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A paper in the Canadian Journal of Cardiology warns that the use of unvalidated natural "medicine" may lead to severe poisoning.

A 45-year-old Chinese woman was diagnosed with a severe heart-rhythm disorder, bidirectional ventricular tachycardia (BVT), associated with aconitine poisoning. BVT is a rare form of tachycardia (characterized by a resting heart rate over 100 beats per minute) and a distinct pattern of ECG waves on presentation.

Aspirin has been linked to a decreased risk of colorectal cancer but the risk of side effects, including in some cases severe gastrointestinal bleeding, make it necessary to better understand the mechanisms by which aspirin acts before recommending it as a preventative. 

A study that tracked tens of thousands of midlife and older men for more than 20 years has found that vigorous exercise and other healthy lifestyle habits may cut their chances of developing a lethal type of prostate cancer by up to 68 percent.

While most prostate cancers are 'clinically indolent,' meaning they do not metastasize and are nonlife-threatening, a minority of patients are diagnosed with aggressive disease that invades the bone and other organs, and is ultimately fatal. Lead author Stacey Kenfield, ScD, of UCSF, and a team of researchers at UCSF and Harvard, focused on this variant of prostate cancer to determine if exercise, diet and smoke-free status might have life-saving benefits.

The Andes have been a mountain chain for much longer than previously thought, new research from the University of Bristol, UK suggests.

The Andes were formed by tectonic activity whereby earth is uplifted as one plate (oceanic crust) subducts under another plate (continental crust). To get such a high mountain chain in a subduction zone setting is unusual which adds to the importance of trying to figure out when and how it happened. However, the timing of when the Andean mountain chain uplift occurred has been a topic of some controversy over the past ten years.

In the animal world, if several males mate with the same female, their sperm compete to fertilize her limited supply of eggs. And longer sperm seem to have a competitive advantage, but even when it comes to sperm the size of the animals matter. The larger the animal, the more im-portant the number of sperm is relative to sperm length. That's why elephants have smaller sperm than mice.  

NEW YORK NY (November 18, 2015)--Most people probably think that we perceive the five basic tastes--sweet, sour, salty, bitter and umami (savory)--with our tongue, which then sends signals to our brain "telling" us what we've tasted. However, scientists have turned this idea on its head, demonstrating in mice the ability to change the way something tastes by manipulating groups of cells in the brain.

The findings were published today in the online edition of Nature.