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Sat, 27 Nov 2021
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Health & Wellness


Second Pathway Behind HIV-associated Immune System Dysfunction Identified

Researchers at the Partners AIDS Research Center at Massachusetts General Hospital (PARC-MGH) may have discovered a second molecular "switch" responsible for turning off the immune system's response against HIV. Last year members of the same team identified a molecule called PD-1 that suppresses the activity of HIV-specific CD8 T cells that should destroy virus-infected cells. Now the researchers describe how a regulatory protein called CTLA-4 inhibits the action of HIV-specific CD4 T cells that control the overall response against the virus.


Fourth human case of West Nile reported in Massachusetts

State health officials reported the fourth human case of West Nile Virus this year.

The latest victim is identified as a 49-year-old Medford man who became ill at the end of last month and remains hospitalized.

Of the four human cases diagnosed in the state this year, three were exposed to the disease in Massachusetts.


Deciphering Human Differences

With the help of new high-speed DNA sequencing technology, scientists have uncovered extensive regions in the human genome where chunks of DNA have been deleted, copied, or completely rearranged. Mapping and characterizing these structural variants could be key to understanding human diversity and the origins of many diseases.

Comment: Like the genetic origins of psychopathy perhaps?


Pollution causing premature deaths

Pollution could be causing up to 25,000 premature deaths in Canada each year and burdening the health care system with up to $9.1-billion annually in extra costs, according to a new study by researchers at the University of British Columbia and the University of Alberta.


'Worrying' HIV ignorance in young

Nine in 10 young people rarely or never think about HIV when making decisions over their sex lives, a BBC poll shows.


'Discipline' may beat Alzheimer's

Scientists may have discovered a tangible benefit to leading a conscientious life - a reduced risk of Alzheimer's disease.


Daisies lead to new leukemia drug

U.S. medical scientists have used daisy-like plants to develop an easily ingested compound that might be used in treating leukemia patients.

The compound, developed at the University of Rochester Medical Center in Rochester, New York, has proven successful in laboratory studies, with clinical trials expected to begin in England by the end of the year.


U.S. urges using compact fluorescent bulbs

The U.S. Department of Energy launched its "Change a Light, Change the World" 2007 campaign Wednesday during a Salt Lake City ceremony.

U.S. Assistant Secretary for Electricity Delivery and Energy Reliability Kevin Kolevar officiated at the event at an elementary school, encouraging citizens to change at least one incandescent light in their home to a compact fluorescent bulb.

Comment: For more information on just how dangerous the mercury in Fluorescent bulbs are, read this and this.


Chilli compound fires painkiller

A chemical from chilli peppers may be able to kill pain without affecting touch or movement.

This might in theory mean a woman in labour could have an epidural without losing the ability to move her legs, or the sensation of her baby being born.

Conventional local anaesthetics affect all nerve cells.

But the researchers Harvard team, writing in Nature, said that with capsaicin, the chilli chemical, they can target just pain receptors.

However, a UK expert said it might be difficult to inject it safely.

The key chemical is capsaicin


Mishandling of germs on rise at US labs

American laboratories handling the world's deadliest germs and toxins have experienced more than 100 accidents and missing shipments since 2003, and the number is increasing as more labs do the work.

No one died, and regulators said the public was never at risk during these incidents. But the documented cases reflect poorly on procedures and oversight at high-security labs, some of which work with organisms and poisons that can cause illnesses with no cure. In some cases, labs have failed to report accidents as required by law.