Culture

It is no easy task to preserve the delicate balance that allows us to maintain a strong immune system that can defend us from harmful pathogens, but that is sensitive enough to correctly identify and spare our own cells. Therefore, it is not surprising that the mechanisms that underlie immune activation and tolerance are not completely understood. Now, a new research study published by Cell Press in the journal Immunity and available online on September 15th provides intriguing insight into the complex immune regulatory mechanisms that underlie immune tolerance.

COLUMBUS, Ohio – A new study of interracial marriages in the United States since the 1980s suggests that the racial boundary between blacks and whites has continued to break down.

Marriages between blacks and whites increased rapidly between 1980 and 2008, outpacing the rate of unions between whites and other ethnic and racial groups, including Latinos, Asian Americans and American Indians.

CINCINNATI—University of Cincinnati research published in the Sept. 14, 2011, advance online edition of the New England Journal of Medicine shows that patients with hepatitis C who took a combination medication—a telaprevir-based regimen that is commonly used to treat the illness—for 24 weeks were cured.

(Baltimore, MD)–A new study published today in the journal PLoS ONE reports that the precision with which preschoolers estimate quantities, prior to any formal education in mathematics, predicts their mathematics ability in elementary school, according to research from the Kennedy Krieger Institute.

Medical imaging experts at Johns Hopkins have reviewed the patient records of 302 men and women who had a much-needed X-ray of the blood vessels near the spinal cord and found that the procedure, often feared for possible complications of stroke and kidney damage, is safe and effective.

Advertisers covet spots during political debates, which often draw large numbers of viewers. But according to a new study in the Journal of Consumer Research, political debate can sometime decrease the effectiveness of subsequent ads.

In the 21st century, the revolution may not be televised – but it likely will be tweeted, blogged, texted and organized on Facebook or other social media sites, recent experience suggests.

After analyzing more than 3 million tweets, gigabytes of YouTube content and thousands of blog posts, a new study finds that social media played a central role in shaping political debates in the Arab Spring. Conversations about revolution often preceded major events, and social media has carried inspiring stories of protest across international borders.

Certain brands bring to mind particular cultures, and consumers react more positively to brand extensions when products match expectations about cultures, according to a new study in the Journal of Consumer Research. That's why a Budweiser barbecue sauce might be more successful product than a Harley-Davidson cappuccino maker.

Examples of culturally symbolic brands include Budweiser (American), Sony (Japanese), or Corona (Mexican). The authors look at what happens when a culturally symbolic brand extends its product line by creating new products.

College students talk about hooking up -- a lot. In fact, they talk about it much more than it actually happens, and they believe other students are having the encounters more often than they actually are, as a new study shows.

The research from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln examined how college students' social networks often lead them to define, perceive and participate in "hookups" -- the slang term for casual intimate encounters outside of dating or exclusive relationships. The study also looked at the extent to which those networks influenced risky sexual behavior.

Just because a hate crime occurs does not mean a place is racist - gangs of black men recently targeted white people at a state fair in Wisconsin, but that doesn't mean Wisconsin hates white people.

Yet as the Sept. 21 execution date looms for a man convicted for his role in chaining and dragging a black man to his death, the small East Texas town of Jasper remains vilified worldwide as racist after the 1998 murder.

Bans on smoking reduce smoking. No surprise there - but in a college environment, where students are being taught skepticism and independent thinking, is cultural fundamentalism a good thing?

According to an Indiana University study, the end result is worth the implication.

Elevated blood cholesterol levels are regarded as a risk factor for heart attacks and other cardiovascular diseases. However, this does not necessarily mean that every cholesterol-lowering drug can also prevent heart attacks. For example, the benefit of the cholesterol-lowering drug ezetimibe is unclear. In particular, proof is lacking that patients have a greater benefit if they take ezetimibe in addition to statins for the prevention of heart attacks.

Antibiotic resistance is a growing problem in several African countries. One of the main problems is the very uneven quality of medicine, which makes it difficult for health professionals to prescribe correct doses of medication. To tackle this challenge, a Ghanaian PhD student at the University of Copenhagen has developed a new chemical analysis technique that provides fast and reliable determination of the exact contents of a drug.

Racial minorities have reduced access to high-quality joint replacement care, according to Dr. Xueya Cai and colleagues from the University of Iowa in the US. Their analysis in Clinical Orthopaedics and Related Research says that African American patients are more likely than Caucasians to receive total knee arthroplasty (or replacement surgery) in low-quality hospitals.

Researchers from Mount Sinai School of Medicine have for the first time used several imaging techniques to prove the efficacy of a promising new treatment for atherosclerosis—the build-up of plaque in artery walls that can lead to a heart attack. Using positron-emission tomography (PET)/computed tomography (CT) and magnetic resonance imaging (MRI), the research team showed that dalcetrapib, a novel treatment for atherosclerosis, prevented the progression of disease and reduced vascular inflammation over 24 months. The data are published in the September 12 issue of The Lancet.