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Studies in various animals, including rodents and monkeys, have reported that caloric restriction can extend their lifespans. Findings from a two-year, randomized, controlled trial with human participants, published last week (March 22) in Cell Metabolism, suggest that cutting down on calories may also be able to prolong the lives of people.

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A genetic mutation that may protect people from malaria, but was thought to be rare, is surprisingly common, suggest the findings of a new study led by scientists at The Scripps Research Institute (TSRI). The discovery sheds light on how humans who live in close quarters with malaria-carrying mosquitos may evolve defenses against the disease.

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In the perennial question of nature versus nurture, a new study suggests an intriguing connection between the two. Salk Institute scientists report in the journal Science that the type of mothering a female mouse provides her pups actually changes their DNA. The work lends support to studies about how childhood environments affect brain development in humans and could provide insights into neuropsychiatric disorders such as depression and schizophrenia.

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A daily birth control pill for men has shown that it is safe for humans, and produced hormone responses consistent with effective contraception, according to a study of 83 men.

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The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has allowed the direct-to-consumer genetics company 23andMe to offer a test for mutations in the BRCA1 and BRCA2 genes, the agency announced today (March 6). The three mutations included in the screen increase the risk of breast and ovarian cancer, and are most common among people of Ashkenazi Jewish decent.

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New research from The University of Texas at Dallas supports the growing consensus that pain begins differently for men and women at the cellular level. Ted Price BS’97, Salim Megat and their colleagues in the Pain Neurobiology Research Group recently found that a specific manipulation of receptors in the nervous system for the neurotransmitter dopamine impairs chronic pain in male mice, but has no effect on females.

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Diabetes is a more diverse disease than medicine currently acknowledges – and treatments could be improved by splitting the disease into more types, according to a new study. The two “types” of the disease are not precise enough – and the adult-onset varieties of the disease should be split into five distinct categories, according to the paper in The Lancet Diabetes and Endocrinology.

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In one of the first looks at the urinary virome, researchers find hundreds of viruses, most of which have never been sequenced before.

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A new cancer treatment experiment at Stanford University that used immune-stimulators to target tumors in mice had remarkably encouraging results.

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Patients without calcium buildup in the coronary arteries had significantly lower risk of future heart attack or stroke despite other high risk factors such as diabetes, high blood pressure, or bad cholesterol levels, new research from UT Southwestern cardiologists shows.

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