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Blocking a key enzyme may reverse memory loss

In the brains of Alzheimer’s patients, many of the genes required to form new memories are shut down by a genetic blockade, contributing to the cognitive decline seen in those patients.

MIT researchers have now shown that they can reverse that memory loss in mice by interfering with the enzyme that forms the blockade. The enzyme, known as HDAC2, turns genes off by condensing them so tightly that they can’t be expressed.

For several years, scientists and pharmaceutical companies have been trying to develop drugs that block this enzyme, but most of these drugs also block other members of the HDAC family, which can lead to toxic side effects. The MIT team has now found a way to precisely target HDAC2, by blocking its interaction with a binding partner called Sp3.

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New Study Discovers "Killer Peptide" That Helps Eliminate Resistant Cancer Cells

A new study by University of Kentucky Markey Cancer Center researchers shows that when therapy-sensitive cancer cells die, they release a "killer peptide" that can eliminate therapy-resistant cells.

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Laser mapping project shows effects of physical changes in Antarctica's Dry Valleys

Researchers funded by the National Science Foundation (NSF) have publicly released high-resolution maps of Antarctica's McMurdo Dry Valleys, a globally unique polar desert.

The high-resolution maps cover 3,564 square kilometers of the McMurdo Dry Valleys and allow researchers to compare present-day conditions with lower-resolution LIDAR surveys conducted almost 13 years ago.

Scientists from Portland State University led the new research project, which mapped the area using more sophisticated LIDAR, a remote-sensing method that uses laser beam pulses to measure the distance from the detector to the Earth's surface.

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Extreme melt season leads to decade-long ecosystem changes in Antarctica's Dry Valleys

An abnormal season of intense glacial melt in 2002 triggered multiple distinct changes in the physical and biological characteristics of Antarctica's McMurdo Dry Valleys over the ensuing decade, new research funded by the National Science Foundation (NSF) shows.

The findings suggest that abrupt, short-lived climate events can cause long-term alterations in polar regions that unfold over the span of several years and subsequently change the overall trajectory of an ecosystem.

The new research appears today in the journal Nature Ecology and Evolution.

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Extreme heat linked to climate change may adversely affect pregnancy

Pregnant women are an important but thus far largely overlooked group vulnerable to the effects of extreme heat linked to climate change, according to new research by Sabrina McCormick, PhD, an Associate Professor of Environmental and Occupational Health at Milken Institute School of Public Health at the George Washington University.  

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Study finds that Choice of Cool Roofing Materials can Potentially Impact Region's Air Pollution

In a groundbreaking study released today, scientists at the South Coast Air Quality Management District and the University of Southern California have found that widespread installation of certain “cool roof” materials in the region could slightly increase ozone and fine particulate pollution levels.

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Every breath you take: Air pollution from idling cars puts kids at risk

Drivers who drop off their kids at school should turn off their engines

We think of schools as safe places for children but an invisible hazard is lurking right outside the front door,  says a new study from the University of Toronto.

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Climate change jaw dropper: Great white shark could one day prowl B.C. waters

If ocean temperatures continue to climb, you’re going to need a bigger boat.

Great white sharks could one day be swimming in British Columbia waters, according to William Cheung, associate professor at the Institute for the Oceans and Fisheries at UBC who studies the impact of climate change on marine ecosystems.

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Benefits of Advanced Wood-Burning Stoves Greater Than Thought

A recent study from North Carolina State University finds that advanced wood-burning stoves designed for use in the developing world can reduce air pollution more than anticipated, because gaseous emissions from traditional wood stoves form more particulate matter in the atmosphere than researchers previously thought.

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U.S. EPA Releasing Smog Rule

Faced with a lawsuit by 15 states, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency announced this week it would no longer delay the implementation of a rule requiring states to reduce emissions of smog-creating air pollution. 

Crafted by the Obama administration in 2015, the regulation calls for states to begin meeting stricter ozone standards as of October 1, 2017, lowering the air pollution limit from 0.075 parts per million to 0.070 ppm.  Ground-level ozone, or smog, is created when pollutants from cars, power plants, and other common industrial activities react with sunlight.  It can cause respiratory and other health problems.  In June, U.S. EPA head Scott Pruitt announced the agency would delay implementation of the new standards by one year.

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