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October (Page 6)

Home2019October (Page 6)

The habenula, an epithalamic nucleus involved in reward and aversive processing, may contribute to negative reinforcement mechanisms maintaining nicotine use. We used a performance feedback task that differentially activates the striatum and habenula and administered nicotine and varenicline (versus placebos) to overnight-abstinent smokers and nonsmokers to delineate feedback-related functional brain alterations both as a function of smoking trait (smokers versus nonsmokers) and drug administration state (drug versus placebo). Smokers showed less striatal responsivity to positive feedback, an alteration not mitigated by drug administration, but rather correlated with trait-level addiction severity. Conversely, nicotine administration reduced habenula activity following both positive and negative feedback among abstinent smokers, but not nonsmokers, and increased habenula activity among smokers correlated with elevated state-level tobacco cravings. These outcomes highlight a dissociatio..

Floating ice shelves of fast-flowing ice streams are prone to rift initiation and calving originating along zones of rapid shearing at their margins. Predicting future ice-shelf destabilization under a warming ocean scenario, with the resultant reduced buttressing, faster ice flow, and sea-level rise, therefore requires an understanding of the processes that thin and weaken these shear margins. Here, we use satellite data to show that high velocity gradients result in surface troughs along the margins of fast-flowing ice streams. These troughs are advected into ice-shelf margins, where the locally thinned ice floats upward to form basal troughs. Buoyant plumes of warm ocean water beneath ice shelves can be focused into these basal troughs, localizing melting and weakening the ice-shelf margins. This implies that major ice sheet drainages are preconditioned for rapid retreat in response to ocean warming.

The G protein–coupled cysteinyl leukotriene receptor CysLT1R mediates inflammatory processes and plays a major role in numerous disorders, including asthma, allergic rhinitis, cardiovascular disease, and cancer. Selective CysLT1R antagonists are widely prescribed as antiasthmatic drugs; however, these drugs demonstrate low effectiveness in some patients and exhibit a variety of side effects. To gain deeper understanding into the functional mechanisms of CysLTRs, we determined the crystal structures of CysLT1R bound to two chemically distinct antagonists, zafirlukast and pranlukast. The structures reveal unique ligand-binding modes and signaling mechanisms, including lateral ligand access to the orthosteric pocket between transmembrane helices TM4 and TM5, an atypical pattern of microswitches, and a distinct four-residue–coordinated sodium site. These results provide important insights and structural templates for rational discovery of safer and more effective drugs.

Climate change is affecting reef-building corals worldwide, with little hope for recovery. However, coral fossils hint at the existence of environmental stress–triggered survival strategies unreported in extant colonial corals. We document the living evidence and long-term ecological role of such a survival strategy in which isolated polyps from coral colonies affected by warming adopt a transitory resistance phase, in turn expressing a high recovery capacity in dead colony areas. Such processes have been described in fossil corals as rejuvenescence but were previously unknown in extant reef-builder corals. Our results based on 16 years of monitoring show the significance of this process for unexpected recoveries of coral colonies severely affected by warming. These findings provide a link between rejuvenescence in fossil and extant corals and reveal that beyond adaptation and acclimatization processes, modern scleractinian corals show yet undiscovered and highly effective survival str..

Abbott and its foundation, the Abbott Fund, launched Future Well™ Kids, a program designed to educate and inspire middle school students ages 10-13 to learn about the causes of chronic disease and adopt healthy habits to live healthier, fuller lives.

Chronic diseases, also known as noncommunicable diseases (NCDs) such as diabetes and cardiovascular disease, are the leading cause of death around the world.

With inhaler in hand, Dr. Cheng Yuet went over every detail to make sure the patient understood how the drug would control their COPD symptoms. Dr. Yuet is proving what a difference it makes when pharmacists are integrated into the health care team. As part of an innovative model being used at UNT Health Science Center, Dr. Yuet and three other pharmacists manage the care of patients with chronic diseases such as asthma, diabetes and hypertension.

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration today announced that it has awarded 12 new clinical trial research grants totaling more than $15 million over the next four years to enhance the development of medical products for patients with rare diseases. The grants were awarded to principal investigators from academia and industry across the country.

Patients with cancer should receive a tailored exercise prescription to protect their heart, reports a paper published today in the European Journal of Preventive Cardiology, a journal of the European Society of Cardiology (ESC).

Cardiovascular diseases are common side effects in patients with cancer.

Akcea Therapeutics, Inc. (NASDAQ: AKCA), a majority-owned affiliate of Ionis Pharmaceuticals, Inc. (NASDAQ: IONS) and Pfizer Inc. (NYSE:PFE), today announced that the companies have entered into a worldwide exclusive licensing agreement for AKCEA-ANGPTL3-LRx, an investigational antisense therapy being developed to treat patients with certain cardiovascular and metabolic diseases.

In the West, the number of people challenging scientific authority has been growing in past decades. This has, among other things, led to a decline in the support for mass vaccination programmes and to an increase in alternative forms of treatment. In China, however, activists are defending modern medical science and criticising Traditional Chinese Medicine, which hospitals are obliged to offer to patients on an equal footing with modern medical care.