Cocoa Flavanols Can Reverse Memory Loss in Older Adults

According to a team of scientists headed by Dr Scott Small of Columbia University, flavanols – naturally occurring bioactives found in the cacao plant, tea leaves and certain fruits and vegetables – can reverse age-related memory decline in healthy older adults.

Dietary cocoa flavanols reverse age-related memory decline in healthy older adults. Image credit: © Marion Beraudias.
As people age, they typically show some decline in cognitive abilities, including learning and remembering such things as the names of new acquaintances or where one parked the car or placed one’s keys.
This normal age-related memory decline starts in early adulthood but usually does not have any noticeable impact on quality of life until people reach their fifties or sixties.
Previou… Read more

Scientists Discover First ‘Virological Penicillin’

Chinese researchers have discovered what they say is the first ‘virological penicillin’ – MIR2911, a molecule found naturally in a Chinese herb called honeysuckle.

Leaves and flowers of the honeysuckle ( Lonicera japonica ) are used in Traditional Chinese Medicine; G6PD deficient patients should avoid consuming this plant. Image credit: Mokkie / CC BY-SA 3.0.
Honeysuckle ( Lonicera japonica ) is a well-known Chinese herb. In Traditional Chinese Medicine, it has been used to effectively treat influenza infection for centuries.
Several previous studies have confirmed that the herb, usually consumed in the form of a tea, can suppress the replication of influenza virus.
However, the active anti-viral components and the mechanism by which they block viral repli… Read more

Stem Cells from Corneal Limbus Offer Hope for Effective Treatment of Incurable Blindness

The Corneal limbus – a region on the front surface of the eye – harbors special stem cells that could treat a range of conditions including age related macular degeneration, the leading cause of blindness in the developed world, say scientists at the University of Bristol and the University of Southampton, UK.

A false-color image of stem cells from human corneal limbus. Scale bar – 100 µm. Image credit: Chen X et al.
The team, led by Prof Andrew Lotery of the University of Southampton, showed that stem cells can be cultured from the Corneal limbus in vitro .
Under the correct culture conditions, these cells could be directed to behave like the cells needed to see light – photoreceptor cells.
“These cells are readily accessible, and they have surprising plasticity, which m… Read more