Biomedicine & Biotech

Genes in three different pathways were differentially expressed between veterans who attempted suicide and those who had not. One of the genetic pathways that showed substantial disruption is known as mTOR, the dysregulation of which has been previously linked to major depressive disorder.
Spend enough time with another person, and you begin to pick up their mannerisms. Such behavioral "synchronization" is a mechanism by which we build social cohesion. But what about across species? Turns out, at least as dogs are concerned, researchers found that they are in tune with their owners.
Asthma is a very serious public health problem. Although traditional drugs work well for most, they're not good enough for others with a more severe disease. The approach to asthma has shifted to immune system modulation by biological drugs, and they're making a difference. But how good are they, and what else is out there?
While there are legions of plant researchers dedicated to the idea of using GMOs to maximize food production, there's a lesser-known syndicate of scientists trying to cultivate a different outcome: increasing plant output of biofuels. And regulating sugar levels is the key to boosting production.
Someday, everybody will be wearing smart clothes. Not just clothes that look dapper, but ones that sense the environment and the body's vital signs, before pinging the data to your wristwatch or doctor. To get there, we'll need functional fabrics, and nothing beats the touch and feel of cotton.
Ancient parchments decay over time, showing purple spots. The cause appears to be a succession of microbial communities: First, purple, salt-loving microbes grow. Then, other environmental microbes invade.
Scientists are not above hyping data to make themselves look good. Contrary to popular wisdom, studies funded by industry were no likelier to have "spin" than studies that were not funded by industry.
There are two different types of fat: white and brown. White fat is a fat storage depot, whereas brown fat transforms energy into heat. Researchers have successfully created a patch containing a micro-needle that delivers sustained release drugs in nanoparticles, stimulating white fat to turn to brown.
Medicare doesn't dispute how much pharmaceutical companies charge for their drugs. This laxity has inevitably led to the program being fleeced by them – to the tune of over a billion dollars. And that's just for a drug that doesn't even need to be in use.
For decades, only three mechanisms for spreading DNA (such as antibiotic resistance genes) from one bacterium to another were known. Now researchers have characterized a fourth, adding a new wrinkle in our war on bacteria and a new page to microbiology textbooks.
Regarding this story's headline, Marie Antoinette never said it – but we do. Especially if those bananas are genetically engineered to enhance their beta-carotene content. Bananas are staple foods in Uganda, and the country recently decided to allow farmers to grow GM-crops. Hopefully, this will go a long way towards wiping out vitamin A deficiency there, where it's widespread.
People with red hair tend to have a greater health risk from sun exposure, and for developing skin cancer. But now researchers at Boston University report that they've found a way to potentially reduce that risk by altering a protein involved with pigmentation in humans.