells are saturated with oxygen but deprived of sugar, it will slow them down or even even kill them

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A new way to look at cancer — by tracing its deep evolutionary roots to the dawn of multicellularity more than a billion years ago — has been proposed by Paul Davies of Arizona State University’s Beyond Center for Fundamental Concepts in Science in collaboration with Charles Lineweaver of the Australian National University.

If their theory is correct, it promises to transform the approach to cancer therapy, and to link the origin of cancer to the origin of life and the developmental processes of embryos.

Davies and Lineweaver are both theoretical physicists and cosmologists with experience in the field of astrobiology — the search for life beyond Earth.

They turned to cancer research only recently, in part because of the creation at Arizona State University of the Center for the Convergence of Physical Science and Cancer Biology. The center is one of twelve established by the National Cancer Institute to encourage physical scientists to lend their insights into tackling cancer.

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Brain activity patterns preserve traces of previous cognitive activity | KurzweilAI

Brain activity patterns preserve traces of previous cognitive activity | KurzweilAI | The future of medicine and health | Scoop.it
The day-after effect of brain activation: The brain image at the back presents spontaneous (resting state) patterns before an fMRI-based neurofeedback training
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The Chaotic, Political, Ethically Murky Case of the 10-Year-Old Girl Who Needed a New Pair of Lungs

The Chaotic, Political, Ethically Murky Case of the 10-Year-Old Girl Who Needed a New Pair of Lungs | The future of medicine and health | Scoop.it

The plight of Sarah Murnaghan made headlines over the past several weeks. The 10-year-old girl suffers from cystic fibrosis, a crippling respiratory ailment. She was dying, but she was deemed ineligible—then, after an uproar, eligible—for an adult lung transplant. She received a new set of lungs on June 12.

At issue were rules set forth by the United Network for Organ Sharing, the non-profit that manages the national organ waiting list. It requires that the sickest children younger than 12 get priority for lungs donated from children younger than 12. Children age 12 and younger are eligible for lungs donated from 12- to 17-year-olds only after potential recipients between 12 and 17 have declined them. Lungs donated by adults are initially offered to all candidates older than 12.

Part of the rationale behind the “under 12 rule,” established in 2005 by the Organ Procurement Transplant Network, which is managed by UNOS, is that lungs from an adult would be too large for a child’s body. (There are no age-based cutoffs for transplanting organs other than lungs. The lobar structure of the liver makes it easier to reduce. Adult kidneys can be placed inside a child’s roomy abdominal cavity. But hearts must fit anatomical constraints.)  

The age rule was also devised to compensate for a lack of good data for those under the age of 12. All lung transplant candidates over 12 are assigned a “lung allocation score” that reflects both the seriousness of a patient’s medical status and the likelihood of a successful operation. This score, in addition to blood type and the geographic distance between the candidate and the hospital with the lung donor, determines wait-list priority for receiving adult lungs. Patients under 12 are not assigned an LAS because the number of children in need of lung transplants is so small as to make statistical modeling difficult. 

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Optogenetics for treating obsessive-compulsive disorders | KurzweilAI

Optogenetics for treating obsessive-compulsive disorders | KurzweilAI | The future of medicine and health | Scoop.it
Obsessive-compulsive mice exhibit a defective grooming response during a conditioning task (credit: Eric Burguière et al./Science) By applying

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By applying optogenetics (light stimulation) to specific neurons in the brain, researchers at INSERM (Institut national de la santé et de la recherche médicale) have re-established normal behavior in mice with pathological repetitive behavior similar to that observed in human patients suffering from obsessive-compulsive disorders.

Repetitive obsessive-compulsive disorders can become a real handicap to daily life (for example, washing hands up to 30 times a day; or checking excessively that a door is locked, etc.). Obsessive-compulsive disorders affect 2 to 3% of the population and in France, it is estimated that over one million persons are affected by this disorder.

The usual treatment for obsessive-compulsive disorders is to use pharmacological treatments (anti-depressants, neuroleptics) and/or behavioral psychotherapy. They don’t work in around one third of patients.

So it is necessary to gain better understanding of the cerebral mechanisms that cause these repetitive behavior patterns in order to provide better treatment.

Previous neuroimaging studies allowed the INSERM scientists to identify dysfunctional neuron circuits located between the front of the brain (the orbitofrontal cortex) and more deep-seated cerebral structures (ganglions at the base on the brain), in certain persons suffering from obsessive-compulsive disorders.

In this new study, Eric Burguière and his co-workers (in the laboratory of Prof. Ann Graybiel in MIT) concentrated their research on this neuron circuit to examine its function in detail and also to develop an approach to treating obsessive-compulsive disorders in a mutant mouse model.

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World's Oldest Person Dies—How Can You Live to 100?

World's Oldest Person Dies—How Can You Live to 100? | The future of medicine and health | Scoop.it
You may not make it to 116 like Japan's Jiroemon Kimura, but longevity expert Dan Buettner has some tips for reaching a ripe old age.

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The oldest man ever known to have lived—Japan's Jiroemon Kimura—died Wednesday at 116. Kimura, who was born April 19, 1897, was recognized by Guinness World Records as the oldest living person, oldest living man, and oldest man ever.

"As the only man to have ever lived for 116 years—and the oldest man whose age has been fully authenticated—he has a truly special place in world history," Craig Glenday, editor-in-chief of Guinness World Records, said on its website.

Misao Okawa, 115, of Osaka, Japan, now holds the title of oldest living person, as well as oldest living woman.

Though most of us won't make it to 116, National Geographic Fellow and longevity expert Dan Buettner has discovered tips on reaching old age through his work on blue zones—pockets of longevity around the world.

In his second edition of his book The Blue Zones, Buettner writes about a newly identified Blue Zone: the Greek island of Ikaria (map). National Geographic magazine Editor at Large Cathy Newman interviewed him in December about the art of living long and well. (Watch Buettner talk about how to live to a hundred.)

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New Coating Makes Silicon Circuits Implantable in Human Tissue

New Coating Makes Silicon Circuits Implantable in Human Tissue | The future of medicine and health | Scoop.it
A silicon circuit, coated with a protective layer and immersed in fluid that mimicks human body chemistry. Photo courtesy of Ohio State University. Bio

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Biosensors and implantable medical devices of the future will have to live in a climate that’s hostile to traditional silicon-based electronic circuits. Although silicon is biocompatible, our salty bodies are too conductive and interfere with bare silicon circuits. Plus, as with any other implants, there are concerns of material’s immunogenicity and toxicity.

Researchers at Ohio State University have demonstrated a new coating made of aluminum oxide that can encapsulate silicon circuits to keep them dry from the electrolytes in bodily fluids. The coating is currently patent pending and researchers believe that it will soon find application in medicine, most notably in sensors that detect early signs of transplant organ rejection.

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