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India sought after for  cosmetic surgery

Many Americans are considering traveling to Mexico or India for a less-expensive rhinoplasty or breast augmentation procedure, according to a report.

The trend is having an impact on the market for cosmetic plastic surgery, according to an article in Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery—Global Open®, the official open-access medical journal of the American Society of Plastic Surgeons (ASPS).

The paper, by ASPS Member Surgeon Dr Kevin C Chung and Lauren E Franzblau of the University of Michigan, discusses ‘the rise and transformation of the medical tourism industry, foreign and domestic forces that influence cosmetic surgical tourism, and the pros and cons for all involved parties’.

“The rapid globalisation of the industry also marks a fundamental shift in the world's perception of elective procedures: patients are becoming consumers and these medical services are being viewed as commodities,” Chung and Franzblau wrote.

Absence of SMG1 protein could lead to Parkinson’s

A new study has suggested that the absence of a protein called SMG1 - identified as a Regulator of Parkinson’s disease-associated alpha-Synuclein Ttrough siRNA Screening - could aid in the development of Parkinson’s and other related neurological disorders. The study led by the Translational Genomics Research Institute (TGen) screened 711 human kinases (key regulators of cellular functions) and 206 phosphatases (key regulators of metabolic processes) to determine which might have the greatest relationship to the aggregation of a protein known as alpha-synuclein, which was earlier implicated in Parkinson’s disease.

Senior author Dr Travis Dunckley, a TGen Assistant Professor, said that identifying the kinases and phosphates that regulate this critical phosphorylation event may ultimately prove beneficial in the development of new drugs that could prevent synuclein dysfunction and toxicity in Parkinson’s disease and other synucleinopathies.

Synucleinopathies are neurodegenerative disorders characterised by aggregates of a-synuclein protein. They include Parkinson’s, various forms of dementia and multiple systems atrophy (MSA).

Dr Dunckley and collaborators used the latest in genomic technologies, to find that expression of the protein SMG1 was “significantly reduced” in tissue samples of patients with Parkinson’s and dementia. He said that these results suggest that reduced SMG1 expression may be a contributor to a-synuclein pathology in these diseases.

How babies learn through observing movements

A new study has revealed that infant brains are sensitive to other people’s movements, like when they observe others moving their feet, activity in the foot areas of their cortex increases.

When adults see other humans making movements with specific body parts, the parts of their brains devoted to moving those body parts also become activated. While watching someone moving their hand, the part of your cortex devoted to moving your own hand also becomes active.

There are various developmental and evolutionary theories as to why this might be the case, one of which being that it might be a neurobiological foundation of our ability to imitate others, which is necessary for cultural learning and language development.
In this study, Joni Saby and colleagues at Temple University and the University of Washington used non-invasive recordings over the scalp of infants to show that when they observed other people using their hands, activity in the hand areas of their cortex increased. Likewise, when infants observed other people moving their feet, activity in the foot areas of their cortex increased.    

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