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AI Model Predicts Which Animal Viruses Are Likely to Jump to Humans

Artificial intelligence (AI) might be able to spot the next virus to jump from animals to humans, Scottish researchers report.

Identifying diseases before they become a threat to humans is challenging, because only a few of the nearly 2 million animal viruses can infect humans. By developing machine learning models, researchers can analyze genetic patterns of viruses that might infect peo...

Could Your Genes Be to Blame for Your Kid's Aversion to Broccoli?

Parents and their children often share numerous traits -- including a dislike for broccoli and other veggies in the same family.

Noxious enzymes from bacteria in saliva may be the reason why, a new study suggests.

Levels of these compounds are similar in parents and children, which might be why these vegetables are turnoffs for both generations, especially when the levels are h...

Could Cholesterol Help Drive Alzheimer's Disease?

Cholesterol made in the brain may spur development of Alzheimer's disease, a new study suggests.

Cholesterol made by cells called astrocytes is needed for controlling production of amyloid beta, a sticky protein that builds up in the brain and accumulates into the plaques that are the tell-tale sign of Alzheimer's.

Researchers say these new findings may offer insight into how and wh...

Do Your Genes Up Your Odds for Alcoholism? One Factor Cuts the Risk

Even when genetics and personality are working against you, having a strong network of supportive friends and family may help lower alcoholism risk, researchers say.

"Genes play an important role in alcohol use," stressed Jinni Su, an assistant professor of psychology at Arizona State University in Tempe, and lead author of a new study.

But "genes are not our destiny," she added.

Multigenerational Study Finds Links Between ADHD, Dementia Risk

Attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) appears to be somehow linked to risk of dementia and Alzheimer's disease, a new multigenerational study has found.

Parents and grandparents of people with ADHD have a higher risk of Alzheimer's and dementia than people with no ADHD in their family, Swedish researchers said.

Specifically, parents of an ADHD child have a 34% higher risk ...

Fur Find: Genes Uncovered Behind Cats' Spots & Stripes

Your favorite tabby cat may seem to have little similarity to her relatives in the wild, but all share a key gene that gives them their distinctive look.

Why cats' coats are decorated with stripes, spots and blotches has long been a mystery. Now, researchers have identified a specific gene that all domestic cats, wild big cat species and possibly even other mammals have that regulates dev...

Child Cancers Are Rare, But Here Are Signs to Look For

Most parents want their children to live carefree lives, so a diagnosis of childhood cancer is devastating. Fortunately, pediatric cancers are rare.

Yet it doesn't hurt to be watchful for the warning signs, suggest experts in childhood cancer from Penn State Health.

The best screening most parents can do is to stay on track with well-child visits, the doctors said.

"For e...

Insights Into Genes Driving Epilepsy Could Help With Treatment

Danish researchers have found genetic causes for epilepsy in half of children they studied and said half of those could be treated with targeted therapies.

That's the upshot of genetic testing of 290 children born between 2006 and 2011. Some had been diagnosed with epilepsy. Others had had seizures along with a high temperature; they were either long seizures or consciousness was not rega...

New 'Mu' Coronavirus Variant Being Watched Closely: Fauci

A new coronavirus variant called Mu that may be able to evade existing antibodies, including those from vaccines, is under close watch by U.S. health officials.

The variant hasn't taken extensive hold in the United States at this point, but the U.S. National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases is taking it "very seriously," according to its director, Dr. Anthony Fauci, CBS Ne...

Blood Test Spots Biological Markers for Schizophrenia

Schizophrenia is a debilitating disease that can make navigating daily life a massive challenge, but a new blood test could flag it in its early stages, researchers say.

Their analysis of blood samples identified epigenetic markers -- part of your DNA -- that differ between people with schizophrenia and those without the mental health disorder.

The researchers developed a model to a...

CAR T-Cell Immunotherapy Rids Woman of Tough-to-Treat Lupus

In a first, researchers have used genetically tweaked immune system cells to send a woman's severe lupus into remission.

The treatment -- called CAR T-cell therapy -- is already approved in the United States for fighting certain cases of blood cancer. It involves removing a patient's own immune system T-cells, genetically altering them to target the cancer, then infusing them back into th...

Cats Might Be Purrfect Model for Human Genetics Research

Dogs may be man's best friend, but cats may hold critical keys to humans' health.

Our feline friends have the potential to become a valuable model for genetic research, because their genome is similar to that of people, according to Leslie Lyons of the Feline Genetics Laboratory at the University of Missouri in Columbia.

"Using cats in research is really overlooked, since people don...

Daylight Saving Time Change Toughest on Night Owls

If you struggle with the spring time change, your genes may be to blame, researchers report.

They found that people whose genes make them more likely to be early birds adapt to the time change in a few days, while night owls could take more than a week to return to their normal sleep schedule after clocks "spring forward' one hour.

The study included more than 800 first-year medical...

Geneticists Probe Origins of Painful Cluster Headaches

The causes of a type of excruciating headache known as cluster headaches aren't clear, but heredity is known to play a role. Now, genetic factors associated with cluster headaches are under investigation as scientists search for more effective treatments.

Researchers at the Karolinska Institute in Sweden analyzed blood samples from more than 600 people with cluster heada...

A Better Test to Help Spot Glaucoma?

Glaucoma is a leading cause of vision loss in older people, and early detection can bring better treatment. Now, researchers in Australia say their experimental genetic test for glaucoma can identify 15 times more people at high risk for the disease compared to a current genetic test.

"Early diagnosis of glaucoma can lead to vision-saving treatment, and genetic information can potentiall...

WHO Calls for Global Registry of Human Genome Editing

New recommendations on human genome editing issued by the World Health Organization include a call for a global registry to track "any form of genetic manipulation" and a whistle-blowing process for unethical or unsafe research.

The WHO first commissioned the expert advisory panel in late 2018, after a Chinese scientist said he had created the world's first gene-edited babies, the Ass...

Global Consortium Finds Genes That Drive Severe COVID-19

Why do some people infected with SARS-CoV-2 have either no or negligible symptoms, while others sicken and die?

Scientists who've pinpointed several genetic markers associated with severe COVID-19 say their findings could provide answers to that important question -- and targets for future treatments.

The investigators spotted 13 locations in human DNA that are strongly associated w...

Gene-Based Embryo Selection: Are 'Designer Babies' on the Horizon?

The notion of parents picking out genetically perfect babies may seem like science fiction, but bioethicists warn in a new report that some companies have already started to offer couples going through in vitro fertilization (IVF) the means to pick better embryos through polygenic scoring.

Polygenic scores are a "weighted average of the contributions of all of the genes we have informatio...

Pig Study Could Lead to Gene Therapy to Prevent Heart Failure

A gene therapy aimed at freeing the heart's capacity for self-repair has shown early promise in an animal study.

The study -- done in pigs -- found that the treatment approach was not only feasible, but also improved the animals' heart function after they sustained heart attack damage.

There is a long way to go before a similar gene therapy could be applied to human heart attac...

Gene Differences Could Have Black Patients Undergoing Unnecessary Biopsies

A gene variant may be driving high rates of unnecessary bone marrow biopsies in Black Americans, researchers say.

The variant is responsible for lower white blood cell levels in some healthy Black people, the investigators said.

"We've essentially created this racial health disparity by not fully considering how genetic variation affects white blood cell levels," said study co-autho...

Could a DNA Blood Test Spot a Range of Hidden Cancers?

Could a new one-and-done blood test designed to detect as many as 50 different types of cancer become a diagnostic game changer?

Yes, say researchers, who report the method appears accurate and reliable at identifying and locating cancer, including some kinds for which there are now no effective screening methods.

"[The test] sets the stage for a new paradigm of screening individual...

New Genetic Insights Into Cause of ALS

Researchers say they've identified a new gene associated with an increased risk of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) -- and that their discovery could lead to improved treatments for the deadly disease.

ALS -- also called Lou Gehrig's disease -- is a rare, progressive neurodegenerative disease that affects nerve cells in the brain and the spinal cord. It typically leads to paralysis ...

Gene Editing Technique Corrects Sickle Cell Disease in Mice

Researchers are using mice to study a potential new treatment that could help patients who have sickle cell disease, without some of the risks and side effects of existing therapies.

The investigators reported using genetic-based editing on mice to convert a disease-causing hemoglobin gene to a benign variant that would enable healthy blood cell production.

Sickle cell disease (SCD...

Too Much Caffeine Might Raise Your Odds for Glaucoma

That third or fourth cup of coffee may do more than make your heart race: New research suggests it could significantly increase your risk of glaucoma if you're genetically predisposed to the eye disease.

The study included more than 120,000 British people, aged 39 to 73, who provided information about their caffeine consumption and their vision, including whether they had glaucoma or a fa...

Antibiotics Won't Help Fight Lung-Scarring Disease IDF: Study

Antibiotics do not reduce the risk of hospitalization or death in patients with a lethal lung disease known as idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis, a new study finds.

"We were certainly disappointed in the results," said study co-author Dr. Imre Noth, chief of pulmonary and critical care medicine at UVA Health in Charlottesville, Va. "But we remain hopeful that in further downstream analyses, w...

Newly Approved Drug Fights Lung Cancer Tied to Certain Genes

A newly approved lung cancer drug shows promise in improving survival in patients whose tumors carry a common and tough-to-treat genetic mutation, researchers say.

Sotorasib - brand name Lumakras - was approved May 28 by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration as a targeted therapy for non-small cell lung cancer patients with tumors that express the G12C mutation in the KRAS gene, ...

Drug Lynparza Could Help Fight Some Early-Stage Breast Cancers

A twice-daily pill can dramatically reduce the risk of breast cancer recurrence in women who are genetically prone to the disease, researchers report.

The pill - olaparib (Lynparza) - works by blocking a natural enzyme called PARP that normally fixes DNA damage in healthy cells, but in these women actually promotes the growth of cancerous cells.

Early high-risk breast cancer patient...

'Early Birds' May Have Extra Buffer Against Depression

Could getting out of bed just one hour earlier every day lower your risk for depression?

Yes, claims new research that found an earlier start to the day was tied to a 23% lower risk of developing the mood disorder.

The study of more than 840,000 people found a link "between earlier sleep patterns and reduced risk of major depressive disorder," said study author Iyas Daghlas.

T...

Scientists Discover Rare Form of ALS That Can Strike Kids

A new form of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) that affects children has been discovered by an international team of researchers.

They used advanced genetic techniques to identify 11 such cases in children who had mysterious neurological disorders.

Most cases of ALS -- also known as Lou Gehrig's disease -- are diagnosed in people between the ages of 50 and 60, and it progresses s...

Massive Gene Study Probes Origins of Depression

Researchers who pinpointed 178 gene variants linked to major depression say their findings could improve diagnosis and treatment of a disorder that affects 1 in 5 people.

The study draws on a huge database, analyzing the genetic and health records of 1.2 million people from three databanks in the United States, the U.K. and Finland, and another databank from the consumer genetics company ...

In 10 Years, COVID-19 Could Be 'Just the Sniffles'

The virus fueling the COVID-19 pandemic could become just an ordinary sniffle-causing nuisance within the next 10 years, a new study suggests.

Researchers stressed that the projection is based on mathematical models, and not a crystal-ball prediction.

But, they say, given what's known about the human immune response to SARS-CoV-2 -- the virus that causes COVID-19 -- it is possible t...

Faulty Gene Could Raise Vulnerability to Asbestos-Linked Cancer

Mutations in a certain gene may increase a person's risk for an aggressive asbestos-related cancer called malignant mesothelioma, a new study claims.

The gene is called LRRK2 and is involved in regulating responses in immune cells in the brain. Mesothelioma can affect the lungs, stomach or heart.

The small study included 13 malignant mesothelioma patients who were exposed to asbesto...

Major Gene Study Looks at Origins of Bipolar Disorder

Scientists report they have pinpointed 64 regions in the DNA of humans that increase a person's risk of bipolar disorder, more than twice the number previously identified.

The researchers, who called this the largest investigation of bipolar disorder to date, also discovered overlap in the genetic roots of bipolar disorder and other psychiatric disorders. They said it adds to evidence tha...

Humans Started Loving Carbs a Very Long Time Ago

Not only have humans and their ancient ancestors been eating carbs for longer than was realized, but a new study finds these starchy foods may actually have played a part in the growth of the human brain.

A new study researching the history of the human oral microbiome found that Neanderthals and ancient humans adapted to eating starchy foods as far back as 100,000 years ago, which is mu...

Centuries Ago, Gene Changes May Have Stopped Bubonic Plague

TUESDAY, May 11, 2021 (HealthDay News) - - After examining DNA from remains in an ancient mass grave in Germany, scientists think that genetic immunity from bubonic plague may have developed in the wake of the disease.

"We found that innate immune markers increased in frequency in modern people from the town compared to plague victims," said researcher Paul Norman.

"This suggests ...

Why Do Dogs Bark & Bite? Fear May Be Key

That growling dog may actually be terrified of you.

Fear and age-related pain are among the reasons why dogs are aggressive toward people, a new study suggests.

The findings could help two-legged folks better understand and prevent aggressive behavior, such as growling, barking, snapping and biting, according to Finnish researchers.

"Dogs' fearfulness had a strong link to aggr...

Relatives' Colonoscopy Results Could Affect Your Colon Cancer Risk

Having close relatives with colon polyps -- which can be precursors of cancer -- could mean that you have a higher risk for colon cancer, researchers say.

Colon cancer is the second deadliest form of cancer in the world, according to the World Health Organization.

Being overweight and inactive increases the risk, but genetics also play a role, researchers in Sweden and Boston said ...

Your Blood Type Might Raise Odds for Certain Health Conditions

Certain blood types may increase a person's risk of different health problems, a new study suggests.

The research confirms some previous findings and reveals new links between blood types and diseases, according to the authors of the study published April 27 in the journal eLife.

"There is still very little information available about whether people with RhD-positive or RhD...

Young, Immune-Compromised Patients Are Hotspots for Coronavirus Mutations: Study

COVID-19 infections may last longer in young people with weakened immune systems, and that extended period could lead to more mutations in SARS-CoV-2, according to the authors of a new case study.

The study included two children and a young adult who had weakened immune systems due to treatment for acute lymphoblastic leukemia. For months, they tested positive for SARS-CoV-2, the virus th...

Do Your Genes Set You Up for Hot Flashes?

Could your genes be to blame for your hot flashes?

New research suggests that's so, with genetics playing a role in both the severity and frequency of those hallmarks of menopause.

While hot flashes are common, they don't affect all women to the same degree and the reasons for those differences are unclear.

Genetics have been been suspected, because Black women tend to have gr...

No Genetic Damage to Kids of Those Exposed to Chernobyl Nuclear Disaster: Study

There's no evidence of genetic damage in the children of parents who were exposed to radiation from the 1986 Chernobyl Nuclear Power Plant disaster in Ukraine, researchers say.

Several previous studies have examined the risks across generations of radiation exposure from events such as this, but have yielded inconclusive results.

In this study, the investigators analyzed the genomes...

Brain Study Suggests Autism Develops Differently in Girls Than Boys

Autism appears to develop differently in girls and boys, so the findings of research conducted mainly with boys might not apply to girls, a new study suggests.

Autism spectrum disorder is four times more common in boys, which may help explain why there's far less research about autism in girls.

"This new study provides us with a roadmap for understanding how to better match current ...

In Breast Cancer Survivors, Obesity Raises Odds for Cancer's Return

Most people know obesity can lead to diabetes or heart disease, but excess weight can play a role in cancer, too, researchers say.

A new study found that breast cancer survivors who are overweight have a statistically significant increased risk of developing a second primary cancer - one not connected to their previous cancer.

The risk likely owes to shared risk factors between the ...

Healthy Living Helps Ward Off Deadly Prostate Cancers in Men at High Risk

A nutritious diet, regular exercise and other components of a healthy lifestyle may reduce the odds of lethal prostate cancer in men with a high genetic risk for it, researchers report.

"The excess genetic risk of lethal prostate cancer could be offset by adhering to a healthy lifestyle," concluded co-lead author Anna Plym. She's a postdoctoral research fellow at Brigham and Women's Hospi...

Black Adults Face 4 Times the Odds for Stroke as Whites

Once Black Americans reach age 40, their blood pressure often begins a rapid climb, putting them at significantly higher risk of stroke than their white counterparts, a new study warns.

Middle-aged Black people have roughly four times the stroke risk faced by white Americans, according to the analysis of data from nearly 5,100 patients.

"High blood pressure is the single most import...

'Zombie Genes' Spur Some Brain Cells to Grow Even After Death

When people die some cells in their brains go on for hours, even getting more active and growing to gargantuan proportions, new research shows.

Awareness of this activity, spurred on by "zombie genes," could affect research into diseases that affect the brain.

For the study, researchers analyzed gene expression using fresh brain tissue collected during routine surgery and found that...

Some Folks Do Age Slower Than Others

People really do vary in how fast they age, and the divergence starts in young adulthood, a new study suggests.

The researchers found that by the tender age of 45, people with a faster pace of "biological aging" were more likely to feel, function and look far older than they actually were. And that relative sprint toward old age began in their 20s.

The findings, the study authors sa...

Scientists Gain Insight Into Genetics of Glaucoma

Researchers have identified 44 new genetic variants associated with glaucoma, a leading cause of blindness. They say their findings could provide new targets to treat the common eye disease.

In their study, the international team compared the genes of more than 34,000 people with glaucoma and more than 349,000 people without the incurable eye condition.

In addition to pinpointing th...

Why Some 'Super Ager' Folks Keep Their Minds Dementia-Free

Researchers may have uncovered a key reason some people remain sharp as a tack into their 80s and 90s: Their brains resist the buildup of certain proteins that mark Alzheimer's disease.

The study focused on what scientists have dubbed "super agers" -- a select group of older folks who have the memory performance of people decades younger.

Compared with older people who had average b...

Could Your DNA Predict a Happy Marriage?

The DNA ties that bind: Marriage satisfaction may lie in your genes, a new study suggests.

Researchers from the University of Arkansas looked at 71 newly married couples, asking them to complete a survey three months after marriage and again every four months for four years. They also tested their DNA.

Recent research indicates that a variation called "CC" in the gene CD38 is associ...