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Researchers develop new DNA sequencing method to diagnose tuberculosis

Researchers develop new DNA sequencing method to diagnose tuberculosis

Researchers working in the UK and The Gambia, have developed a new approach to the diagnosis of tuberculosis (TB) that relies on direct sequencing of DNA extracted from sputum (a technique called metagenomics) to detect and characterize the bacteria that cause TB without the need for time-consuming culture of bacteria in the laboratory.

Termites evolved complex bioreactors 30 million years ago

Achieving complete breakdown of plant biomass for energy conversion in industrialized bioreactors remains a complex challenge, but new research shows that termite fungus farmers solved this problem more than 30 million years ago. The new insight reveals that the great success of termite farmers as plant decomposers is due to division of labor between a fungus breaking down complex plant components and gut bacteria contributing enzymes for final digestion.

Sophisticated Management in Termite Fungus Farms

Speaking of Chemistry: Why we need antibiotics

Antibiotics revolutionized health care in the early 20th century, helping kill bacteria that once killed thousands of people. But bacteria are also constantly outsmarting science, and new strains of antibiotic-resistant bacteria are popping up more frequently. This week's Speaking of Chemistry focuses on the current shortage of new antibiotics and discusses the prospects for new drugs. The episode also answers the question: Why should you finish your pills if you feel better? Check it out:

Chimpanzees raised as pets or performers suffer long-term effects on their behavior

Although the immediate welfare consequences of removing infant chimpanzees from their mothers are well documented, little is known about the long-term impacts of this type of early life experience. In a year-long study, scientists from Lincoln Park Zoon observed 60 chimpanzees and concluded that those who were removed from their mothers early in life and raised by humans as pets or performers are likely to show behavioral and social deficiencies as adults.

AWHONN recommends reducing overuse of labor induction

Washington, DC, September 23, 2014 —The Association of Women's Health, Obstetric and Neonatal Nurses (AWHONN) is calling upon healthcare providers and pregnant women to avoid induction of labor at any time during pregnancy unless it is medically necessary.

Does the belief in guardian angels make people more cautious?

Los Angeles, CA (September 23, 2014) While many believe that guardian angels watch over to keep them safe in a dangerous world, a new study finds that those who believe are actually less inclined to take risks despite this believed protection. This study was published today in the open access journal SAGE Open.

Researchers David Etkin, Jelena Ivanova, Susan MacGregor, and Alalia Spektor surveyed 198 individuals and found that of those who believe in guardian angels, 68% said that this belief affects how they take risks.

Aberrant PI3K/AKT/mTOR pathway found in vestibular schwanommas may be therapeutic target

A multi-function protein is key to stopping genomic parasites from 'jumping'

Most organisms, including humans, have parasitic DNA fragments called "jumping genes" that insert themselves into DNA molecules, disrupting genetic instructions in the process. And that phenomenon can result in age-related diseases such as cancer. But researchers at the University of Rochester now report that the "jumping genes" in mice become active as the mice age when a multi-function protein stops keeping them in check in order to take on another role.

News from Annals of Internal Medicine tip sheet -- Sept. 23, 2014

1. USPSTF publishes two new recommendations on preventing sexually transmitted infections

USPSTF recommends counseling to reduce risky sexual behavior among teens and adults at risk for STIs

The fine line between breast cancer and normal tissues

Boston, MA – Up to 40 percent of patients undergoing breast cancer surgery require additional operations because surgeons may fail to remove all the cancerous tissue in the initial operation. However, researchers at Brigham and Women's Hospital (BWH) have successfully tested a tool they developed that will help surgeons better distinguish cancerous breast tissue from normal tissue, thereby decreasing the chances for repeat operations.

The study is published online the week of September 22, 2014 in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.