Cancer drug found to sharpen memory, potential for Alzheimer's treatment
October 2, 2015 06:13 AM - Robin Lally, Rutgers University

Can you imagine a drug that would make it easier to learn a language, sharpen your memory and help those with dementia and Alzheimer’s disease by rewiring the brain and keeping neurons alive?

People with a dementia such as Alzheimer's disease lose their memory when brain cells shrink and die because connections can no longer transfer information.

New Rutgers research published in the Journal Neuroscience found that a drug – RGFP966 – administered to rats made them more attuned to what they were hearing, able to retain and remember more information, and develop new connections that allowed these memories to be transmitted between brain cells.

The Volkswagen emissions cheating scandal and it's potential impact on VW owners
October 1, 2015 06:53 AM - YUKI NOGUCHI, NPR

Out of the 250 million cars and trucks on U.S. roads, the impending recall at Volkswagen will involve just a half-million of them. But VW's emissions cheating scandal is receiving outsize attention because many of the company's customers feel duped. Now those customers are weighing what it will take to make them feel whole again.

David Chien of Williston, Vt., was looking for a bigger, fuel-efficient car that could power its way through Northeastern snow. He says the 2013 Jetta SportWagen he bought "seemed to check all the boxes."

New England air quality update
September 29, 2015 07:27 AM - Roger Greenway, ENN

EPA today confirmed that New Englanders experienced a slight increase in the number of unhealthy air quality days this year, compared to 2014 and 2013.

Based on preliminary data collected between April and September 2015, there were 24 days when ozone monitors in New England recorded concentrations above levels considered healthy. By contrast, in 2014 there were a total of 9 unhealthy ozone days, and in 2013 there were a total of 20 such days.

The number of unhealthy ozone days in each state this summer is as follows:
- 22 days in Connecticut (compared to 8 in 2014, and 18 in 2013)
- 4 days in Rhode Island (0 in 2014, and 7 in 2013)
- 3 days in Massachusetts (0 in 2014, and 6 in 2013)
- 2 days in Maine (0 in 2014, and 5 in 2013)
- 2 days in New Hampshire (1 in 2014, and 3 in 2013)
- 0 days in Vermont (0 in both 2014, and 2013).

Insect protein and our food
September 27, 2015 07:00 AM - Laurie Balbo, Green Prophet

A start-up business focused on finding new ways of using insect protein in food products is a finalist in this year’s MassChallenge, the Boston-based start-up competition and world’s largest accelerator program. Get over your squeamishness, because bug-based foods will soon infest our markets.

The “elevator pitch” for Israel-based The Flying Spark states their intent to manufacture protein powder based on insect larvae that can be added to a wide range of food products, replacing today’s protein powders – commonly made from whey, soy, or casein. Insects contain extremely high protein, fiber, micro-nutrients and mineral content. They’re also naturally low in fat, and cholesterol-free. The tipping point for this product’s potential is that insect protein will cost less to produce than any other source of animal protein.

Pesticide use leads to endocrine disrupters in French lettuce
September 25, 2015 07:33 AM - Journal de environnement by Romain Loury translated by Samuel White via EurActiv

An investigation has found that the majority of French lettuce contains traces of hormone disrupting chemicals, some of which are banned. Journal de l Environnement reports. 

The French NGO Générations Futures released the results of an inquiry into chemical contamination in food products on Tuesday (22 September). After examining the contaminants in strawberries in July 2013, the NGO published a report this week entitled EXPPERT 5, examining lettuce, the fourth most popular vegetable in France.

The findings were less than impressive: of the 31 products bought in supermarkets in the French departments of the Oise and the Somme, grown on conventional farms, over 77% contained traces of at least two pesticides, and only 19% were pesticide-free.

How does Aspirin work its miracles?
September 24, 2015 03:46 PM - Rutgers University

A recent study led by researchers at the Cornell University-affiliated Boyce Thompson Institute (BTI) in collaboration with colleagues at Rutgers and Italy’s San Raffaele University and Research Institute, shows that aspirin’s main breakdown product, salicylic acid, blocks the protein, HMGB1, which could explain many of the drug’s therapeutic properties.

The findings appear Sept. 23, 2015, in the journal Molecular Medicine.

“We’ve identified what we believe is a key target of aspirin’s active form in the body, salicylic acid, which is responsible for some of the many therapeutic effects that aspirin has,” said senior author Daniel Klessig, a professor at BTI and Cornell University. “The protein, HMGB1, is associated with many prevalent, devastating diseases, including rheumatoid arthritis, heart disease, sepsis and inflammation-associated cancers, such as colorectal cancer and mesothelioma,” he said.

Why do Millenials, Gen Y have more trouble keeping excess weight off?
September 22, 2015 06:37 AM - YORK UNIVERSITY, via EurekAlert.

If you are struggling with weight gain, you might be surprised to know that your parents had it easier - they could eat more and exercise less, and still avoid obesity, according to a recent study out of York University's Faculty of Health.

"Our study results suggest that if you are 25, you'd have to eat even less and exercise more than those older, to prevent gaining weight," says Professor Jennifer Kuk in the School of Kinesiology and Health Science. "However, it also indicates there may be other specific changes contributing to the rise in obesity beyond just diet and exercise."

Fracking Chemicals can cause Endocrine Disruption
September 21, 2015 08:43 AM - Jan Lee, Triple Pundit

There is mounting data to suggest that hydraulic fracturing (fracking) can have adverse affects on the environment. A new study, however, suggests that populations living close to fracking sites also have a higher incidence of health complications.

Fruits and vegetables are good for the mind
September 18, 2015 08:33 AM - BioMed Central via EurekAlert!

Eating a Mediterranean diet or other healthy dietary pattern, comprising of fruit, vegetables, legumes, and nuts and low in processed meats, is associated with preventing the onset of depression, according to research published in the open access journal BMC Medicine. A large study of 15,093 people suggests depression could be linked with nutrient deficits.

High protein diets improve blood sugar control
September 18, 2015 07:08 AM - DIABETOLOGIA from EurekAlert

New research presented at this year's annual meeting of the European Association for the Study of Diabetes (EASD) shows that high protein diets improve blood sugar control in patients with type 2 diabetes without any adverse effects on kidney function. The research is by Mariya Markova, German Institute of Human Nutrition (DIfE), Charité University Medicine, Berlin, Germany, and colleagues. 

Previous studies have reported both favourable and adverse impacts of high-protein diet in type 2 diabetes. This new research compared the effects of two high-protein diets with the same number of calories--one from animal protein (AP) and one from plant protein (PP)--on metabolic functioning and liver fat.

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