Toss eggs onto salads to increase Vitamin E absorption

Adding whole eggs to a colorful salad boosts the amount of Vitamin E the body absorbs from the vegetables, according to research.

"Vitamin E is the second-most under-consumed nutrient in the average diet, which is problematic because this fat-soluble nutrient has antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties," said Wayne Campbell, a professor of nutrition science. "Now consumers can easily improve their diets by adding eggs to a salad that boasts a variety of colorful vegetables."

Jung Eun Kim, a postdoctoral researcher, said, "We found Vitamin E absorption was 4- to 7-fold higher when three whole eggs were added to a salad. This study is novel because we measured the absorption of Vitamin E from real foods, rather than supplements, which contain mega-dose amounts of Vitamin E."

Exploring the evolution of spider venom to improve human health

More than 46,000 species of spiders creepy crawl across the globe, on every continent except Antarctica. Each species produces a venom composed of an average of 500 distinct toxins, putting the conservative estimate of unique venom compounds at more than 22 million. This staggering diversity of venoms, collectively referred to as the venome, has only begun to be explored.

Among the handful of brave scientists studying spider venom are Greta Binford,Oregon and Jessica Garb. Both of these researchers analyze the protein structures of various venom chemicals in search of clues that can explain why some are lethal, while the vast majority are thought to be relatively harmless.

The scientists also use molecular biology tools to compare the genomes of spiders that have extremely noxious venoms, including the black widow and the brown recluse, to those of spiders with non-poisonous venoms, such as the house spider. "For some reason I tend to gravitate to these really dangerous spiders like the black widow," says Garb. "But they're amazing. With their shiny black body adorned with the red hourglass, they're actually quite elegant."

Fatal measles complication more common than thought: U.S. study

A deadly complication of measles in young children that strikes years after infection may be more common than previously thought, according to a study presented that stressed the importance of vaccinations against the highly contagious disease.

The risk of acquiring the always fatal neurological disorder, subacute sclerosing panencephalitis (SSPE), was believed to be about 1-in-1,700, based on an earlier German study of children under five years of age infected with measles, according to Reuters.

Vitamin E makes a quarter of older men who smoke and don't exercise 'more prone to pneumonia'

A common vitamin that boosts the immune system can actually make older men more prone to pneumonia, scientists warn.

Vitamin E is found in a wide variety of foods with the richest sources being plant oils, such as corn and olive oil, nuts and seeds and wheat germ.

It acts as an antioxidant, which protects cell membranes, and helps maintain healthy skin and eyes and strengthens the immune system.

It increased the risk of pneumonia for nearly one in four older men who smoked and did not exercise.

How even our brains get 'slacker' as we age

Losing the youthful firmness and elasticity in our skin is one of the first outward signs of aging. Now it seems it's not just our skin that starts to sag -- but our brains too.

New research investigated the way the human brain folds and how this 'cortical folding' changes with age.

Linking the change in brain folding to the tension on the cerebral cortex -- the outer layer of neural tissue in our brains -- the team found that as we age, the tension on the cortex appears to decrease. This effect was more pronounced in individuals with Alzheimer's disease.

Publishing their findings, the team say this new research sheds light on the underlying mechanisms which affect brain folding and could be used in the future to help diagnose brain diseases.

Lead author Dr Yujiang Wang, , explains, "One of the key features of a mammalian brain is the grooves and folds all over the surface -- a bit like a walnut -- but until now no-one has been able to measure this folding in a consistent way.

"By mapping the brain folding of over 1,000 people, we have shown that our brains fold according to a simple universal law. We also show that a parameter of the law, which is interpreted as the tension on the inside of the cortex, decreases with age.