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A drug used to increase blood production in both medical treatments and athletic doping scandals seems to also improve memory in those using it. New research published in BMC Biology says that the memory enhancing effects of erythropoietin (EPO) are not related to its effects on blood production but are due to direct influences on neurons in the brain. The findings may prove useful in the treatment of diseases affecting brain function, such as schizophrenia, multiple sclerosis, and Alzheimer’s.

Patients given EPO to treat chronic kidney failure had been observed to have improved cognition after starting the drug. “These effects of EPO were thought to result from the blood-boosting effects of the drug,” explains Hannelore Ehrenreich at the Max Planck Institute, “but the finding of receptors for EPO on nerve cells in the brain suggests that some other mechanism might be involved.”

Nestlé, the world's largest food and beverage company, has introduced Glowelle, a dietary supplement that they say protects and hydrates the inner and outer layers of the skin. Their marketing blurb says it is formulated with a proprietary(naturally) blend of high antioxidant vitamins (like vitamin A, vitamin C and vitamin E), phtyo-nutrients, botanical and fruit extracts and that drinking it will help fight the signs of aging.Glowelle's antioxidants help defend against the damage caused by free radicals, which are caused by pollution ... and the sun.

You know, the sun. Source of all life on Earth. It's apparently bad for you. Except for that vitamin C antioxidant they put in Glowelle, which you can get for free ... from the sun.

Bacteria found in compost heaps able to convert waste plant fibre into ethanol could eventually provide up 10% of the UK's transport fuel needs, scientists heard at the Society for General Microbiology's Autumn meeting.

Researchers from Guildford, UK, have successfully developed a new strain of bacteria that can break down straw and agricultural plant waste, domestic hedge clippings, garden trimmings and cardboard, wood chippings and other municipal rubbish to convert them all into useful renewable fuels for the transport industry.

Heart disease is the leading cause of death worldwide but many people with cardiovascular disease have none of the common risk factors usually blamed, such as smoking, obesity and high cholesterol.

Researchers say they have discovered a new link between gum disease and heart disease, according to a presentation at the Society for General Microbiology's Autumn meeting being held this week at Trinity College, Dublin.

In recent years chronic infections have been associated with a disease that causes "furring" of the arteries, called atherosclerosis, which is the main cause of heart attacks. Gum disease is one of the most common infections of humans and there are now over 50 studies linking gum disease with heart disease and stroke.

Neanderthals had a brain at birth of a similar size to that of modern-day babies. However, after birth, their brain grew more quickly than it does for Homo sapiens and became larger too. Nevertheless, the individual lifespan ran just as slowly as it does for modern human beings. These new insights into the history of human evolution are being presented this week in PNAS by researchers from the University of Zurich.

Dr. Marcia Ponce de León and Prof. Christoph Zollikofer from the Anthropological Institute of the University of Zurich examined the birth and the brain development of a newborn Neanderthal baby from the Mezmaiskaya Cave in the Crimea. That Neanderthal child, which died shortly after it was born, was evidently buried with such care that it was able to be recovered in good condition from the cave sediments of the Ice Age after resting for approximately 40,000 years.

Infantile spasms are a severe and potentially devastating epilepsy condition affecting children aged typically 4-8 months. Sometimes called West syndrome because it was first described by Dr. William James West in the 1840s, they consist of a sudden jerk followed by stiffening. Each individual seizure usually lasts no more than a second but they occur close together and are most common just after waking up.

In a new study appearing in Epilepsia, researchers have found that the ketogenic diet, a high fat, low carbohydrate diet more traditionally used for intractable childhood epilepsy, is an effective treatment for this condition before using drugs.

The study is the first description of the ketogenic diet as a first-line therapy for infantile spasms.