Shorties: Exercise helps ease depression in heart failure patients

Almost half of all patients who suffered some sort of heart failure slip into depression, even though some of them live another few decades after the event. But exercise really is a miracle worker – according to doctors, even in such a delicate case, it can significantly help patients overcome their depression. Researchers randomly assigned more than 2,300 heart failure

Leg ulcer spray accelerates healing

Leg ulcers are nasty problems – and hard ones to get rid of. Now, according to a team of Canadian and American doctors, spraying leg ulcers with a mixture of skin cell mixture may speed up healing, even for nasty cases. Typically, such ulcers develop when high blood pressure in the veins from the legs damages the skin, causing it

Chemical lets blind mice see instantly – no surgery, chips or genetic alteration

Remarkably, researchers University of California, Berkeley  have discovered that a chemical called AAQ can temporarily restore the vision in blind mice. The find might help people suffering from inherited genetic blindness or age-related macular degeneration, and bring back light into their world. The process isn’t quite as easy as applying eye drops, but it’s a whole lot less intrusive than surgery, bio-chips or optogenics,

We make mistakes more often and learn harder when rules change

Someone whose been driving for 20 years, let’s say, in the United States and somehow ends up driving a car in the UK will be in a lot of trouble. Going from right side driving to left side driving, or vice versa, will bewilder just about anyone, and if you’ve gone through such an experience maybe you can relate to

Avian flu jumps from birds to mammals, killing New England baby seals

A novel avian influenza virus has developed the ability to infect aquatic mammals and is responsible for an outbreak of fatal pneumonia that recently struck harbor seals in New England. The announcement was made by researchers from the Center for Infection & Immunity (CII) at Columbia University’s Mailman School of Public Health, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Association, New England

Smiling facilitates stress recovery

Just grin and bear it – we’ve all heard it at one point or another in our lives, and we’ve probably hated hearing it. But could there be some real scientific fact behind this piece of advice? Can smiling actually help you feel better? Smile psychology In a study forthcoming in Psychological Science, a journal of the Association for Psychological

Fluoride in tap water lowers IQ and hampers child brain development

According to the Fluoride Action Network there are at present 24 independent studies which have a direct link between fluoride contamination from city tap water and reduced IQ, especially in children who are more vulnerable due to developing brains. The most recent one comes from Harvard University, which also came to the same conclusion, namely that of “the possibility of adverse

First ever computer model of a living organism performed

In what can only be described as a milestone in biological and genetic engineering, scientists at Stanford University have, for the first time ever, simulated a complete bacterium. With the organism completely in virtual form, the scientists can perform any kind of modification on its genome and observe extremely quickly what kind of changes would occur in the organism. This

HIV prevention drug approved by the FDA, decision criticized by AIDS support organization

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration recently gave its seal of approval for the introduction of  Truvada on the pharmaceutical market, a drug which allegedly can prevent HIV infection with an effectiveness rate as high as 75 percent when used in combination with safe sex practices. The Aids Healthcare Foundation (AHF), which is largest Aids support organisation in the world, however called the

Earliest modern human genome partially sequenced

Researchers have analyzed the DNA from  7,000-year-old bones of two cavemen unearthed in Spain, and have managed to sequence fragments of their genomes, making them the oldest modern human specimens ever found thus far. Ironically, the researchers found that the cavemen bear little genetic resemblance to people living in the region today, instead sharing ancestry with current populations of northern Europe. The skeletons

Science explains why supermarket tomatoes are less tasty than garden grown

A newly published researchers by scientists at University of California Davis and Cornell University explains why beautiful, perfectly ripped tomatoes, that one can typically pick up from a local supermarket, are ironically less tastier than homegrown tomatoes, which look less appetizing. I had the good fortune of spending most of my early childhood in the countryside, where my grandfolks took

Scientists catalog weird microbes in your body – a few pounds of bacteria is healthy for you

By creating this microbiome catalog, researchers hope to figure out the complex interactions between the countless microbes in our bodies and our immune system. As many already know, germs are not always bad for you – in fact, they are sometimes necessary for a healthy body. But regardless how careless or careful you are with your hygiene, you are carrying

Ecstasy use ‘safe for adults’, B.C. health officials declare

Dr. Perry Kendall, one of B.C.’s leading health officials says taking pure ecstasy, without any other substances, is totally safe for adults – when consumed responsibly. MDMA and street ecstasy MDMA, the pure substance originally synonymous with ecstasy was thought to be responsible for a series of deaths, but according to Dr. Kendall, the life-threatening danger appears only when the

Brain glucose might power the future’s tiny medical implants

A team of researchers at MIT have successfully manage to fabric a fuel cell capable of running on glucose, which scientists envision will power highly efficient medical implants in the brain that can help paralyzed patients express motor functions again.  The outputted power is in the microwatt range, but despite its low range, scientists claim it’s just enough to fuel tiny devices. A similar

New method allows visualizing of protein self-assembly – paves way for nanotech against diseases

Be it a bacteria or a fully complex being, say a human, all living, biological organisms undergo lighting fast protein structure reassembly in response to environmnetal stimuli. For instance,  receptor proteins in the sinus are stimulated by various odor molecules, basically telling the organism that there’s food nearby or it’s in the vicinity of danger (sulphur, methane, noxious fumes). By studying these mechanisms,

US on track to approve more cancer drugs

While a definite cure for cancer is still miles away, researchers and doctors are using more and more tactics to successfully corner the disease, and as a result, more and more cancer drugs are being developed and produced. As we have a better understanding of the molecular makeup of the disease, novel techniques and treatments are being developed, including targeting

Sperm gene discovery might lead to male birth control

A male birth control might not be so far away as most people thought – especially as Scottish scientists have uncovered a key gene essential for sperm development. The gene, which for some reason was named called Katnal1, is critical for sperm production, as it enables the little guys to mature; thus, if a pill could be created to regulate

Spatial genetic method can pinpoint an individual’s geographic origin

Genetic diversity is what keeps species evolving, helps them tackle diseases and is a prime pre-requisite for natural selection. Understanding genetic diversity is imperitive for scientists in the field, whether it’s about identifying associations between genetic variants and diseases or highlighting interesting aspects of human population history. One of these aspects is geographical location. Remarkably, an international team of scientists comprised of

Organic food might make people jerks

Well the title may be a little over the top, but Loyola University psychologist concluded that people with a taste for organics are more likely to be insufferable, and that a type of diet might make you more judgmental. The new study by Kendall Eskine claims that people who ate foods declared as organic tended to judge other people more

Yeti and Bigfoot material to be genetically tested

You too can get a genetic test kit for your samples! A new university-based project seeks to investigate cryptic species, such as yeti for example, in an attempt to show if these species can actually exist or not; and they want to do this through DNA research. Researchers from Oxford University and the Lausanne Museum of Zoology have publicly asked