Molecular details of protein crystal nucleation uncovered

A team of researchers led by Dr. Mike Sleutel from the VIB-VUB Center for Structural Biology in collaboration with scientists from the Institute for Complex Molecular Systems of the Eindhoven University of Technology, and the CNRS in Grenoble, have for the first time uncovered the molecular details of protein crystal nucleation, a process with great

New point-of-care test quickly detects Lyme neuroborreliosis

A new research-based point-of-care test has been developed in Finland for detecting the Lyme neuroborreliosis spread by ticks. The test makes rapid initiation of antibiotic treatment possible for patients with borreliosis, which reduces the post-treatment symptoms related to the disease. At the same time, unnecessary antibiotic treatments can be avoided. The diagnosis of Lyme neuroborreliosis,

Cysticercosis epidemiology in Spain: What’s new?

Cysticercosis, an infection caused by larval cysts of a pork tapeworm, is a leading cause of seizures and epilepsy in many parts of the world. Now, researchers writing in PLOS Neglected Tropical Diseases have for the first time assessed the impact of cysticercosis hospitalizations in Spain. Cysticercosis is caused by larval cysts of the pork

Vegetables may help protect elderly women from hardening of neck arteries

Elderly Australian women who ate more vegetables showed less carotid artery wall thickness, according to new research in Journal of the American Heart Association, the Open Access Journal of the American Heart Association/American Stroke Association. Cruciferous vegetables including broccoli, cauliflower, cabbage and Brussels sprouts proved the most beneficial. “This is one of only a few

Eating less enables lemurs to live longer

Chronic caloric restriction consists in eating a reduced but balanced diet from early adult life onward. Previous research, into macaques in particular (which have an average lifespan of forty years), had already demonstrated its beneficial effect on the incidence of age-related pathologies. However, its positive effect on the lifespan of primates remained controversial. To study

Butterflies of the soul: Developmental origins of interneurons

Modern neuroscience, for all its complexity, can trace its roots directly to a series of pen-and-paper sketches rendered by Nobel laureate Santiago Ramón y Cajal in the late 19th and early 20th centuries. His observations and drawings exposed the previously hidden composition of the brain, revealing neuronal cell bodies and delicate projections that connect individual

New trigger for onset of colon cancer: May lead to better therapies

Colon cancer is the second most common cause of cancer-related deaths. The APC protein has long been known for its critical role in preventing colorectal cancer. When APC is inactivated, the development of colorectal cancer is triggered. Inactivation of APC is responsible for the vast majority (80%) of all colorectal cancers. Researchers from the laboratory

Overestimated mutation rate

At the start of the epidemic in West Africa, the Ebola virus did not change as rapidly as thought at the time. ETH researchers explain why scientists misjudged it at the time. Scientific evidence at the start of the last major Ebola epidemic in West Africa that suggested the virus would change exceptionally rapidly was

Shaping behavior, not changing minds, more effective in boosting vaccination rates: Doctor reminders, prompts, reducing barriers can lead to more immunizations

A comprehensive review of scientific literature surrounding the psychology of vaccinations has shown that shaping behavior rather than trying to change minds is far more effective at persuading people to get immunized. “There is very little evidence to suggest that we can change people’s beliefs or knowledge in a way that will lead to increased

New actors identified in atherosclerosis

Stroke and heart attack are the leading cause of death in the Western world. Würzburg scientists have used a special technique to get a clearer picture of the cells involved and their activity. Atherosclerosis is the most common cause of death and disease in the Western world. In Germany, about 300,000 people each year suffer

Reducing the likelihood of developing cancer

There are many factors that determine your likelihood of developing cancer, including age, genetic predisposition and lifestyle. Some factors, like age, cannot be controlled, so experts recommend learning as much as possible about your family’s medical history and doing everything you can to live a healthy lifestyle. “Sometimes our environment may not be within our

Are people with Parkinson’s disease depressed or demoralized?

People with Parkinson’s disease who show signs of depression may actually have a condition called demoralization, according to a study published in the April 4, 2018, online issue of Neurology, the medical journal of the American Academy of Neurology. That study found demoralization may be common in Parkinson’s disease. Demoralization is a state of feeling

Immunotherapy—cancer’s new frontier

Your immune system never sleeps. Every moment of the day, immune cells monitor your body for disease, calling for backup when they detect a threat. It’s a system that works elegantly—most of the time. It’s not foolproof; if it were, we would never get cancer in the first place. “The immune system is supposed to

Here is how a cat can hinder children learning new words

Say you are shown an apple, a banana and a fruit you have never seen before. Then you are asked to pick the “pifo.” Which fruit would you choose? Chances are you would select the novel fruit. Children often use the same strategy—leveraging their knowledge of familiar objects—to learn new words and connect them with

New compound helps activate cancer-fighting T cells: Study identifies mechanisms responsible for improved immune system activity, offering new approaches for more effective cancer treatments and vaccines.

Invariant natural killer T (iNKT) cells are powerful weapons our body’s immune systems count on to fight infection and combat diseases like cancer, multiple sclerosis, and lupus. Finding ways to spark these potent cells into action could lead to more effective cancer treatments and vaccines. While several chemical compounds have shown promise stimulating iNKT cells