Sleep’s-Memory role discovered!

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The mechanism by which a good night’s sleep improves learning and memory has been discovered by scientists.

The team in China and the US used advanced microscopy to witness new connections between brain cells – synapses – forming during sleep.

Their study,  showed even intense training could not make up for lost sleep.

Experts said it was an elegant and significant study, which uncovered the mechanisms of memory.

It is well-known that sleep plays an important role in memory and learning. But what actually happens inside the brain has been a source of considerable debate.

They then looked inside the living brain with a microscope to see what happened when the animals were either sleeping or sleep deprived.

Their study showed that sleeping mice formed significantly more new connections between neurons – they were learning more.

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A connection between two brain cells And by disrupting specific phases of sleep, the research group showed deep or slow-wave sleep was necessary for memory formation.

During this stage, the brain was “replaying” the activity from earlier in the day.

Prof Wen-Biao Said: “Finding out sleep promotes new connections between neurons is new, nobody knew this before.

“We thought sleep helped, but it could have been other causes, and we show it really helps to make connections and that in sleep the brain is not quiet, it is replaying what happened during the day and it seems quite important for making the connections.”

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Analysis

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This is just the latest piece of science to highlight the importance of sleep.

 

A new reason for sleep was discovered last year when experiments showed the brain used sleep to wash away waste toxins built up during a hard day’s thinking.

However, there are concerns that people are not getting enough sleep.

Prof Russell Foster argued that society had become “supremely arrogant” in ignoring the importance of sleep, leading to “serious health problems”.

These include:

  • Cancer
  • Heart disease
  • Type-2 diabetes
  • Infections
  • Obesity

The reward for more sleep, Prof Foster argues, is we would all be “better human beings.”

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It’s about time to focus on cancer preventions

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The globe is facing a “tidal wave” of cancer, and restrictions on alcohol and sugar need to be considered, say World Health Organization.

It predicts the number of cancer cases will reach 24 million a year by 2035, but half could be prevented.

The WHO said there was now a “real need” to focus on cancer prevention by tackling smoking, obesity and drinking.

The World Cancer Research Fund said there was an “alarming” level of naivety about diet’s role in cancer.

Fourteen million people a year are diagnosed with cancer, but that is predicted to increase to 19 million by 2025, 22 million by 2030 and 24 million by 2035.

The developing world will bear the brunt of the extra cases

The director of the WHO’s International Agency for Research on Cancer,  “The global cancer burden is increasing and quite markedly, due predominately to the ageing of the populations and population growth.

Avertible Causes:

These are major sources of preventable cancer included:

  • Smoking

  • Infections

  • Alcohol

  • Obesity and inactivity

  • Radiation, both from the sun and medical scans

  • Air pollution and other environmental factors

  • Delayed parenthood, having fewer children and not breastfeeding

For most countries, breast cancer is the most common cancer in women. However, cervical cancer dominates in large parts of Africa.

Dr Chris Wild, WHO: "We're not going to be able to address this problem by simply improving treatment"
Dr Chris Wild, WHO: “We’re not going to be able to address this problem by simply improving treatment”
 The human papillomavirus (HPV) is a major cause. It is thought wider use of the HPV and other vaccines could prevent hundreds of thousands of cancers.

Prevention had a “crucial role in combating the tidal wave of cancer which we see coming across the world”.

In relation to alcohol, for example, we’re all aware of the acute effects, whether it’s car accidents or assaults, but there’s a burden of disease that’s not talked about because it’s simply not recognised, specifically involving cancer.

“The extent to which we modify the availability of alcohol, the labelling of alcohol, the promotion of alcohol and the price of alcohol – those things should be on the agenda.”

He said there was a similar argument to be had with sugar fuelling obesity, which in turn affected cancer risk.

Map showing cancer deaths across the world

Meanwhile, a survey of 2,046 people in the UK by the World Cancer Research Fund (WCRF) suggested 49% do not know that diet increases the risk of developing cancer.

Amanda McLean, general manager for the WCRF, said: “It’s very alarming to see that such a large number of people don’t know that there’s a lot they can do to significantly reduce their risk of getting cancer.

About a third of the most common cancers could be prevented through being a healthy weight, eating a healthy diet and being regularly physically active.

“These results show that many people still seem to mistakenly accept their chances of getting cancer as a throw of the dice, but by making lifestyle changes today, we can help prevent cancer tomorrow.”

It advises a diet packed with vegetables, fruit, and wholegrain; cutting down on alcohol and red meat; and junking processed meat completely.

“People can cut their risk of cancer by making healthy lifestyle choices, but it’s important to remember that the government and society are also responsible for creating an environment that supports healthy lifestyles.

“It’s clear that if we don’t act now to curb the number of people getting cancer, we will be at the heart of a global crisis in cancer care within the next two decades.”

‘Sticky balls’ may stop cancer spreading

Cancer-killing "sticky balls" containing cancer-killing protein called Trail
Cancer-killing “sticky balls” containing cancer-killing protein called Trail

Cancer-killing “sticky balls” can destroy tumour cells in the blood and may prevent cancers spreading, early research suggests.

The most dangerous and deadly stage of a tumour is when it spreads around the body.

Scientists, have designed nanoparticles that stay in the bloodstream and kill migrating cancer cells on contact.

They said the impact was “dramatic” but there was “a lot more work to be done”.

One of the biggest factors in life expectancy after being diagnosed with cancer is whether the tumour has spread to become a metastatic cancer.

“About 90% of cancer deaths are related to metastases,” said lead researcher

Prof Michael KingLead researcher said “The results are quite remarkable”

On the trail

The team at Cornell devised a new way of tackling the problem.

They attached a cancer-killing protein called Trail,  and other sticky proteins to tiny spheres or nanoparticles.

When these sticky spheres were injected into the blood, they latched on to white blood cells.

Tests showed that in the rough and tumble of the bloodstream, the white blood cells would bump into any tumour cells which had broken off the main tumour and were trying to spread.

Experiment showed the resulting contact with the Trail protein then triggered the death of the tumour cells.

Researchers Said The data shows a dramatic effect: it’s not a slight change in the number of cancer cells.

“The results are quite remarkable actually, in human blood and in mice. After two hours of blood flow, they [the tumour cells] have literally disintegrated.”

Adoption with Caution

He believes the nanoparticles could be used before surgery or radiotherapy, which can result in tumour cells being shed from the main tumour.

It could also be used in patients with very aggressive tumours to prevent them spreading.

However, much more safety testing in mice and larger animals will be needed before any attempt at a human trial is made.

So far the evidence suggests the system has no knock-on effect for the immune system and does not damage other blood cells or the lining of blood vessels.

But  cautioned: “There’s a lot of work to be done. Various breakthroughs are needed before this could be a benefit to patients.”

Alzheimer’s Breakthrough as scientists manage to stop brain cells from dying

Alzheimer’s breakthrough hailed as ‘turning point’

The discovery of the first chemical to prevent the death of brain tissue in a neurodegenerative disease has been hailed as the “turning point” in the fight against Alzheimer’s disease.

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Thank your parents if you’re smart: Up to 80% of a child’s intelligence is inherited.

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It’s all in the genes: A new study shows child’s intelligence is passed down from the parents.

Intelligent men owe their brains to their mothers, according to research published.

So What’s The Mystery Behind It !

Growing evidence shows that several genes which determine intelligence appear to be located on the X chromosome, the one men inherit from their mothers .Any mutation on the X chromosome has more effect on a man than a woman because a woman inherits X chromosomes from both her parents, which tends to dilute the gene’s impact.

But a man only has one X chromosome inherited from his mother, which is paired with the smaller Y chromosomes from his father.

Therefore, an intelligence-enhancing X gene has more of a chance of becoming the predominant gene, determining the man’s basic intelligence, looks and character.

It also works the other way; if the predominate gene is not as strong as it should be, the man is more likely to suffer mental retardation.

The study, said: “If the gene is the one that increases intelligence then its full effect will be seen in men, while in women the benefit is less pronounced. This explains why some men are extraordinarily intelligent.”

Study concludes that if a man wants smart sons his best bet is to marry a smart woman.

This Sounds Interesting I Guess… So Hustle up & Find Damn Brainy Brilliant Repo Lady, of course for you not for ME… Though that would be Nice. 😉

Functional Liver Tissue Can Now Be Grown From Stem Cells

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Liver “buds”—small lumps of functional three-dimensional human liver tissue—were grown from a mix of stem cells.

Stem cell research has resulted in several important breakthroughs in medicine, such as rebuilding the larynx and regenerating spinal cord connectors.

Now the liver, one of the most highly sought after organs on the donor transplant list, could get some serious stem cell assistance as well. Continue reading