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Via Dying Cells, UVA Finds Potential Way to Control Cholesterol Levels

A discovery about how the body deals with the cholesterol contained within its dying cells has suggested an exciting new approach to control people’s cholesterol levels – and thus their risk of developing heart disease. The discovery from the School of Medicine reveals a previously unknown mechanism by which cells that are about to die inform the cells that are about to eat them how to handle the cholesterol they contain. By stimulating or simulating this molecular messaging, doctors may one day be able to better regulate the body’s levels of HDL and LDL cholesterol – the so-called “good” and “bad” cholesterols.

Racial makeup of labor markets affects who gets job leads

The racial composition of a labor market plays a significant role in whether workers find out about job leads – regardless of the race of the worker, according to new research from Rice University and North Carolina State University (N.C. State). The study found that in a job market that was 20 percent white, there was a 25 percent probability that a respondent had gotten an unsolicited job lead in the past year. But in a market that was 80 percent white, there was a 60 percent probability of a respondent having gotten such a lead.

Inexpensive, abundant starch fibers could lead to ‘ouchless’ bandages

A process that spins starch into fine strands could take the sting out of removing bandages, as well as produce less expensive and more environmentally-friendly toilet paper, napkins and other products, according to Penn State food scientists. “There are many applications for starch fibers,” said Lingyan Kong, graduate student, food science, “Starch is the most abundant and also the least expensive of natural polymers.”

Autism and prodigy share a common genetic link

Researchers have uncovered the first evidence of a genetic link between prodigy and autism. The scientists found that child prodigies in their sample share some of the same genetic variations with people who have autism. These shared genetic markers occur on chromosome 1, according to the researchers from The Ohio State University and Nationwide Children’s Hospital in Columbus. The findings confirm a hypothesis made by Joanne Ruthsatz, co-author of the study and assistant professor of psychology at Ohio State’s Mansfield campus.

What is Lewy Body Dementia, Which Robbed Robin Williams of His Sanity?

Oscar-winning actor and comedian Robin Williams died in August 2014 of suicide. His death was not due to substance abuse or suicidal tendencies, as some had speculated in the media. Williams’ wife, Susan, told ABC’s “Good Morning America” this month that her husband slowly lost his mind because of a neurological disease, later discovered in an autopsy to be Lewy body dementia.
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