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Daily Archives: December 8, 2013

Ecstasy-related hospital visits increase by 128% in under-21s

The number of hospital emergency department visits related to the hallucinogenic drug ecstasy increased 1Ǽ% between 2005 and 2011 in patients under the age of 21, according to a new report from the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration.Ecstasy, also known as MDMA (3,4-methylenedioxy-methamphetamine) is an illegal drug that acts as both a stimulant and a hallucinogen, producing a feeling of increased energy and euphoria.The drug can alter the activity of neurotransmitters in the brain, which can lead to negative effects, such as confusion and anxiety.

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Almost 600 under-16s take up smoking each day in UK

Figures from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention state that each day, around 1,000 US teenagers under the age of 18 become daily cigarette smokers. Now, new research estimates that almost 600 children under the age of 16 begin smoking every day in the UK. This is according to a study published in the journal Thorax.There is no question that smoking can cause many health problems at any age. But taking up smoking at a younger age can pose even greater risks to health, compared with starting later in life, according to the researchers of this most recent study.

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Compound in grape seed extract 'kills prostate cancer cells'

New research suggests that a component found in grape seed extract is effective in killing prostate cancer cells. This is according to a study published in the journal Nutrition and Cancer.Investigators from the University of Colorado Cancer Center have analyzed the potential of grape seed extract (GSE) for its anti-cancer properties over the last 10 years.But although previous research from the team has demonstrated its effectiveness against cancer cells and how it works, it was unknown as to which element of GSE produces these effects.

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Prostate cancer biomarker may predict patient outcomes

Researchers at Vanderbilt University Medical Center and the University of Alberta in Canada have identified a biomarker for a cellular switch that accurately predicts which prostate cancer patients are likely to have their cancer recur or spread.The study, posted online recently in advance of publication in Cancer Research, was led by co-investigators Andries Zijlstra, Ph.D., assistant professor of Pathology, Microbiology and Immunology and Cancer Biology at Vanderbilt, and John Lewis, Ph.D.

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Similarities in shark, human proteins revealed by new genetic research

Despite widespread fascination with sharks, the world’s oldest ocean predators have long been a genetic mystery. The first deep dive into a great white shark’s genetic code has fished up big surprises behind a design so effective it has barely changed since before dinosaurs roamed.Cornell researchers have discovered that many of the endangered great white shark’s proteins involved in an array of different functions – including metabolism – match humans more closely than they do zebrafish, the quintessential fish model.

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Algorithm developed for recommending online dating prospects

University of Iowa researchers may have come up with the right matchmaking formula for online dating sites: pair people according to their past interests and online mating success, rather than who they say they’re interested in.Kang Zhao, assistant professor of management sciences in the Tippie College of Business, and UI doctoral student Xi Wang are part of a team that recently developed an algorithm for dating sites that uses a person’s contact history to recommend partners with whom they may be more amorously compatible.

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Increased risk of serious sleep breathing disorder in quadriplegics

There are over a million people with spinal cord injuries (SCI) in the United States alone with an estimated 11,000 new cases every year. Furthermore, it is estimated that there are, at least, 100,000 veterans with SCI, making the VA the largest integrated health care system in the world for SCI care. But despite this large prevalence, researchers are still discovering all the various ways that SCI affect those with this condition beyond the obvious paralysis.

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Hummingbird metabolism burns glucose and fructose equally: finding has implications for human metabolism

Hummingbird metabolism is a marvel of evolutionary engineering. These tiny birds can power all of their energetic hovering flight by burning the sugar contained in the floral nectar of their diet.Now new research from the University of Toronto Scarborough shows they are equally adept at burning both glucose and fructose, which are the individual components of sugar; a unique trait other vertebrates cannot achieve.

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Drug induces morphologic, molecular and clinical remissions in myelofibrosis

Imetelstat, a novel telomerase inhibiting drug, has been found to induce morphologic, molecular and clinical remissions in some patients with myelofibrosis a Mayo Clinic study has found. The results were presented at the 2013 American Society of Hematology Annual Meeting in New Orleans.”These are early results but they are promising, says the study’s lead author, Ayalew Tefferi, M.D. a hematologist at Mayo Clinic.

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Proteins' passing phases revealed

A new method to identify previously hidden details about the structures of proteins may speed the process of novel drug design, according to scientists at Rice University.A unique combination of computational techniques and experimental data helped Rice theorists predict intermediate configurations of proteins that, until now, have been hard to detect.

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