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

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  • June 20, 2014
  • 06:40 AM

Diabetes update: positive new facts and the role of genes

by Patrícia Fonseca Pedro in United Academics

Even though it is agreed that genetic inheritance is a very important factor, it is widely acknowledged, nowadays, that eating habits have a far more prominent role in Type 2 Diabetes’ development.... Read more »

  • June 18, 2014
  • 06:03 AM

Anti-Aging With Oxygen Instead Of Antioxidants

by Gunnar de Winter in United Academics

There have been previous hints that metformin slows down the aging process. The main players, it seems, are oxygen particles. But wait, what about the whole fuss about antioxidants?... Read more »

De Haes W, Frooninckx L, Van Assche R, Smolders A, Depuydt G, Billen J, Braeckman BP, Schoofs L, & Temmerman L. (2014) Metformin promotes lifespan through mitohormesis via the peroxiredoxin PRDX-2. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America. PMID: 24889636  

  • June 17, 2014
  • 08:39 AM

Injected Stem Cells Repair Heart After Heart Attack

by Agnese Mariotti in United Academics

Cardiac muscle that has survived an infarction has nonetheless lost in part its functionality, and is at risk for complications such as arrhythmias. Scientists have been researching methods to promote heart repair that imply the replacement of the dead CMs with healthy and functional ones. Their technique consists of producing in the lab CMs starting from embryonic stem cells and then injecting them into the damaged heart.... Read more »

Chong JJ, Yang X, Don CW, Minami E, Liu YW, Weyers JJ, Mahoney WM, Van Biber B, Cook SM, Palpant NJ.... (2014) Human embryonic-stem-cell-derived cardiomyocytes regenerate non-human primate hearts. Nature, 510(7504), 273-7. PMID: 24776797  

  • June 17, 2014
  • 06:38 AM

Cynicism & Dementia – Thinking Healthy Helps

by Harsha Radhakrishnan in United Academics

Statements of the Cynical Distrust Scale include (i) I think most people would like to get ahead; (ii) no one cares much what happens to you, etc. The higher one scores, the more cynical distrust they have, and a greater chance of incident dementia. These are the results of a recent study in Finland.... Read more »

  • June 16, 2014
  • 05:51 AM

Disturbing facts about sunscreen

by Chiara Civardi in United Academics

What you should know about sun cream ingredients.
... Read more »

  • June 14, 2014
  • 05:22 AM

Do Women’s Brains Make Them Better Parents?

by Rebekah Morrow in United Academics

There’s an age old stereotype that women are made to be mothers, so being a parent comes more naturally to them. A recent paper by Abraham et al. examined brain activity in first-time mothers and fathers, and the results may surprise you.... Read more »

Abraham E, Hendler T, Shapira-Lichter I, Kanat-Maymon Y, Zagoory-Sharon O, & Feldman R. (2014) Father's brain is sensitive to childcare experiences. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America. PMID: 24912146  

Ruscio MG, Sweeny TD, Hazelton JL, Suppatkul P, Boothe E, & Carter CS. (2008) Pup exposure elicits hippocampal cell proliferation in the prairie vole. Behavioural brain research, 187(1), 9-16. PMID: 17913255  

  • June 13, 2014
  • 06:27 AM

Bacteria May Give You A Heart Attack

by Geetanjali Yadav in United Academics

Enrique Iglesias might have had a heart attack because of his beloved, in reality the culprit are bacteria. Research published online in mBio®, indicates that stress, fear or over exertion may trigger these bacteria to cause a heart attack in vulnerable people. Hormones released during such events cause bacterial biofilm to disperse and rupture the plaque deposits into the bloodstream. This causes clogging of artery and restriction of blood flow and hence death.... Read more »

  • June 11, 2014
  • 06:02 AM

Historic Accidental Finding Now Produced Promising Malaria Vaccine

by Pieter Carrière in United Academics

From killing 19th century chickens to protecting today’s humans: the historic Pasteurian approach for a new malaria vaccine could save many lives in the near future.... Read more »

Seder RA, Chang LJ, Enama ME, Zephir KL, Sarwar UN, Gordon IJ, Holman LA, James ER, Billingsley PF, Gunasekera A.... (2013) Protection against malaria by intravenous immunization with a nonreplicating sporozoite vaccine. Science (New York, N.Y.), 341(6152), 1359-65. PMID: 23929949  

  • June 4, 2014
  • 04:54 AM

Effects of bullying last into adulthood

by Agnese Mariotti in United Academics

Recent studies reveal that bullied children are at risk for chronic inflammation and illness in adult life.
... Read more »

Copeland, W., Wolke, D., Lereya, S., Shanahan, L., Worthman, C., & Costello, E. (2014) Childhood bullying involvement predicts low-grade systemic inflammation into adulthood. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, 111(21), 7570-7575. DOI: 10.1073/pnas.1323641111  

  • May 30, 2014
  • 04:39 AM

Mental Illness Is More Deadly Than Tobacco

by Patricia Pedro in United Academics

Researchers from the University of Oxford performed a meta-review based on clinical studies of mental illness. These included mental health problems, substance and alcohol abuse, dementia, autistic spectrum disorders, learning disability and childhood behavioural disorders. They found that most of these reduce life expectancy with 7 to 24 years, whereas heavy smoking reduces life expectancy with 8 to 10 years.... Read more »

Chesney E, Goodwin GM, Fazel S. (2014) Risks of all-cause and suicide mortality in mental disorders: a meta-review. World Psychiatry . info:/

  • May 29, 2014
  • 06:16 AM

Think Before You Speak: The Mental Process

by RAZ Rebecca A. Zarate in United Academics

“The erroneous theory is: to speak is to understand. Tell that to Stephen Hawking” - Speech is one of the quickest and most efficient methods of communication, but not as easy for everyone to understand.... Read more »

Houde, J., & Nagarajan, S. (2011) Speech Production as State Feedback Control. Frontiers in Human Neuroscience. DOI: 10.3389/fnhum.2011.00082  

Uecker, M., Zhang, S., Voit, D., Karaus, A., Merboldt, K., & Frahm, J. (2010) Real-time MRI at a resolution of 20 ms. NMR in Biomedicine, 23(8), 986-994. DOI: 10.1002/nbm.1585  

  • May 26, 2014
  • 05:40 AM

Scientists Scanning Wood: “The More Dimensions, The Better”

by Chiara Civardi in United Academics

An interview with Dr. Jan Van den Bulcke. He is an expert on X-ray computed tomography (CT) on wood, a technique that allows to see the inner structure of objects in 3D by irradiating them with X-rays. This technique has long been used in medicine and geology, but it was only recently applied in many other research fields, resulting in a tremendously fast evolution... Read more »

Van den Bulcke, J., Boone, M., Van Acker, J., & Van Hoorebeke, L. (2009) Three-Dimensional X-Ray Imaging and Analysis of Fungi on and in Wood. Microscopy and Microanalysis, 15(05), 395-402. DOI: 10.1017/S1431927609990419  

  • May 23, 2014
  • 10:09 AM

New Omega Mice Produce Their Own Essential Fats

by Q Dragon in United Academics

Researchers create a transgenic mouse that stays healthier on a diet of carbohydrates and saturated fats... Read more »

  • May 23, 2014
  • 10:00 AM

4 Reasons Why Garlic Truly IS Awesome

by Jeffrey Daniels in United Academics

(1) It is more effective than antibiotics, and it works in a fraction of the time, (2) It can cure all sorts of warts caused by HPV, (3) It has been proven to combat malaria and cancer, and (4) It puts an end to brain cancers with no side-effects.... Read more »

  • May 21, 2014
  • 08:02 AM

New Technique For Regenerating Heavily Injured Muscles

by Agnese Mariotti in United Academics

Current therapies of heavily injured muscles imply surgical removal of the scar tissue and transplantation of immature muscles cells. Unfortunately, the transplanted cells are often unable to survive after transfer into patients. Now scientists bypassed this problem by providing the damaged tissue only with a biological scaffold of Extracellular Matrix (ECM). The results are promising.... Read more »

Brian M. Sicari, J. Peter Rubin, Christopher L. Dearth, Matthew T. Wolf, Fabrisia Ambrosio, Michael Boninger, Neill J. Turner, Douglas J. Weber, Tyler W. Simpson, Aaron Wyse, Elke H. P. Brown, Jenna L. Dziki, Lee E. Fisher, Spencer Brown, Stephen F. Badyl. (2014) An acellular biological scaffold promotes skeletal muscle formation in mice and humans with Volumetric Muscle Loss. Science Translational Medicine . info:/

  • May 21, 2014
  • 05:29 AM

Electrical ‘brain hacking’: the new caffeine fix?

by Elisabeth Buhl Thubron in United Academics

The company Foc.us Labs has recently released a commercial tDCS headset directed towards video-gamers. The electrodes are placed on the gamer’s forehead so that the prefrontal cortex is targeted with 1-2 milliamps of current for 5-40 minutes. It improves performance, shows research. But is it really healthy?... Read more »

  • May 20, 2014
  • 07:23 AM

Finally Solved: Why Zebra’s Wear Black And White Stripes

by Chiara Civardi in United Academics

The origin of zebra stripes has long been a mystery: in over a century, scientists developed various hypotheses. Social factors, cooling mechanisms and camouflage against predators, were proposed as possible explanations. However, no striking evidence could support one particular theory, so the black and white striping in zebra was believed to remain a grey area.... Read more »

Caro, T., Izzo, A., Reiner, R., Walker, H., & Stankowich, T. (2014) The function of zebra stripes. Nature Communications. DOI: 10.1038/ncomms4535  

  • May 19, 2014
  • 08:35 AM


by Harsha Radhakrishnan in United Academics

Growth of biomedical research simultaneously hinders and advances its development.

This week brought to the forefront two important pieces of news in the field of biomedical research. Bad news first – the future of biomedical research looks bleak if things are not going to change. Then the good news – depending on your views on science, this second bit could be either head-scratching or eye opening: Scientists in the Scripps Research Institute, following years of research, have been able to create a synthetic organism with an “artificial DNA”.... Read more »

Alberts B, Kirschner MW, Tilghman S, & Varmus H. (2014) Rescuing US biomedical research from its systemic flaws. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America, 111(16), 5773-7. PMID: 24733905  

Malyshev DA, Dhami K, Lavergne T, Chen T, Dai N, Foster JM, Corrêa IR Jr, & Romesberg FE. (2014) A semi-synthetic organism with an expanded genetic alphabet. Nature, 509(7500), 385-8. PMID: 24805238  

  • May 19, 2014
  • 05:47 AM

Dietary Supplements As Life-Lengthening Elixir?

by Patricia Fonsesca Pedro in United Academics

Recent research shows how alpha-ketoglutarate increases life-span of worms... Read more »

Chin RM, Fu X, Pai MY, Vergnes L, Hwang H, Deng G, Diep S, Lomenick B, Meli VS, Monsalve GC.... (2014) The metabolite α-ketoglutarate extends lifespan by inhibiting ATP synthase and TOR. Nature. PMID: 24828042  

  • May 15, 2014
  • 05:39 AM

The Dead Sea could save lives

by Q Dragon in United Academics

Research reveals that fungus from the Dead Sea can address environmental challenges.... Read more »

Kis-Papo, T., Weig, A., Riley, R., Peršoh, D., Salamov, A., Sun, H., Lipzen, A., Wasser, S., Rambold, G., Grigoriev, I.... (2014) Genomic adaptations of the halophilic Dead Sea filamentous fungus Eurotium rubrum. Nature Communications. DOI: 10.1038/ncomms4745  

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