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Immunotherapy cures late-stage breast cancer in world first: study

A woman with an aggressive form of breast cancer which defied chemotherapy and spread to other organs, was cured with an experimental treatment that triggered her immune system, researchers said Monday. The woman has been cancer-free for two years, reported the US-based team, presenting their results as “a new immunotherapy approach” for the treatment of…

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Sweet tooth? Brain-tinkering study makes sugar taste vile

Have you ever been on a diet and wished that spinach excited your tastebuds? Or that chocolate left you cold? Neuroscientists said Wednesday they have discovered how to manipulate the brain to make sweet things off-putting, and bitter ones nice. But only in mice, for now. Mooting promise for an obesity treatment, researchers in the…

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1.2bn children threatened by war, poverty, discrimination: study

More than half of the world’s children are threatened by conflict, poverty or sexual discrimination, Save the Children said in a report published on Wednesday. Entitled “Many Faces of Exclusion”, the study ranked 175 countries in terms of the threat of child labour, exclusion from education, child marriage and early pregnancy. It found that 1.2…

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Artificial intelligence better at finding skin cancer than doctors: study

A computer was better than human dermatologists at detecting skin cancer in a study that pitted human against machine in the quest for better, faster diagnostics, researchers said Tuesday. A team from Germany, the United States and France taught an artificial intelligence system to distinguish dangerous skin lesions from benign ones, showing it more than…

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Ethnic hostility is contagious: Czech-Slovak study

Hostility towards ethnic minorities is contagious and the acceptability of destructive behaviour towards them can easily change depending on how others behave, according to a new study by a Czech-Slovak team. “Social norms regulating anti-social behaviour are very fragile if this behaviour is aimed at ethnic minorities,” researchers Michal Bauer and Julie Chytilova told AFP…

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Scientists discover how breast cancer hibernates: study

Scientists have identified the mechanism that allows breast cancer cells to lie dormant in other parts of the body only to reemerge years later with lethal force, according to a study published Tuesday. In experiments with human cells and live mice, researchers showed that disabling the mechanism — with drugs or gene manipulation — crippled…

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Dogs born in summer prone to heart disease: study

Dogs born during summer months run a higher risk of heart and artery problems, according to a study published Thursday in the journal Scientific Reports. The seasonal difference was especially marked — 74 percent higher in July than January — in breeds not genetically prone to cardiovascular disease, leading scientists to speculate that environmental factors…

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People are pillaging the world’s protected areas: study

Highways are being paved, oil is being drilled and entire cities are sprouting up inside many of the world’s nature preserves, imperiling the very creatures they are meant to protect, researchers said Thursday. The vast harm being wreaked by people inside protected areas that are home to endangered animals like the eastern black rhinoceros, Sumatran…

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Exercise does not delay decline in people with dementia: study

While physical exercise may stave off dementia, it does not delay mental decline in people after they’ve been diagnosed, a study in nearly 500 people with the condition reported Thursday. While a fitness regime improved physical fitness in people with mild to moderate dementia, it “does not slow cognitive impairment,” researchers reported in The BMJ…

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Happiness makes hit songs: study

Hit songs today are “happier”, more danceable and more likely to be sung by women than songs that fail to make it to the charts, a study into 30 years of musical evolution revealed Wednesday. But also it noted a somber trend: while people clearly prefer happy music, there is less and less of it….

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Sex bias kills 240,000 infant girls in India yearly: study

Almost a quarter-of-a-million girls younger than five die in India every year due to neglect resulting from society’s preference for sons, a gender discrimination study found on Tuesday. This was over and above those aborted simply for being female, researchers wrote in The Lancet medical journal. “Gender-based discrimination towards girls doesn’t simply prevent them from…

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Poor diet delays pregnancy, curbs fertility: study

Women who shun fruit or eat lots of fast food take longer to get pregnant and are less likely to conceive within a year, according to a study released Thursday. A nearly no-fruit diet compared to one loaded with three or more pieces per day added about two weeks, on average, to the time of…

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Amazon river dolphins in steep decline: study

Two kinds of river dolphins are dying off fast in the Amazon region, and may face extinction unless they are more vigorously protected against fishing, researchers in Brazil said Wednesday. Once considered abundant in the Amazon basin, the boto (Inia geoffrensis) and the tucuxi (Sotalia fluviatilis) are now halving in population every 10 years, said…

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Frequent sauna use may cut stroke risk: study

People in Finland who regularly take saunas may face a far lower stroke risk than those who go less often, said a study Wednesday. The report in the journal Neurology is the first to assess the relationship between saunas and strokes, and was based on more than 1,600 people who were followed for an average…

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French Bulldog’s cute face exposes it to welfare risks: study

The popularity of the French Bulldog, known to suffer breathing problems due to the same flat face deemed its cutest feature, raises animal welfare concerns, researchers said Thursday. In Britain alone, demand for the short-muzzled, wide-eyed hound has soared, following a global fashion in small, flat-faced dogs. In 2013, 1.46 percent of all puppies born…

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Ecstasy may relieve the agony of PTSD: study

Better known to nightclubbers as ecstasy, the euphoria-inducing drug MDMA appears to alleviate Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) in war veterans, firefighters, and police officers, researchers said Wednesday. In a trial in the United States, three different doses of the drug were tested on 26 service personnel diagnosed with the debilitating affliction after experiencing trauma in…

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Study triples number of known depression genes

A study of nearly half-a-million people has uncovered 30 new genes linked to depression, tripling the number known to play a role in the debilitating disease. The same enlarged basket of depression genes also underpins other psychiatric disorders, such as schizophrenia, a consortium of nearly 250 scientists discovered. “This is a game changer,” said Patrick…

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Enzyme that affects ageing, cancer decoded: study

Elated scientists announced Wednesday the completion of a 20-year quest to map the complex enzyme thought to forestall ageing by repairing the tips of chromosomes in plants and animals, including humans. Decoding the architecture of the enzyme, called telomerase, could lead to drugs that slow or block the ageing process, along with new treatments for…

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Some antidepressants may be linked to dementia: study

Long-term use of certain anti-depressants have been linked to dementia in a large British study, researchers said Thursday, though they could not definitively conclude that the drugs were the cause. The study in more than 300,000 people in Britain found that those diagnosed with dementia were almost a third more likely to have been prescribed…

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In New Guinea, human thigh bone daggers were hot property: study

New Guinea warriors harvested thigh bones from their dead fathers to fashion into ornamental but deadly daggers used to kill and maim enemies, sometimes to eat them, reported AFP. But why use human bone when equally lethal daggers were made from the shin bones of large, flightless birds called cassowaries — abundant, and easier to…

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‘Artificial mole’ could warn of cancer: study

Swiss scientists have developed an experimental skin implant that darkens like a mole when it detects subtle changes in the body that may be an early warning sign of cancer, a study said Wednesday, reported AFP. The implant, or “biomedical tattoo,” as researchers call it, has been tested in lab animals, lasts about a year…

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