A probiotic stress fix

An engineer is working to create a probiotic that would help protect the host from the negative health effects of adrenaline surges. The new probiotic could easily be mixed into yogurt or taken in pill form.

Our aging scientific workforce raises concerns

The science and engineering workforce in the United States is aging rapidly, according to a new study. And it is only going to get older in coming years. Economists have found that the average age of employed scientists increased from 45.1 to 48.6 between 1993 and 2010, faster than the workforce as a whole.

A little nudge may provide a big boost to flu vaccination rates

Currently, only 44 percent of adults in the United States receive an annual flu vaccination. But, a new study suggests that a simple behavioral economics technique may be able to help. In the study, researchers programmed electronic health records (EHR) to alert care providers when a patient was eligible, and prompt them to choose to ‘accept’ or ‘decline’ a flu vaccination order. Results showed a 37 percent relative increase in vaccinations from the prior year.

Psychologists enlist machine learning to help diagnose depression

Cognitive neuroscientists are using the Stampede supercomputer to provide accurate predictions of risk for those with depression and anxiety. They have been able to classify individuals with major depressive disorder with roughly 75 percent accuracy using a machine learning approach. Stampede 2 — which will come online later in 2017 — will provide the increased computer processing required to incorporate more data and achieve even greater accuracy.

New finding could lead to earlier liver cancer diagnosis

Researchers have now developed a way to determine, by sequencing DNA of liver cells, whether cells have been exposed to aflatoxin. This profile of mutations could be used to predict whether someone has a high risk of developing liver cancer, potentially many years before tumors actually appear.

From the room next door to the next planet over

The new Albert Chadwick Research Room inside the Roberts Proton Therapy Center is no ordinary laboratory space. In fact, there’s nothing else quite like it anywhere else in the United States, and whether it’s treating patients with cancer or helping NASA with its plans to send astronauts to Mars, the discoveries that could propel scientists forward will happen right here.

Microrna treatment restores nerve insulation, limb function in mice with MS

Scientists partially re-insulated ravaged nerves in mouse models of multiple sclerosis (MS) and restored limb mobility by treating the animals with a small non-coding RNA called a microRNA. In a new article, researchers report that treatment with a microRNA called miR-219 restarted production of a substance called myelin that is critical to normal function of the central nervous system.

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