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Category: Advancements in Research

New risk-scoring method for deadly diseases crunches millions of potential gene variants

August 16, 2018

“I think I carry the gene for ___.” This colloquial explanation for myriad traits and behaviors belies the fact that many conditions are believed to arise not from single genetic variations but combinations of thousands or millions. That’s the crux of “polygenic risk scoring,” the subject of new research that accounts for the genetic complexity […]

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Rapid autopsies paint fuller picture of cancer pathology

August 8, 2018

A biopsy is a snapshot of a single potentially cancerous tissue sample in a body that may host a number of different tumors as disease progresses. To understand more about how cancer takes hold, spreads and changes – it’s heterogeneity – a few healthcare organizations have established rapid autopsy programs dedicated to cancer study. Within […]

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Mother and ASD Son

First-of-its-Kind Blood Test Predicts Autism

June 28, 2018

Early intervention can set the stage for their future and drastically improve long-term outcomes for children on the autism spectrum. As its name suggests, the premise of early intervention is to get children immersed in services as soon as possible, ideally between the ages of two and three years old. All of this hinges on […]

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Depression’s hidden biology exposed

May 31, 2018

Although everyone experiences sadness from time to time, depression is different. It causes severe, lingering symptoms that can affect how you feel, think, and handle daily activities, such as sleeping, eating, or working. An estimated 16.2 million adults in the United States had at least one major depressive episode in 2016, representing nearly 7 percent of all U.S. […]

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Microbiome biospecimens

Our microbiomes show potential for precision medicine and better cancer treatment

April 19, 2018

A universe of 40 trillion creatures lives in your gut, making it one of the richest, most fascinating and mysterious platforms for precision medicine. Researchers are quickly discovering new medical insights by cross-referencing these worlds – patients’ unique microbiomes of bacteria, fungi and other microbes – with clinical outcomes. For example, new studies show that the […]

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Detecting ctDNA in the blood of cancer patients may help reoccurrence

Genomics and the blood – a powerful duo for cancer patients

April 12, 2018

A person’s blood can tell us a lot about their health. We’ve blogged about blood biomarkers that may soon help clinicians diagnose concussions, ovarian cancer and prostate cancer. Yet, it seems like we’re still only scratching the surface of blood’s potential to reveal health insights. For example, Stanford researchers have recently discovered that the blood from certain […]

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Human subcutaneous fat biospecimens were used by researchers to study the effects of the winter sunlight deficit on weight gain

Sunlight shrinks fat cells, says new research

March 22, 2018

For many of us, spring means laboring to shed winter weight and doing penance for rich holiday food and drink and “forgetting” to exercise. A new study, however, suggests winter weight gain may in part be beyond our control – and rather a function of winter’s sunlight deficit. The study found that sunlight can shrink […]

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Red Blood Cells

Blood samples reveal concussion evidence in new, lower-cost test

March 8, 2018

Complexity surrounds brain trauma from diagnosis through recovery and long-term effects. Modern medicine, however, has just made a major stride on the diagnosis side with the FDA’s approval of the first blood test to help detect concussions, or mild traumatic brain injuries (mTBIs). It promises simpler, cheaper, and potentially safer diagnosis. CT scans, which irradiate […]

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Person receiving flu shot in arm.

Could a good mood help fend off flu?

February 28, 2018

We’re in the heart of one of the most severe flu seasons in recent memory, and we may finally be reaching a plateau. The CDC reports the highest hospitalization rates in at least seven years and 84 pediatric deaths this season. Although by no means a cure, researchers are reporting some intriguing flu-related news: A […]

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More promise for CTE diagnosis in the living

November 30, 2017

“Should I worry?” That’s what many athletes and parents are asking themselves about sports that deliver blows to the head on a regular basis. Chronic Traumatic Encephalopathy (CTE), the devastating degenerative brain disease, is associated with such blows, yet not everyone who plays contact sports acquires it. Adding to the uncertainty around the disease is […]

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