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Researchers to look at Pacific genetic link to gout, diabetes

Both diseases and other metabolic disorders are rife in the Pacific.

A team of researchers from the University of Otago has been granted the money by New Zealand's Marsden Fund Council.

One of the principal researchers, Anna Gosling, said through the work Professor Tony Merriman has already done with Maori and Pasifika in New Zealand, they thought there was a genetic link.

Throughout the Pacific, where there are high rates of these diseases, people had a shared ancestry, Dr Gosling said.

DNA surgery on embryos removes disease

The team at Sun Yat-sen University used a technique called base editing to correct a single error out of the three billion "letters" of our genetic code.

They altered lab-made embryos to remove the disease beta-thalassemia. The embryos were not implanted.

The team says the approach may one day treat a range of inherited diseases.

Love, audibility

Whether they are a man or a woman, the best way to find out if the object of your crush returns your affections is probably just to talk to them.

But in judging whether there's a spark between you, what they are saying may not be as important as how they say it.

Dr Marina Kalashnikova, a speech and language researcher at the University of Western Sydney, said research had shown people's voices "carry a lot of information" about their feelings towards the person they're conversing with.

Study: You can't blame tooth decay on your genes

"I think there may be a perception in the community that bad teeth are inherited," said study co-author Associate Professor Jeff Craig, from the Murdoch Children's Research Institute.

"But this research is an important message because it means parents and children themselves can take control.

"We're not doomed by genetics in tooth decay."

First cancer 'living drug' gets go-ahead

The regulator - the US Food and Drug Administration - said its decision was a "historic" moment and medicine was now "entering a new frontier".

The company Novartis is charging $475,000 (£367,000) for the "living drug" therapy, which leaves 83% of people free of a type of blood cancer.

Doctors in the UK said the announcement was an exciting step forward.

The living drug is tailor-made to each patient, unlike conventional therapies such as surgery or chemotherapy.

It is called CAR-T and is made by extracting white blood cells from the patient's blood.

Turns out we may all be made of stardust

A new study claims we might all be part-alien.

Supercomputer simulations conducted by a team of astrophysicists at Northwestern University suggest that each of us -- and everything in our galaxy -- may have been expelled vast distances across the universe by exploding supernovas.

Thrown into space with such force, streams of charged atoms are blasted away from their original galaxy's gravitational pull and carried to our Milky Way on "powerful galactic winds."

Want more affection? Have more sex

That's the takeaway of a series of four studies of committed couples in both the United States and Switzerland.

Plant chemicals hope for 'alternative contraceptives'

Chemicals from dandelion root and the "thunder god vine" plant have long been used in traditional medicines.

Now, Californian researchers have found they can also block fertilisation.

A UK sperm expert said the discovery could lead to a new and novel approach to male contraception.

But the compounds existed at such low levels in plants that the cost of extraction was very high, the US team said.

Beauty sleep is a real thing, research shows

A couple of bad nights is enough to make a person look "significantly" more ugly, their sleep experiments suggest.

Dark-circled "panda" eyes and puffy lids can even put others off socialising with you, they say.

People were rated by strangers as less healthy and approachable when they had tired faces.

The experiment

The researchers asked 25 university students, some male and some female, to be the guinea pigs in their sleep experiment.

Modern HIV drugs can add 10 years to life

The paper, published Wednesday, found that 20-year-olds who started with antiretroviral therapy in 2010 are predicted to live up to 10 years longer than those who first underwent similar treatment in 1996 -- when it first became widely available.

Researchers at Bristol University in the UK said the improvements are due to fewer side effects and less toxic drugs with greater options for patients who are infected with drug-resistant HIV strains.