Science News Tidbits: Health

Is infant male circumcision an abuse of the rights of the child? from PhysOrg.com
Circumcision is one of the commonest surgical procedures performed on males. Opponents argue that infant circumcision can cause both physical and psychological harm, while recent evidence shows that circumcision is medically beneficial. Two doctors debate the issue in this week’s BMJ.

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Even in healthy elderly, brain systems become less coordinated from PhysOrg.com
Some brain systems become less coordinated with age even in the absence of Alzheimer’s disease, according to a new study from Harvard University. The results help to explain why advanced age is often accompanied by a loss of mental agility, even in an otherwise healthy individual.

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Research links diet, gardening and lung cancer risk from PhysOrg.com
By simply eating four or more servings of green salad a week and working in the garden once or twice a week, smokers and nonsmokers alike may be able to substantially reduce the risk of developing lung cancer, say researchers at The University of Texas M. D. Anderson Cancer Center.

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Cells use Velcro-like mechanism to keep viruses from spreading from PhysOrg.com
Like mobsters, cells keep their friends close and their enemies — at least some of them — closer. According to new results from HIV researchers at Rockefeller University, one way that human cells prevent certain viruses from raging out of control is by blocking new viral particles from ever leaving an infected cell’s surface. And, they believe, HIV thrives in part because it has evolved the ability to get around this obstacle.

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Mechanism for regulation of growth and differentiation of adult muscle stem cells is revealed from PhysOrg.com
During muscle regeneration, which is a natural response to injury and disease, environmental cues cause adult muscle stem cells (satellite cells) to shift from dormancy to actively building new muscle tissue.

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Cognitive “fog” of normal aging linked to brain system disruption from PhysOrg.com
Comparisons of the brains of young and old people have revealed that normal aging may cause cognitive decline due to deterioration of the connections among large-scale brain systems, including a decrease in the integrity of the brain’s “white matter,” the tissue containing nerve cells that carry information, according to a new study co-authored by several researchers from Washington University in St. Louis.

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Research reveals secrets of alcohol’s effect on brain cells from PhysOrg.com
Alcohol triggers the activation of a variety of genes that can influence the health and activity of brain cells, and new research from Weill Cornell Medical College in New York City sheds light on how that process occurs.

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Safe and effective therapy discovered for patients with protein-losing enteropathy from PhysOrg.com
Researchers at the Burnham Institute for Medical Research (Burnham Institute) have developed the first model to study intestinal protein leakage in mice, allowing the team to control and replicate both genetic deficiencies and environmental damages in an in vivo setting. Protein-losing enteropathy (PLE) encompasses conditions that involve the abnormal leakage of blood proteins into the digestive tract.

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UC Davis bird-flu expert calls for changes in early-warning system from PhysOrg.com
The international science community is not doing enough to track the many avian influenza viruses that might cause the next pandemic, a UC Davis researcher says in today’s issue of the journal Nature.

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