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Calcium, the most abundant mineral in the body, is found in some foods, added to others, available as a dietary supplement, and present in some medicines (such as antacids). Calcium is required for muscle contraction, blood vessel expansion and contraction, secretion of hormones and enzymes, and transmitting impulses throughout the nervous system. The body strives to maintain constant concentrations of calcium in blood, muscle, and intercellular fluids, though less than <1% of total body calcium is needed to support these functions.

The remaining 99% of the body's calcium supply is stored in the bones and teeth where it supports their structure. Bone itself undergoes continuous remodeling, with constant resorption and deposition of calcium into new bone. The balance between bone resorption and deposition changes with age. Bone formation exceeds resorption in growing children, whereas in early and middle adulthood both processes are relatively equal. In aging adults, particularly among postmenopausal women, bone breakdown exceeds formation, resulting in bone loss that increases the risk of osteoporosis over time.
Defective PTCHD1 gene in brain creates symptoms associated with autism and ADHD

Defective PTCHD1 gene in brain creates symptoms associated with autism and ADHD

Evidence is mounting that a gene called PTCHD1 helps the brain sort between important sights and sounds — and distractions. This gene is active in a brain region that attaches more attention to a conversation with your boss, for instance, than to an air conditioner buzzing in the background. [More]
Wide-field imaging approach can help study underlying mechanisms of brain function

Wide-field imaging approach can help study underlying mechanisms of brain function

University of Oregon scientists have looked into the brains of living mice to see in real time the processing of sensory information and generation of behavioral responses. [More]
NIST researchers develop first widely useful standard for MRI of the breast

NIST researchers develop first widely useful standard for MRI of the breast

Researchers at the National Institute of Standards and Technology have developed the first widely useful standard for magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) of the breast, a method used to identify and monitor breast cancer. [More]
Researchers link AFD activity to sensory responses and behavior

Researchers link AFD activity to sensory responses and behavior

When the surrounding environment makes us uncomfortable, we are inclined to move to a more agreeable one. Studies have shown that animals do the same. They organize sequences of movements to migrate to preferred environments. Understanding how environmental information is converted to sensory information in the brain is vital for a deeper understanding of animal behavior and human perception. [More]
Synchronized waves of calcium in the brain can reduce depressive symptoms

Synchronized waves of calcium in the brain can reduce depressive symptoms

Researchers at the RIKEN Brain Science Institute in Japan have discovered that the benefits of stimulating the brain with direct current come from its effects on astrocytes -- not neurons -- in the mouse brain. [More]
Researchers identify new mutation responsible for spinocerebellar ataxia

Researchers identify new mutation responsible for spinocerebellar ataxia

Using the genetic information of two different families with three generations of disease, researchers have identified a new mutation responsible for a degenerative and ultimately fatal movement disorder. Through induced pluripotent stem cell techniques, researchers also grew neurons from one patient in the laboratory to be used in future experiments. [More]
Researchers identify potential drug target in skin for itchy feeling

Researchers identify potential drug target in skin for itchy feeling

No matter the trigger -- bug bites, a medication side-effect or an itchy wound -- the urge to scratch can be a real pain. Researchers at the Duke University Medical Center have identified a potential drug target in the skin for that itchy feeling. [More]
Researchers find new innate immunity pathway that protects mammals from viral oncogenesis

Researchers find new innate immunity pathway that protects mammals from viral oncogenesis

Building upon earlier research, investigators at UT Southwestern Medical Center and their collaborators have identified a new innate immunity pathway that protects mammals from viral oncogenesis, the process by which viruses cause normal cells to become cancerous. [More]
Study shows gut microbes alter platelet function, heightens risk of heart attack and stroke

Study shows gut microbes alter platelet function, heightens risk of heart attack and stroke

In a combination of both clinical studies of over 4,000 patients and animal model studies, Cleveland Clinic researchers have demonstrated -- for the first time -- that gut microbes alter platelet function and risk of blood clot-related illnesses like heart attack and stroke. [More]
Findings offer novel way for creating drugs to stop mitochondria from destroying cells during stress

Findings offer novel way for creating drugs to stop mitochondria from destroying cells during stress

Malfunctioning mitochondria — the power plants in cells — are behind the damage caused by strokes, heart attacks, and neurodegenerative diseases, but little has been known about how to stop these reactors from melting down, destroying cells and tissue. Mitochondria also take up calcium, which regulates energy production. [More]
Scientists optimize imaging and behavior techniques to monitor activity of neurons

Scientists optimize imaging and behavior techniques to monitor activity of neurons

The cerebellum is a region of the brain that plays an important role in motor control. The Purkinje cells, a class of neurons located in this region, are a major site of information integration that regulate changes in neural connections caused by varying factors such as behavior, environment, and emotions. Thus Purkinje cells provide an ideal location for studying the mechanisms necessary for cerebellum dependent motor learning. [More]
Gar genome helps identify genetic sequences shared by human disease genes and zebrafish

Gar genome helps identify genetic sequences shared by human disease genes and zebrafish

Led by Drs John Postlethwait and Ingo Braasch from the Institute of Neuroscience, University of Oregon, US, in collaboration with the Broad Institute, the study of the Spotted Gar (Lepisosteus oculatus) genome reveals that it is small and manageable. Furthermore, it lacks much shuffling and duplication that occurred in the 'main' fish ancestral line; it conserved its genome. [More]
High coronary artery calcium score puts people at greater risk for cancer, kidney disease and COPD

High coronary artery calcium score puts people at greater risk for cancer, kidney disease and COPD

A 10-year follow-up study of more than 6,000 people who underwent heart CT scans suggests that a high coronary artery calcium score puts people at greater risk not only for heart and vascular disease but also for cancer, chronic kidney disease and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD). [More]
Athletes carrying specific genotype at greater risk of prolonged recovery following concussion

Athletes carrying specific genotype at greater risk of prolonged recovery following concussion

Genetic research on concussions is progressing in many different avenues. However, researchers presenting their work at the American Orthopaedic Society for Sports Medicine's Specialty Day, believe there may be a new genetic connection regarding recovery rates following a sports-related concussion. [More]
Allen Institute, Blue Brain Project collaborate to develop simulation-based tools to study neurons

Allen Institute, Blue Brain Project collaborate to develop simulation-based tools to study neurons

The Allen Institute for Brain Science and the Blue Brain Project are deepening their collaboration. Today, the US-based Allen Institute is releasing a set of 40 computer models of neurons from the mouse visual cortex, created using tools developed by the Swiss-based Blue Brain Project at EPFL. Using Blue Brain technology, the researchers were able to reproduce the physiology and electrical activity of the neurons with an extremely high level of detail. [More]
Inhibition of mitochondrial calcium uptake specifically toxic to cancer cells

Inhibition of mitochondrial calcium uptake specifically toxic to cancer cells

Inhibiting the transfer of calcium ions into the cell's powerhouse is specifically toxic to cancer cells, according to an article published this week in Cell Reports by researchers from the Perelman School of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania. [More]
Kids who take ADHD medications show decreased bone density

Kids who take ADHD medications show decreased bone density

Children and adolescents who take medication for attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) show decreased bone density, according to a large cross-sectional study presented today at the 2016 Annual Meeting of the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons. [More]
New research sheds light on circadian rhythms

New research sheds light on circadian rhythms

New research sheds light on how the rhythms of daily life are encoded in the brain. Scientists at Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis have discovered that different groups of neurons, those charged with keeping time, become active at different times of day despite being on the same molecular clock. [More]
Researchers find key brain receptor linked to depression, drug addiction and Alzheimer's disease

Researchers find key brain receptor linked to depression, drug addiction and Alzheimer's disease

Researchers at the University of Colorado Anschutz Medical Campus have found that a key receptor in the brain, once thought to only strengthen synapses, can also weaken them, offering new insights into the mechanisms driving depression, drug addiction and even Alzheimer's disease. [More]
Researchers aim to develop gentler treatment that 'tricks' cancer cells

Researchers aim to develop gentler treatment that 'tricks' cancer cells

The most common treatments for cancer are radiation and chemotherapy. However they have side effects and also damage healthy tissues. Moreover, their effectiveness is limited when the cancer has spread through out the body. Researchers at the Niels Bohr Institute are therefore working to develop a gentler treatment that 'tricks' the cancer cells, which would absorb a cytotoxin and therefore be destroyed, while healthy cells would remain unaffected. The results are published in the scientific journal, Scientific Reports. [More]
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