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    News of the last three months

    New research from the Institute of Psychiatry, Psychology & Neuroscience (IoPPN) at King’s College London has established a blood-based test that could be used to predict the risk of Alzheimer’s disease up to 3.5 years before clinical diagnosis.

     

    The study, published in the journal Brain, supports the idea that components in the human blood can modulate the formation of new brain cells, a process termed neurogenesis. Neurogenesis occurs in an important part of the brain called the hippocampus that is involved in learning and memory.

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    Interdisciplinary team of heart surgeons and cardiologists has good experience with a prosthesis implanted via the apex of the heart. The mitral valve is one of our four heart valves. If it does not close properly, experts call it mitral valve insufficiency. It is the second most common heart valve disease in adults. Depending on the cause and severity, there are different treatment methods - from medication to repair or replacement of the valve. An innovative procedure is the implantation of a mitral valve prosthesis through the apex of the heart. It is particularly suitable for patients of advanced age or with pre-existing conditions. Hannover Medical School (MHH) is the only hospital in the Hannover region to use this new treatment method. The procedure is implemented by an interdisciplinary team from the Clinic for Cardiac, Thoracic, Transplantation and Vascular Surgery, the Clinic for Cardiology and Angiology and the Clinic for Anaesthesiology and Intensive Care Medicine.

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    Humanity faces greater existential threats than it did during the Cold War, according to the Bulletin of Atomic Scientists.

    The Doomsday Clock, created 76 years ago by atomic scientists to warn against a human-made apocalypse, has moved to 90 seconds to midnight.

     

    Russia's ongoing invasion of Ukraine, the climate crisis, and biological threats such as the unchecked spread of COVID-19 were the leading reasons given by the Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists (BAS), a non-profit organization of scientists and policy experts, for setting the hands of the clock closer to human extinction than they have ever been before — including at the height of the Cold War.

     

    For the past three years the clock has been stuck at 100 seconds to midnight, hovering at what was until now the closest-ever point to humanity's annihilation. Now, "largely, but not exclusively" due to growing risks in the war in Ukraine, it has ticked one step closer.

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    About five percent of the population in industrialized nations suffer from autoimmune diseases. The most commonly occuring organ specific autoimmune diseases are the group of autoimmune thyroid diseases, followed by gluten-sensitive enteropathy (celiac disease) and autoimmune liver disease. Karsten Conrad and colleagues deliver the guide to the serological diagnosis of organ specific autoimmune diseases. The book consists of two alphabetically organized sections: The first deals with autoantibodies, the second with autoimmune or potential autoimmune diseases as well as symptoms related to particular organ specific autoimmune diseases.

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    Severe courses of COVID-19 infection not only impair lung function, but can also cause life-threatening consequences for the heart. The spectrum ranges from acute inflammation of the heart muscle (myocarditis) to chronic restriction of the heart's pumping function. The basic patterns of damage have not yet been completely proven. An interdisciplinary research team led by Professor Dr. Danny Jonigk, Christopher Werlein and Private Lecturer (PD) Dr. Mark Kühnel from the Institute of Pathology at the Hannover Medical School (MHH) has now used innovative molecular methods and a high-resolution microscopy technique to show how the ongoing inflammation in COVID-19 attacks the heart tissue and, in the long term, remodels the smallest coronary vessels by directing special precursor cells of the immune system from the blood into the heart. The study was published in the renowned journal Angiogenesis.

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    The moment a person dies, their body begins to break down as cells wither and bacteria invade. But how long does it take for a body to fully decompose? Although the process of decomposition starts within minutes of death, there are a number of variables, including the ambient temperature, soil acidity and coffin materials, which can affect how long it takes a body to skeletonize. However, on average, a body buried within a typical coffin usually starts to break down within a year, but takes up to a decade to fully decompose, leaving only the skeleton, Daniel Wescott, director of the Forensic Anthropology Center at Texas State University, told Live Science.

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    "Dynamic psychiatry and psychological intervention in the Arab World are limited and may be due to two major causes: the general low socioeconomic and educational level of the masses and the fact that it is culturally acceptable to conceal one´s thoughts than reveal them," Victor Sanua noted in his contribution to the Reader "The Spiritual Side of Psychology at Century´s End". "The Arabic word for reveal is ´kashafa´ which means also to remove the veil, a woman´s proper covering.

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    Einstein's theory of general relativity upended humanity's understanding of the universe more than a century ago, and since then, scientists have discovered that the steady march of time is anything but steady. Among the haunting implications of general relativity is that time passes more quickly at the top of every staircase in the world than it does at the bottom.

     

    This mind-bending phenomenon happens because the closer an object is to Earth, the stronger the impacts of gravity are. And because general relativity describes gravity as the warping of space and time, time itself travels more slowly at higher altitudes and greater distances from Earth, where gravity has less of an effect.

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    The 11,000-year-old carved relief, found in Turkey, is the oldest narrative carving on record. An 11,000-year-old rock-cut relief in southeastern Turkey featuring menacing animals and two men, one of whom is holding his genitalia, is the oldest narrative scene on record, a new study suggests. Archaeologists discovered the curious carvings on built-in benches within a Neolithic (or New Stone Age) building in the Urfa region. Measuring roughly 2.5 to 3 feet (0.7 to 0.9 meter) tall and 12 feet (3.7 m) long, the newly discovered rock-cut relief showcases two leopards, a bull and the two men — one grasping his phallus and the other holding a rattle or snake.

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    Psychologists in Austria develop and examine a measure instrument of personality based on quantitative text analysis. They use linguistic markers that have been shown to be related to the Big-Five personality traits and define a linguistic model of personality based on these findings.

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    Icon Special and general specialist literatureSpecial scientific titles & generally understandable specialist literature
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