Bookmarks for March 28th

  • Blocking ‘oh-glick-nack’ may improve long-term memory – O-GlcNAc's effects on one particular protein, CREB, got the scientists' attention. CREB is a key substance that turns on and regulates the activity of genes. Many of the genes in cells are inactive at any given moment. Substances like CREB, termed transcription factors, turn genes on. Hsieh-Wilson found that when O-GlcNAc attached to CREB, CREB's ability to turn on genes was impaired. When the researchers blocked O-GlcNAc from binding CREB, the mice developed long-term memories faster than normal mice.

    Could blocking O-GlcNAc boost long-term memory in humans?

    "We're far from understanding what happens in humans," Hsieh-Wilson emphasized. "Completely blocking O-GlcNAc might not be desirable. Do you really want to sustain all memories long-term, even of events that are best forgotten? How would blocking the sugar from binding to other proteins affect other body processes? There are a lot of unanswered questions. Nevertheless, this research could eventually lead to ways to improve memory."
    Tags: research science

  • Stand up: Your life could depend on it – Standing up more often may reduce your chances of dying within three years, even if you are already physically active, a study of more than 200,000 people published in Archives of Internal Medicine shows. The study found that adults who sat 11 or more hours per day had a 40% increased risk of dying in the next three years compared with those who sat for fewer than four hours a day. This was after taking into account their physical activity, weight and health status.
    Tags: health research science
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