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Latest McMaster University Stories

Salt Consumption Debate: Too Much Or Too Little?
2011-11-23 12:56:56

Doctors and health experts have warned us for years that too much salt intake is bad for our health, but a new study from researchers at McMaster University in Hamilton, Ontario, Canada suggests that too little salt intake may be just as bad for our heart health as higher doses. The new study suggests that in people with heart disease, eating too little salt is linked to a higher risk of heart-related hospitalizations and deaths nearly as much as too much salt intake. It also suggests that...

2011-11-09 16:11:25

In the fight for survival, plants are capable of complex social behaviours and may exhibit altruism towards family members, but aggressively compete with strangers. A growing body of work suggests plants recognize and respond to the presence and identity of their neighbours. But can plants cooperate with their relatives? While some studies have shown that siblings perform best -- suggesting altruism towards relatives -- other studies have shown that when less related plants grow together...

Diet Rich In Veggies And Fruit Reduces Heart Disease Risk
2011-10-12 12:26:57

Researchers found a genetic risk for cardiovascular disease that may be modifiable through a change in diet. The team wrote in the journal PLoS Medicine that the risk of the disease was decreased in individuals who ate a diet rich in raw fruits and vegetables. "Despite having a high genetic risk for heart disease, a healthy lifestyle can actually turn off the gene," Dr. Sonia Anand, Professor of Medicine and Epidemiology at the Michael G. DeGroote School of Medicine at McMaster...

2011-10-12 11:05:10

A long-held mantra suggests that you can't change your family, the genes they pass on, or the effect of these genes. Now, an international team of scientists, led by researchers at McMaster and McGill universities, is attacking that belief. The researchers discovered the gene that is the strongest marker for heart disease can actually be modified by generous amounts of fruit and raw vegetables. The results of their study are published in the current issue of the journal PLoS Medicine....

Missing Genes Could Turn You Into A Couch Potato
2011-09-06 04:49:33

  While some “couch potatoes” might attribute their lack of resolve to exercise to mere laziness, researchers have discovered these people may simply be missing some vital genes. The scientists at McMaster University made their unexpected finding while working with healthy, custom-bred mice, some of which had two muscle genes essential for exercise removed.  The genes control the protein AMP-activated protein kinase (AMPK), an enzyme that is switched on when you...

Antibiotic Resistance Found In Ancient DNA
2011-09-05 04:33:02

  A team comprised primarily of Canadian researchers has discovered antibiotic resistance in the DNA of 30,000-year-old bacteria found in the Yukon permafrost, various media outlets reported last week. The scientists, who published their findings in the journal Nature, note that resistant microbes are commonly thought to have developed after the development of synthetic antibiotics over 70 years ago. However, they discovered that it is not a "modern phenomenon," but is in fact "a...

2011-09-01 17:07:18

Stomach acid supressing drugs appear to cause damage to the small intestine Patients often take drugs to lower stomach acid and reduce the chances they will develop ulcers from taking their anti-inflammatory drugs for conditions such as arthritis, but the combination may be causing major problems for their small intestines, McMaster researchers have found. A team from the Farncombe Family Digestive Health Research Institute has found those stomach acid-reducing drugs, known as proton...

2011-09-01 15:22:00

McMaster researchers have found one more reason to exercise: working out triggers influential stem cells to become bone instead of fat, improving overall health by boosting the body's capacity to make blood. The body's mesenchymal stem cells are most likely to become fat or bone, depending on which path they follow. Using treadmill-conditioned mice, a team led by the Department of Kinesiology's Gianni Parise has shown that aerobic exercise triggers those cells to become bone more often...

2011-08-31 20:22:10

Scientists were surprised at how fast bacteria developed resistance to the miracle antibiotic drugs when they were developed less than a century ago. Now scientists at McMaster University have found that resistance has been around for at least 30,000 years. Research findings published today in the science journal Nature show antibiotic resistance is a natural phenomenon that predates the modern clinical antibiotic use. Principal investigators for the study are Gerry Wright, scientific...


Word of the Day
siliqua
  • A Roman unit of weight, 1⁄1728 of a pound.
  • A weight of four grains used in weighing gold and precious stones; a carat.
  • In anatomy, a formation suggesting a husk or pod.
  • The lowest unit in the Roman coinage, the twenty-fourth part of a solidus.
  • A coin of base silver of the Gothic and Lombard kings of Italy.
'Siliqua' comes from a Latin word meaning 'a pod.'
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