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SCIENCE
July 11, 2012 | By Thomas H. Maugh II, Los Angeles Times
Researchers have found the first gene mutation that protects against Alzheimer's disease, a finding that supports a now-controversial theory about the cause of the disease and that could eventually lead to the development of new drugs to treat the disorder. The gene mutation also protects against normal dementia of aging, suggesting that the two diseases have mechanisms in common. Alzheimer's affects an estimated 5.4 million Americans, and the prevalence increases with age: 13% of those older than 65 and 45% of those over the age of 85 have it. The disease is characterized by the buildup in the brain of particles called amyloid plaque, which are composed of a protein called amyloid beta.
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AUTOS
March 28, 2013 | By David Undercoffler
Subaru introduced its first pairing of hybrid power and all-wheel-drive in its Crosstrek crossover today at the 2013 New York International Auto Show, along with a concept performance car. The 2014 Subaru XV Crosstrek Hybrid is a hybrid version of the funky crossover hatchback the automaker introduced for 2013. PHOTOS: Subaru brings Crosstrek Hybrid and WRX CONCEPT to N.Y. The hybrid version pairs a 2.0-liter four-cylinder gasoline engine and a small electric motor to make the same amount of horsepower and pound-feet of torque as the gas-only model: 148 and 145, respectively.
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NEWS
September 26, 2011 | By Eryn Brown, Los Angeles Times / For the Booster Shots blog
A large number of the world's 300 million people with asthma -- as many as 40% -- don't respond to the inhalers their doctors prescribe to improve lung function.  But doctors don't know how to predict which patients will benefit from glucocorticoid therapy (steroid inhalers) and which ones won't. But researchers at the Harvard Medical School have now located a genetic variation that may some day help physicians figure it out. The team's results, published Monday in the New England Journal of Medicine, used a genome-wide analysis of 118 trios (consisting of a child and his or her parents)
SCIENCE
February 14, 2013 | By Eryn Brown, Los Angeles Times
About 30,000 years ago, a tiny mutation arose in a gene known as EDAR and began to spread rapidly in central China, eventually becoming common in the region. This week, scientists at Harvard University offered some explanations for why the EDAR mutation may have been so successful - by observing how it affects mice, animals long used in disease research but never before pressed into service for the study of human evolution. The small change, substituting one chemical letter of DNA for another, may have helped humans in Asia survive crippling heat and humidity by endowing them with extra sweat glands, the scientists reported Thursday in the journal Cell.
NEWS
March 8, 1987 | Compiled from Times staff and wire service reports
Two new AIDS viruses discovered in West Africa in 1985 appear to be variants of the same virus, according to AIDS researchers at a medical meeting in San Francisco last week. But the French and American scientists who discovered the viruses still do not agree on whether these variants pose significant health threats. One virus, LAV-II, was isolated by a team led by Dr. Luc Montagnier of the Pasteur Institute in Paris; the other, HTLV-IV, was discovered by Dr.
ENTERTAINMENT
October 23, 2011 | By David L. Ulin, Los Angeles Times Book Critic
1Q84 A Novel Haruki Murakami, translated from the Japanese by Jay Rubin and Philip Gabriel Alfred A. Knopf: 926 pp., $30.50 Here's an unorthodox suggestion: Try to read Haruki Murakami's "1Q84" in as close to a single sitting as you can. It won't be easy - the novel clocks in at 926 pages and is often densely allusive, if readable throughout. Still, there's something about the book that requires the deep immersion, the otherworldly sense of connection/disconnection, that only an extended plunge allows.
BUSINESS
August 19, 2012 | By David Undercoffler, Los Angeles Times Auto Critic
Because 200 mph is useless if you can't get some bugs in your hair, McLaren introduced to the world a convertible version of its already excellent MP4-12C supercar this weekend at Pebble Beach. Dubbed the 12C Spider, the car has a retractable hardtop that folds away in a scant 17 seconds and at speeds up to 19 mph. The car'Ã?Â?s power remains the same, with 616 horsepower coming from a 3.8-liter twin-turbocharged V-8 engine, routing power to the rear wheels via a seven-speed, dual-clutch gearbox.
OPINION
March 19, 2006
Your March 15 editorial on mad cow (an inflammatory term for bovine spongiform encephalopathy) indicates a complete lack of familiarity with bovines. Cows are not people. They eat live rodents, their own afterbirth and will consume an entire miscarried fetus. Calling feeding practices "gruesome" is ignorant. Feeding practices should be modified because they don't work, or if they cause problems, not because some city reporter who doesn't know a cow from a combine has an opinion on the acceptability of the practice.
SPORTS
September 25, 1999
I have no doubt that once there was a day when Keith Jackson spoke a variant of modern English that some of us enjoyed. But who at ABC is so dense that he fails to grasp: That day is gone! How many more times do I have to hear this dinosaur say the "big uglies have hunkered down?" Why do I have to listen to Jackson confuse the 43 with the 37 and call the quarterback a "young un?" After 30 years of this quaint idiocy, haven't I suffered enough? Yeah, I know he's a nice old guy and I wish him no harm, but he can't talk sense.
AUTOS
March 28, 2013 | By David Undercoffler
Subaru introduced its first pairing of hybrid power and all-wheel-drive in its Crosstrek crossover today at the 2013 New York International Auto Show, along with a concept performance car. The 2014 Subaru XV Crosstrek Hybrid is a hybrid version of the funky crossover hatchback the automaker introduced for 2013. PHOTOS: Subaru brings Crosstrek Hybrid and WRX CONCEPT to N.Y. The hybrid version pairs a 2.0-liter four-cylinder gasoline engine and a small electric motor to make the same amount of horsepower and pound-feet of torque as the gas-only model: 148 and 145, respectively.
BUSINESS
August 19, 2012 | By David Undercoffler, Los Angeles Times Auto Critic
Because 200 mph is useless if you can't get some bugs in your hair, McLaren introduced to the world a convertible version of its already excellent MP4-12C supercar this weekend at Pebble Beach. Dubbed the 12C Spider, the car has a retractable hardtop that folds away in a scant 17 seconds and at speeds up to 19 mph. The car'Ã?Â?s power remains the same, with 616 horsepower coming from a 3.8-liter twin-turbocharged V-8 engine, routing power to the rear wheels via a seven-speed, dual-clutch gearbox.
SCIENCE
July 11, 2012 | By Thomas H. Maugh II, Los Angeles Times
Researchers have found the first gene mutation that protects against Alzheimer's disease, a finding that supports a now-controversial theory about the cause of the disease and that could eventually lead to the development of new drugs to treat the disorder. The gene mutation also protects against normal dementia of aging, suggesting that the two diseases have mechanisms in common. Alzheimer's affects an estimated 5.4 million Americans, and the prevalence increases with age: 13% of those older than 65 and 45% of those over the age of 85 have it. The disease is characterized by the buildup in the brain of particles called amyloid plaque, which are composed of a protein called amyloid beta.
ENTERTAINMENT
October 23, 2011 | By David L. Ulin, Los Angeles Times Book Critic
1Q84 A Novel Haruki Murakami, translated from the Japanese by Jay Rubin and Philip Gabriel Alfred A. Knopf: 926 pp., $30.50 Here's an unorthodox suggestion: Try to read Haruki Murakami's "1Q84" in as close to a single sitting as you can. It won't be easy - the novel clocks in at 926 pages and is often densely allusive, if readable throughout. Still, there's something about the book that requires the deep immersion, the otherworldly sense of connection/disconnection, that only an extended plunge allows.
NEWS
September 26, 2011 | By Eryn Brown, Los Angeles Times / For the Booster Shots blog
A large number of the world's 300 million people with asthma -- as many as 40% -- don't respond to the inhalers their doctors prescribe to improve lung function.  But doctors don't know how to predict which patients will benefit from glucocorticoid therapy (steroid inhalers) and which ones won't. But researchers at the Harvard Medical School have now located a genetic variation that may some day help physicians figure it out. The team's results, published Monday in the New England Journal of Medicine, used a genome-wide analysis of 118 trios (consisting of a child and his or her parents)
NEWS
July 22, 2011 | By Eryn Brown, Los Angeles Times / for the Booster Shots blog
Citing "technical errors" and "inadequate quality control," scientists from Boston University have retracted a study that claimed to have found 150 genetic variants linked to extreme old age.   About a year ago, the team, led by geneticist Paola Sebastiani and longevity researcher Dr. Thomas Perls, published results of an examination of the DNA of more than 1,000 centenarians -- people who had lived 100 years or longer.  They reported discovering 150...
SCIENCE
October 28, 2010 | By Thomas H. Maugh II, Los Angeles Times
Researchers have found more than 15 million places in the human genome where the genetic code differs from person to person, providing a catalog of hot spots for genetic change that should speed the search for genetic causes of such complex disorders as diabetes, Alzheimer's and heart disease. Only 10 years after scientists laboriously unraveled the first sequence of a human genome, an international team said Wednesday that they had sequenced the bulk of the genomes from more than 800 people in the pilot stage of the so-called 1000 Genomes Project, which aims to complete 2,500 sequences by the end of 2012 at a cost of $120 million.
HEALTH
August 24, 2009 | Melissa Healy
The hurt of social rejection or exclusion is emotional. But there must be a reason why we so often experience it -- and talk about it -- as if it were a physical pain. One feels "burned" by a partner's infidelity, "wounded" by a friend's harsh words, "heartache" when spurned by a lover. It turns out, there is a good reason we use such terms: The same circuits in the brain that are responsible for processing physical pain are also called into play when one feels the sting of social rejection.
NEWS
April 27, 1986 | ALAN MALTUN, Times Staff Writer
Caltrans has come up with yet another variation of its proposed extension of the Long Beach Freeway that would run through the middle of town, but save about half the historic structures threatened by other plans. This plan, appropriately enough, is dubbed the Meridian Variation. What the name lacks in originality, the proposed route makes up in practicality, according to state Department of Transportation officials.
HEALTH
October 4, 2010 | By Jill U Adams, Special to the Los Angeles Times
Every woman — and man — is at some risk of getting breast cancer, and some of that risk is passed from parent to child. Variants in two genes, known as BRCA1 and BRCA2, greatly increase the risk of developing the disease. So far, scientists have identified dozens of BRCA mutations that confer an added risk. Children of carriers — either the mother or the father — have a 50% chance of inheriting these mutations. Enter modern medicine to take chance out of the equation.
OPINION
September 20, 2009 | David Frum, David Frum is a resident fellow at the American Enterprise Institute.
Here's a radical thought: The big problem with America's private-sector health insurance companies is that they are not nearly powerful enough. Oh, they are more powerful than most of those they insure. But in the struggles between health providers and insurers, providers usually win. That's why insurance costs have doubled in less than a decade, without any corresponding increase in the insurance industry's profitability. Elsewhere in the American economy, powerful middlemen act as effective agents for their customers, forcing down prices and improving quality: think Wal-Mart in retailing or Expedia and Hotels.
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