Senin, 22 November 2010

ScienceDaily Health Headlines

for Monday, November 22, 2010

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Protein in the urine: A warning sign for cognitive decline (November 22, 2010) -- Two new studies show a link between protein in the urine on cognitive decline. ... > full story

Rett syndrome mobilizes jumping genes in the brain (November 22, 2010) -- With few exceptions, jumping genes-restless bits of DNA that can move freely about the genome-are forced to stay put. In patients with Rett syndrome, however, a mutation in the MeCP2 gene mobilizes so-called L1 retrotransposons in brain cells, reshuffling their genomes and possibly contributing to the symptoms of the disease when they find their way into active genes, report researchers. ... > full story

Racial profiling to limit terror attacks is fundamentally flawed, expert says (November 22, 2010) -- Stop using racial profiling, says an expert who claims that as well as being politically and ethically questionable, racial profiling does no better in helping law enforcement officials in their task of catching terrorists than standard uniform random sampling techniques. ... > full story

Paleovirology expanded: Non-retroviral virus fragments found in animal genomes (November 22, 2010) -- Understanding the evolution of life-threatening viruses like influenza, Ebola and dengue fever, could help us to minimize their impact. New research points the way to a fossil record of viruses that have insinuated themselves into the genomes of insects and other animals, providing clues about their evolutionary history. ... > full story

Process leading to protein diversity in cells important for proper neuron firing (November 22, 2010) -- Researchers have documented a novel form of splicing in the cytoplasm of a nerve cell, which dictates a special form of a potassium channel protein in the outer membrane. The channel protein is found in the dendrites of hippocampus cells. Diseases such as epilepsy that are based on electrical misfiring in the brain could be targets of manipulation of the type splicing of splicing studied. ... > full story

Your view of personal goals can affect your relationships (November 22, 2010) -- How you think about your goals -- whether it's to improve yourself or to do better than others -- can affect whether you reach those goals. Different kinds of goals can also have distinct effects on your relationships with people around you, according to new research. ... > full story

'Binocular rivalry' deciphered: Key brain mechanism behind conscious visual perception (November 21, 2010) -- With his coat billowing behind him and his right eye tightly closed, Captain Blackbeard watches the endless sea with his telescope. Suddenly the sea disappears as the pirate opens his right eye. The only thing he sees is his hand holding the telescope. And then, a moment later, the sea is back again. What happened was a change in perception. Our brain usually combines the two slightly divergent images of our eyes into a single consistent perception. However, if the visual information does not match, only one image is seen at a time. This phenomenon is called "binocular rivalry". Researchers have now used this phenomenon to decipher a key mechanism of the brain functions that contributes to conscious visual perception. ... > full story

Discovery in how HIV thwarts the body's natural defense opens up new target for drug therapies (November 21, 2010) -- Researchers have solved a 20-year puzzle: why natural killer cells fail to protect the body against HIV. The discovery opens up a new target for drug therapies. ... > full story

Painless needles? Self-adminstered skin patches for vaccines under development (November 21, 2010) -- Scientists are developing painless 'needles' self-administration of flu vaccine using patches containing tiny microneedles that dissolve into the skin. ... > full story

Genetics determine winter vitamin D status (November 21, 2010) -- During the winter, vitamin D status is governed mainly by genetic factors. Conversely, non-genetic factors are most important during the summer. Future studies designed to better understand what these factors are will be especially useful as public health experts continue to explore ways to increase vitamin D status in different populations living under varying environmental and dietary situations. ... > full story

Online undergrads learn well without strong class bond, study finds (November 21, 2010) -- No cohesion, community spirit, trust or interaction? No problem. Online college students said they felt less connected and had a smaller sense of classroom community than those who took the same classes in person, but that didn't keep them from performing just as well as their in-person counterparts. ... > full story

Aged, damaged hearts yield stem cells that could treat heart failure, research suggests (November 21, 2010) -- Ample and viable cardiac stem cells can be isolated from elderly and sick patients with heart disease and diabetes, new research suggests. It may be possible to treat heart failure patients with their own stem cells. An unrelated study notes that an aging heart can generate new cells at a substantial rate. ... > full story

Identification codes inserted into mouse embryos (November 21, 2010) -- Researchers have developed an identification system for oocytes and embryos in which each can be individually tagged using silicone barcodes. Researchers are now working to perfect the system and soon will test it with human oocytes and embryos. ... > full story

Molecular structure of dopamine receptor discovered (November 21, 2010) -- Scientists have solved the structure of one of the receptors that responds to the neurotransmitter dopamine. Although dopamine transmission is essential to normal brain functioning, the biological assembly of the molecules involved in this crucial neuronal interplay had not been known -- until now. ... > full story

Hold the phone: Prolonged cell use can trigger allergic reaction, as can body piercing, tattoos and cosmetics (November 21, 2010) -- Chatting endlessly on your cell phone can lead to an allergic reaction to the nickel in your phone, according to allergists. From cosmetics to jewelry, body piercings to tattoos, allergies can lurk in unlikely places, allergists say. ... > full story

COPD could be a problem with autoimmunity (November 21, 2010) -- Moderate to severe chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) may be an auto-immunity problem, according to researchers who studied the presence of auto-antibodies in patients with COPD and compared them to levels of control subjects. They found that a significant number of patients with COPD had significant levels of auto-antibodies circulating in their blood, about 5 to 10 times the level in controls. ... > full story

Rare mutations linked with catastrophic aortic aneurysms (November 21, 2010) -- Scientists have begun to unravel the genetic basis of deadly thoracic aortic aneurysms and dissections (TAAD). The research identifies rare TAAD-associated mutations in genes that regulate the function of smooth muscle in the walls of large blood vessels. The finding may lead to the development of a screening procedure that could assess disease risk. ... > full story

Post-traumatic stress disorder linked to death, atherosclerosis in veterans, research finds (November 21, 2010) -- Veterans with post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) have more than double the risk of death from any causes and a higher risk of cardiovascular death compared to veterans without the syndrome, according to new research. Greater calcium buildup in the arteries among those with PTSD may be the reason for the greater risk of death. PTSD may be an independent risk factor for cardiovascular disease, and veterans who suffer from it should receive early evaluation and aggressive treatment of cardiovascular risk factors. ... > full story

Gene links to anorexia identified: Largest genetic study of the eating disorder detects common and rare variants (November 20, 2010) -- Scientists have identified both common and rare gene variants associated with the eating disorder anorexia nervosa. In the largest genetic study of this psychiatric disorder, the researchers found intriguing clues to genes they are subjecting to further investigation, including genes active in neuronal signaling and in shaping interconnections among brain cells. ... > full story

Personalized medicine: Tumor analysis reveals new opportunities for existing cancer drugs (November 20, 2010) -- Targeted cancer therapies such as trastuzumab (Herceptin), gefitinib (Iressa) and erlotinib (Tarceva) could be used to treat a wider range of cancers than previously thought, according to new research. ... > full story

Designing more effective anti-HIV antibodies (November 20, 2010) -- Although people infected with HIV produce many antibodies against the protein encapsulating the virus, most of these antibodies are strangely ineffective at fighting the disease. A new study suggests why some of the most common of these antibodies don't work: they target the protein in a form it takes after the virus has already invaded the cell, when it's too late, report researchers. ... > full story

Cholesterol-lowering statins boost bacteria-killing cells (November 20, 2010) -- Widely prescribed for their cholesterol-lowering properties, recent clinical research indicates that statins can produce a second, significant health benefit: lowering the risk of severe bacterial infections such as pneumonia and sepsis. Scientists now describe how statins activate the bacterial killing properties of white blood cells. ... > full story

Reports claiming amyotrophic lateral sclerosis caused by head trauma lacks scientific validation, review finds (November 20, 2010) -- A recent study suggesting that amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) may be attributed to "repetitive head trauma experienced in collision sports" lacks scientific epidemiological evidence to support this claim. In a review of the 12-patient study, several experts specializing in motor neuron diseases challenge the findings as entirely pathological and without clinical merit. ... > full story

Graphic images influence intentions to quit smoking (November 20, 2010) -- Marketing researchers surveyed more than 500 U.S. and Canadian smokers and found that the highly graphic images of the negative consequences of smoking have the greatest impact on smokers' intentions to quit. The most graphic images, such as those showing severe mouth diseases, including disfigured, blackened and cancerous tissue, evoked fear about the consequences of smoking and thus influenced consumer intentions to quit. ... > full story

New target identified for stopping tumors developing their own blood supply (November 20, 2010) -- Researchers have found that a newly developed drug, which is aimed at a particular receptor involved in the development of blood vessels that sustain tumor growth, is active in patients with advanced cancers and, in some cases, has halted the progress of the disease. The drug targets a different molecular pathway to other anti-angiogenesis drugs and may provide a new option to treat cancer. ... > full story

Combination therapy improves survival time for patients with advanced liver cancer (November 20, 2010) -- Treatment of inoperable advanced liver cancer with the agent doxorubicin (routinely used to treat this condition) in addition to the agent sorafenib resulted in greater overall survival and progression-free survival, compared to patients who received treatment with doxorubicin alone, according to a new study. ... > full story

New approach finds success in teaching youth with autism (November 20, 2010) -- Researchers are developing an effective social competence curriculum to help autistic children. ... > full story

First synthetic activator of two critical proteins identified: New approach to treat numerous metabolic disorders? (November 19, 2010) -- Scientists have identified a novel synthetic activator of a pair of proteins that belong to a protein family playing key roles in human metabolism and immune function. The discovery could provide new and potentially more effective therapeutic approaches to diseases ranging from diabetes to osteoporosis. ... > full story

Pomegranate juice reduces damage to tissues, inflammation and infections, study suggests (November 19, 2010) -- Studies in recent years have claimed multiple health benefits of pomegranate juice, including that it is a good source of antioxidants and lowers both cholesterol and blood pressure, especially in diabetic and hypertensive patients. A preliminary study now suggests that it can ward off a number of complications in kidney disease patients on dialysis, according to new study. ... > full story

First successful salivary stone removal with robotics (November 19, 2010) -- Doctors report the first use of a surgical robot guided by a miniature salivary endoscope to remove a 20mm salivary stone and repair the salivary duct of a patient. Giant stones have traditionally required complete removal of the salivary gland. This technique not only saves the salivary gland, but reduces blood loss, scarring, and hospital stay. ... > full story

Physicists study behavior of enzyme linked to Alzheimer's, cancer (November 19, 2010) -- Physicists are using complex computer simulations to illuminate the workings of a crucial protein that, when malfunctioning, may cause Alzheimer's and cancer. Their hope is to one day contribute to developing medication that not only can precisely recognize and target a key that causes Alzheimer's or cancer inside a crowded cell, but also then switch a sick cell like that back to its healthy form of interaction at a molecular level. ... > full story

Study finds evidence of gender bias toward diagnosing boys with autism (November 19, 2010) -- Social factors can play a key role in whether or not a child is diagnosed as autistic, a new study has found. Boys were more likely to receive a diagnosis of autistic spectrum disorder than girls, even when symptoms were equally severe, according to researchers. ... > full story

E. coli infection linked to long-term health problems (November 19, 2010) -- People who contract gastroenteritis from drinking water contaminated with E coli are at an increased risk of developing high blood pressure, kidney problems and heart disease in later life, finds a new study. ... > full story

Potential genetic target for heart disease discovered (November 19, 2010) -- Researchers have found a potential genetic target for heart disease, which could lead to therapies to prevent the development of the nation's number one killer in its initial stages. ... > full story

Taking a break from osteoporosis drugs can protect bones, study finds (November 19, 2010) -- Taking time off from certain osteoporosis drugs may be beneficial to bone health, according to a new study. Researchers found that bone density remained stable for three years in patients who took a drug holiday from bisphosphonates, a popular class of osteoporosis drugs that can cause fractures in the thigh bones and tissue decay in the jaw bone. ... > full story

Coaching with compassion can 'light up' human thoughts (November 19, 2010) -- Researchers have used an fMRI to document reactions in the human brain to compassionate and critical coaching methods. Students tended to activate areas of the brain associated with openness to learning when working with coaches who inspired them. Students tended to shut down when coaches were perceived as judgmental. ... > full story

Scientists discover how estrogen works and flip its switch to reap benefits without risks (November 19, 2010) -- Estrogen sharpens mental performance in humans and animals and shows promise as a treatment for brain disorders. But long-term estrogen therapy increases the risk of cancer, heart disease and stroke. Researchers have now discovered how to reap estrogen's benefits without the risk. Using a special compound, they flipped a switch that mimics the effect of estrogen on cortical brain cells. The scientists also found how estrogen physically works in brain cells to boost mental performance. ... > full story

Chemicals' study pinpoints threat to workers' lungs (November 19, 2010) -- Tiny particles used in a range of everyday products from computers to shampoo can adversely affect the lungs in very different ways, a study has shown. Research suggests that industrial manufacturers using nanoparticles should be aware of the risks that different types of nanoparticles pose to workers who handle them. ... > full story

Controlling cursors with thoughts: Faster, simpler, and more accurately; advance helps people regulate their own brain response, with therapeutic implications (November 19, 2010) -- Using a new brain-computer training approach, 14 volunteers learned in only six minutes how to move a screen cursor with their thoughts. Near-instant feedback helped the people quickly master some of their own brain responses. ... > full story

Exhaustion syndrome leaves measurable changes in the brain (November 19, 2010) -- Exhaustion syndrome, also called burnout and exhaustion depression, leaves objectively measurable changes in the brain -- including reduced activity in the frontal lobes and altered regulation of the stress hormone cortisol, according to new research from Sweden. ... > full story

Compound that blocks sugar pathway slows cancer cell growth (November 19, 2010) -- Scientists have identified a compound that could be used to starve cancers of their sugar-based building blocks. The compound, called a glutaminase inhibitor, has been tested on laboratory-cultured, sugar-hungry brain cancer cells and, the scientists say, may have the potential to be used for many types of primary brain tumors. ... > full story

Hormone therapy use may increase or decrease dementia risk depending upon timing (November 19, 2010) -- Compared to women never on hormone therapy, those taking hormone therapy only at midlife had a 26 percent decreased risk of dementia; while women taking HT only in late life had a 48 percent increased risk of dementia, according to researchers. ... > full story

US falls behind other nations in reducing traffic fatalities and injuries (November 19, 2010) -- The United States is missing significant opportunities to reduce traffic fatalities and injuries, and could save lives by implementing a more rigorous, comprehensive program that adopts successful safety practices from other countries, says a new report. ... > full story

Well-known molecule may be behind alcohol's benefits to heart health (November 19, 2010) -- Many studies support the assertion that moderate drinking is beneficial when it comes to cardiovascular health, and for the first time scientists have discovered that a well-known molecule, called notch, may be behind alcohol's protective effects. Down the road, this finding could help scientists create a new treatment for heart disease that mimics the beneficial influence of modest alcohol consumption. ... > full story

Modulating a protein in the brain could help control Alzheimer's disease (November 19, 2010) -- A protein known to exist in the brain for more than 30 years, called 5-lipoxygenase, has been found to play a regulatory role in the formation of the amyloid beta in the brain, the major component of plaques implicated in the development of Alzheimer's disease. ... > full story

Shockwaves work better than surgery for smaller kidney stones trapped in the ureter, study suggests (November 19, 2010) -- Surgeons are recommending two different techniques for removing single kidney stones that have become lodged in the ureter, based on results from 273 patients. Noninvasive shockwaves worked best for stones of up to 1 cm, while larger stones were more effectively removed using a ureteroscope. ... > full story

IQ scores fail to predict academic performance in children with autism (November 19, 2010) -- New data show that many children with autism spectrum disorders have greater academic abilities than previously thought. 90 percent of high-functioning children with autism spectrum disorders showed a discrepancy between their IQ score and their performance on reading, spelling and math tests. ... > full story

Key enzyme that regulates the early growth of breast cancer cells identified (November 19, 2010) -- Scientists have found that blocking the action of an enzyme called GnT-V significantly delays the onset and spread of tumors in mice with cancer very similar to many cases of human breast cancer. ... > full story

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