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Rose-hip extract can cut arthritis pain

A new pill made from rose-hip extract has been found to reduce the agony of osteoarthritis sufferers by an astonishing 90 percent.

Human trials suggest a wonder supplement called Gopo – named after a key ingredient of the plant – could provide a breakthrough for six million Britons whose lives are blighted by joint pain.

Pills containing the supplement are now available in the UK for the first time – for just 15 pence each, the Daily Express reported.

Scientists said that they have proved the herbal remedy possesses special properties which can alleviate the condition in the hand especially. Danish researchers found the specially cultivated compound reduced nagging pain in nine out of 10 of the 30 people who took part in clinical trials.

Debilitating stiffness in finger and thumb joints – the calling card of osteoarthritis – can make tasks like opening jars, holding cutlery and tying shoelaces near to impossible. The results of investigations carried out at Frederiksberg University in Copenhagen show the natural extract could offer the closest thing to a cure.

The pill gave round-the-clock relief, and sufferers were a third less likely to use conventional painkillers after taking the supplement.

Rose-hip, also known as rose haw, is the fruit of the rose plant and is commonly used for jam, jelly, syrup, soup, wine and marmalade.

It contains high levels of vitamin C and lycopene, a powerful antioxidant that helps lower cholesterol.

Scarred tissues turned into beating heart cells

In a new study, researchers have turned cells common in scar tissue into colonies of beating heart cells.

The findings by biomedical engineers from the University of Michigan could advance the path toward regenerating tissue that's been damaged in a heart attack.

“Many reprogramming studies don't consider the environment that the cells are in – they don't consider anything other than the genes,”said Andrew Putnam, an associate professor of biomedical engineering and head of the Cell Signaling in Engineered Tissues Lab. To explore how the cells' surroundings might improve the efficiency of reprogramming, Yen Peng Kong, a post-doctoral researcher in the lab, attempted to turn scarring cells, or fibroblasts, into heart muscle cells while growing them in gels of varying stiffness. The fibroblasts came from mouse embryos. To begin the conversion to heart muscle cells, Kong infected the fibroblasts with a specially designed virus that carried mouse transgenes – genes expressed by stem cells.

Fooled into stem cell behavior, the fibroblasts transformed themselves into stem-cell-like progenitor cells. This transition, which would be skipped in direct reprogramming, encouraged the cells to divide and grow into colonies rather than remaining as lone rangers. The tighter community might have helped to ease the next transition, since naturally developing heart muscle cells are also close with their neighbours.

After seven days, Kong changed the mixture used to feed the cells This helped push the cells toward adopting the heart muscle identity. Later, some of the colonies were contracting spontaneously, marking themselves out as heart muscle colonies.
     
Beauty acts like drug to the brain

A new study has revealed that the human desire to look at attractive faces plays a role in how people select their partners, and has its roots in the brain.

Study researcher Olga Chelnokova, a psychologist at the University of Oslo, in Norway, said that  “being attached to someone, is rewarding for people,”. Most research on human attraction has involved scanning the brain passively, rather than probing it with drugs. And many of the latter studies have been done in animals, not humans. Chelnokova and her colleagues recruited 30 healthy men for their study.
The researchers gave some of the men morphine and others an opioid suppressor.
The scientists showed the men photographs of women’s faces that varied in attractiveness, which the men could flip through at their own speed. The scientists asked the men to rate how much they liked each of the faces and measured how long they lingered on each one.

Participants who were given morphine rated the most objectively attractive faces very highly — in other words, they liked them more than the other faces. By contrast, the men taking the opioid suppressor showed less liking and wanting: They rated the attractive faces less highly and spent less time viewing them.

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