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  • News

    New test may improve pancreatic cancer diagnoses

    Pancreatic cancer is hard to detect early, when the disease is most amenable to treatment. But a new study describes a blood test that may aid the diagnosis of pancreatic cancer and someday make earlier screening feasible, the authors say.

    The test detects a combination of five tumor proteins that appear to be a reliable signature of the disease, the researchers report in the May 24...

    05/24/2017 - 17:50 Biomedicine, Cancer
  • Science Ticker

    Older adults may not benefit from taking statins

    The benefits of statins for people older than 75 remain unclear, a new analysis finds. Statins did not reduce heart attacks or coronary heart disease deaths, nor did they reduce deaths from any cause, compared with people not taking statins, researchers report online May 22 in JAMA Internal Medicine.

    Recently published guidelines cited insufficient data to recommend statins for people...

    05/22/2017 - 14:30 Biomedicine, Health
  • News

    40 more ‘intelligence’ genes found

    Smarty-pants have 40 new reasons to thank their parents for their powerful brains. By sifting through the genetics of nearly 80,000 people, researchers have uncovered 40 genes that may make certain people smarter. That brings the total number of suspected “intelligence genes” to 52.

    Combined, these genetic attributes explain only a very small amount of overall smarts, or lack thereof,...

    05/22/2017 - 11:00 Biomedicine
  • News

    Hybrid protein offers malaria protection

    Dogged genetic detective work has led scientists to a hybrid red blood cell protein that offers some protection against malaria.

    Reporting online May 18 in Science, researchers describe a genetic variant that apparently is responsible for the fusion of two proteins that protrude from the membranes of red blood cells. In its hybrid form, the protein somehow makes it more difficult for the...

    05/18/2017 - 14:19 Genetics, Evolution, Immune Science, Biomedicine
  • News

    Transplanted stem cells become eggs in sterile mice

    With an assist, an old mouse might be able to make new eggs.

    Sterilized female mice produced healthy babies after receiving a transplant of egg-generating stem cells from another mouse, researchers report online May 18 in Molecular Therapy. If such a procedure worked in humans — still a distant prospect — it could help women with early menopause or chemotherapy-induced infertility to...

    05/18/2017 - 12:00 Biomedicine, Cells
  • News

    Where you live can affect your blood pressure, study suggests

    For black adults, moving out of a racially segregated neighborhood is linked to a drop in blood pressure, according to a new study. The finding adds to growing evidence of an association between a lack of resources in many predominately black neighborhoods and adverse health conditions among their residents, such as diabetes and obesity.

    Systolic blood pressure — the pressure in blood...

    05/15/2017 - 19:21 Biomedicine, Health, Science & Society
  • News in Brief

    New pelvic exoskeleton stops people from taking tumbles

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    A wearable robot could prevent future falls among those prone to stumbles.

    The new exoskeleton packs motors on a user’s hips and can sense blips in balance. In a small trial, the pelvic robot performed well in sensing and averting wearers’ slips, researchers report May 11 in Scientific Reports.

    Exoskeletons have the potential to help stroke victims and people...

    05/11/2017 - 09:00 Technology, Biomedicine
  • News

    New rules for cellular entry may aid antibiotic development

    Like entry to an exclusive nightclub, getting inside a gram-negative bacterial cell is no easy feat for chemical compounds. But now a secret handshake has been revealed: A new study lays out several rules to successfully cross the cells’ fortified exteriors, which could lead to the development of sorely needed antibiotics.

    “It’s a breakthrough,” says microbiologist Kim Lewis of...

    05/10/2017 - 13:00 Biomedicine, Microbiology
  • Feature

    Yes, statins protect hearts. But critics question their expanding use

    Cholesterol is so important to life that practically every human cell makes it. Cells use the compound to keep their membranes porous and springy, and to produce hormones and other vital substances. The body can make all the cholesterol it needs, but Americans tend to have a surplus, thanks in large part to too little exercise and too much meat, cheese and grease. Fifty years ago, researchers...

    05/03/2017 - 07:00 Health, Biomedicine
  • News

    Lungs enlist immune cells to fight infections in capillaries

    Immune cells in the lungs provide a rapid counterattack to bloodstream infections, a new study in mice finds. This surprising discovery pegs the lungs as a major pillar in the body’s defense during these dangerous infections, the researchers say.

    “No one would have guessed the lung would provide such an immediate and strong host defense system,” says Bryan Yipp, an immunologist at the...

    04/28/2017 - 15:01 Biomedicine, Immune Science, Cells