A 3-D-printed phantom head

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Phantoms are not just ghostly figures of our imagination, they are also numerical or physical models that represent human characteristics and provide an inexpensive way to test electromagnetic applications. A bioengineering researcher has developed a realistic phantom head for magnetic resonance studies.

Improved In vivo imaging of atherosclerotic plaque development

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Researchers have developed a method for quantitatively assessing atherosclerotic plaque buildup in mice. They transplanted X-ray-irradiated low-density-lipoprotein-knockout mice with bone marrow cells expressing near-infrared fluorescent protein, which subsequently developed into fluorescent macrophages. These macrophages congregated specifically in atherosclerotic plaques that arose after feeding on a high-cholesterol diet. In vivo imaging detected the amount of aortic plaque formed and its change over time, which could help in assessing the efficacy of anti-atherosclerotic drugs.

Vitamin D supplements may promote weight loss in obese children

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Vitamin D supplements may promote weight loss and reduce risk factors for future heart and metabolic disease in overweight and obese children, according to new research. These findings indicate that simple vitamin D supplementation may be part of an effective strategy to tackle childhood obesity and reduce the risk of serious health problems, such as heart disease, in adulthood.

Deaths of despair: The opioid epidemic is just part of the problem

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Opioid-related deaths contributed to more than 60,000 U.S. lives lost in 2016 but absolute declines in life expectancy relative to other countries and in various measures of psychosocial well-being have been observed starting as early as 1980. Researchers provide an overview of trends toward both increasing despair and declining health observed among many groups of people in the United States.

When neglected children become adolescents

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Many migrant children separated from their parents at the U.S. border, some of them very young, have landed in shelters where they often experience stress, neglect and minimal social and cognitive stimulation. The latest findings tell a cautionary tale about the psychiatric and social risks of long-term deprivation and family separation as children transition to adolescence.

Skin is a battlefield for mutations

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Normal skin contains a patchwork of mutated cells, yet very few go on to eventually form cancer and scientists have now uncovered the reason why. Researchers genetically engineered mice to show that mutant cells in skin tissue compete with each other, with only the fittest surviving. The results suggest that normal skin in humans is more resilient to cancer than previously thought.

Women much less likely to ask questions in academic seminars than men

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A new study reveals a stark disparity between male and female participation in departmental seminars which helps to explain the 'leaky pipeline' of female representation in academic careers. The observational study of 250 events at 35 institutions found that women are 2.5 times less likely to ask a question in seminars than men. The researchers argue this reflects significant differences in self-reported feelings towards speaking up and offers recommendations to ensure all voices are heard.