Saturday Health (27 Sep – 3 Oct 2020)

Health News related to COVID-19 and Dreams, Parkinson’s, Cancer’s Vulnerabilities, Breast Cancer, Regeneration, Ventilation and COVID-19, Visual Perception, Schizophrenia, COVID-19 Vaccine, Yoga and Meditation, Common Cold, Cancer Shredder

Note: I do not write/own any of the health news bits (and cover picture) given here. The links on each of the news bits will redirect to the news source. The content given under each headline is a basic gist and not the full story.

1. COVID-19 Spurs Anxious, Upsetting Dreams

Source: American Psychological Association

The anxiety, stress and worry brought on by COVID-19 is not limited to daytime hours. The pandemic is affecting our dreams as well, infusing more anxiety and negative emotions into dreams and spurring dreams about the virus itself, particularly among women, according to research published by the American Psychological Association.

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2. Stem Cells Can Repair Parkinson’s-Damaged Circuits in Mouse Brains

Source: University of Wisconsin-Madison

The mature brain is infamously bad at repairing itself following damage like that caused by trauma or strokes, or from degenerative diseases like Parkinson’s. In a new study, researchers demonstrated a proof-of-concept stem cell treatment in a mouse model of Parkinson’s disease. They found that neurons derived from stem cells can integrate well into the correct regions of the brain, connect with native neurons and restore motor functions.

Original written by: Eric Hamilton

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3. Cancer’s Hidden Vulnerabilities

Source: California Institute of Technology

One of the biggest challenges to the development of medical treatments for cancer is the fact that there is no single kind of cancer. Cancers derive from many kinds of cells and tissues, and each have their own characteristics, behaviors, and susceptibilities to anti-cancer drugs. A treatment that works on colon cancer might have little to no effect on lung cancer, for example.

Original written by: Emily Velasco

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4. New Analytical Model Detects Mutations in Breast Cancer

Source: Lund University

Researchers at Lund University in Sweden have developed a computational model which is effective in detecting and identifying genetic mutations in breast tumours. The study, the largest of its kind in the world, includes results from over 3200 patients with breast cancer.

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5. Discovery Enables Adult Skin to Regenerate Like a Newborn’s

Source: Washington State University

A newly identified genetic factor allows adult skin to repair itself like the skin of a newborn babe. The discovery has implications for better skin wound treatment as well as preventing some of the aging process in skin. The researchers identified a factor that acts like a molecular switch in the skin of baby mice that controls the formation of hair follicles as they develop during the first week of life.

Original written by: Sara Zaske

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6. Many Ventilation Systems May Increase Risk Of COVID-19 Exposure, Study Suggests

Source: University of Cambridge

Ventilation systems in many modern office buildings, which are designed to keep temperatures comfortable and increase energy efficiency, may increase the risk of exposure to the coronavirus, particularly during the coming winter, according to research.

Original story is licensed under a Creative Commons License.

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7. Screen Time Can Change Visual Perception — And That’s Not Necessarily Bad

Source: Binghamton University

The coronavirus pandemic has shifted many of our interactions online, with Zoom video calls replacing in-person classes, work meetings, conferences and other events. Will all that screen time damage our vision? Maybe not. It turns out that our visual perception is highly adaptable, according to research.

Original written by: Jennifer Micale

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8. Computer Model Explains Altered Decision Making in Schizophrenia

Source: eLife

Scientists have built a computer ‘brain circuit’, or artificial neural network, that mirrors human decision-making processes and sheds light on how circuits might be altered in psychiatric diseases, a new study published today in eLife reports. The model identifies a potential mechanism for the impaired decision making that is commonly seen in schizophrenia.

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9. Expert Opinion: COVID-19 Vaccine Rollout Unlikely Before Fall 2021

Source: McGill University

Experts working in the field of vaccine development tend to believe that an effective vaccine is not likely to be available for the general public before the fall of 2021. The survey was carried out in late June 2020. The majority of those surveyed were mostly Canadian or American academics with an average of 25 years of experience working in the field.

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10. Study Finds Yoga and Meditation Reduce Chronic Pain

Source: American Osteopathic Association

A mindfulness-based stress reduction (MBSR) course was found to benefit patients with chronic pain and depression, leading to significant improvement in participant perceptions of pain, mood, and functional capacity, according to a study. Most of the study respondents (89%) reported the program helped them find ways to better cope with their pain while 11% remained neutral.

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11. Can the Common Cold Help Protect You from COVID-19?

Source: University of Rochester Medical Center

Seasonal colds are by all accounts no fun, but new research suggests the colds you’ve had in the past may provide some protection from COVID-19. A study suggests that immunity to COVID-19 is likely to last a long time – maybe even a lifetime. The study, is the first to show that the COVID-19-causing virus, SARS-CoV-2, induces memory B cells, long-lived immune cells that detect pathogens, create antibodies to destroy them and remember them for the future.

Original written by: Susanne Pallo

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12. A Cancer Shredder

Source: University of Würzburg

Researchers have now developed a drug that can disarm Aurora. Dr. Elmar Wolf, biochemist and research group leader at the Biocenter of Julius-Maximilians-Universität Würzburg (JMU), and Stefan Knapp, Professor of Pharmaceutical Chemistry at Goethe University Frankfurt, have played a leading role in this development. The results of their work have now been published in the latest issue of Nature Chemical Biology.

Original written by: Gunnar Bartsch

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