Deadly human pathogen Cryptococcus fully sequenced

Deadly human pathogen Cryptococcus fully sequenced

DURHAM, N.C. – Within each strand of DNA lies the blueprint for building an organism, along with the keys to its evolution and survival. These genetic instructions can give valuable insight into why pathogens like Cryptococcus neoformans -- a fungus responsible for a million cases of pneumonia and meningitis every year -- are so malleable and dangerous.

Our brains are hardwired for language

Our brains are hardwired for language

A groundbreaking study published in PLOS ONE by Prof. Iris Berent of Northeastern University and researchers at Harvard Medical School shows the brains of individual speakers are sensitive to language universals. Syllables that are frequent across languages are recognized more readily than infrequent syllables. Simply put, this study shows that language universals are hardwired in the human brain.

New pain relief targets discovered

New pain relief targets discovered

Scientists have identified new pain relief targets that could be used to provide relief from chemotherapy-induced pain. BBSRC-funded researchers at King's College London made the discovery when researching how pain occurs in nerves in the periphery of the body.

Dr Marzia Malcangio said: "We have been investigating and identifying mechanisms underlying pain generation and our findings could help chemotherapy patients who suffer pain related side effects."

Progressive neurodegenerative disorder linked to R-loop formation

Researchers at UC Davis have identified a new feature of the genetic mutation responsible for the progressive neurodegenerative disorder, fragile X-associated tremor/ataxia syndrome (FXTAS) — the formation of "R-loops," which they believe may be associated with the disorder's neurological symptoms, such as tremors, lack of balance, features of Parkinsonism, and cognitive decline.

Prenatal risk factors may put children at risk of developing kidney disease

Washington, DC (April 17, 2014) — Certain prenatal risk factors are associated with the development of chronic kidney disease in children, according to a study appearing in an upcoming issue of the Journal of the American Society of Nephrology (JASN). Future studies should investigate whether modifying these factors could help protect children's kidney health.

New gene variant found increases the risk of colorectal cancer from eating processed meat

Proteomics discovers link between muscle damage and cerebral malaria

Malaria-related complications remain a major cause of death for children in many parts of the world. Why some children develop these complications while others don't is still not understood.

How the immune system prevents repeated malaria fever episodes in highly exposed children

Children in Mali (and many other regions where malaria is common) are infected with malaria parasites more than 100 times a year, but they get sick with malaria fever only a few times. To understand how the immune system manages to prevent malaria fever in most cases, Peter Crompton, from the US National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, and colleagues in the US and in Mali, analyzed immune cells from healthy children before the malaria season and from the same children after their first bout of malaria fever during the ensuing malaria season.

First genetic link discovered to difficult-to-diagnose breast cancer sub-type

Scientists have identified the first genetic variant specifically associated with the risk of a difficult-to-diagnose cancer sub-type accounting for around 10-15 per cent of all breast cancer cases.

The largest ever study of the breast cancer sub-type, called invasive lobular carcinoma, gives researchers important clues to the genetic causes of this particular kind of breast cancer, which can be missed through screening.

Tracking flu levels with Wikipedia

Can monitoring Wikipedia hits show how many people have the flu? Researchers at Boston Children's Hospital, USA, have developed a method of estimating levels of influenza-like illness in the American population by analysing Internet traffic on specific flu-related Wikipedia articles.