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SCIENCE IN THE NEWS DAILY

Alzheimer's Gene Found to Affect Women Over Men

from the San Francisco Chronicle

A gene that's been known for two decades as the largest inheritable risk for developing Alzheimer's disease mostly affects the brains of women, not men, according to a team of researchers from Stanford and UCSF.

The gene variant known as APOE4 is the most common genetic risk factor for Alzheimer's - only about 15 percent of people carry the gene, but it's found in more than half of all Alzheimer's patients.

The variant was first connected to Alzheimer's in 1993, but doctors and scientists for the most part have been unaware of any gender differences, despite early studies that showed an increased risk for women with the gene.

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PODCASTS: From Balloons to Space Stations: Studying Cosmic Rays

CREAM Inflating

Cosmic rays have mysterious qualities about them that scientists continue to research in order to better understand their origins and composition. Dr. Eun-Suk Seo, a professor of physics at the University of Maryland, and her colleagues, fly enormous balloons as large as a football stadium and a volume of 40-million-cubic feet for extended periods over Antarctica to study particles coming from cosmic rays before they break up in the atmosphere.

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