Biofouling: Ocean Acidification Changes Make A Difference

A new study of marine organisms that make up the 'biofouling community' - tiny creatures that attach...

2,500 Women Could Benefit From Mitochondrial Donation In The UK

Almost 2,500 women of child-bearing age in the UK are at risk of transmitting mitochondrial disease...

Old People: The Demographic It's Still Okay To Negatively Stereotype

The most comprehensive analysis to date of research on the effect of negative stereotypes on older...

'Healthy' Fat Tissue Could Be Key To Reversing Type 2 Diabetes

Preventing inflammation in obese fat tissue may hold the key to preventing or even reversing type...

User picture.
News StaffRSS Feed of this column.

News Releases From All Over The World, Right To You... Read More »

Skin provides the first level of defense to infection, serving not only as a physical barrier, but also as a site for white blood cells to attack invading bacteria and viruses. The immune cells in skin can over-react, however, resulting in inflammatory skin diseases such as atopic dermatitis and psoriasis. 

Stress can trigger an outbreak in patients suffering from inflammatory skin conditions. This cross talk between stress perception, which involves the brain, and the skin is mediated the through the "brain-skin connection". Yet, little is know about the means by which stress aggravates skin diseases. 
Researchers in Indiana have completed development of the world's smallest complete mass spectrometer (MS), the Mini 11, a miniature version of a standard lab device (some of which would dominate a living room)  to identify tiny amounts of chemicals in the environment. The hand-held MS, about the size of a shoebox, could speed the detection of bioterrorism agents, hidden explosives, and other threats, the researchers say. Their study is scheduled for the current issue of ACS' Analytical Chemistry, a semi-monthly journal.

Why do some older people appear to be thriving and others not?   Genetics and bad luck are certainly a factor but elderly people who have a positive outlook, lower stress levels, moderate alcohol consumption, abstention from tobacco, moderate to higher income and no chronic health conditions are more likely to thrive in their old age, according to a study in the October issue of The Journal of Gerontology: Medical Sciences.

Chronic health conditions is the tough one to avoid.
A study has found that the risks of a premature birth quadruple if flaxseed oil is consumed in the last two trimesters of pregnancy. The research was conducted by Professor Anick Bérard of the Université de Montréal's Faculty of Pharmacy and the Sainte-Justine Hospital Research Center and Master's student Krystel Moussally. 

The correlation existed only with flaxseed oil.  Women consuming the actual seed were unaffected., a free online dating site which generates revenue from sending members to other dating sites, has recently released data that promiscuity among women has doubled since 2004.

The site tracked 315,478 users going to casual only dating sites in 2004. Of those users, the number of women who were looking for sex through the intimate encounter option was about 9%. Among users tracked in 2008, the number of women who were looking for an intimate encounter rose to 18%.

The statistics are surprising given that the male:female ratio of members looking for long term relationships or traditional dates has remained consistent at 55:45.

Three years ago, men who were looking for intimate encounters online outnumbered women 10 to 1.

Viruses aren't just disease agents any more.  Scientists now know they can be used in therapies for cancer but concerns over the safety of  'oncolytic viruses' remain because they can also damage healthy tissues.

But Mayo Clinic researchers say they have discovered a way of controlling the viruses behind potential cancer therapeutics by engineering the virus's genetic sequence, using microRNAs to restrict them to specific tissues. The microRNAs destabilize the virus's genome, making it impossible for the virus to run amok. The discovery is reported in the current issue of Nature Medicine.