Why Ebola is so dangerous

The Ebola outbreak in West Africa is the world's deadliest to date and the World Health Organization has declared an international health emergency as more than 1,200 people have died of the virus in Guinea, Liberia, Sierra Leone and Nigeria this year.

Sun's activity influences natural climate change, ice age study shows

A new study from Lund University in Sweden has, for the first time, reconstructed solar activity during the last ice age. The study shows that the regional climate is influenced by the sun and offers opportunities to better predict future climate conditions in certain regions.

For the first time, a research team has been able to reconstruct the solar activity at the end of the last ice age, around 20,000-10,000 years ago, by analysing trace elements in ice cores in Greenland and cave formations from China. During the last glacial maximum, Sweden was covered in a thick ice sheet that stretched all the way down to northern Germany and sea levels were more than 100 metres lower than they are today, because the water was frozen in the extensive ice caps. The new study shows that the sun's variation influences the climate in a similar way regardless of whether the climate is extreme, as during the Ice Age, or as it is today.

Stroke risk similar among men and women smokers worldwide

Smoking cigarettes may cause similar stroke risks for men and women, but women smokers may be at greater risk for a more deadly and uncommon type of stroke, according to new research in the American Heart Association journal Stroke.

When compared to non-smokers of the same gender, smoking increases the risk of having any type of stroke by 60 to 80 percent in women and men.

Researchers said the finding is intriguing because other studies have found strong evidence that smoking conveys a much higher risk of heart disease -- which shares a common disease process with stroke -- for women than for men.

Newly Discovered Heart Molecule Could Lead to Effective Treatment for Heart Failure

Researchers have discovered a previously unknown cardiac molecule that could provide a key to treating, and preventing, heart failure.

The newly discovered molecule provides the heart with a tool to block a protein that orchestrates genetic disruptions when the heart is subjected to stress, such as high blood pressure.

Glucose 'Control Switch' in The Brain Key to Both Types of Diabetes

Researchers have pinpointed a mechanism in part of the brain that is key to sensing glucose levels in the blood, linking it to both type 1 and type 2 diabetes.

The findings are published in the July 28 issue of Proceedings of the National Academies of Sciences.

"We've discovered that the prolylendopeptidase enzyme -- located in a part of the hypothalamus known as the ventromedial nucleus -- sets a series of steps in motion that control glucose levels in the blood," said lead author Sabrina Diano, professor in the Departments of Obstetrics, Gynecology & Reproductive Sciences, Comparative Medicine, and Neurobiology at Yale School of Medicine. "Our findings could eventually lead to new treatments for diabetes."

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