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Health & Medicine News
Wed, 23 Apr 2014 17:09:11 EDT
Innovation improves drowsy driver detection
A new way to detect when drivers are about to nod off behind the wheel has been developed. "Video-based systems that use cameras to detect when a car is drifting out of its lane are cumbersome and expensive. They don't work well on snow-covered or curvy roads, in darkness or when lane markers are faded or missing. Our invention provides an inexpensive and user-friendly technology that overcomes these limitations and can help catch fatigue earlier, well before accidents are likely to happen," said a developer of the device.
Wed, 23 Apr 2014 17:09:07 EDT
Not just the poor live hand-to-mouth
Thirty to 40 percent of US households live hand-to-mouth, but new research has found that most of those people aren't poor. Stimulus programs -- such as those in 2001, 2008 and 2009 -- are designed to boost the economy quickly by getting cash into the hands of people likely to turn around and spend it. But sending cash to just the very poor may not be the right approach, according to researchers.
Wed, 23 Apr 2014 17:09:05 EDT
Rural microbes could boost city dwellers' health, study finds
The greater prevalence of asthma, allergies and other chronic inflammatory disorders among people of lower socioeconomic status might be due in part to their reduced exposure to the microbes that thrive in rural environments, according to a new scientific paper.
Wed, 23 Apr 2014 15:10:37 EDT
Cyber buddy is better than 'no buddy'
A researcher is looking to give exercise enthusiasts the extra nudge they need during a workout, and her latest research shows that a cyber buddy can help. The study is the first to indicate that although a human partner is still a better motivator during exercise, a software-generated partner also can be effective.
Wed, 23 Apr 2014 15:10:35 EDT
Male or female? First sex-determining genes appeared in mammals some 180 million years ago
The Y chromosome, which distinguishes males from females at the genetic level, appeared some 180 million years ago. It originated twice independently in all mammals. Scientists have managed to date these events that are crucial for both mammalian evolution and our lives, because the Y chromosome determines whether we are born as a boy or girl.
Wed, 23 Apr 2014 14:30:21 EDT
Finding safe drugs to treat neurodegenerative diseases
'Mutant' protein clusters, long blamed for the progression of Huntington's and other neurodegenerative diseases, have been the primary focus of therapies in development by pharmaceutical companies. But according to new research, these drugs may not only be ineffective -- they may pose a serious threat to patients.
Wed, 23 Apr 2014 14:30:11 EDT
Hearing quality restored with bionic ear technology used for gene therapy: Re-growing auditory nerves
Researchers have for the first time used electrical pulses delivered from a cochlear implant to deliver gene therapy, thereby successfully regrowing auditory nerves. The research also heralds a possible new way of treating a range of neurological disorders, including Parkinson's disease, and psychiatric conditions such as depression through this novel way of delivering gene therapy.
Wed, 23 Apr 2014 14:28:30 EDT
Pollutants from coal-burning stoves strongly associated with miscarriages in Mongolia
Burning coal for domestic heating may contribute to early fetal death according to a new study that took place in Ulaanbaatar, Mongolia -- the coldest capital city in the world. Researchers report "alarmingly strong statistical correlations" between seasonal ambient air pollutants and pregnancy loss.
Wed, 23 Apr 2014 13:26:45 EDT
Enzymes that help fix cancer-causing DNA defects disovered
An important enzyme pathway that helps prevent new cells from receiving too many or too few chromosomes, a condition that has been directly linked to cancer and other diseases, has been discovered by researchers. Near the end of cell division, the enzyme Cdc14 activates Yen1, an enzyme that ensures any breaks in DNA are fully repaired before the parent cell distributes copies of the genome to daughter cells, the researchers found. This process helps safeguard against some of the most devastating genome errors, including the loss of chromosomes or chromosome segments.
Wed, 23 Apr 2014 13:26:43 EDT
Gold nanoparticles help target, quantify breast cancer segments in a living cell
A way to detect and measure cancer levels in a living cell by using tiny gold particles with tails of synthetic DNA has been developed by scientists. The process uses gold nanoparticles to target and bind to fragments of genetic material known as BRCA1 messenger RNA splice variants, which can indicate the presence and stage of breast cancer. The number of these mRNA splice variants in a cell can be determined by examining the specific signal that light produces when it interacts with the gold nanoparticles.
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