A Cure for Baldness ?

A new drug could ease the distress of men and women who suffer from baldness, according to researchers from The University of Manchester’s Centre for Dermatology Research. The study from the laboratory of Prof Ralf Paus, is published (8 May) in the open access journal PLOS Biology. It shows that a drug originally designed as a treatment for osteoporosis has a dramatic stimulatory effect on human hair follicles donated by patients undergoing hair transplantation surgery. Currently only two drugs – minoxidil and finasteride – are available for treatment of male-pattern balding (androgenetic alopecia). However, both agents have moderate side effects and often produce disappointing hair regrowth results. The only other option available to patients is hair transplantation surgery. The PhD project, led by Dr Nathan Hawkshaw and colleagues, sought to develop new ways to promote human hair growth with the hope […]

Living in better neighborhood may protect health of kids in poverty

While poverty has long been linked with poor health, a study from UC San Francisco has found that simply living in a more desirable neighborhood may act as a health booster for low-income children. UCSF researchers compared levels of the stress hormone cortisol in 338 kindergartners whose families’ annual incomes ranged from less than $10,000 to $200,000-plus. The research team found that the average cortisol level among 113 of low-income children who lived in poor neighborhoods reached the 75th percentile. But when they looked at cortisol levels in 32 low-income children living in better-quality neighborhoods, the average was in the 45th percentile, the researchers report in the May 8, 2018, issue of Psychosomatic Medicine. “Cortisol is a measure of biological stress arousal, and elevated levels can place children at risk for both poorer physical and mental health,” said first author Danielle Roubinov, […]

Fasting boosts stem cells’ regenerative capacity

As people age, their intestinal stem cells begin to lose their ability to regenerate. These stem cells are the source for all new intestinal cells, so this decline can make it more difficult to recover from gastrointestinal infections or other conditions that affect the intestine. This age-related loss of stem cell function can be reversed by a 24-hour fast, according to a new study from MIT biologists. The researchers found that fasting dramatically improves stem cells’ ability to regenerate, in both aged and young mice. In fasting mice, cells begin breaking down fatty acids instead of glucose, a change that stimulates the stem cells to become more regenerative. The researchers found that they could also boost regeneration with a molecule that activates the same metabolic switch. Such an intervention could potentially help older people recovering from GI infections or cancer […]

Study shows yogurt may dampen chronic inflammation linked to multiple diseases

Inflammation can be good. It’s part of the body’s innate immune system, our first line of defense against illness and injury. However, if the inflammatory response goes on for too long, it can lead to a condition called chronic inflammation, where the body essentially attacks itself, wreaking biological havoc on our organs and systems. Chronic inflammation is a factor in inflammatory bowel disease, arthritis and asthma. It is also associated with obesity, metabolic syndrome, cardiovascular disease, and other chronic diseases. A recent study—described in two papers, including one published today (May 14) in the Journal of Nutrition—provides new evidence that yogurt may help dampen chronic inflammation. The study explored the hypothesis that yogurt may help reduce inflammation by improving the integrity of the intestinal lining, thus preventing endotoxins—pro-inflammatory molecules produced by gut microbes—from crossing into the blood stream. “I wanted to look at the mechanism more closely […]

Ginger to treat vomiting in children with acute gastroenteritis

Researchers presenting at the 51st ESPGHAN Annual Meeting have today revealed the results of a new study which proves the efficacy and effectiveness of using ginger to treat vomiting in children with acute gastroenteritis – one of the most common conditions resulting in admission to paediatric emergency departments. All children are expected to suffer from acute gastroenteritis within the first three years of life and globally there are between 3-5 billion cases each year. Vomiting is reported in three quarters of children suffering the condition contributing to fluid loss and oral rehydration failure – which can be life threatening. While mortality rates in Europe are low, gastroenteritis is a major cause of hospital visits and has a substantial economic impact; it accounts for over 87,000 hospital visits a year and almost 700,000 outpatient visits. Globally, acute gastroenteritis is one of […]

Why people become more prone to distraction with age

A specific brain network, the locus coeruleus, that controls our ability to focus while under stress appears to weaken as we age, interfering with our ability to focus Older adults appear more easily distracted by irrelevant information than younger people when they experience stress or powerful emotions– and a specific network in the brain recently identified as the epicenter for Alzheimer’s and dementia may be to blame. A USC-led study finds that seniors’ attention shortfall is associated with the locus coeruleus, a tiny region of the brainstem that connects to many other parts of the brain. The locus coeruleus helps focus brain activity during periods of stress or excitement. Increased distractibility is a sign of cognitive aging, said senior author Mara Mather, an expert on memory and professor at the USC Leonard Davis School of Gerontology. The study found that […]

new strategy to target skin diseases like psorias

Research at UT Southwestern has shown that targeting metabolism in growing cells holds promise for the treatment of skin diseases like psoriasis that are characterized by skin overgrowth resulting from excess cell division, known as hyperproliferation. A research team led by Dr. Richard Wang, Assistant Professor of Dermatology, demonstrated in mice that inhibiting glucose transport may be a safe and effective treatment for these diseases. Actively dividing cells, like those underlying psoriasis, are more dependent on glucose for their growth. By inhibiting glucose transport in those cells, disease-associated skin overgrowth and inflammation were reduced. Their findings were recently published in Nature Medicine. “This study provides a window for the treatment of various diseases by specifically targeting the metabolic requirements of hyperproliferative skin diseases. It also broadens our understanding of changes in skin metabolism in response to physiological stressors,” Dr. Wang said. […]

Engineers upgrade ancient, sun powered tech to purify water

The idea of using energy from the sun to evaporate and purify water is ancient. The Greek philosopher Aristotle reportedly described such a process more than 2,000 years ago. Now, researchers are bringing this technology into the modern age, using it to sanitize water at what they report to be record-breaking rates. By draping black, carbon-dipped paper in a triangular shape and using it to both absorb and vaporize water, they have developed a method for using sunlight to generate clean water with near-perfect efficiency. “Our technique is able to produce drinking water at a faster pace than is theoretically calculated under natural sunlight,” says lead researcher Qiaoqiang Gan, PhD, associate professor of electrical engineering in the University at Buffalo School of Engineering and Applied Sciences. As Gan explains, “Usually, when solar energy is used to evaporate water, some of […]