Archive | Environmental Factors


Autoimmune diseases linked to adolescent marijuana use

Medical researchers from the Universita degli Studi di Milano (Italy) say that exposure to marijuana during adolescence can seriously affect immune system development, leading to autoimmune and chronic inflammatory diseases in adulthood. Reporting their findings in the Journal of Leukocyte Biology, the researchers say teenage marijuana use could be a risk factor for diseases such […]

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UV light can be addictive, say scientists

Why do people still spend extended periods in the sun when the dangers of skin cancer are so well recognized? A new study from Massachusetts General Hospital adds important support to the theory that ultraviolet (UV) light can actually be addictive. “Our study identified an organic pathway encoded in skin whereby UV radiation causes the […]

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Temporary blindness may fix hearing problems

Researchers have long known that young brains are malleable enough to re-wire the circuits that process sensory information. For example, a young child who is blind develops a much keener sense of hearing. Now, researchers have overturned conventional wisdom, showing that adult brains can alsobe re-wired. The findings, published in the journal Neuron, may lead […]

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Foodborne bacteria may be trigger for multiple sclerosis

A study presented at the 2014 American Society for Microbiology meeting adds to the growing body of evidence that multiple sclerosis may be triggered by Clostridium perfringens, a spore-forming bacterium that is one of the most common causes of foodborne illness. Multiple sclerosis (MS) is an inflammatory disease of the central nervous system characterized by […]

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A good book can rewire your brain

The scientists behind a novel study into reading say that when we immerse ourselves into a work of fiction, lingering changes occur in the connectivity of our brains. The intriguing new findings, by researchers at Emory University, have been published in the journal Brain Connectivity. “Stories shape our lives and in some cases help define […]

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Wine drinkers clueless about alcohol servings

Scientists know that environmental cues like plate size can impact eating behaviors, but the effect of environmental factors on wine consumption has, until now, not been studied in detail. In a new study, published in Substance Use and Misuse, researchers tested what effect six environmental cues would have on participants who were asked to pour […]

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Human sleep influenced by Moon

A report in Current Biology offers the first scientific evidence that humans are affected by the geophysical rhythms of the moon. “The lunar cycle seems to influence human sleep, even when one does not ‘see’ the moon and is not aware of the actual moon phase,” says report author Christian Cajochen, from the University of […]

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Tap water implicated in rise of food allergies

Chemicals known as dichlorophenols, which are used in pesticides and to chlorinate water supplies, could be partially to blame for the rocketing number of food allergies affecting developed nations. Details of the intriguing link, discovered by researchers from the American College of Allergy, Asthma and Immunology (ACAAI), have just been published in the Annals of […]

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