Tag Archives: skin

What’s on Your Skin? Archaea, That’s What

Berkeley Lab study on human skin microbiome finds archaea abundance associated with age

It turns out your skin is crawling with single-celled microorganisms – ­and they’re not just bacteria. A study by the Department of Energy’s Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (Berkeley Lab) and the Medical University of Graz has found that the skin microbiome also contains archaea, a type of extreme-loving microbe, and that the amount of it varies with age. (more…)

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In hairless man, arthritis drug spurs hair growth — lots of it

A man with almost no hair on his body has grown a full head of it after a novel treatment by doctors at Yale University.

There is currently no cure or long-term treatment for alopecia universalis, the disease that left the 25-year-old patient bare of hair. This is the first reported case of a successful targeted treatment for the rare, highly visible disease. (more…)

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Sinuous skeletons, glowing blue and crimson, leap from lab to art world

A scalyhead sculpin is a small, rather drab, nondescript fish.

But “stripped” to its skeleton and stained, it suddenly becomes a striking specimen in vivid blues and crimson.

Striking enough to be among the 14 photos by Adam Summers, University of Washington professor of biology, in his “Cleared: The Art of Science” on display now through spring 2014 at the Seattle Aquarium. (more…)

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Stress makes snails forgetful

Snail study reveals that stress is bad for memory.

New research on pond snails has revealed that high levels of stress can block memory processes. Researchers from the University of Exeter and the University of Calgary trained snails and found that when they were exposed to multiple stressful events they were unable remember what they had learned.

Previous research has shown that stress also affects human ability to remember. This study, published in the journal PLOS ONE, found that experiencing multiple stressful events simultaneously has a cumulative detrimental effect on memory. (more…)

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Tingling sensation caused by Asian spice could help patients with chronic pain

The science behind the tingling sensation caused by eating a popular Asian spice has been explained by researchers at UCL.

The study, which is published in the journal Proceedings of the Royal Society B, helps shed light on the complex interactions between the senses of taste and touch, and could lead to a greater understanding of the causes of the tingling sensations experienced by many chronic pain patients.

Widely used in Asian cooking, the Szechuan pepper was found to mimic the sense of touch in the brain. It chemically activates light-touch fibres on the lips and tongue and sends the equivalent of 50 light taps to the brain per second. (more…)

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Reducing arsenic in food chain

Soil may harbor answer to reducing arsenic in rice

Harsh Bais and Janine Sherrier of the University of Delaware’s Department of Plant and Soil Sciences are studying whether a naturally occurring soil bacterium, referred to asUD1023 because it was first characterized at the University, can create an iron barrier in rice roots that reduces arsenic uptake.

Rice, grown as a staple food for a large portion of the world’s population, absorbs arsenic from the environment and transfers it to the grain. Arsenic is classified as a poison by the National Institutes of Health and is considered a carcinogen by the National Toxicology Program. (more…)

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Bio-inspired Fibres Change Colour When Stretched

A team of materials scientists at Harvard University and the University of Exeter has invented a new fibre which changes colour when stretched. Inspired by nature, the researchers identified and replicated the unique structural elements, which create the bright iridescent blue colour of a tropical plant’s fruit.

The multilayered fibre, described in the journal Advanced Materials, could lend itself to the creation of smart fabrics that visibly react to heat or pressure.

“Our new fibre is based on a structure we found in nature, and through clever engineering we’ve taken its capabilities a step further,” says lead author Dr Mathias Kolle, a postdoctoral fellow at the Harvard School of Engineering and Applied Sciences (SEAS). “The plant, of course, cannot change colour. By combining its structure with an elastic material, however, we’ve created an artificial version that passes through a full rainbow of colours as it’s stretched.” (more…)

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Lack of Protein Sp2 Disrupts Neuron Creation in Brain

A protein known as Sp2 is key to the proper creation of neurons from stem cells, according to researchers at North Carolina State University. Understanding how this protein works could enable scientists to “program” stem cells for regeneration, which has implications for neural therapies.

Troy Ghashghaei and Jon Horowitz, both faculty in NC State’s Department of Molecular Biomedical Sciences and researchers in the Center for Comparative Medicine and Translational Research, wanted to know more about the function of Sp2, a cell cycle regulator that helps control how cells divide. Previous research from Horowitz had shown that too much Sp2 in skin-producing stem cells resulted in tumors in experimental mice. Excessive amounts of Sp2 prevented the stem cells from creating normal cell “offspring,” or skin cells. Instead, the stem cells just kept producing more stem cells, which led to tumor formation. (more…)

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