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Mon, 14 Oct 2019
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Study shows why exercise boosts brainpower

Exercise boosts brainpower by building new brain cells in a brain region linked with memory and memory loss, U.S. researchers reported on Monday.

Tests on mice showed they grew new brain cells in a brain region called the dentate gyrus, a part of the hippocampus that is known to be affected in the age-related memory decline that begins around age 30 for most humans.

The researchers used magnetic resonance imaging scans to help document the process in mice -- and then used MRIs to look at the brains of people before and after exercise.

They found the same patterns, which suggests that people also grow new brain cells when they exercise.

Wolf

Russian scientists considering animal-to-human transplants

Russian specialists are studying the possibility of animal-to-human transplants, organ cloning and the creation of hybrid organs, a leading researcher said Monday.

"We are currently working on the possibility of xenotransplantation - i.e., transplantation of organs from animals to humans. We are also studying the possibility of cloning organs and creating hybrid organs. But until we have some definitive results, we cannot disclose any details," said Valery Shumakov, director of the Russian Scientific Research Institute of Transplantation and Artificial Organs.

Black Cat

Subliminal Advertising Leaves Its Mark On The Brain

University College London researchers have found the first physiological evidence that invisible subliminal images do attract the brain's attention on a subconscious level. The wider implication for the study, published in Current Biology, is that techniques such as subliminal advertising, now banned in the UK but still legal in the USA, certainly do leave their mark on the brain.

Using fMRI, the study looked at whether an image you aren't aware of -- but one that reaches the retina -- has an impact on brain activity in the primary visual cortex, part of the occipital lobe. Subjects' brains did respond to the object even when they were not conscious of having seen it.

Cheeseburger

Diabetes: a growing problem in newly-rich Asia

Hong Kong - A cheese burger one day, lasagna the next and chicken nuggets instead of a bowl of noodles.

Across the continent, a newly-affluent Asian middle class is splurging after centuries of deprivation, shaking off a diet traditionally high in vegetables and rice and low in meat and opting instead for food loaded with saturated fat.

But the new variety of foods available to affluent Asians, coupled with a less active lifestyle, has a price -- diabetes.

Health experts say Asians are especially at risk for diabetes -- caused by excess weight, fatty foods and lack of exercise -- as the Asian metabolism has over the centuries adapted to a frugal diet and a hard-working lifestyle.

Cow Skull

WA state veterinarian investigating reported cow deaths at dairy

Spokane -- Preliminary results of an investigation into cow deaths at a Stevens County dairy found no evidence of foreign animal disease infection or mad cow disease, a Washington State Department of Agriculture spokesman said.

State Veterinarian Dr. Leonard Eldridge and agriculture investigators visited the farm, where 50-60 animals have died over the past several months, spokesman Jason Kelly said Thursday.

Mad cow disease - bovine spongiform encephalopathy or BSE - is a brain wasting disease in cattle that is thought to spread to humans through eating infected meat products.

Health

Banned food additives found in baby medicine

UK: Everyday children's medicines found in cupboards up and down the country contain a "cocktail of additives" banned from foods and drinks for youngsters of the same age, a food watchdog has claimed.

Brands widely used by parents such as Calpol, Benylin, Sudafed, and Tixylix have all fallen foul of a survey of medicines for infants under three, amid concerns manufacturers are using synthetic ingredients unnecessarily.

Magnify

Hormone paradox may help explain teen moodiness

Washington - This might help explain why teenagers act like, well, teenagers.

Researchers reported on Sunday that a hormone produced by the body in response to stress that normally serves to calm adults and younger children instead increases anxiety in adolescents.

They conducted experiments with female mice focusing on the hormone THP that demonstrated this paradoxical effect, and described the brain mechanism that explains it.

If, as the scientists suspect, the same thing happens in people, the phenomenon may help account for the mood swings and anxiety exhibited by many adolescents, they said.

X

Consumer Warning:Toxic Chemical BPA Leaching Into Canned Foods

An alarming new study from the Environmental Working Group analyzed samples of canned fruit, vegetables, soda, and baby formula on sale in the nation's supermarkets and found that more than 50% were tainted with a chemical linked to birth defects, ADHD and cancer. The chemical, bisphenol A (BPA), is an ingredient in plastics that lines food cans.

Chess

Kids learn better if they figure it out themselves: study

Toddlers have an easier time learning new words when they figure out the meanings themselves, according to new study reported on Thursday.

Meredith Brinster, an undergraduate researcher at Johns Hopkins University in Maryland, compared the effectiveness of two different word-learning strategies on 100 children between the ages of 36 and 42 months.

Her findings indicated that words learned through inference, by the process of elimination, for instance, are more easily retained than when learned through direct instruction.

The results could change the way we think about education and learning, said Justin Halberda, assistant professor of psychological and brain sciences at Johns Hopkins.

Heart

Protein That May Promote Migraines Identified By Scientists

A University of Iowa study may provide an explanation for why some people get migraine headaches while others do not. The researchers found that too much of a small protein called RAMP1 appears to "turn up the volume" of a nerve cell receptor's response to a neuropeptide thought to cause migraines.

The neuropeptide is called CGRP (calcitonin gene-related peptide) and studies have shown that it plays a key role in migraine headaches. In particular, CGRP levels are elevated in the blood during migraine, and drugs that either reduce the levels of CGRP or block its action significantly reduce the pain of migraine headaches. Also, if CGRP is injected into people who are susceptible to migraines, they get a severe headache or a full migraine.

The UI study findings are published in the Journal of Neuroscience.

"We have shown that this RAMP protein is a key regulator for the action of CGRP," said Andrew Russo, Ph.D., UI professor of molecular physiology and biophysics. "Our study suggests that people who get migraines may have higher levels of RAMP1 than people who don't get migraines."