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NIH Research Matters

December 2009 Archive

December 14, 2009

Photo of woman looking worried.

Technique Blocks a Conditioned Fear in Humans

Scientists have for the first time selectively blocked a conditioned fear memory in humans by using a behavioral technique. The advance represents a safe, easily implemented way to prevent the return of a fearful memory.

Photo of a happy woman eating salad.

Cancer Rate Declines Highlight Potential for Improvement

Nationwide rates of new diagnoses and deaths from all cancers combined fell significantly in recent years, according to a new report. By 2020, the researchers estimate, aggressive interventions could bring colorectal cancer death rates down to as much as half their 2000 levels.

Illustration of a ribosome translating mRNA code into protein.

Protein-Making Errors May Help Defend Cells

Anyone who's taken a biology class knows that a gene's sequence precisely dictates the order of amino acids that must be linked together to make a protein. A new study reveals that, in the face of an invading virus or bacteria—or an irritating chemical—the cell's protein—making machinery goes off-script, inserting more of an amino acid known to help defend proteins against damage.

December 7, 2009

Photo of a teenage boy running.

Teen Fitness Linked to Higher IQ, Achievement

Being physically fit at age 18 is linked to a higher IQ, a new study finds. The researchers also showed that fitness predicts greater educational and professional achievements later in life.

Photo of a woman holding two apples but looking down at some sweets.

Restricting Sugary Food May Lead to Overeating

Many people try to lose weight by periodically forbidding themselves from eating certain foods. But depriving yourself of tasty food can backfire, new research in rats suggests. It can activate the brain's stress system, causing anxiety and withdrawal-like symptoms, and leading you to overeat the forbidden foods when you get a chance.

Illustration of round virus with blunt spikes.

Insights into How HIV Evades Immune System

New details about how antibodies bind the human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) may help bring researchers closer to creating an effective HIV vaccine.

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About NIH Research Matters

Editor: Harrison Wein, Ph.D.
Assistant Editors: Vicki Contie, Carol Torgan, Ph.D.

NIH Research Matters is a weekly update of NIH research highlights from the Office of Communications and Public Liaison, Office of the Director, National Institutes of Health.

ISSN 2375-9593

This page last reviewed on December 3, 2012

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