Aspirin users with common genes may get less colon cancer

Researchers have identified common genetic traits that may explain how aspirin can help protect against colon cancer.

It’s too soon to recommend aspirin for colon cancer prevention and the needed genetic tests aren’t available outside of research. But they might be someday if future studies confirm the results.

 

1 in 13 children taking psychiatric medication in US

A new government survey has found that approximately 1 out of every 13 children is taking at least one medication for emotional or
behavioral problems, HealthDay News reported.

Overall, many parents believe the drugs are working, with 55 percent of parents reporting that these psychiatric medications are helping their children. Only 26 percent of parents said the drugs helped “some,” while 19 percent of parents said the drugs didn’t help at all.

“We can’t advise parents on what they should do, but I think it’s positive that over half of parents reported that medications helped ‘a lot,’ ” said report author LaJeana Howie, a statistical research scientist at the U.S. National Center for Health Statistics.

 

 

Scientists have built an ‘off switch’ for the brain

Scientists have developed an “off-switch” for the brain to effectively shut down neural activity using light pulses.

In 2005, Stanford scientist Karl Deisseroth discovered how to switch individual brain cells on and off by using light in a technique he dubbed ‘optogenetics’.

 

Can you turn off your fat genes?

You can’t change your genes, but you just might be able to change how they work in your body. And in the case of those that play a role in fat loss, pumping iron could be key.

In addition to affecting the genes in your muscles, resistance training also influences the genes in your fat, says a new study published in the European Journal of Applied Physiology. After subjecting participants to eight weeks of heavy resistance training, researchers found that the expression of two genes found in fat tissue decreased by around 20 percent. Participants also had a boost in muscle mass and fat burning, as well as a drop in the protein adiponectin, which plays a role in fat breakdown.

 

Stress Starts Up The Machinery of Major Depression

It’s hard not to be pulled by the sheer terror of some exotic diseases. Headlines are commanded by the tragedies of the likes of
Ebola virus, mad-cow disease or progeria. But when it comes to everyday medical misery, nothing quite beats major depression. It
sucks the very air out of life, cripples millions of people (about 15% of us) and, within a decade, is likely to be the second leading cause of global medical disability.

Many factors increase the risk of major depression, including variants of a number of genes, childhood trauma and endocrine and immunological  abnormalities. A frequent trigger is stress. Recent research shows how this might occur.