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Study: Omega-3 fatty acids fight inflammation via cannabinoids

Chemical compounds called cannabinoids are found in marijuana and also are produced naturally in the body from omega-3 fatty acids. A well-known cannabinoid in marijuana, THC, is responsible for some of its euphoric effects, but it also has anti-inflammatory benefits. A new study in animal tissue reveals the cascade of chemical reactions that convert omega-3 fatty acids into cannabinoids that have anti-inflammatory benefits – but without the psychotropic high. 

Quick test finds signs of sepsis in a single drop of blood

A new portable device can quickly find markers of deadly, unpredictable sepsis infection from a single drop of blood.

Paper: New mothers abused by partners at greater risk of suicidal thoughts

New mothers who are in abusive relationships are three times more likely to have suicidal thoughts, a new study suggests. Conducted with women in Brazil, the study is among a growing body of research to establish a link between suicidality and intimate partner violence among postpartum women in low- or middle-income countries.

Study identifies key player in heart enlargement

The heart is a dynamic muscle that grows and shrinks in response to stressors such as exercise and disease. The secret to its malleability lies in individual cells, which get bigger or smaller depending on the heart’s needs. A new study of mouse hearts reveals a previously unknown mechanism by which heart cells control their size by ramping up or stopping the production of a key factor called PABPC1. The findings, reported in the journal eLife, could assist in the development of therapeutics that promote healthy heart growth and prevent disease.

Studies link nutrient, academic achievement in pre-adolescent children

Researchers can look into your eyes to determine whether you’re getting your lutein, a pigment found in green leafy vegetables that is known to accumulate in the brain. Two new studies find that children with higher lutein levels in the eye tend to do better than others on tests of cognition and academic achievement, even after accounting for other factors known to influence academic performance such as IQ, gender, body composition and physical fitness.

Herbs, spices on vegetables may increase their appeal to men, young adults

Adults who don’t routinely eat vegetables for lunch—especially men and younger adults—may be more likely to consume them if the vegetables are seasoned, University of Illinois researchers found in a new study of more than 530 adults.

Fred A. Kummerow, successful crusader against trans fats, dies at 102

Fred A. Kummerow, a pioneer in the study of dietary contributors to heart disease who led a decades-long crusade to remove trans fats from the food supply, died Wednesday, May 31, at his home in Urbana, Illinois. He was 102.

Chemical array draws out malignant cells to guide individualized cancer treatment

Melanoma is a particularly difficult cancer to treat once it has metastasized, spreading throughout the body. University of Illinois researchers are using chemistry to find the deadly, elusive malignant cells within a melanoma tumor that hold the potential to spread.

Sensors detect disease markers in breath

A small, thin square of an organic plastic that can detect disease markers in breath or toxins in a building’s air could soon be the basis of portable, disposable sensor devices. By riddling the thin plastic films with pores, University of Illinois researchers made the devices sensitive enough to detect at levels that are far too low to smell, yet are important to human health.

Studies link healthy brain aging to omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids in the blood

Two new studies link patterns of polyunsaturated fatty acids in the blood to the integrity of brain structures and cognitive abilities that are known to decline early in aging.

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