Tag Archives | Disease

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Lab study suggests mad cow disease can be transmitted by plants

A study appearing in the latest issue of Cell Reports suggests that grass plants can bind, uptake, and transport infectious prions. The researchers, from The University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston, say that plants may play an important role in environmental prion contamination. Prions are protein-based infectious agents responsible for a group of […]

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Animals conceal sickness in mating situations




In research that has implications for our understanding of how diseases spread in human populations, researchers from the University of Zurich have been studying how sick animals will conceal their illness in the presence of their young or when mating opportunities arise. The study’s author, Dr. Patricia Lopes, says that animals from a number of […]




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New analysis pokes holes in biodiversity’s supposed link to human disease




The vast majority of new, emerging or re-emerging human diseases are caused by pathogens from animals, according to the World Health Organization. But a widely accepted theory of risk reduction for these pathogens is likely wrong, according to a new study by researchers from the Stanford Woods Institute for the Environment. The dilution effect theorizes […]




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Can nicotine transmit disease through multiple generations?




Nicotine creates heritable epigenetic marks on the genome, say Los Angeles Biomedical Research Institute scientists who contend that a grandparent’s smoking habits may be responsible for asthma and other respiratory conditions in grandchildren. Their controversial take onepigenetics (where an environmental factor causes a genetic change), appearing in the Review of Obstetrics & Gynecology, further suggests […]




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Significant bacterial populations found in upper atmosphere




Using a DC-8 aircraft to scoop-up air samples from the troposphere, scientists have identified significant numbers of living microorganisms – mostly bacteria – six miles above the Earth’s surface. The work, detailed in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, is of interest to atmospheric scientists as the microorganisms could play a role in forming […]




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The secret lives of cats




Cats are secretive creatures and their nocturnal adventures are largely a mystery, but a new study by researchers at the University of Illinois shows that even domestic cats roam over surprisingly large areas. The two-year study used radio telemetry and an activity-tracking device to capture the habits of dozens of owned and un-owned cats living […]




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Mad cow disease… sans cow!




In a startling new study, scientists have shown for the first time that abnormal prions – fragments of infectious protein that can cause fatal neurodegenerative diseases such as Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease – can erupt from healthy brain tissue. The scientists, from The Scripps Research Institute in Florida and the University College London, detail their research in […]




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IVF-linked chromosomal modifications prompt warning




Geneticists are recommending more rigorous health monitoring of IVF babies in later life as new research reveals links between assisted reproduction technologies and predisposition to certain diseases. More than three million children have been born as a result of assisted reproductive technologies since the birth of the first “test tube baby” in 1978, and while […]




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Biodiversity now a public health issue




The decline of species and their habitats may not just make nature less interesting. New research, published in Bioscience, suggests it may also put you at greater risk for catching some exotic new disease. For the first time, habitat destruction and biodiversity loss have been linked to an increase in the incidence and distribution of […]




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Processed foods linked to Alzheimer’s and diabetes




Researchers at Rhode Island Hospital have found a substantial link between increased levels of nitrates in our food with increased deaths from diseases; including Alzheimer’s, diabetes and Parkinson’s. The controversial study, which contends that we have become the “nitrosamine generation,” appears in the Journal of Alzheimer’s Disease. Led by Suzanne de la Monte, of Rhode […]




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