Stress Makes St. John’s Wort More Effective

Plant pathologists from Cornell University and the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) have found that hypericin (pronounced hi-PARIS-in), an active ingredient in St. John’s wort (Hypericum perforatum) — a popular herbal remedy for depression– might be increased when the plant is attacked by predators such as insects. “It appears to increase its own chemical arsenal […]

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‘Fat Switch’ Fights Flab At The Cellular Level

The discovery of a cellular “fat switch” — described in the 11 August issue of the international journal, Science — offers fundamental new information on obesity, a disease affecting nearly one-fourth of all adults in the United States alone. A protein called Wnt-10b apparently helps prevent flab by quieting two molecules known to crank out […]

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Arctic Temperatures Warmest In Past Four Centuries

Arctic temperatures in the late 20th century, which were the warmest in four centuries, have been accompanied by a variety of other environmental changes, according to a review paper published in mid-July by a group of the world’s leading Arctic researchers. The changes appear to be at least partly a result of human activity, said […]

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Rare Hallucinations Make Music In The Mind

Some hear choruses singing folk songs, others hear Mozart or even the Glenn Miller Orchestra — but there is no music; they are hallucinating. New research in the August 8 issue of Neurology, the scientific journal of the American Academy of Neurology, confirms the region of the brain and condition that causes this rare and […]

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Rocks Provide Clues To Origin Of Oxygen On Earth

Scientists analyzing some of the oldest-known rocks on Earth have discovered for the first time a way to recover from the geological record details about the evolution of oxygen and ozone in the planet’s early atmosphere – two key ingredients that permitted and recorded the expansion of terrestrial life. In the August 4 issue of […]

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Obesity Risk Factors Present At Birth For African Americans

Obesity is more prevalent among African Americans than among Caucasians. In a retrospective study of 447 African American subjects published in The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, compared data collected at birth with measurements of adiposity taken in early adulthood. Among 9 potential independent birth variables, 3 were strongly associated with adult obesity: first-born status, […]

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Coffee Linked To Rheumatoid Arthritis

Coffee drinkers seem to be at increased risk of developing rheumatoid arthritis, suggests research in the Annals of the Rheumatic Diseases. The association between coffee drinking and the presence of a hallmark indicator for the development of rheumatoid arthritis-rheumatoid factor-was studied in a cross sectional survey of almost 7000 people, and in almost 19000 people, […]

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NASA Helps Skywatchers Track International Space Station

As the Russian service module “Zvezda” nears its July 25 rendezvous with the International Space Station, stargazers and space enthusiasts can track the progress of construction on the ambitious space research facility. And they can do it with the naked eye. A new Web site developed at NASA’s Marshall Space Flight Center in Huntsville, Ala., […]

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Brain Contains Cocaine-Like Chemical

Dr. Michael Kuhar and a team of neuroscientists at the Yerkes Regional Primate Research Center of Emory University have found that a naturally occurring neurotransmitter produces behaviors associated with cocaine and methamphetamine. The finding suggests a role for the brain chemical, called CART (Cocaine- and Amphetamine-Regulated Transcript) peptide, in modulating or mediating the actions of […]

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