All posts on January, 2016

Enigma of coexistence of people with Rh+ and Rh- blood groups solved

A new study showed that incidence and morbidity of many diseases and disorders correlate negatively with frequencies of Rh+ heterozygotes (i.e. the carriers of one copy of the gene for Rh positivity and one copy of the gene for Rh negativity) in the population of individual countries. At the same time, the disease burden associated with the same disorders correlated positively with frequency of Rh negative subjects in individual countries. Together with the observed worse health status and higher incidence of many disorders in Rh negative subjects published by the same research team last autumn, this result probably solved 80 years old enigma of coexistence of carriers of two variants of Rhesus gene in the same population. 

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Research offers novel insights into root causes of schizophrenia

Schizophrenia is a mysterious and devastating disorder that afflicts one percent of the adult population worldwide. Its symptoms — hallucinations, emotional withdrawal, and cognitive impairment — are chronic and typically emerge just as individuals are entering adulthood. Today’s medications treat just one of these symptoms (psychosis); treatments for the underlying disease and its many other symptoms have been hard to develop, because no one really understands what causes the disorder.

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Study provides vital information about mechanisms governing DNA repair

DNA damage can lead to gene inactivation or deregulation and cause various diseases such as cancer; however, many DNA repair mechanisms allow cells to survive against such damage. A study lead by Antoine Simoneau of the laboratory of Dr. Hugo Wurtele, a researcher in immunology-oncology at the Maisonneuve-Rosemont Hospital (CIUSS de l’Est-de-l’Île-de-Montréal) and professor at the Faculty of Medicine, University of Montreal, and recently published in the prestigious journal Nucleic Acids Research, provides valuable information about certain mechanisms governing DNA repair.

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Human brain uses several frequency channels for communication

In the brain, the visual cortex processes visual information and passes it from lower to higher areas of the brain. However, information also flows in the opposite direction, e.g. to direct attention to particular stimuli. But how does the brain know which path the information should take? Researchers at the Ernst Strüngmann Institute for Neuroscience in Frankfurt in Cooperation with Max Planck Society have now demonstrated that the visual cortex of human subjects uses different frequency channels depending on the direction in which information is being transported.

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Applying ultrasound therapies for recovery of cardiac stem cells

A joint project of researchers from Universidad Politécnica de Madrid (UPM), Julius Wolff Institute and led by Spanish National Center for Cardiovascular Research shows that when cardiac stem cells undergo low-intensity pulsed ultrasound treatment, these cells can perform continuing modifications, tissue remodeling and regeneration of damaged cardiac tissue after a heart attack.

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As the ‘blue Arctic’ expands thanks to global warming, an icebreaker finds no ice to break

Shrinking Arctic sea ice — now at record-low levels — has implications for ecosystems, climate, weather, and people

During a recent mission off the Arctic archipelago of Svalbard, a Norwegian Coast Guard icebreaker encountered unusual winter conditions for an area just 800 miles from the North Pole.

Open water.

At this time of year, sea ice usually closes in around Svalbard’s northern and eastern coasts. But not this year. The sturdy 340-foot-long, 6,375-ton KV Svalbard had no ice

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Tiniest particles shrink before exploding when hit with x-ray laser

Researchers assumed that tiny objects would instantly blow up when hit by extremely intense light from the world’s most powerful X-ray laser. But to their astonishment, these nanoparticles initially shrank instead – a finding that provides a glimpse of the unusual world of superheated nanomaterials that could eventually also help scientists further develop X-ray techniques for taking atomic images of individual molecules.

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