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Scientists uncover more gut-brain connections

February 14, 2019

They’re foreign to us, yet part of us. Do the trillions of microbes in and on our bodies control us? Well, these bacteria, fungi, protozoa and viruses – collectively called the microbiome – are quite likely affecting our brains and behavior to some degree.

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Gene-based treatments show promise against sickle cell disease

February 7, 2019

Sickle cell disease, a group of blood disorders affecting more than 70,000 Americans, including about 1 in 500 African-Americans, is the target of new gene-related therapies that are delivering impressive results.

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Brain cancer differs markedly between men and women

February 1, 2019

The malignant brain cancer glioblastoma behaves distinctly differently in men and women, according to new research. The newly discovered insights may elevate sex as an important factor in how patients are treated.

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Biospecimens for critical research

New biospecimens, critical to important research, available on iSpecimen Marketplace

January 24, 2019

Now our customers can receive primary cells from bone marrow and peripheral blood that are shipped within hours of collection They are the cells that spawn our oxygen-carrying red blood cells, disease-fighting white blood cells and clot-forming platelets. They are found in the bone marrow and, in smaller numbers, in the circulating blood. They are […]

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Diabetes monitor

The gut can affect how your diabetes medicine works – or doesn’t

January 17, 2019

In simple terms, you can think of medicine as a contest between disease and drugs. New research, however, spotlights an interloper in that relationship: the gut. The trillions of microbial cells in our gut – the human microbiome– can affect digestion, immunity and mood. They may also help determine why certain drugs work for some individuals but not for others, and why drugs sometimes work when delivered intravenously but not orally (or the other way around).

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Tree in the forest

For better heart health, seek out trees

January 10, 2019

Although humans increasingly dwell in concrete, car-clogged cities and spend most of their time indoors, the natural world offers tangible health benefits we probably can’t afford to miss. The latest finding: Leafy green neighborhoods may lower the risk of heart disease and strokes, according to new research published in the Journal of the American Heart Association. Human biospecimens tell the story.

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big data and human biobanks create genetic insights

Big data keeps genomic insights coming

January 3, 2019

Combining big data about people and their genes yields surprising insights, including new clues that help explain individual differences in activity levels (as well as the consequences of those differences), and the origin of red hair. In the activity-level research, University of Oxford scientists identified 14 genetic regions related to activity and sleep duration, seven […]

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View from a computer screen in a hospital setting

Health care has a data disparity problem

December 20, 2018

If you’ve been reading this blog, you know that we’re inspired by the promise of big data to improve human health. Big data and analytics promise to uncover hidden patterns that can improve population health and precision medicine. At the same time, nobody understands data’s challenges better than we do. One such challenge is detailed […]

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First-of-its-kind test might detect all cancer types

December 13, 2018

Imagine one simple, noninvasive test capable of detecting the presence of cancer, regardless of its type or location in the patient’s body, in just 10 minutes. That’s the possibility raised by an attention-grabbing discovery revealed last week based on research in Australia. Researchers from the University of Queensland discovered that traces of human DNA from […]

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Biospecimen Cells for Obesity Research

Researchers probe obesity’s complex roots

December 6, 2018

How do genes affect obesity? And how do environmental factors affect obesity-relevant genes? These are unsettled questions, but researchers like epidemiology professor Kari North, Ph.D., are working on answers. Last year, North and a colleague led research that found that smoking may increase genetic susceptibility to being generally overweight and reduces genetic effects on body fat distribution […]

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