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Can children acquire their parents’ history of fracture?

Boulis et al. | Sep 24, 2018

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While the genetic basis of hip fracture risk has been studied extensively in adults, it is not known whether parental history of bone fractures affects their children's fracture risk. In this article, the authors investigated whether a parental history of bone fractures influences the rate of fractures in their children. They found that adolescent children whose parents had a more extensive history of fractures were more likely to have a history of fractures themselves, suggesting that parents' medical histories may be an important consideration in future pediatric health research.

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Effects of Paan Extracts on Periodontal Ligament and Osteosarcoma Cells

Venkatachalam et al. | Sep 20, 2018

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In South Asian countries, the major cause of oral cancer is reported to be chewing paan, which is comprised of betel leaf daubed with slaked lime paste and areca nut. To investigate how paan may contribute to the onset of cancer, the authors treated two immortalized cell lines with extracts of betel leaf, areca nut, and lime and evaluated how these treatments affected cell proliferation and cell death. Initial results indicate that while betel leaf alone may inhibit cell growth, areca nut promoted cancer cell survival and proliferation, even when co-treated with betel leaf. These data suggest that areca nut could exacerbate the progression of oral cancer in humans.

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Starts and Stops of Rhythmic and Discrete Movements: Modulation in the Excitability of the Corticomotor Tract During Transition to a Different Type of Movement

Lim et al. | Aug 27, 2018

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Control of voluntary and involuntary movements is one of the most important aspects of human neurological function, but the mechanisms of motor control are not completely understood. In this study, the authors use transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS) to stimulate a portion of the motor cortex while subjects performed either discrete (e.g. throwing) or rhythmic (e.g. walking) movements. By recording electrical activity in the muscles during this process, the authors showed that motor evoked potentials (MEPs) measured in the muscles during TMS stimulation are larger in amplitude for discrete movements than for rhythmic movements. Interestingly, they also found that MEPs during transitions between rhythmic and discrete movements were nearly identical and larger in amplitude than those recorded during either rhythmic or discrete movements. This research provides important insights into the mechanisms of neurological control of movement and will serve as the foundation for future studies to learn more about temporal variability in neural activity during different movement types.

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Upregulation of the Ribosomal Pathway as a Potential Blood-Based Genetic Biomarker for Comorbid Major Depressive Disorder (MDD) and PTSD

Ravi et al. | Aug 22, 2018

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Major Depressive Disorder (MDD), and Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) are two of the fastest growing comorbid diseases in the world. Using publicly available datasets from the National Institute for Biotechnology Information (NCBI), Ravi and Lee conducted a differential gene expression analysis using 184 blood samples from either control individuals or individuals with comorbid MDD and PTSD. As a result, the authors identified 253 highly differentially-expressed genes, with enrichment for proteins in the gene ontology group 'Ribosomal Pathway'. These genes may be used as blood-based biomarkers for susceptibility to MDD or PTSD, and to tailor treatments within a personalized medicine regime.

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The role of temporal lobe epilepsy in cardiac structure and function

Choi et al. | Aug 15, 2018

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Cardiac autonomic and structural changes may occur in temporal lobe epilepsy patients and contribute to the risk of sudden unexpected death in epilepsy patients. Choi and colleagues reviewed clinical charts to obtain patients’ lifetime seizure count, antiepileptic drug use, and history of heart disease, followed by transthoracic echocardiogram to calculate left ventricle dimensions, ejection fraction, and left ventricle mass. By comparing epilepsy patients to control subjects, they found that epilepsy patients had thinner left ventricle walls and smaller ejection fraction, but with no significant difference in left ventricle mass.

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A Novel Method for Auto-Suturing in Laparoscopic Robotic-Assisted Coronary Artery Bypass Graft (CABG) Anastomosis

Levy et al. | Jun 21, 2018

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Levy & Levy tackle the optimization of the coronary artery bypass graft, a life-saving surgical technique that treats artery blockage due to coronary heart disease. The authors develop a novel auto-suturing method that saves time, allows for an increased number of sutures, and improves graft quality over hand suturing. The authors also show that increasing the number of sutures from four to five with their new method significantly improves graft quality. These promising findings may help improve outcomes for patients undergoing surgery to treat coronary heart disease.

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DyGS: a dynamic gene searching algorithm for cancer detection

Wang et al. | Jun 05, 2018

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Wang and Gong developed a novel dynamic gene-searching algorithm called Dynamic Gene Search (DyGS) to create a gene panel for each of the 12 cancers with the highest annual incidence and death rate. The 12 gene panels the DyGS algorithm selected used only 3.5% of the original gene mutation pool, while covering every patient sample. About 40% of each gene panel is druggable, which indicates that the DyGS-generated gene panels can be used for early cancer detection as well as therapeutic targets in treatment methods.

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The Effect of Interactive Electronics Use on Psychological Well Being and Interpersonal Relationship Quality in Adults

Belkin et al. | Apr 19, 2018

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In recent years, usage of interactive electronic devices such as computers, smartphones, and tablets has increased dramatically. Many studies have examined the potential adverse effects of excessive usage of such devices on children and adolescents, but the effects on adults are not well understood. In this study, the authors examined the relationship between adult usage of interactive electronic devices and a variety of clinical measures of psychological well-being. They found that according to some metrics, higher usage of interactive electronic devices is associated with several adverse psychological outcomes, suggesting a need for more careful consideration of such usage patterns in clinical settings.

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Effect of Manuka Honey and Licorice Root Extract on the Growth of Porphyromonas gingivalis: an In Vitro Study

Chandran et al. | Apr 11, 2018

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Chronic bad breath, or halitosis, is a problem faced by nearly 50% of the general poluation, but existing treatments such as liquid mouthwash or sugar-free gum are imperfect and temporary solutions. In this study, the authors investigate potential alternative treatments using natural ingredients such as Manuka Honey and Licorice root extract. They found that Manuka honey is almost as effective as commercial mouthwashes in reducing the growth of P gingivalis (one of the main bacteria that causes bad breath), while Licorice root extract was largely ineffective. The authors' results suggest that Manuka honey is a promising candidate in the search for new and improved halitosis treatments.

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The Feasibility of Mixed Reality Gaming as a Tool for Physical Therapy Following a Spinal Cord Injury

DeBre et al. | Apr 04, 2018

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Physical therapy, especially for patients with spinal cord injuries, can be a difficult and tedious experience. This can result in negative health outcomes, such as patients dropping out of physical therapy or developing additional health problems. In this study, the authors develop and test a potential solution to these challenges: a mixed reality game called Skyfarer that replaces a standard physical therapy regimen with an immersive experience that can be shared with their friends and family. The findings of this study suggest that mixed reality games such as Skyfarer could be effective alternatives to conventional physical therapy.

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Who is at Risk for a Spinal Fracture? – A Comparative Study of National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey Data

He et al. | Mar 01, 2018

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One common age-related health problem is the loss of bone mineral density (BMD), which can lead to a variety of negative health outcomes, including increased risk of spinal fracture. In this study, the authors investigate risk factors that may be predictive of an individual's risk of spinal fracture. Their findings provide valuable information that clinicians can use in patient evaluations.

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The Impact of Age on Post-Concussive Symptoms: A Comparative Study of Symptoms Related and Not Related to the Default Mode Network

Wurscher et al. | Mar 05, 2017

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The Default Mode Network (DMN) is a network of connected brain regions that are active when the brain is not focused on external tasks. Minor brain injuries, such as concussions, can affect this network and manifest symptoms. In this study, the authors examined correlations between DMN age and post-concussion symptoms in previously concussed individuals and healthy controls.

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Molecular Alterations in a High-Fat Mouse Model Before the Onset of Diet–Induced Nonalcoholic Fatty Liver Disease

Lee et al. | Sep 20, 2016

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Nonalcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD) is one of the most prevalent chronic liver diseases worldwide, but there are few studied warning signs for early detection of the disease. Here, researchers study alterations that occur in a mouse model of NAFLD, which indicate the onset of NAFLD sooner. Earlier detection of diseases can lead to better prevention and treatment.

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The Clinical Accuracy of Non-Invasive Glucose Monitoring for ex vivo Artificial Pancreas

Levy et al. | Jul 10, 2016

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Diabetes is a serious worldwide epidemic that affects a growing portion of the population. While the most common method for testing blood glucose levels involves finger pricking, it is painful and inconvenient for patients. The authors test a non-invasive method to measure glucose levels from diabetic patients, and investigate whether the method is clinically accurate and universally applicable.

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The Effectiveness of Different Palate Relievers against a Hot Chili Pepper Sauce

Avendaño-Rodríguez et al. | Jun 11, 2016

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Cuisine with hot chili peppers can be tasty, but sometimes painful to consume because of the burning sensations caused by the capsaicin molecule. The authors wanted to find the palate reliever that decreases the burning sensation of capsaicin the most by testing water, soft drink, olive oil, milk, and ice-cream as possible candidates. The authors hypothesized that olive oil would be the best palate reliever as it is non-polar like the capsaicin molecule. The authors surveyed 12 panelists with low, medium, and high spice tolerances and found that across all levels of spice tolerance, milk and ice-cream were the best palate relievers and soft drink the worst.

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