Week in Health (20 – 26 Mar 2021)

Health News related to Reading Minds with Ultrasound, Strong Coffee Before Exercise, Processed Meat - Dementia Risk, ‘Zombie’ Genes, Healing Light on The Brain, Reversing False Memories, Resolving Arguments by Day’s End, Alzheimer’s-Related Protein in Women, DNA Damage “Hot Spots”, X and Y Chromosomes’ Interactions, Nanotech Detection of Cancer and Disease, Stressed Brain - Broken Heart


Note: None of the news bits (and cover picture) given here are written/owned by NewAnced's authors. The links on each of the news bits will redirect to the news source. Content given under each headline is a basic gist and not the full story.

1. Reading Minds with Ultrasound: A Less-Invasive Technique to Decode the Brain's Intentions


Source: California Institute of Technology 22 Mar 2021


A team has developed a new type of minimally invasive brain–machine interfaces (BMIs) to read out brain activity corresponding to the planning of movement. Using functional ultrasound (fUS) technology, it can accurately map brain activity from precise regions deep within the brain at a resolution of 100 micrometers (the size of a single neuron is approximately 10 micrometers). The new fUS technology is a major step in creating less invasive, yet still highly capable, BMIs.


Original written by: Lori Dajose

2. Drinking A Strong Coffee Half an Hour Before Exercising Increases Fat-Burning, New Study Finds


Source: University of Granada 22 Mar 2021


Scientists have shown that caffeine (about 3 mg / kg, the equivalent of a strong coffee) ingested half an hour before aerobic exercise significantly increases the rate of fat-burning. They also found that if the exercise is performed in the afternoon, the effects of the caffeine are more marked than in the morning.

3. Eating Processed Meat Could Increase Dementia Risk


Source: University of Leeds 22 Mar 2021


Eating processed meat has been linked with an increased risk of developing dementia. The scientists used data from 500,000 people, discovering that consuming a 25g serving of processed meat a day, the equivalent to one rasher of bacon, is associated with a 44% increased risk of developing the disease. But their findings also show eating some unprocessed red meat, such as beef, pork or veal, could be protective, as people who consumed 50g a day were 19% less likely to develop dementia.

4. ‘Zombie’ Genes? Research Shows Some Genes Come to Life in The Brain After Death


Source: University of Illinois at Chicago 23 Mar 2021


In the hours after we die, certain cells in the human brain are still active. Some cells even increase their activity and grow to gargantuan proportions, according to new research. In a study, researchers analyzed gene expression in fresh brain tissue — which was collected during routine brain surgery — at multiple times after removal to simulate the post-mortem interval and death. They found that gene expression in some cells actually increased after death.


Original written by: Sharon Parmet

5. Shining A Healing Light on The Brain


Source: DOE/Argonne National Laboratory 24 Mar 2021


Scientists have made a pivotal discovery of method for wireless modulation of neurons with X-rays that could improve the lives of patients with brain disorders. The X-ray source only requires a machine like that found in a dentist’s office. This new treatment involves stimulation of neurons deep within the brain by means of injected nanoparticles that light up when exposed to X-rays (nanoscintillators) and would eliminate an invasive brain surgery currently in use.


Original written by: Joseph E. Harmon

6. New Study Finds False Memories Can Be Reversed


Source: University of Portsmouth 24 Mar 2021


Rich false memories of autobiographical events can be planted - and then reversed, a new paper has found. The study highlights - for the first time - techniques that can correct false recollections without damaging true memories. Studying how memories are created, identified and reversed could be a game changer in police and legal settings, where false memories given as evidence in a courtroom can lead to wrongful convictions.

7. Want A Longer, Healthier Life? Resolve Your Arguments by Day’s End, Study Says


Source: Oregon State University 24 Mar 2021


A recent study found that when people feel they have resolved an argument, the emotional response associated with that disagreement is significantly reduced and, in some situations, almost entirely erased. That reduction in stress may have a major impact on overall health, researchers say.


Original written by: Molly Rosbach

8. Women Accumulate Alzheimer’s-Related Protein Faster


Source: Lund University 25 Mar 2021


Alzheimer’s disease seems to progress faster in women than in men. The protein tau accumulates at a higher rate in women, according to research. Tau and beta-amyloid are two proteins known to aggregate and accumulate in the brain in patients with Alzheimer’s. The study did not investigate the reasons for the higher rate of tau accumulation in women.

9. DNA Damage “Hot Spots” Discovered Within Neurons


Source: NIH/National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke 25 Mar 2021


Researchers have discovered specific regions within the DNA of neurons that accumulate a certain type of damage (called single-strand breaks or SSBs). This accumulation of SSBs appears to be unique to neurons, and it challenges what is generally understood about the cause of DNA damage and its potential implications in neurodegenerative diseases.

10. New Study Sheds Light on How X and Y Chromosomes Interact


Source: Lund University 25 Mar 2021


Researchers have investigated how the X and Y chromosomes evolve and adapt to each other within a population. The results show that breaking up coevolved sets of sex chromosomes could lead to lower survival rates among the offspring – something that could be of importance in species conservation, for example.

11. New Nanotech Gives Boost to Detection of Cancer and Disease


Source: University of Central Florida 25 Mar 2021


Researchers are working to develop a new screening technique that’s more than 300 times as effective at detecting a biomarker for diseases like cancer than current methods. The technique uses nanoparticles with nickel-rich cores and platinum-rich shells to increase the sensitivity of an enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA).


Original written by: Robert Wells

12. Stressed Brain Linked to Broken Heart


Source: European Society of Cardiology 26 Mar 2021


Heightened activity in the brain, caused by stressful events, is linked to the risk of developing a rare and sometimes fatal heart condition, according to research. The study found the greater the activity in nerve cells in the amygdala region of the brain, the sooner the condition known as Takotsubo syndrome (TTS) can develop. The researchers suggest that interventions to lower this stress-related brain activity could help to reduce the risk of developing TTS; these could include drug treatments or techniques for lowering stress.


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