Does alcohol consumption affect the risk for Parkinson’s disease?

(IOS Press) For many years, researchers have been investigating whether there are any associations between Parkinson's disease and lifestyle choices such as smoking and coffee and alcohol consumption. In a review published in the Journal of Parkinson's Disease, the literature concerning alcohol consumption presents conflicting information.

New vaccine could prevent high cholesterol

(Elsevier) A new cholesterol-lowering vaccine leads to reductions in 'bad' LDL cholesterol in mice and macaques, according to research published in Vaccine. The authors of the study, from the University of New Mexico and the National Institutes of health in the United States, say the vaccine has the potential to be a more powerful treatment than statins alone.

New SARS-like virus can jump directly from bats to humans, no treatment available

(University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill) Researchers from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill have discovered a new bat SARS-like virus that can jump directly from its bat hosts to humans without mutation. However, researchers point out that if the SARS-like virus did jump, it is still unclear whether it could spread from human to human.

Services insufficient in supporting those affected

(SAGE Publications) There is an urgent need to do more to recognize prenatal alcohol exposure at an early stage and to integrate better pathways for diagnosis, assessment and support, finds a special issue of the SAGE journal Adoption & Fostering. The issue highlights the importance of raising awareness of Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorders as there are unclear protocols and guidelines in place to adequately support those directly affected.

Gaucher disease may protect against Parkinson’s disease-related color visual impairment

(IOS Press) Patients with both PD and GD tend to experience earlier onset of PD and more serious cognitive changes than PD patients without the mutations. A new study published in the Journal of Parkinson's Disease suggests that GD or the presence of GBA mutations may actually shield patients from deficiency in visual color discrimination, which is a hallmark of PD.

The gut microbiota can influence the effectiveness of dietary treatments

(University of Gothenburg) Why a dietary treatment works for some but not others seems to depend on interactions between the gut microbiota and the diet. A new study, published in Cell Metabolism, shows that people with better control of blood sugar after eating barley kernel bread also have a different balance of microbes in the gut.

Participatory breeding program assists organic tomato growers

(American Society for Horticultural Science) The first two phases of a participatory breeding program for organic tomatoes revealed grower preferences and recommended cultivars and hybrids that can meet the needs of Midwest organic growers. An online survey identified key plant traits, and a field trial of a diverse set of tomato germplasm under organic management was evaluated to better understand horticultural constraints and identify adapted germplasm for further development.

Sugar molecules lose their ‘Cinderella’ status

(University of York) A team from the York Structural Biology Laboratory in the Department of Chemistry at the University of York has produced user-friendly software called Privateer that enables scientists to analyze and study the three-dimensional structure of carbohydrates facilitating their exploitation in academic and modern medicine.

What counts as fair?

(Massachusetts Institute of Technology) Neuroscientists at MIT and University of Rochester find that children's ability to count is key to distributing resources based on merit.

Controlling levels of specific gut bacteria could help prevent severe diarrhea

(Michigan State University) Everyone has suffered from it. It's ranged from mild to severe. It's a condition that's most-often described in a whisper. Diarrhea.Severe cases of diarrhea, however, are no joking matter. Research led by Michigan State University and published in a recent issue of the journal Microbiome may offer patients suffering from acute cases new treatments that focus on intestinal microbial communities to prevent the disease.