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Probiotics' Benefits May Be More Than a Gut Feeling

Probiotics' Benefits May Be More Than a Gut Feeling | Longevity science | Scoop.it

Probiotics, believed to help with digestion, are increasingly being studied to treat wide-ranging conditions, from colic to cholesterol and the common cold.

 

One of the fastest-growing dietary supplements, probiotics are now prominent on drug and big-box store shelves. They are live microorganisms—or "good" bacteria—that when consumed in capsules or yogurt are said to confer a health benefit.

 

 

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Wellness Resources - Mind Blog: The Keys to a Better Brain

Wellness Resources - Mind Blog: The Keys to a Better Brain | Longevity science | Scoop.it

Growing older is not the same as aging. Everyone grows older all the time, but we aren’t necessarily aging as we do so since, by definition, the aging process is one of deterioration.

But we can actually grow new brain connections and even create new neurons from stem cells as a result of our thoughts. If you want to keep your brain and body healthy, you can start by adapting our suggestions into your personal plan.

The Summer 2017 issue of Conscious Lifestyle Magazine features Ray & Terry’s recommendations for building a better brain. As a Ray & Terry’s subscriber, we are happy to share the full article with you (pdf).

Conscious Lifestyle Magazine offers powerful, practical tools, techniques, wisdom and inspiration for creating radiant happiness, health and healing.

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Limiting dietary fat could help prevent prostate cancer’s fatal metastatic progression

Limiting dietary fat could help prevent prostate cancer’s fatal metastatic progression | Longevity science | Scoop.it

A team from the Cancer Center at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center (BIDMC) has been studying the mechanisms behind the metastatic progression of prostate cancer. They've found that a high-fat diet could play a major role in promoting metastasis of what is generally an "indolent" disease.

 

Indolent cancers are low-risk, slow-growing tumors that can progress so slowly that often no treatment is ever needed. Thyroid, lung and breast cancers can be classified as indolent, as can many cases of prostate cancer. The key thing for a physician trying to plan a treatment after a cancer has been identified is to understand what factors can cause it to metastasize and move to other parts of the body, often with fatal results.

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Safety Communications > The FDA Warns that Biotin May Interfere with Lab Tests: FDA Safety Communication

Biotin in blood or other samples taken from patients who are ingesting high levels of biotin in dietary supplements can cause clinically significant incorrect lab test results. The FDA has seen an increase in the number of reported adverse events, including one death, related to biotin interference with lab tests.

Biotin in patient samples can cause falsely high or falsely low results, depending on the test. Incorrect test results may lead to inappropriate patient management or misdiagnosis.
Ray and Terry's 's insight:

Our products do not contain more than 100% RDA of biotin. The safety warning pertains to high levels of biotin in supplements.

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Gene Therapy Had a Breakthrough 2017—2018 May Be Even Better

Gene Therapy Had a Breakthrough 2017—2018 May Be Even Better | Longevity science | Scoop.it
Gene therapy had a hell of a 2017. After decades of promises but failed deliveries, last year saw the field hitting a series of astonishing home runs.

The concept of gene therapy is elegant: like computer bugs, faulty letters in the human genome can be edited and replaced with healthy ones.

But despite early enthusiasm, the field has suffered one setback after another. At the turn of the century, the death of an 18-year-old patient with inherited liver disease after an experimental gene therapy treatment put the entire field into a deep freeze.

But no more. Last year marked the birth of gene therapy 2.0, in which the experimental dream finally became a clinical reality. Here’s how the tech grew into its explosive potential—and a sneak peek at what’s on the horizon for 2018.
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The Future of Cancer Treatment Is Personalized and Collaborative

The Future of Cancer Treatment Is Personalized and Collaborative | Longevity science | Scoop.it
Just a few years ago, microscopes were the primary tool used in cancer diagnoses, but we’ve come a long way since.

“We still look at a microscope, we still look at what organ the cancer started in,” Wender said. “But increasingly we’re looking at the molecular signature. It’s not just the genomics, and it’s not just the genes. It’s also the cellular environment around that cancer. We’re now targeting our therapies to the mutations that are found in that particular cancer.”

Cancer treatments in the past have been largely reactionary, but they don’t need to be. Most cancer is genetic, which means that treatment can be preventative. This is one reason why newer cancer treatment techniques are searching for actionable targets in the specific gene before the cancer develops.
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Low-Cost Soft Robot Muscles Can Lift 200 Times Their Weight and Self-Heal

Low-Cost Soft Robot Muscles Can Lift 200 Times Their Weight and Self-Heal | Longevity science | Scoop.it
Jerky mechanical robots are staples of science fiction, but to seamlessly integrate into everyday life they’ll need the precise yet powerful motor control of humans. Now scientists have created a new class of artificial muscles that could soon make that a reality.

The advance is the latest breakthrough in the field of soft robotics. Scientists are increasingly designing robots using soft materials that more closely resemble biological systems, which can be more adaptable and better suited to working in close proximity to humans.
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Does sunlight help us shed winter weight?

Does sunlight help us shed winter weight? | Longevity science | Scoop.it

A team of researchers at the University of Alberta in Canada has uncovered an extraordinary new, previously undiscovered, fat-burning mechanism. The new study reveals fat cells just under the skin are sensitive to a specific spectrum of sunlight and shrink when exposed.

As with many wonderful scientific discoveries, this new mechanism was unearthed completely by accident while the team of researchers was investigating ways to use light as a trigger to make fat cells produce insulin.

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Anesthetics found to do more than simply induce sleep

Anesthetics found to do more than simply induce sleep | Longevity science | Scoop.it
Research over the last decade is suggesting that anesthetics result in unconsciousness by disrupting the brain's ability to communicate with itself. Blocking transmissions between different areas in the cortex seems to result in our consciousness vanishing. This also seems to result in strange side effects, such as memory loss and post-anesthesia cognitive impairment.
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Gene Therapy Had a Breakthrough 2017—2018 May Be Even Better

Gene Therapy Had a Breakthrough 2017—2018 May Be Even Better | Longevity science | Scoop.it
Gene therapy had a hell of a 2017. After decades of promises but failed deliveries, last year saw the field hitting a series of astonishing home runs.

The concept of gene therapy is elegant: like computer bugs, faulty letters in the human genome can be edited and replaced with healthy ones.

But despite early enthusiasm, the field has suffered one setback after another. At the turn of the century, the death of an 18-year-old patient with inherited liver disease after an experimental gene therapy treatment put the entire field into a deep freeze.

But no more. Last year marked the birth of gene therapy 2.0, in which the experimental dream finally became a clinical reality. Here’s how the tech grew into its explosive potential—and a sneak peek at what’s on the horizon for 2018.
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How the right "dose" of exercise can reverse aging-related heart damage

How the right "dose" of exercise can reverse aging-related heart damage | Longevity science | Scoop.it

An inspiring new study from scientists at UT Southwestern suggests the damage caused to a person's heart from years of sedentary behavior can be successfully reversed by the right "dose" of exercise. The two-year study found that exercising four to five times per week can significantly improve a person's heart elasticity.

The latest study follows on from earlier research illustrating how a sedentary lifestyle can stiffen the ventricular muscles in the heart. Senior author on the new study Benjamin Levine explains, "When the muscle stiffens, you get high pressure and the heart chamber doesn't fill as well with blood. In its most severe form, blood can back up into the lungs. That's when heart failure develops."

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New Research Suggests Immunity to CRISPR Gene Editing Poses a Challenge

New Research Suggests Immunity to CRISPR Gene Editing Poses a Challenge | Longevity science | Scoop.it

CRISPR-Cas9 is the talk of the town in biotechnology. There is a huge amount of public interest in the possibilities provided by this new genome editing technology, and many are hoping CRISPR could eventually cure most genetic disease, with positive impact for millions.

But a bioRxiv preprint of a new study has a potentially disturbing result: many people may already be immune to the most widely used forms of CRISPR.

Instead of successfully modifying the genome, when used therapeutically, the tool could trigger an adaptive immune response. Although this is a preliminary result, it will be an important consideration for clinical trials of CRISPR in humans, which are expected to begin shortly.

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Fat fighting drug could let you lose weight without dieting

Fat fighting drug could let you lose weight without dieting | Longevity science | Scoop.it
You want to lose weight, but you don't want to eat less – right? Well, when and if a new drug makes it to market, you may get your wish. Scientists from The University of Texas Medical Branch at Galveston are developing a medication that has already lowered body weight in obese mice, even though they kept eating the same amount.

Fat cells begin to overexpress a protein known as nicotinamide-N-methyltransferase (NNMT), as they get larger. NNMT acts as a metabolic brake which slows down fat cell metabolism, so the more of it that's expressed, the harder it is for the cells to burn fat – it's a vicious circle.
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New research shows how alcohol damages DNA and increases cancer risk

New research shows how alcohol damages DNA and increases cancer risk | Longevity science | Scoop.it

Scientists have shown how alcohol damages DNA in stem cells, helping to explain why drinking increases your risk of cancer, according to research part-funded by Cancer Research UK and published in Nature today.

Much previous research looking at the precise ways in which alcohol causes cancer has been done in cell cultures. But in this study, researchers have used mice to show how alcohol exposure leads to permanent genetic damage.

Scientists at the MRC Laboratory of Molecular Biology (link is external), Cambridge, gave diluted alcohol, chemically known as ethanol, to mice. They then used chromosome analysis and DNA sequencing to examine the genetic damage caused by acetaldehyde, a harmful chemical produced when the body processes alcohol.

They found that acetaldehyde can break and damage DNA within blood stem cells leading to rearranged chromosomes and permanently altering the DNA sequences within these cells.

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Researchers Team Up with Patients to Build a Breast Cancer Database

Researchers Team Up with Patients to Build a Breast Cancer Database | Longevity science | Scoop.it

Last October, after a hectic couple of days campaigning for metastatic breast cancer awareness and research funding in Washington, D.C., Lisa Quinn boarded an RV owned by the advocacy group METAvivor for a road trip up the East Coast. The stay-at-home mom from northwest Arkansas was diagnosed with stage IV breast cancer in July 2015 at age 36, and in 2016, she had donated saliva and blood samples, along with her clinical data and information about her disease, to the Metastatic Breast Cancer Project (MBCproject).

Launched by the Broad Institute of MIT and Harvard University in October 2015, the MBCproject aimed to collect patient-donated samples from which to extract molecular and genomic information on metastatic breast cancer, pairing those data with clinical records and patient-reported information.

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Is anxiety a strong early indicator of Alzheimer's disease?

Is anxiety a strong early indicator of Alzheimer's disease? | Longevity science | Scoop.it
The degenerative processes behind Alzheimer's disease have been found to begin 10, or even 20 years before dementia symptoms become evident and the condition is diagnosed. A new study suggests that increasing symptoms of anxiety could be an early indicator of Alzheimer's, allowing physicians better targets for early interventions to treat the condition before it causes too much irreversible neurological damage.
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Genetically engineered probiotics to turn vegetables into cancer-killing agents

Genetically engineered probiotics to turn vegetables into cancer-killing agents | Longevity science | Scoop.it
Imagine recruiting a strain of gut bacteria to help target and kill cancer cells in your colon? A team from the National University of Singapore (NUS) is doing exactly that – genetically modifying a common type of gut bacteria so it locks onto colorectal cancer cells and turns a substance found in broccoli into a cancer-killing toxin.

This remarkable research starts with genetically modifying a harmless form of bacteria commonly found in our gut called E. coli Nissle. The bacteria is engineered to bind to a compound called heparan sulphate proteoglycan, which is found on the surface of colorectal cancer cells.
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Fast food stimulates inflammation and triggers long-term changes to immune system

Fast food stimulates inflammation and triggers long-term changes to immune system | Longevity science | Scoop.it
A disturbing new study led by scientists at the University of Bonn suggests that the immune system responds to a fast food-style Western diet in much the same way as it would react to a bacterial infection. As well as stimulating widespread inflammatory activity, the study claims that switching to a healthy diet may not fully reverse the long-term damage once initially triggered.
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Tiny time-release beads target post-joint-replacement infections

Tiny time-release beads target post-joint-replacement infections | Longevity science | Scoop.it
Ordinarily, people who are receiving new joints (such as hip implants) are placed on intravenous antibiotics before and after the operation. There might be a better method of reducing the chances of infection, however. A Houston Methodist orthopedic surgeon has created time-release antibiotic beads that are implanted with the joint.

"There is a risk of infection with any surgery, but infections after a joint replacement surgery are harder to treat," says Dr. Terry Clyburn, who developed the technology. "The metal implants are not connected to the body's bloodstream, so the white blood cells sent to fight the infection cannot reach the implant and kill the bacteria."
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No sweat: The smart guide to exercise

No sweat: The smart guide to exercise | Longevity science | Scoop.it
Polls invariably cite the most common New Year's resolutions as focusing on diet, exercise and weight loss – which is perhaps unsurprising after the excess of the holidays.

But regardless of our good intentions, most resolutions are already broken come February. Some 39 per cent of adults in the UK fail to get enough exercise – despite gym membership hitting an all-time high in 2017 – and it’s a similar story in many other parts of the world. The price is more than vanity. Physical inactivity is thought to be responsible for 5 million deaths worldwide. So where are we going wrong?

We’re bombarded by specialist exercise advice and workouts that promise unrealistic results in record time, which can leave people feeling overwhelmed and doomed to fail. But if you strip down to the bare facts, things start to look a lot simpler. Just when your resolutions are most likely to crack, here's the no-nonsense guide to the exercise advice you really need to know.
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How to grow functioning human muscles from stem cells | KurzweilAI

How to grow functioning human muscles from stem cells | KurzweilAI | Longevity science | Scoop.it
Biomedical engineers at Duke University have grown the first functioning human skeletal muscle from human induced pluripotent stem cells (iPSCs). (Pluripotent stem cells are important in regenerative medicine because they can generate any type of cell in the body and can propagate indefinitely; the induced version can be generated from adult cells instead of embryos.)

The engineers say the new technique is promising for cellular therapies, drug discovery, and studying rare diseases. “When a child’s muscles are already withering away from something like Duchenne muscular dystrophy, it would not be ethical to take muscle samples from them and do further damage,” explained Nenad Bursac, professor of biomedical engineering at Duke University and senior author of an open-access paper on the research published Tuesday, January 9, in Nature Communications.
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How a promising Alzheimer's drug turns back the cellular clock

How a promising Alzheimer's drug turns back the cellular clock | Longevity science | Scoop.it
Alzheimer's is a devastating disease, and with the world's average population getting older, its effects will be felt further and wider in the future. A drug dubbed J147, developed by the Salk Institute, is one of the most promising candidates to treat Alzheimer's, but just how it worked at the molecular level remained a mystery. Now Salk scientists have figured out the mechanism behind it, which could see J147 used to fight other age-related conditions as well.
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Gut gases measured by ingestible capsule reveal entirely new immune mechanism

Gut gases measured by ingestible capsule reveal entirely new immune mechanism | Longevity science | Scoop.it
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An innovative ingestible capsule, designed to measure gases inside the gut, has just passed phase one human trials. The swallowable sensor could reframe how gastrointestinal disorders are diagnosed, as well as offering a new insight into the activity of crucial bacteria in our gut microbiome.

The vast community of bacteria living inside our gastrointestinal system are constantly generating a variety of gases as they interact with unabsorbed bits of food. Hydrogen, carbon dioxide, nitrogen, and oxygen are all produced in various amounts and known to induce many unpleasant symptoms related to irritable bowel syndrome (IBS).
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Primary Cilia in Neurons Linked to Obesity

Most mammalian cells have a primary cilium, an antenna-like, immobile surface projection that senses the surrounding environment. Researchers report in Nature Genetics today (January 8) that proteins localized to the cilia of neurons in the hypothalamus control food intake in mice. Furthermore, two human genetics studies published in Nature Genetics today tie variants of a neuronal ciliary gene, adenylyl cyclase 3 (ADCY3), identified in people from Pakistan, Greenland, and the United States, to an increased risk of obesity and diabetes.

“This [mouse] paper contributes nicely to a consensus that cilia are important in the brain for energy homeostasis and feeding behaviors,” says Nick Berbari, a biologist at Indiana University–Purdue University Indianapolis who did not participate in the study. “It’s interesting to think about how cilia function could be important for the general population, [not] just in rare instances of ciliopathies,” he adds.
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Skin patch could thwart antibiotic resistance

Skin patch could thwart antibiotic resistance | Longevity science | Scoop.it

In the past few years, we've seen microneedle-equipped skin patches being designed for everything from pain-free vaccinations to insulin delivery to targeted fat-burning. Now, scientists from Queen's University Belfast are developing a patch that they believe could slow the development of antibiotic-resistant bacteria.

"One of the biggest problems is that the huge majority of the drugs are taken orally," says lead scientist Prof. Ryan Donnelly, regarding antibiotics. "This means that a small quantity of the compound often finds its way into the colon, creating the perfect breeding ground for drug-resistant bacteria."

While this problem is avoided when the drugs are injected, many patients wouldn't want to give themselves needles, or go to a clinic to get them on a daily basis. That's where the skin patch comes in.

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The virus that can attack brain tumors and stimulate the immune system to do the same

The virus that can attack brain tumors and stimulate the immune system to do the same | Longevity science | Scoop.it

Remarkable new research from scientists in the UK has shown how a naturally occurring, and mostly harmless, virus is being recruited into attacking brain cancer and enhancing the tumor-targeting abilities of the body's own immune system.

Harnessing a virus to help instead of harm is a technique that has shown great promise over recent years. Specific cancer-killing viruses are dubbed oncolytic viruses, and everything from Zika to poliovirus are being tapped to attack deadly forms of cancer.

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Is the $850,000 price tag for a blindness-curing gene therapy a sign of future medical costs?

Is the $850,000 price tag for a blindness-curing gene therapy a sign of future medical costs? | Longevity science | Scoop.it
In August 2017 the FDA approved the first gene therapy for public use in the United States. Called Kymriah, the drug was targeted at a very specific form of blood and bone marrow cancer. The therapy was controversially priced at US$475,000 per treatment. A few months later the FDA approved another gene therapy, this time for a rare inherited retinal disease, the drug is called Luxturna. Spark Therapeutics, the company producing Luxturna, has just revealed the new therapy will cost $850,000.
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