Why do we sleep? The answer may change right before we turn 3

(Nicoletta Lanese/ LiveScience) — Humans spend about a third of our lives sleeping, and scientists have long debated why slumber takes up such a huge slice of our time. Now, a new study hints that our main reason for sleeping starts off as one thing, then changes at a surprisingly specific age. Two leading theories […]

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Scientists discover the microbiome’s role in attacking cancerous tumours

(Janet R. Aguilar/ TDNews) — Scientists with the Snyder Institute for Chronic Diseases at the Cumming School of Medicine (CSM) have discovered which gut bacteria help our immune system battle cancerous tumours and how they do it. The discovery may provide a new understanding of why immunotherapy, a treatment for cancer that helps amplify the […]

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Plug-and-play brain-decoding device picks up where it left off

(Nick Lavars/ New Atlas) — Machines that attach to the brain and decode its activity promise to open up all kinds of medical possibilities, potentially allowing for improved screening of Alzheimer’s or the monitoring of internal organs. One of their more promising applications involves allowing sufferers of paralysis to regain control of prosthetic devices and […]

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Fecal transplants show promise treating alcoholism in first human trial

(Rich Haridy/ New Atlas) — A first-of-its-kind Phase 1 clinical trial, from researchers at Virginia Commonwealth University, has found fecal transplants may be helpful in reducing drinking behaviors in those suffering severe alcohol use disorder (AUD). The results are preliminary, and certainly require further validation, but the study points to a compelling relationship between the […]

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Transplanting human brown-like fat cells may provide novel therapy for obesity and diabetes

(Genetic Engineering & Biotechnology News) — Scientists at the Joslin Diabetes Center say they have developed a proof of concept for a novel cell-based therapy against obesity. The potential therapy for obesity would transplant HUMBLE (human brown-like) fat cells, human white fat cells that have been genetically modified to become similar to heat-generating brown fat […]

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UBC study suggests dying people can still hear in their final hours

(Simon Little/ Global News) — Researchers at the University of British Columbia have found evidence that dying people may still be able to hear in the final hours of their lives. The research was published recently in the journal Scientific Reports, and is the first to probe whether humans can hear when close to death. […]

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New molecule attacks COVID-19 on two fronts

(Jean-Benoit Legault/ Presse Canadienne) — A new molecule being developed by researchers at the Institute for Research in Immunology and Cancer of the Université de Montréal could slow the ability of the coronavirus to penetrate human cells and limit the damage the disease causes to the lungs. “The research consists of developing a molecule that […]

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Coronavirus: How behaviour can help control the spread of COVID-19

(Peter Hall/ The Conversation) — (…) Current discussions about COVID-19 in conventional and social media may be focused on the wrong things. Rather than talking about fear-inducing counterfactual scenarios (what ifs), we need to focus on crowdsourcing strategies that limit the ability of the infection to get a foothold in our population. A vaccine would […]

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An AI algorithm just discovered entirely new antibiotics

(Caroline Delbert/ Popular Mechanics) — Researchers at MIT have used brute-force computer power and artificial intelligence to identify a potentially game-changing new antibiotic medication. Using machine learning to comb through millions of options can help scientists think outside the box both chemically and financially. This idea has floated in the public imagination for a while—that […]

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How artificial intelligence can help pick the best depression treatments for you

(Mandy Oaklander/ Time) — Seeking out help for depression is hard enough. It doesn’t make things any easier that it can take weeks, months or longer of trying different treatments to find something that works. Doctors typically start patients on antidepressants, but they take at least four weeks to start working, and research has shown […]

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