• Rutgers Universtiy develops a "lab on a chip"

    Rutgers engineers have developed a breakthrough device that can significantly reduce the cost of sophisticated lab tests for medical disorders and diseases, such as HIV, Lyme disease and syphilis.

    The new device uses miniaturized channels and valves to replace “benchtop” assays – tests that require large samples of blood or other fluids and expensive chemicals that lab technicians manually mix in trays of tubes or plastic plates with cup-like depressions.

    “The main advantage is cost – these assays are done in labs and clinics everywhere,” said Mehdi Ghodbane, who earned his doctorate in biomedical engineering at Rutgers and now works in biopharmaceutical research and development at GlaxoSmithKline.

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  • Diet drinks may not "save" you calories

    Want fries with that diet soda? You aren’t alone, and you may not be “saving” as many calories as you think by consuming diet drinks. A new study that examined the dietary habits of more than 22,000 U.S. adults found that diet-beverage consumers may compensate for the absence of calories in their drinks by noshing on extra food that is loaded with sugar, sodium, fat and cholesterol.

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  • Air Quality in Scotland continuing to improve

    A new report published today shows Scottish emissions of most air pollutants have continued to fall, with significant reductions in emissions of all air pollutants since 1990.

    The announcement of the official figures was welcomed by Environment Minister Aileen McLeod who said an updated action plan to tackle nitrogen dioxide would soon be published.

    Dr McLeod said: “Air pollution is harmful to human health and can contribute to climate change, and I very much welcome the significant progress that has been made reducing emissions of nitrogen oxides and other air pollutants in Scotland.

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  • Why we're wired for laziness

    Those of you who spend hours at the gym with the aim of burning as many calories as possible may be disappointed to learn that all the while your nervous system is subconsciously working against you. Researchers reporting in the Cell Press journal Current Biology on September 10 have found that our nervous systems are remarkably adept in changing the way we move so as to expend the least amount of energy possible. In other words, humans are wired for laziness.

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  • Farm air may prevent asthma in children

    For researchers trying to untangle the roots of the current epidemic of asthma, one observation is especially intriguing: Children who grow up on dairy farms are much less likely than the average child to develop the respiratory disease. Now, a European team studying mice has homed in on a possible explanation: Bits of bacteria found in farm dust trigger an inflammatory response in the animals’ lungs that later protects them from asthma. An enzyme involved in this defense is sometimes disabled in people with asthma, suggesting that treatments inspired by this molecule could ward off the condition in people.

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  • Coastal management strategies in the age of climate change

    Coastal decision-makers must move away from considering physical and economic forces in isolation to fully recognise and explain changes to coastlines, according to new research from Cardiff University.

    The coastlines where we live, work and play have long been altered by people, but now researchers have investigated why developed coastlines change over time in ways that are fundamentally different from their undeveloped, natural counterparts.
     

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  • Why you should exercise with friends

    Exercising together brings us closer to one another, while exercising with those close to us improves our performance. Those are the conclusions of an Oxford University study published this Friday in the journal PLoS ONE.

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  • Food's impact on our brain found to be similar to drugs

    An international group of researchers have found that food craving activates different brain networks between obese and normal weight patients. This indicates that the tendency to want food may be 'hard-wired' into the brain of overweight patients, becoming a functional brain biomarker. 

    Obesity is one of the most difficult problems facing modern society. Treating obesity is a health priority, but most efforts (aside from bariatric surgery) have met with little success. In part, this is because the mechanisms associated with the desire to eat are poorly understood. Recently, studies are beginning to suggest that the brain mechanisms underlying obesity may be similar to those in substance addiction, and that treatment methodologies may be approached in the same way as other substance addictions, such as alcohol or drug addiction. 

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  • Even safe levels of air pollution found to have health impacts in European study

    Particulate matter and NO2 air pollution are associated with increased risk of severe heart attacks despite being within European recommended levels, according to research presented at ESC Congress today by Dr Jean-Francois Argacha, a cardiologist at University Hospital Brussels (UZ Brussel-Vrije Universiteit Brussel), in Belgium.1

    "Dramatic health consequences of air pollution were first described in Belgium in 1930 after the Meuse Valley fog," said Dr Argacha. "Nowadays, the World Health Organization (WHO) considers air pollution as one of the largest avoidable causes of mortality. Besides the pulmonary and carcinogenic effects of air pollution, exposition to air pollution has been associated with an increased risk in cardiovascular mortality."

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  • Study links air pollution to low GPAs

    A University of Texas at El Paso (UTEP) study on children’s health has found that fourth and fifth graders who are exposed to toxic air pollutants at home are more likely to have lower GPAs.

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