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News: Swine Flu Linked to Parkinson's Like Brain Changes

Growing evidence suggests that neurodegenerative diseases like Parkinson's may develop in part due to environmental factors, including infections that can cause inflammation in the nervous system. New research from investigators from Jude Children's Research Hospital and Thomas Jefferson University has strengthened that connection.

News: Bacteria Turned into Factories, Supplying Critical Enzymes to Make Cancer Drugs Cheaper & Save Endangered Yew Trees

Cytochrome P450 (P450s) are proteins found in nearly all living organisms, which play roles that range from producing essential compounds and hormones to metabolizing drugs and toxins. We use some of the compounds synthesized by P450 in plants as medical treatments, but the slow growth and limited supply of these plants have put the drugs' availability in jeopardy and jacked up prices.

News: Powassan Virus Implicated in Recent NY State Death

A recent case of Powassan virus has been reported in Saratoga County and may have been the cause of the infected patient's death. It's the 24th case in New York State since 2000, and will be reported to the CDC tomorrow, the NY Department of Health told Invisiverse. The tick-borne illness has no vaccine or specific treatments and can damage the nervous system.

News: Strep Bacteria a Deadly Participant in Development of Colorectal Cancer

Colorectal cancer — cancer of the colon or rectum — is the third most commonly diagnosed cancer in the US. To reduce the chances of a diagnosis we are all urged to stop smoking, keep our weight down, decrease our intake of alcohol and red meat, keep active, and get screened for colon cancer. But, new research has found something that participates in the development of colorectal cancer that might not be as easy to control: A strep bacteria that promotes tumor growth.

News: Dying Cells Do Tell Tales & What We Learn Can Help Us Stop Cancer from Spreading

As our cells age, they eventually mature and die. As they die, they alert nearby cells to grow and multiply to replace them. Using a special imaging process that combines video and microscopy, scientists have observed the cellular communication between dying and neighboring cells for the first time, and think they may be able to use their new-found information against cancer cells, whose damaged genomes let them escape the normal dying process.

News: Intestinal Viruses Directly Associated with Development of Type 1 Diabetes

Type 1 diabetes is an attack on the body by the immune system — the body produces antibodies that attack insulin-secreting cells in the pancreas. Doctors often diagnose this type of diabetes in childhood and early adulthood. The trigger that causes the body to attack itself has been elusive; but many research studies have suggested viruses could be the root. The latest links that viruses that live in our intestines may yield clues as to which children might develop type 1 diabetes.

News: Like Peaches? Protective Virus Could Save Millions of Dollars in Fruit from Fire Blight

Peach trees and other related plants are susceptible to the devastation caused by fire blight, a contagious bacterial disease. Once contracted, infected trees have to be burned to contain the disease and prevent spread to nearby trees. Increasing resistance to antibiotic treatment has sent scientists in search of alternative ways to deal with the bacteria and prevent its catastrophic damage.

News: Undergrad Student Scientist Made Beer Good for You — and Your Gut Microbes — by Adding Probiotics

When Chan Mei Zhi Alcine chose her senior project, she thought outside the box by thinking inside the bottle. Along with a research team at her university, she found a way to combine health and enjoyment, while meeting a challenge not so definitively met before in alcoholic beverages. She and a research team at her university claim they've created the world's first probiotic sour beer.

News: If You're Getting Shingles Flare-Ups Under 40, Get Your Heart Checked

If you've ever had chickenpox, the virus still lives in your body and it can be reactivated to become a case of shingles — a painful rash that occurs in a band on one side of your face or body. A new study has shown that people who get shingles have an increased risk of heart attack and stroke. The risk was highest in people under 40 years old, people who usually aren't at risk for heart disease.

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