Garlic can fight hardiest bacterial strains

A chemical compound in the humble garlic can neutralise resistant bacteria by paralysing their communication system, scientists say. Bacteria are developing resistance at an alarming pace, and aggressive multi-resistant infections constitute an increasing health problem all over the world, researchers said. Tim Holm Jakobsen, from University of Copenhagen, said that ajoene - the substance present in garlic - specifically prevents the bacteria from secreting the toxin rhamnolipid which destroys white blood cells in the body. White blood cells are indispensable because they play a crucial role in the immune defence system, not only warding off infection, but also killing bacteria, he said. When bacteria clump together in what is known as biofilm - where they surround themselves with a tough...

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Scientists Identify the Switch that Says It’s Time to Sleep

The switch in the brain that sends us off to sleep has been identified by researchers at Oxford University’s Centre for Neural Circuits and Behaviour in a study in fruit flies. The switch works by regulating the activity of a handful of sleep-promoting neurons in the brain. The neurons fire when we’re tired and need sleep, and dampen down when we’re fully rested. “When you’re tired, these neurons in the brain shout loud and they send you to sleep,” says Professor Gero Miesenböck of Oxford University, in whose laboratory the new research was performed, in a release. Although the research was carried out in fruit flies, or Drosophila, the scientists say the sleep mechanism is likely to be relevant to...

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Gene behind kids’ love for violent TV shows?

Gene Behind Kids Love Violent TV Shows

Ever wondered why certain kids like violent TV and video games more than others? Scientists now say they were just born that way. A specific variation of the serotonin-transporter gene is linked to children who engage in increased viewing of violent TV and playing of violent video games, a new study has found. Researchers analyzed survey data of 1,612 Dutch parents of children aged 5-9. The parents noted how much violent TV programming their children viewed, as well as how often they played violent video games. DNA samples collected at the children's birth were then analyzed to determine a certain gene variant. The researchers found that children that had the specific variant of the serotonin-transporter gene on average consumed more violent media and...

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New chemical jab may allow blind ‘see’ light

Scientists have developed a new drug which may restore the ability of the eye to sense light after blindness. Scientists restored light perception in mice with a photoswitch chemical that changes conformation in response to light. The compound may be a potential drug candidate for treating patients suffering from degenerative retinal disorders, researchers said. The retina has three layers of nerve cells, but only the outer layer contains the rod and cone cells that respond to light, enabling us to see the world, researchers said. When the rods and cones die during the course of degenerative blinding diseases, the rest of the retina remains intact but unable to respond to light. Even though the innermost layer's nerve cells, called ganglion...

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Multivitamin supplements may lower cataract risk

Long-term daily multivitamin supplement use may lower cataract risk in men, a new study has claimed. Researchers based at Brigham and Women's Hospital and Harvard Medical School conducted a randomised, double-blind study from 1997 to 2011 of 14,641 US male doctors aged 50 and older. Half took a common daily multivitamin, as well as vitamin C, vitamin E and beta carotene supplements. The other half took a placebo. The researchers followed the participants to identify how many participants in each group developed new cases of two common eye diseases: cataract, which is a clouding of the eye's lens, and age-related macular degeneration (AMD), the deterioration of the eye's macula that is responsible for the ability to see fine details clearly....

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