Scientists find why red beans and rice can be nauseating

People cry foul when fowl is undercooked, but what about red beans and rice?

Scientists have discovered how lectins, a family of proteins believed to be a natural insecticide that is abundant in undercooked legumes and grains, can make you feel temporarily miserable.

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Reducing insulin signaling in the brain can prolong lifespan

One route to a long and healthy life may be establishing the right balance in insulin signaling between the brain and the rest of the body, according to new research from Children’s Hospital Boston. The study, published in the July 20 issue of Science, not only reinforces the value of exercising and eating in moderation, but also helps explain a paradox in longevity research.

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Researchers identify mechanism behind fear

Researchers from MIT’s Picower Institute for Learning and Memory have uncovered a molecular mechanism that governs the formation of fears stemming from traumatic events. The work could lead to the first drug to treat the millions of adults who suffer each year from persistent, debilitating fears – including hundreds of soldiers returning from conflict in Iraq and Afghanistan.

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Scientists find brown fat master switch

Researchers at Dana-Farber Cancer Institute have identified a long-sought “master switch” in mice for the production of brown fat, a type of adipose tissue that generates heat and counters obesity caused by overeating.

A team headed by Bruce Spiegelman, PhD, suggests in the July issue of Cell Metabolism that turning up the equivalent switch in people might be a new strategy for treating overweight and obesity. The investigators said their next step is to rev up the control in mice and overfeed them to see if they are resistant to becoming obese.

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Has science unearthed the Holy Grail of pain relief?

Scientists studying one of nature’s simplest organisms have helped to unravel the structure of a key molecule that controls pain in humans. The findings – published in the top scientific journal Nature – could rapidly advance research into the next generation of painkillers for relief of chronic conditions such as migraine and backache.

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Researchers reverse symptoms in mice of leading inherited cause of mental retardation

Researchers at the Picower Institute for Learning and Memory at MIT have, for the first time, reversed symptoms of mental retardation and autism in mice.

The mice were genetically manipulated to model Fragile X Syndrome (FXS), the leading inherited cause of mental retardation and the most common genetic cause of autism. The condition, tied to a mutated X chromosome gene called fragile X mental retardation 1 (FMR1) gene, causes mild learning disabilities to severe autism.

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Vitamin extends life in yeast

Imagine taking a vitamin for longevity! Not yet, but a Dartmouth discovery that a cousin of niacin prolongs lifespan in yeast brings the tantalizing possibility a step closer.

The research, reported in the May 4 issue of Cell, shows how a new vitamin extends lifespan in yeast cells, much like calorie restriction does in animals. It could pave the way for developing supplements to benefit humans.
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