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Researchers at the University of Warwick have found a direct connection between a nation’s overall happiness and its citizens’ blood pressure problems. Sweden, Denmark and the UK come top of this blood pressure based happiness league while Germany, Portugal and Finland come bottom.

The research by economists Professor Andrew Oswald of the Department of Economics at the University of Warwick and Professor David Blanchflower of Dartmouth College USA is about to be published by the National Bureau of Economic Research in Massachusetts.

Doctors have known for a long time that blood pressure is one measure of an individual's health. This research is the first to demonstrate that there a connection between nations' happiness and blood-pressure levels.

The genomes of the largest collection of families with multiple cases of autism ever assembled have been scanned and the preliminary results published in Nature Genetics (February 18, 2007). They provide new insights into the genetic basis of autism.

The research was performed by more than 120 scientists from more than 50 institutions representing 19 countries. In the UK, work was carried out at The University of Manchester, the Institute of Psychiatry at King’s College, London and the University of Oxford.

The international collaboration started in 2002 when researchers from around the world decided to come together and share their samples, data, and expertise to facilitate the identification of autism susceptibility genes. They formed the Autism Genome Project.

A Johns Hopkins-led study has found evidence that a genetic tendency toward suicide has been linked to a particular area of the genome on chromosome 2 that has been implicated in two additional recent studies of attempted suicide.

“We’re hoping our findings will eventually lead to tests that can identify those at high risk for attempting suicide,” says Virginia Willour, Ph.D., an assistant professor in the Department of Psychiatry at the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine and lead author of the study.

By first probing the way primitive yeast make cholesterol, a team of scientists has discovered a long-sought protein whose human counterpart controls cholesterol production and potentially drug metabolism.

The collaborative study by investigators at Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, Vanderbilt University, Indiana University and Eli Lilly Co., was published in the February issue of Cell Metabolism.

“Dap1 controls the activity of a clinically important class of enzymes required for cholesterol synthesis and drug metabolism,” says Peter Espenshade, Ph.D., assistant professor of cell biology at Johns Hopkins.

The current battle between the makers of anti-wrinkle products – widely compared with the Coke and Pepsi struggle for superiority – is receiving an injection of scientific understanding with the release of a new study from the University of Michigan Health System.

The study is the first to discover that one of the fillers – known by the brand-name Restylane – works by stretching fibroblasts, the cells in the skin that make collagen, in a way that causes the skin to create new collagen. This new, natural collagen then would contribute to the reduction of the appearance of creases and wrinkles.

A  report of the American Psychological Association (APA) released today found evidence that the proliferation of sexualized images of girls and young women in advertising, merchandising, and media is harmful to girls' self-image and healthy development.