Monthly Archives: June 2017

Let There be Healing Light!

Numerous light-related technological innovations were presented at the Onlylight trade fair, which took place in Lyon from June 13 to 15. This year a number of public health issues were discussed, including “illuminating for health”, how to implement “good light habits”, and how to “illuminate for learning without risking myopia”.

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Tuesday 13th June 2017

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Prenatal stress affects life expectancy in offspring

Major prenatal stress reduces the lifespan of adult offspring by over 2 years. Inserm researchers have obtained these results by studying a cohort of children born between 1914 and 1916, some of whom lost their father in combat before they were even born. Stress suffered by the mother seems to weaken the fetus, at a developmental stage characterized by a high level of plasticity. These results were published in PNAS by a team from Inserm Unit 1169, “Gene Therapy, Genetics and Epigenetics in Neurology, Endocrinology, Cardiology, and Child Development”: Nicolas Todd, Pierre Bougnères, and Alain-Jacques Valleron.

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Blood test developed to detect rare neurological disease

Groupe sanguin

Teams from the AP-HP Paris public hospitals network, in collaboration with researchers from the Brain & Spine Institute (ICM) (Inserm/CNRS/UPMC), and Metafora biosystems, a start-up with links to the CNRS, have recently developed a diagnostic blood test for a rare but treatable condition called De Vivo disease.

It was tested on 30 patients with the disease, which causes neurological deficits such as epilepsy and movement disorders.

Compared with current diagnostic tests that use an invasive procedure (lumbar puncture) or complex DNA analysis, this new test[1], the results of which have been published in Annals of Neurology, will be able to screen for the condition rapidly (within 48h) and with ease in both adults and children.

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Lundi 12th June 2017

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Friday 9th June 2017

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We’re all a bit Neanderthal… or are we?

A study conducted by Inserm researchers at the Research Institute for Environmental and Occupational Health (Irset)[1] has shown that natural selection has “purged” our bodies of many of the traces of our ancient Neanderthal and Denisovan cousins in the genes responsible for the genetic mixing essential to reproduction. The researchers have shown that the genes expressed during meiosis in the cells that produce gametes (reproductive cells) are strongly deficient in genetic variations of Neanderthal origin that were the result of the interbreeding between Homo sapiens and Homo neanderthalensis. These results have been published in Molecular Biology and Evolution.

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Thursday 8th June 2017

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Cough syrup effective in stroke

N-acetylcysteine (Mucomyst®, Exomuc®, Fluimucyl®) is commonly used as a treatment for clearing mucus from the airways, but researchers from Inserm Unit 1237, “Physiopathology and Imaging of Neurological Disorders” (Inserm/ UNICAEN), led by Denis Vivien, have shown that it is also capable of unblocking arteries obstructed by a blood clot. This study, coordinated by Maxime Gauberti and Sara Martinez de Lizarrondo, opens the way to a new treatment strategy in stroke. The work was published in May in Circulation.

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Wednesday 7th June 2017

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