Culture

Clinical trials for preventing Alzheimer's disease in people with Down syndrome may soon be possible thanks to new research from King's College London. The researchers found changes in memory and attention are the earliest signs of Alzheimer's in Down syndrome, and these changes start in the early 40s.

The UK Government needs to urgently implement new carers' employment rights and work with employers to better support carers in the workplace, a new report from the Work Foundation states today.

In daylight, Neonothopanus nambi is a rather unremarkable brown fungus. But a surprise hides behind the drab façade: at night, the fungus glows ghostly green. Neonothopanus nambi is one of over 100 species of mushrooms that emit light. Aristotle already documented this phenomenon, called bioluminescence, when he described glowing, rotting treebark. Now, scientists have for the first time identified the biochemical pathway that allows bioluminescent fungi to light up.

Bacteria are capable of extremely rapid growth, but only when the conditions are right. If they lack nutrients, or if it is too cold or dry, they will enter a dormant state to wait it out. Until now, the question of how individual bacterial cells decide whether to divide has generally been studied using populations that are happily growing. But to date nobody has been able to say what it is that prompts a dormant bacterium to wake up and start dividing.

Hazelnuts, like olive oil, cheese and other agricultural products, differ in flavor depending on their geographic origin. Because consumers and processors are willing to pay more for better nuts -- especially in fine chocolates and other delicacies -- testing methods are needed to reliably authenticate the nuts' country of origin. Researchers now report in ACS' Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry that NMR analysis could fill the bill.

Researchers working to understand the biochemistry of cataract formation have made a surprising finding: A protein that was long believed to be inert actually has an important chemical function that protects the lens of the eye from cataract formation.

The lens is made up of cells packed with structural proteins called crystallins. Crystallins within each lens cell form a protein-dense gel, and the gel's optical properties -- like its transparency and the way it refracts light -- help focus light onto the retina.

Exploring objects through touch can generate detailed, durable memories for those objects, even when we don't intend to memorize the object's details, according to findings published in Psychological Science, a journal of the Association for Psychological Science.

UC San Francisco scientists have figured out why some lung cancers become drug-resistant after initially responding to targeted therapies. In the process, they devised a new two-pronged approach that yields an effective treatment for these cancers in the laboratory and holds tremendous promise for the future of precision medicine, they said. The findings are detailed in a study published Nov. 26 in the journal Nature Medicine.

Cancer Outsmarts Precision Therapy

A new national survey by the American Dairy Association Mideast finds 94 percent of Americans admit to throwing food away at home. In fact, the average family wastes nearly a third of the food they buy, with the average American tossing 250 pounds of food each year.

As physicians attempt to decrease antipsychotic use in seniors with dementia, they need to be aware that trazadone, frequently used as an alternative, is associated with a similar risk of falls and major fractures as atypical antipsychotics, according to new research in CMAJ (Canadian Medical Association Journal).