Exposure to Air Pollution Linked to Higher Heart Attack Risk

A new study, published in Environmental Health Perspectives, suggests that exposure to ultrafine particles (UFP) of air pollution can be a trigger for heart attacks.

To investigate the link between UFP and nonfatal heart attacks, the team of researchers analyzed data from air pollution monitoring sites of Augsburg in Germany from 2005 to 2015. They also compared these data with the cases of nonfatal heart attacks in the city during the same period.

The first author of the study Kai Chen, Ph.D., assistant professor at Yale School of Public Health in New Haven, CT, says: “This study confirms something that has long been suspected — air pollution’s tiny particles can play a role in serious heart disease. This is particularly true within the first few hours of exposure. Elevated levels of UFP are a serious public health concern.”

Scientists Moved One Step Closer to HIV Cure

A team of researchers from the universities of North Carolina and Emory in Atlanta moved one step closer to cure HIV forcing the AIDS-causing virus to reactivate meaning this virus becomes vulnerable to the immune system and medication.Scientists Moved One Step Closer to HIV Cure

This is a significant achievement as currently this virus hides at undetectable levels in immune cells and cannot be killed.

To shock and kill the virus hiding in immune cells, the team used a drug AZD5582 which forced open cellular pathways in the immune system. At the present moment, the drug was tested only on animals.

Co-senior author on both papers Ann Chahroudi, an associate professor of pediatrics and director of the Center for Childhood Infections & Vaccines at Emory, says: “AZD5582 was remarkable in its ability to reactivate latent SIV from resting CD4+ T cells, and to induce continued virus production in the blood when monkeys were still receiving daily antiretroviral therapy.”

What Is Known about Pneumonia-Like Coronavirus from China

A new pneumonia-like coronavirus from China emerged in the city of Wuhan with a population of around 11 million people. The US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention identified a seafood market as the center of the outbreak. The market was closed on the 1st of January 2020.What Is Known about Pneumonia-Like Coronavirus from China

The World Health Organization (WHO) declared that the outbreak had been caused by a previously unknown type of coronavirus belonging to a family of diseases ranging from the common cold to severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS).

On the 20th of January, according to the authorities, more than 200 cases recorded and reported about three deaths in China. The virus is present in Beijing, Shanghai, and Shenzhen and detected in South Korea in a Chinese person who arrived by aeroplane.

Regular Tea Drinking Linked to Lower Level of Depression

A new study from the National University of Singapore (NUS) and Fudan University in Shanghai finds a statistically significant link between drinking tea on a regular basis and lower levels of depression in older adults.Regular Tea Drinking Linked to Lower Level of Depression

For the study, a team of researchers analyzed data provided by 13,000 people who participated in the Chinese Longitudinal Healthy Longevity Survey (CLHLS) from 2005 to 2014 and found that the benefits of tea drinking are the strongest for male participants aged 65 to 79 who live in cities and are educated, married, and receiving pensions.

Lead researcher of the study Feng Qiushi suggests an explanation: “It is likely that the benefit of tea drinking is more evident for the early stage of health deterioration. More studies are surely needed in regard to this issue.”

Sugar Changes Brain Chemistry after 12 Days of Intake

A new study from Aarhus University in Denmark examined the effect of sugar intake and found that it altered the reward-processing circuitry of the brain similarly to addictive drugs.Sugar Changes Brain Chemistry after 12 Days of Intake

A team of scientists checked the effects of sugar on the brain using a pig model. In the study, minipigs had access to a sucrose solution for 1 hour on 12 consecutive days. After sugar intake, brain scans were made within 24 hours.

After only 12 days of sucrose intake, the scientists could see major changes in the brain’s dopamine and opioid systems.

The lead researchers Michael Winterdahl says: “If sugar can change the brain’s reward system after only 12 days, as we saw in the case of the pigs, you can imagine that natural stimuli, such as learning or social interaction, are pushed into the background and replaced by sugar and/or other ‘artificial’ stimuli.”