Humans evolved to run. This helps to explain our athletic capacity and our susceptibility to modern diseases, argue Timothy Noakes and Michael Spedding.

Evidence is limited that long-term human exposure to organophosphate (OP) pesticides, without poisoning, is associated with adverse peripheral nervous system (PNS) function. The researchers investigated associations between OP pesticide use and PNS function by administering PNS tests to 701 male pesticide applicators in the Agricultural Health Study (AHS).

Dietary trans fatty acids (dTFA) are primarily synthetic compounds that have been introduced only recently; little is known about their behavioral effects. dTFA inhibit production of omega-3 fatty acids, which experimentally have been shown to reduce aggression. Potential behavioral effects of dTFA merit investigation. The researchers sought to determine whether dTFA are associated with aggression/irritability.

The pathology of Alzheimer's disease (AD) is characterized by the presence of extracellular deposits of misfolded and aggregated amyloid-β (Aβ) peptide and intraneuronal accumulation of tangles comprised of hyperphosphorylated Tau protein. For several years, the natural compound curcumin has been proposed to be a candidate for enhanced clearance of toxic Aβ amyloid. In this study we have studied the potency of feeding curcumin as a drug candidate to alleviate Aβ toxicity in transgenic Drosophila.

Noise levels in most Indian cities have crossed safe limits. Lack of awareness has led to ailments ranging from hypertension to heart diseases. But the authorities dont's seem bothered. Read this special report in Down To Earth.

Meditators say their practice fundamentally changes the way they experience life. Michael Baime reports on how modern neuroscience is explaining this in biological terms.

Original Source

More than half of the world’s population now lives in cities, making the creation of a healthy urban environment a major policy priority. Cities have both health risks and benefits, but mental health is negatively affected: mood and anxiety disorders are more prevalent in city dwellers and the incidence of schizophrenia is strongly increased in people born and raised in cities.

A growing body of evidence suggests pesticides may play a role in Parkinson’s disease (PD) in humans. Self­reported PD has been associ­ated with lifetime use of pesticides, and animal studies have suggested that the pesticides paraquat and rotenone can cause oxidative stress and mitochondrial dysfunction, respectively—posited mechanisms of action in PD—as well as symptoms in rodents similar to human PD. Now, researchers have linked human exposure to paraquat and rotenone with PD.

Little is known about environmental causes and contributing factors for autism. Basic science and epidemiologic research suggest that oxidative stress and inflammation may play a role in disease development. Traffic-related air pollution, a common exposure with established effects on these pathways, contains substances found to have adverse prenatal effects. The authors examined the association between autism and proximity of residence to freeways and major roadways during pregnancy and near the time of delivery, as a surrogate for air pollution exposure.

Calls in Canada for trials of a contentious treatment for multiple sclerosis illustrate how social media can affect research priorities, say Roger Chafe and his colleagues.

http://www.nature.com/nature/journal/v472/n7344/full/472410a.html

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