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The Body

Sex accessory led to surprising skin discovery

Lab mice covered in liquid latex from a sex shop have shown hitherto unseen communication between the skin and the liver. Researchers believe this discovery will be important for understanding how skin diseases affect the body’s organs.

Swimming pool hall air can trigger asthma in elite swimmers

Although professional swimmers lead healthier lives than the average population, they have almost twice the prevalence of asthma symptoms. The air in indoor swimming pools may explain this paradox.

Smoking destroys our oral immune system

Smokers produce fewer antibodies against oral bacteria. This increases the risk of infections, and researchers suspect a link to cancer.

Creatine – the controversial muscle powder

Creatine, which is used as a body building and training supplement, builds myths as well as muscles – so what are the facts?

Prostate cancer risk starts in childhood

Is it possible to predict whether a child will develop cancer in adulthood? It sounds unlikely, but a new study indicates that tall boys have a greater risk of developing prostate cancer when they grow up.

New asthma susceptibility gene identified

Scientists have identified a gene that helps trigger asthma attacks in children. The gene has no effect on asthma in adults. The discovery thus confirms the hypothesis that ‘asthma’ covers a variety of diseases.

Another obesity myth debunked

Cardiovascular disease is caused exclusively by overweight and obesity, major new study reveals.

Researchers find body’s HIV alarm

For the first time, researchers describe how our immune system detects HIV. Boosting ‘alarm proteins’ could clear pathway for future treatments.

How childplay inspired new artificial brain

We can throw and catch a ball because our brain uses patterns to recognise situations and react to them. This form of pattern recognition is now being used to develop an artificial brain, which in record time can simulate buildings and produce a fatigue life estimation.

Low birth weight can increase hunger in adulthood

Foetuses that receive insufficient nutrition risk ending up as adults who overeat without satisfying their hunger. This is due to a faulty central mechanism in their fat stem cells.