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Prenatal Stress Keeps Infants, Toddlers up at Night, Study Says

Anxious or depressed mothers-to-be are at increased risk of having children who will experience sleep problems in infancy and toddlerhood, finds a study that published this month in Early Human Development. While this finding presents itself as important news to tired new moms and dads for whom a soundly sleeping child spells out well-deserved respite it may carry even more value for...

St. Jude study solves mystery of mammalian ears

Protein motor in cochlea hair cells dominates the process of sound amplification in the mammalian ear, while movement of the cilia atop those cells dominates the response in non-mammals A 30-year scientific debate over how specialized cells in the inner ear amplify sound in mammals appears to have been settled more in favor of bouncing cell bodies rather than vibrating, hair-like cilia, accor...

Carnegie Mellon scientists find key HIV protein makes cell membranes bend more easily

PITTSBURGH -- Carnegie Mellon University scientists have made an important discovery that aids the understanding of why HIV enters immune cells with ease. The researchers found that after HIV docks onto a host cell, it dramatically lowers the energy required for a cell membrane to bend, making it easier for the virus to infect immune cells. The finding, in press in Biophysical Journal, will prov...

Genomic Analysis Uncovers New Targets for HIV Vaccine

DURHAM, N.C. – An international team of researchers has identified three gene variants in the DNA of 486 people infected with HIV that appear to have helped some of the patients fight off the virus and delay the onset of full-blown AIDS. The researchers expect the new findings to aid the search for an HIV vaccine that would work by boosting the protective effects of one or more of these genes...

Scratch no more: Gene for itch sensation discovered

Itching for a better anti-itch remedy" Your wish may soon be granted now that scientists at Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis have identified the first gene for the itch sensation in the central nervous system. The discovery could rapidly lead to new treatments directly targeting itchiness and providing relief for chronic and severe itching. The "itch gene" is GRPR (gastrin...

FDA sees nanotech challenges in every product category it regulates

WASHINGTON, DC—According to Project on Emerging Nanotechnologies Director David Rejeski, “Today, FDA took a step forward in fulfilling its responsibilities for nanotechnology oversight. If nanotechnology regulation was a baseball game, FDA has scored the first run in the first inning. But the agency must act rapidly to adopt and fully implement the Nanotechnology Task Force’s recommendations. Wi...

One species, many genomes

Faster growth, darker leaves, a different way of branching - wild varieties of the plant Arabidopsis thaliana are often substantially different from the laboratory strain of this small mustard plant, a favorite of many plant biologists. Which detailed differences distinguish the genomes of strains from the polar circle or the subtropics, from America, Africa or Asia has been investigated for the...

Identified main genetic variants involved in response to HIV

This international collaboration has been the largest ever to have taken place in a large scale study on genetic differences between patients infected by HIV, and is the first study of this kind in the field of infectious disease. Catalan participants have been coordinated by Javier Martínez-Picado, ICREA research professor in the Foundation irsiCaixa of Hospital Germans Trias i Pujol, and Josep...

Art and music for the birds

Nature is a valued source of inspiration for artists. But what have artists offered the natural world" Would a bird even like rock and roll" Conceptual sculptor Elizabeth Demaray, an assistant professor of fine arts at Rutgers University—Camden, is testing the musical tastes of our fine feathered friends with an exhibition featuring four 10-foot red perches offering what are considered to be...

Nicotine rush hinges on sugar in neurons

When nicotine binds to a neuron, how does the cell know to send the signal that announces a smoker’s high" As with other questions involving good sensations, the answer appears to be sugar. A University of Southern California study appearing with a commentary in Nature Neuroscience online proposes a role for sugar as the hinge that opens a gate in the cell membrane and brings news of nico...
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