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Preterm babies may suffer setbacks in auditory brain development, speech

Preterm babies born early in the third trimester of pregnancy are likely to experience delays in the development of the auditory cortex, a brain region essential to hearing and understanding sound, a new study reveals. Such delays are associated with speech and language impairments at age 2, the researchers found.

Hormone therapy combination may benefit health without increasing cancer risk

Treating ovariectomized mice with a combination of conjugated estrogens and the drug bazedoxifene triggers the expression of genes that improve metabolism and prevent weight gain – without stimulating the uterus and increasing risks of reproductive cancer, a new study at the University of Illinois suggests.

Whole eggs better for muscle building and repair than egg whites, researchers find

People who consume 18 grams of protein from whole eggs or from egg whites after engaging in resistance exercise differ dramatically in how their muscles build protein, a process called protein synthesis, during the post-workout period, researchers report in a new study. Specifically, the post-workout muscle-building response in those eating whole eggs is 40 percent greater than in those consuming an equivalent amount of protein from egg whites, the team found.

Molecular beacon signals low oxygen with ultrasound

Researchers have developed a way to find hypoxia, or low oxygen in tissue, noninvasively in real time with light and ultrasound.

Molecular beacon signals low oxygen with ultrasound

Researchers have developed a way to find hypoxia, or low oxygen in tissue, noninvasively in real time with light and ultrasound.

Exercise changes gut microbial composition independent of diet, team reports

Two studies – one in mice and the other in human subjects – offer the first definitive evidence that exercise alone can change the composition of microbes in the gut. The studies were designed to isolate exercise-induced changes from other factors – such as diet or antibiotic use – that might alter the intestinal microbiota.

Drug-delivering nanoparticles seek and destroy elusive cancer stem cells

Researchers are sending tiny drug-laden nanoparticles on a mission to seek and destroy cancer stem cells.

Cancer drug starts clinical trials in human brain-cancer patients

A drug that spurs cancer cells to self-destruct has been cleared for use in a clinical trial of patients with anaplastic astrocytoma, a rare malignant brain tumor, and glioblastoma multiforme, an aggressive late-stage cancer of the brain. This phase Ib trial will determine if the experimental drug PAC-1 can be used safely in combination with a standard brain-cancer chemotherapy drug, temozolomide.

Theory: Flexibility is at the heart of human intelligence

Centuries of study have yielded many theories about how the brain gives rise to human intelligence. A new theory makes the case that the brain’s dynamic properties—how it is wired but also how that wiring shifts in response to changing intellectual demands—are the best predictors of intelligence in the human brain.

Carefully crafted light pulses control neuron activity

Specially tailored, ultrafast pulses of light can trigger neurons to fire and could one day help patients with light-sensitive circadian or mood problems, according to a new study in mice at the University of Illinois.

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