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

Vanderbilt creates AI and natural language processing voice assistant for its Epic EHR

Vanderbilt University Medical Center has developed a voice assistant for caregivers to use navigating the hospital's Epic electronic health record. The new tool processes requests using natural language processing and understanding technology, and not just macros, officials say – noting that it could represent an important paradigm shift in how providers interact with their EHRs

Monitor detects dangerously low white blood cell levels: Technology could help prevent life-threatening infections in patients receiving chemotherapy

One of the major side effects of chemotherapy is a sharp drop in white blood cells, which leaves patients vulnerable to dangerous infections. MIT researchers have now developed a portable device that could be used to monitor patients’ white blood cell levels at home, without taking blood samples. Such a device could prevent thousands of

Sure, cancer mutates, but it has other ways to resist treatment

Because of advances in drug design and precision medicine, researchers have been able to target certain molecules within a cell at the root of a particular disease and to develop specific therapies to undo their damages. Today, precision targeting combines therapy decisions with molecular insights to offer hope after a life-changing cancer diagnosis. But there’s