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Elein Chahoud verified badge
Intern Pharmacist
August 12, 2018 · 446 Reads

Top stories in science this week

Researchers have designed anti-degeneration drug to reverse human cell ageing

Hydrogen sulphide compounds designed to target mitochondria, energy production organelle in the cell, result in reducing the number of old cells that stopped dividing by up to 50%. The findings raise the possibility of future treatments for many age-related medical conditions such as cardiovascular diseases.

Reference: Aging



Scientists found that blue light from smart devices can lead to blindness

New research suggested that blue light from smartphones and sun transforms molecules in the eyes’ retina into cell killers. This process leads to vision loss. To protect your eyes from the blue light, scientists advise wearing sunglasses that can filter both UV and blue light outside and avoid looking at your cell phones or tablets in the dark.

Reference: Nature

FDA approved the first gene-silencing drug

New drug discovery using a natural biological process called RNA interference. Patisiran prevents symptoms by blocking DNA instructions, hence preventing the production process. It targets a rare hereditary disease that causes deformed proteins to build up in patients’ nerves, tissues and organs, causing loss of sensation, organ failure and even death.

Reference: The New England Journal of Medicine

A new study suggests angry people are more likely to perceive themselves as smarter

Researchers found that people who have a quick temper tended to overestimate their intelligence. Although anger was associated with optimistic risk perception and overestimating one’s intelligence, it was unrelated to one’s actual level of intelligence.

Reference: Intelligence

Neuroscientists discovered the origin of pessimism

Neuroscientists have shown that stimulating the caudate nucleus, a brain region linked to emotional decision-making, generates negative moods that lead to hopeless decision-making. These new findings could help in developing new treatments of mood and anxiety disorders as we now have a better understanding of how these negative feelings arise.

Reference: Neuron

Scientists traced cell’s development history using a new method of genetic barcodes

A new method uses evolving genetic barcodes to actively record the process of cell division in developing mice, enabling the lineage of every cell in a mouse’s body to be traced back to its single-celled origin. This approach enabled scientists to pinpoint where and when different cells arise and how closely related different cell types are to each other, allowing unprecedented insight into the journey from single cell to adult.

Reference: Science

Research showed that the mere expectation of checking business emails off-hours might harm the health

The study demonstrated that employees do not need to spend actual time on work in their off-hours to experience harmful effects. The mere expectations of availability result in anxiety and stress of increased job demands, which adversely affects the health of employees and their family members — even when employees do not engage in actual work during nonwork time.

Reference: Acadamy of Management

A new study suggests glaucoma might be an autoimmune disorder

In a study of mice, the researchers showed that the body’s T cells are responsible for the progressive retina and optic nerve damage seen in glaucoma, a disease which affects nearly 70 million people in the world. These T cells appear to attack retinal nerve cells as the result of previous interactions with bacteria that usually live in our body. This discovery opens a new possibility to prevent and treat glaucoma by blocking the immune system activity.

Reference: Nature

Researchers developed an empathy teaching video game for school kids

The video game involves a scenario of a robot crashing on an alien planet. To rebuild the spaceship, players must interact with the aliens by reading the emotions on their humanlike faces. Result revealed for the first time that children who play this game showed greater connectivity in brain networks related to empathy skills and perspective taking. Also, some kids showed changes in nerves networks commonly linked to emotion regulation, a critical skill for this age group.

Reference: Nature

Researchers introduce e-textiles that you can wear

For the first time, researchers have incorporated flexible light-emitting and photo-sensing devices into soft fabrics, potentially making it possible to produce clothing that communicates optically with other devices. In the future, fabrics will deliver value-added services and will no longer just be selected for aesthetics and comfort. The first commercial products incorporating this technology will be reaching the marketplace as early as next year.

Reference: Nature

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