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United Academics Magazine publishes popular science news on a daily basis.

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  • October 27, 2014
  • 12:30 PM
  • 64 views

Exercise Fights Chronic Stress-Dependent Depression

by Agnese Mariotti in United Academics

It is known that physical exercise improves the symptoms of depression. Several hypotheses have been formulated to explain how this occurs, but no clear biochemical mechanism had so far been demonstrated.... Read more »

Agudelo LZ, Femenía T, Orhan F, Porsmyr-Palmertz M, Goiny M, Martinez-Redondo V, Correia JC, Izadi M, Bhat M, Schuppe-Koistinen I.... (2014) Skeletal Muscle PGC-1α1 Modulates Kynurenine Metabolism and Mediates Resilience to Stress-Induced Depression. Cell, 159(1), 33-45. PMID: 25259918  

Wrann CD, White JP, Salogiannnis J, Laznik-Bogoslavski D, Wu J, Ma D, Lin JD, Greenberg ME, & Spiegelman BM. (2013) Exercise induces hippocampal BDNF through a PGC-1α/FNDC5 pathway. Cell metabolism, 18(5), 649-59. PMID: 24120943  

  • October 24, 2014
  • 06:49 AM
  • 72 views

Blocking Key Gene To Stop Malaria Transmission

by Pieter Carrière in United Academics

Earlier this week Pieter wrote about a key gene in the transmission of Malaria. Now he explains more about blocking this gene to prevent spreading.... Read more »

Kafsack BF, Rovira-Graells N, Clark TG, Bancells C, Crowley VM, Campino SG, Williams AE, Drought LG, Kwiatkowski DP, Baker DA.... (2014) A transcriptional switch underlies commitment to sexual development in malaria parasites. Nature, 507(7491), 248-52. PMID: 24572369  

Kåhrström CT. (2014) Parasite development: master regulator of sex. Nature reviews. Microbiology, 12(4), 233. PMID: 24608336  

Rovira-Graells N, Gupta AP, Planet E, Crowley VM, Mok S, Ribas de Pouplana L, Preiser PR, Bozdech Z, & Cortés A. (2012) Transcriptional variation in the malaria parasite Plasmodium falciparum. Genome research, 22(5), 925-38. PMID: 22415456  

Gardner, M., Hall, N., Fung, E., White, O., Berriman, M., Hyman, R., Carlton, J., Pain, A., Nelson, K., Bowman, S.... (2002) Genome sequence of the human malaria parasite Plasmodium falciparum. Nature, 419(6906), 498-511. DOI: 10.1038/nature01097  

  • October 22, 2014
  • 07:29 AM
  • 64 views

Crucial gene for Malaria Transmission

by Pieter Carrière in United Academics

A new step in battling Malaria: making transmission its weakest link. Scientists could prevent the development of gametocytes.... Read more »

Kafsack BF, Rovira-Graells N, Clark TG, Bancells C, Crowley VM, Campino SG, Williams AE, Drought LG, Kwiatkowski DP, Baker DA.... (2014) A transcriptional switch underlies commitment to sexual development in malaria parasites. Nature, 507(7491), 248-52. PMID: 24572369  

Kåhrström CT. (2014) Parasite development: master regulator of sex. Nature reviews. Microbiology, 12(4), 233. PMID: 24608336  

Rovira-Graells N, Gupta AP, Planet E, Crowley VM, Mok S, Ribas de Pouplana L, Preiser PR, Bozdech Z, & Cortés A. (2012) Transcriptional variation in the malaria parasite Plasmodium falciparum. Genome research, 22(5), 925-38. PMID: 22415456  

Gardner, M., Hall, N., Fung, E., White, O., Berriman, M., Hyman, R., Carlton, J., Pain, A., Nelson, K., Bowman, S.... (2002) Genome sequence of the human malaria parasite Plasmodium falciparum. Nature, 419(6906), 498-511. DOI: 10.1038/nature01097  

  • October 21, 2014
  • 06:22 AM
  • 89 views

An Om A Day Keeps The Doctor Away

by Chiara Civardi in United Academics

Several studies show how meditating positively influences our minds and bodies. Read which medicines could be partially substituted or helped by a regular meditation practice.... Read more »

Anderson JW, Liu C, & Kryscio RJ. (2008) Blood pressure response to transcendental meditation: a meta-analysis. American journal of hypertension, 21(3), 310-6. PMID: 18311126  

Davidson, R., Kabat-Zinn, J., Schumacher, J., Rosenkranz, M., Muller, D., Santorelli, S., Urbanowski, F., Harrington, A., Bonus, K., & Sheridan, J. (2003) Alterations in Brain and Immune Function Produced by Mindfulness Meditation. Psychosomatic Medicine, 65(4), 564-570. DOI: 10.1097/01.PSY.0000077505.67574.E3  

Delizonna, L., Williams, R., & Langer, E. (2009) The Effect of Mindfulness on Heart Rate Control. Journal of Adult Development, 16(2), 61-65. DOI: 10.1007/s10804-009-9050-6  

Epel E, Daubenmier J, Moskowitz JT, Folkman S, & Blackburn E. (2009) Can meditation slow rate of cellular aging? Cognitive stress, mindfulness, and telomeres. Annals of the New York Academy of Sciences, 34-53. PMID: 19735238  

Gaylord, S., Palsson, O., Garland, E., Faurot, K., Coble, R., Mann, J., Frey, W., Leniek, K., & Whitehead, W. (2011) Mindfulness Training Reduces the Severity of Irritable Bowel Syndrome in Women: Results of a Randomized Controlled Trial. The American Journal of Gastroenterology, 106(9), 1678-1688. DOI: 10.1038/ajg.2011.184  

  • October 20, 2014
  • 05:38 AM
  • 86 views

Removing Disease from the Genome

by Gunnar de Winter in United Academics

Using agenetic cut-and-paste system, scientists have removed and replaced the gene causing muscular dystrophy in mice.... Read more »

Long C, McAnally JR, Shelton JM, Mireault AA, Bassel-Duby R, & Olson EN. (2014) Prevention of muscular dystrophy in mice by CRISPR/Cas9-mediated editing of germline DNA. Science (New York, N.Y.), 345(6201), 1184-8. PMID: 25123483  

  • October 17, 2014
  • 06:13 AM
  • 124 views

Large Sized Men Disadvantaged In Relationships

by Rangina Barakzai in United Academics

For decades men have been diffident and self-doubting about the size of their phallus. Well, luckily for the holders of the pocket rocket, there is a twist.... Read more »

  • October 16, 2014
  • 07:40 AM
  • 94 views

Linking RAGE in Lung Transplants To Traumatic Brain Injury

by Rebekah Morrow in United Academics

Lung transplants are the least successful type of organ transplant. Now a group of scientists in Indiana has identified a possible cause of organ failure in lung transplants.... Read more »

Whitson BA, & Hayes D Jr. (2014) Indications and outcomes in adult lung transplantation. Journal of thoracic disease, 6(8), 1018-23. PMID: 25132968  

  • September 3, 2014
  • 08:01 AM
  • 198 views

The Kanisza Triangle: You Can’t Believe Your Eyes

by Rebecca A. Zarate in United Academics

How does the brain decide what the larger, gestalt picture is? From this demonstration, Kok and De Lange concluded it is “an interactive process between higher-order visual areas and V1, wherein activity in V1 is modulated in a highly specific way according to the perceptual hypothesis provided by higher-order areas.” In essence, higher areas of the brain (top-down processes) are making gestalt type guesses, expectations, and assumptions that affect what your senses perceive... Read more »

  • September 2, 2014
  • 06:46 AM
  • 180 views

How Liked And Disliked Music Influence Our Brain

by Agnese Mariotti in United Academics

What different effects does the music we like elicit in our brain compared to the one we don’t like? Scientists from Wake Forest University in North Carolina looked at our brain’s responses to music.... Read more »

  • August 28, 2014
  • 07:56 AM
  • 264 views

Feminism Not Funny? Women In American Sitcoms

by Nura Rutten in United Academics

Compared to the beginning of the sitcom-area, in the 1950′s/1960′s, the roles of women and men sometimes seem to be reversed. However, in every sitcom, the woman who wants to be funny has only two options.... Read more »

  • August 27, 2014
  • 05:33 AM
  • 211 views

Gaming Against Depression: It Can Really Help

by Katja Keuchenius in United Academics

A meta-analysis of 19 different studies of game-based interventions shows encouraging results. And besides the big amount of games for youngsters, the researchers specifically point out much can be done with with therapeutic gaming for older adults.... Read more »

  • August 22, 2014
  • 05:13 AM
  • 251 views

Is Intelligence Actually Beneficial To Survival?

by Rebekah Morrow in United Academics

Research shows that more intelligent animals might not always be best suited for survival. Some researchers speculate that intelligence may be a trade-off. Fast learning may correlate with other traits, such as being less aggressive, which could weaken chances for survival. Slower learning may indicate that other choices are being made, and this variety could prove advantageous later.... Read more »

  • August 20, 2014
  • 06:06 AM
  • 214 views

How Stress Promotes Atherosclerosis

by Agnese Mariotti in United Academics

There is evidence that chronic stress increases the risk of atherosclerosis, but no mechanism linking the two phenomena has been demonstrated so far. Since stressful emotional states can affect the function of the immune system, Heidt and colleagues of the Massachusetts General Hospital hypothesized that stress increases the activity of inflammatory cells in the plaques facilitating their rupture, as you can read in their recently published article.... Read more »

Heidt T, Sager HB, Courties G, Dutta P, Iwamoto Y, Zaltsman A, von Zur Muhlen C, Bode C, Fricchione GL, Denninger J.... (2014) Chronic variable stress activates hematopoietic stem cells. Nature medicine, 20(7), 754-8. PMID: 24952646  

  • August 19, 2014
  • 07:14 AM
  • 190 views

Cats Won’t Answer Your Call Or Ring You Back

by Chiara Civardi in United Academics

In a recent article, scientists proof that cats do not evidently set aside special attentions to their owners when called, even though they were able to recognize a familiar voice. Twenty domestic cats simply moved their head or their ears when called by whomever, owners or strangers, but almost no cat replied, “saying something”. They tried with everything: official names, nicknames, etc. but cats never said a word. In addition, hearing the owners’ voice did not result in a ma........ Read more »

  • August 18, 2014
  • 01:00 PM
  • 166 views

Five Facts You Did Not Know About Eggshells

by Shefali Sabharanjak in United Academics

Don't just throw away your Sunday morning egg shell. The humble eggshell and the shell membrane – the thin paperish sheet on the inner part of the eggshell- has a large number of surprising uses. Here’s a short list of five:... Read more »

  • August 13, 2014
  • 08:09 AM
  • 182 views

Stuck In The Middle: Migration Routes Of Hybrid Birds

by Gunnar de Winter in United Academics

Birds migrate long distances, via set routes and this behavior is partially genetic. But what’s the migration behavior then of hybrids with parents that employ two different travel routes? A new study provides fascinating answers.... Read more »

  • August 11, 2014
  • 05:56 AM
  • 189 views

Taste Isn’t Just For The Tongue

by Rebekah Morrow in United Academics

Taste is one of our five basic senses, and every child is taught that you use the tongue to taste things. But science is proving that many other tissues can taste what you ingest.... Read more »

Mosinger B, Redding KM, Parker MR, Yevshayeva V, Yee KK, Dyomina K, Li Y, & Margolskee RF. (2013) Genetic loss or pharmacological blockade of testes-expressed taste genes causes male sterility. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America, 110(30), 12319-24. PMID: 23818598  

  • August 7, 2014
  • 05:50 AM
  • 221 views

Nature’s Magnifying Glass: Gravitational Lensing

by RAZ Rebecca A. Zarate in United Academics

Gravitational lensing is a clean probe of the Universe and has much to tell us about its two most mysterious components – dark matter and dark energy. This article explains what it is, what is can discover and what Sherlock Holmes has to do with it.... Read more »

Kenneth C. Wong, Kim-Vy H. Tran, Sherry H. Suyu, Ivelina G. Momcheva, Gabriel B. Brammer, Mark Brodwin, Anthony H. Gonzalez, Aleksi Halkola, Glenn G. Kacprzak, Anton M. Koekemoer.... (2014) Discovery of a Strong Lensing Galaxy Embedded in a Cluster at z . The Astrophysical Journal Letters vol. 789 . arXiv: 1405.3661v2

  • August 4, 2014
  • 07:29 AM
  • 322 views

Interview: Battling HIV-treatment With Computer Simulation

by Pieter Carriere in United Academics

Prof. Mancini computationally models HIV and other viruses’ dynamics and explains its clinical relevance.... Read more »

  • July 30, 2014
  • 07:32 AM
  • 216 views

Potentially habitable exoplanets found

by Jeffrey Daniels in United Academics

Two systems in the cosmic realm that are the closest to Earth found so far. At half the speed of light we can visit them within a single human lifetime.... Read more »

Anglada-Escude, G., Arriagada, P., Tuomi, M., Zechmeister, M., Jenkins, J., Ofir, A., Dreizler, S., Gerlach, E., Marvin, C., Reiners, A.... (2014) Two planets around Kapteyn's star: a cold and a temperate super-Earth orbiting the nearest halo red dwarf. Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society: Letters, 443(1). DOI: 10.1093/mnrasl/slu076  

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