An Indian court on Monday rejected a challenge to the country's patent laws by Swiss pharmaceutical giant Novartis, a decision lauded by medical aid groups as a victory for millions of poor patients in developing countries.
Mon, 06 Aug 2007 14:31 UTC
A tiny spot in the brain triggers fever in mice, U.S. researchers said on Sunday, and understanding how it works may lead to more specific drugs to control fever and other ills in humans.
When people get sick, white blood cells send chemical signals called cytokines to marshal defenses in the body. These messengers tell blood vessels in the brain to make a second hormone, prostaglandin E2.
"This triggers the brain responses during an infection or inflammation," said Dr. Clifford Saper of Harvard Medical School's Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center in Boston, whose study appears in the journal Nature Neuroscience.
Researchers knew that prostaglandin E2 acted on the hypothalamus, an area of the brain that controls basic functions like eating, drinking, sex and body temperature.
How dynamic brain networks enable object recognition
Which brain processes enable humans to rapidly access their personal knowledge" What happens if humans perceive either familiar or unfamiliar objects" The answer to these questions may lie in the direction of information flow transmitted between specialized brain areas that together establish a dynamic cortical network. This finding is reported in the latest issue of the scientific journal PLoS ONE published on August 1st, 2007 [http://www.plosone.org/doi/pone.0000684].
Fruit or vegetable, insect or bird, familiar or unfamiliar - humans are used to classify objects in the world around them and group them into categories that have been formed and shaped constantly through every day's experience. Categorization during visual perception is exceptionally fast. Within just a fraction of a second we effortlessly access object-based knowledge, in particular if sufficient sensory information is available and the respective category is distinctly characterized by object features.
For every man with a migraine, three women are struck by the severe headaches that often come with nausea, sensitivity to light and sound, and aura. That means a staggering 18 to 25 percent of women suffer from migraines, making it one of the most common disabling conditions faced by women around the globe.
This 3-to-1 ratio raises the obvious question: Why? The reason, suggest researchers at UCLA, is that women may have a faster trigger than men for activating the waves of brain activity thought to underlie migraines. If the theory is correct, this triggering mechanism may be a new target for migraine treatment.
Reporting in the Annals of Neurology, currently online, Dr. Andrew Charles, director of the Headache Research and Treatment Program in the UCLA Department of Neurology; Dr. Kevin C. Brennan, a clinical and research fellow in Charles' lab; and colleagues used a mouse model to discover a big difference between males and females with regard to a phenomenon called cortical spreading depression (CSD), which is thought to be a chief culprit in causing migraines. In a separate study, to be published in the September issue of the Journal of Headache and Pain, the researchers report preliminary success in preventing migraines using memantine, a drug that blocks CSD waves.
U.S. scientists warn the chemicals bisphenol A or BPA -- found in plastic -- could cause serious reproductive disorders.
BPA, an estrogen-like compound used to make hard plastic, is used in polycarbonate plastic baby bottles, large water cooler containers, sports bottles, microwave oven dishes, canned food liners and some dental sealants, the Los Angeles Times said Friday.
ROMINA SPINA, Associated Press WriterABC News
Sun, 05 Aug 2007 08:10 UTC
WANBOROUGH, England - Britain raced to avert economic disaster Saturday by halting meat and dairy exports and the movement of livestock around the country after foot-and-mouth disease was found on a southern English farm.
The strain of the highly infectious disease found was identical to one used at a nearby government-funded laboratory that is researching vaccines for the virus, Britain's environment agency said Saturday. Officials are still investigating other possible sources, the country's chief veterinarian said.
FALLON, Nev. - Two dairy farms have dumped milk after the discovery of a naturally occurring radioactive isotope in 25 nearby drinking water wells.
Officials from Sorensen's Dairy and Oasis Dairy said they will stop selling milk until it is tested for the isotope, polonium-210, by the Food and Drug Administration. Officials said there's no known health risk at this time.
One of the unique characteristics of humans that distinguish us from the animal kingdom is the ability to represent others' beliefs in our own minds. This sort of intuitive mind-reading, according to experts, lays the cognitive foundations of interpersonal understanding and communication.
Despite its importance, scientists have yet to reach a consensus on how this psychological function develops. Some argue that this complex and flexible ability is acquired at the age of 3-4 years and only after prerequisites such as language grammar are fulfilled. Others suggest specialized developmental mechanisms are in place at birth, allowing infants to refine this ability very early in life.
Luca Surian, a psychologist at the University of Trento in Italy, and his colleagues believe they have made some progress in the debate. In a study published in the July issue of Psychological Science, a journal of the Association for Psychological Science, Surian found that 13-month-old infants were able to exhibit the ability to attribute mental content.
Fri, 03 Aug 2007 16:27 UTC
How do people get ahead in the workplace? One way seems to be by making their subordinates miserable, according to a study released on Friday.
In the study to be presented at a conference on management this weekend, almost two-thirds of the 240 participants in an online survey said the local workplace tyrant was either never censured or was promoted for domineering ways.
"The fact that 64.2 percent of the respondents indicated that either nothing at all or something positive happened to the bad leader is rather remarkable -- remarkably disturbing," wrote the study's authors, Anthony Don Erickson, Ben Shaw and Zha Agabe of Bond University in Australia.
Psychopaths have a knack for rising to the top of everything, to the detriment of everyone else. A good book that might help bring you further understanding is "Snakes in Suits
." For great insight into how this same problem affects politics, and thus societies all over the world, be sure to read "Political Ponerology
A special issue of the journal Homeopathy, journal of the Faculty of Homeopathy and published by Elsevier, on the "Memory of Water" brings together scientists from around the world for the first time to publish new data, reviews and discuss recent scientific work exploring the idea that water can display memory effects. The concept of memory of water is important to homeopathy because it offers a potential explanation of the mechanism of action of very high dilutions often used in homeopathy.
Guest editor Professor Martin Chaplin of the Department of Applied Science at London South Bank University, remarks: "There is strong evidence concerning many ways in which the mechanism of this 'memory' may come about. There are also mechanisms by which such solutions may possess effects on biological systems which substantially differ from plain water."