Health & Medicine, Neurology, News

Newly discovered ‘sleep node’ in the brain puts you to sleep without sedatives

sing designer genes, researchers at UB and Harvard were able to 'turn on' specific neurons in the brainstem that result in deep sleep. Image: Dreamstime

Neuroscientists at University of Buffalo have identified a sleep-promoting circuit inside the brainstem or the primitive part of the brain, whose activity appears to be both necessary and sufficient to produce deep sleep. This is only the second ‘sleep node’ in the mammalian brain that was identified to serve this function. To demonstrate the sleep node’s function, the researchers used…

Biology, Genetics, News

Tobacco plants borrowing bacteria genes achieve more efficient photosynthesis

This plant may look like an ordinary tobacco plant, but on the inside it was engineered to express bacteria proteins which helps it perform more efficient photosynthesis. Photo: Rothamsted Research

It wouldn’t be an understatement to say we owe all the wonders of life to photosynthesis – the ability of plants and certain bacteria to convert CO2 into energy (sugars) and food. Scientists have for some time attempted to enhance photosynthesis through genetic manipulation, but it’s only recently that we’re beginning to see these efforts take form. The most recent…

Diseases, Health & Medicine, News

Children needlessly prescribed antibiotics at an alarming rate

Image via Medscape.

In many cases, doctors prescribe antibiotics to children, but most of the time, those viruses don’t even respond to antibiotics, a study finds. When you have a cold, or a headache, there’s a good chance you might just shrug it off, or fight it with an aspirin or some Tylenol - but if your child is suffering, the odds are you…

Health & Medicine, News, Nutrition

Artificial sweeteners lead to diabetes and weight gain, more so than sugar

artificial sweeteners

If you’re trying to lose weight, then sugar is one of your main enemies. But everybody wants something sweet once in a while, so artificial sweeteners were invented, and in recent years, they’ve become quite popular. But now, a new study shows that artificial sweeteners are messing with our gut bacteria, also causing high sugar levels in our blood. This…

Diseases, Health & Medicine, News

Hepatitis C drug in India to cost 1% of the US price

Image via Gilead.

Sofosbuvir is a very effective drug against Hepatitis C, effectively curing the disease in over 90 percent of all cases. Sofosbuvir is a component of the first all-oral, interferon-free regimen approved for treating chronic hepatitis C.Interferon-free therapy for treatment of hepatitis C reduces the side effects associated with use of interferon. However, a 24 week treatment in the US costs $84,000 –…

Genetics, News

Human face diversity may have evolved to make us look unique

face_two

While you might find people sometimes resemble each other, if you look close enough you’ll soon find unique features and facial characteristics that sets them apart. It’s remarkable how diverse human faces are across the billions alive today and the countless billions that used to live in this world. Scientists at University of Berkeley now believe they understand why this…

Health & Medicine, Mind & Brain, Neurology, News

Vegetative state man responds to Hitchcock clip

Alfred Hitchcock movie

Neuroscientists at University of Western Ontario in London, Canada  found that a man who was thought to be living in a vegetative state for almost twenty years showed response when an Alfred Hitchhock movie was played in the background. The findings suggest that doctors might want to explore more methods to determine whether or not a possibly vegetative state patient is…

Diseases, News

Ebola vaccine trial begins

The vaccine will start human trials sooner than planned due to the urgency of the outbreak. Image via BBC.

We might be dealing with the worst Ebola outbreak in history – even though no one would have predicted this a few years ago. Hastened by the urgency of the matter, a trial of an experimental vaccine against the Ebola virus is to begin in Oxford. Normally, it would take another couple of years of testing before such a vaccine would…

Genetics, Mind & Brain, News

Schizophrenia is not a single disease but multiple genetically distinct disorders

800px-Cloth_embroidered_by_a_schizophrenia_sufferer

A new study concluded that schizophrenia isn’t a single disease, but rather a group of eight genetically distinct disorders, each with its own set of symptoms, and likely, its own treatment. The study could be the first step in finally understanding the condition and how it can be dealt with. Currently, schizophrenia is thought of as a complex mental disorder, often associated…