Rabu, 22 Desember 2010

ScienceDaily Health Headlines

for Wednesday, December 22, 2010

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Cellular mechanism responsible for chronic inflammation, type 2 diabetes uncovered (December 21, 2010) -- Researchers have demonstrated that certain T cells require input from monocytes in order to maintain their pro-inflammatory response in people with type 2 diabetes (T2D). The study also showed, for the first time, how a loss in homeostasis in this group of T cells most likely promotes chronic inflammation associated with T2D. ... > full story

Beautiful people convey personality traits better during first impressions (December 21, 2010) -- A new study has found that people identify the personality traits of people who are physically attractive more accurately than others during short encounters. ... > full story

Acid suppressive medication may increase risk of pneumonia (December 21, 2010) -- Using acid suppressive medications, such as proton pump inhibitors and histamine2 receptor antagonists, may increase the risk of developing pneumonia, states an article in Canadian Medical Association Journal. ... > full story

Training the best treatment for tennis elbow, study suggests (December 21, 2010) -- Training and ergonomic advice are more effective than anti-inflammatory drugs and cortisone injections in treating tennis elbow, and give fewer side effects, according to new research. ... > full story

Motion sickness reality in virtual world, too (December 21, 2010) -- Psychologists see motion sickness as potential fallout from high-end technology that once was limited to the commercial marketplace moving to consumer use in gaming devices. ... > full story

Boosting supply of key brain chemical reduces fatigue in mice (December 21, 2010) -- Researchers have "engineered" a mouse that can run on a treadmill twice as long as a normal mouse by increasing its supply of acetylcholine, the neurotransmitter essential for muscle contraction. The finding could lead to new treatments for neuromuscular disorders such as myasthenia gravis, which occurs when cholinergic nerve signals fail to reach the muscle. ... > full story

Intensive chemotherapy can dramatically boost survival of older teenage leukemia patients (December 21, 2010) -- More effective risk-adjusted chemotherapy and sophisticated patient monitoring helped push cure rates to nearly 88 percent for older adolescents enrolled in an acute lymphoblastic leukemia (ALL) treatment protocol and closed the survival gap between older and younger patients battling the most common childhood cancer. ... > full story

Link between depression and inflammatory response found in mice: New treatments for mood disorders? (December 21, 2010) -- Researchers may have found a clue to the blues that can come with the flu -- depression may be triggered by the same mechanisms that enable the immune system to respond to infection. In a new study, scientists activated the immune system in mice to produce "despair-like" behavior that has similarities to depression in humans. ... > full story

Novel weight-loss therapies? Scientists identify cells in mice that can transform into energy-burning brown fat (December 21, 2010) -- In some adults, the white fat cells that we all stockpile so readily are supplemented by a very different form of fat -- brown fat cells, which can offer the neat trick of burning energy rather than storing it. Researchers have now have identified progenitor cells in mouse white fat tissue and skeletal muscle that can be transformed into brown fat cells. ... > full story

Electronic nose detects cancer (December 21, 2010) -- Researchers have been able to confirm in tests that ovarian cancer tissue and healthy tissue smell different. ... > full story

Injectable and oral birth control do not adversely affect glucose and insulin levels, study shows (December 21, 2010) -- Fasting glucose and insulin levels remain within normal range for women using injectable or oral contraception, with only slight increases among women using depot medroxyprogesterone acetate (DMPA), commonly known as the birth control shot, according to new research. ... > full story

About one-fifth of women, less than 7 percent of men report use of indoor tanning (December 21, 2010) -- Women are more likely to report use of indoor tanning facilities than men, and some characteristics common to indoor tanners differ by sex, according to a new study. However, few tanners -- male or female -- mention avoiding tanning beds when asked about ways to reduce skin cancer risk. ... > full story

Nasal congestion can mean severe asthma (December 21, 2010) -- Nasal congestion can be a sign of severe asthma, which means that healthcare professionals should be extra vigilant when it comes to nasal complaints. Furthermore, more severe asthma appears to be more common than previously thought, reveals a new study. ... > full story

Samples of vital human tumor tissue irradiated with ions for the first time (December 21, 2010) -- Scientists have for the first time irradiated samples of vital human tumor tissue in the scope of their systematical and fundamental research. Their long-term goal is to enhance the already highly effective ion beam therapy in a way that allows the optimization of the irradiation dose based on the specific tumor of the individual patient. Such a treatment would constitute a novel approach, as radiation treatment so far only considered the type and position of the tumor. ... > full story

Don't trouble your heart: Naturally high hemoglobin OK in dialysis patients, study suggests (December 21, 2010) -- Naturally occurring high hemoglobin levels are safe for kidney disease patients on dialysis, according to a new study. The results suggest that there is no need to lower these levels to protect patients' health. ... > full story

Urban planning: Better spaces for older people (December 21, 2010) -- Urban planning needs to consider how older people use walking routes as well as public areas, concludes a new study. Planning should include a smooth transition between walking, driving and using public transport and should take account of how older people navigate between these. ... > full story

Free radicals good for you? Banned herbicide makes worms live longer (December 20, 2010) -- It sounds like science fiction -- scientists tested the current "free radical theory of aging" by creating mutant worms that had increased production of free radicals, predicting they would be short-lived. But they lived even longer than regular worms! Moreover, their enhanced longevity was abolished when they were treated with antioxidants such as vitamin C. ... > full story

Genetic sequencing used to identify and treat unknown disease (December 20, 2010) -- For the one of the first times in medical history, researchers and physicians sequenced all the genes in a boy's DNA to identify a previously-unknown mutation. The team was able not only to identify the mutation, but to develop a treatment plan using a cord blood transplant, and stop the course of the disease. ... > full story

Delay driving after foot or ankle surgery, experts urge (December 20, 2010) -- Patients recovering from a right foot injury or surgery should think twice about how soon they want to begin driving again. ... > full story

Dementia: When the zebra loses its stripes (December 20, 2010) -- The capacity to remember that a zebra has stripes, or that a giraffe is a four-legged mammal, is known as semantic memory. It allows us to assign meaning to words and to recall general knowledge and concepts that we have learned. The deterioration of these capacities is a defining feature of semantic dementia and can also occur in Alzheimer’s disease. Neurologists and neuropsychologists have now identified the elements of semantic memory which are the first to deteriorate and may have thus explained why a surprising phenomenon known as hyperpriming can be seen in the early stages of Alzheimer’s disease. ... > full story

Genetic basis of brain diseases: Set of proteins account for over 130 brain diseases (December 20, 2010) -- Scientists have isolated a set of proteins that accounts for over 130 brain diseases, including diseases such as Alzheimer's disease, Parkinson's disease, epilepsies and forms of autism and learning disability. They showed that the protein machinery has changed relatively little during evolution, suggesting that the behaviors governed by and the diseases associated with these proteins have not changed significantly over many millions of years. The findings open several new paths toward tackling these diseases. ... > full story

Study supports gluten-free diet in potential celiac disease patients (December 20, 2010) -- Findings from a new study of 141 adults add to an ongoing medical debate over which patients with symptoms of celiac disease should go on a gluten-free diet. The study concludes that people currently diagnosed as "potential" celiac disease patients and not advised to follow a gluten-free diet may not be "potential" patients at all. Rather, the scientists found that these patients have the same distinctive metabolic fingerprint as patients with full-blown disease who do benefit from gluten-free diets. ... > full story

Warning lights mark shellfish that aren't safe to eat (December 20, 2010) -- Red tides and similar blooms can render some seafood unsafe to eat, though it can be difficult to tell whether a particular batch harbors toxins that cause food poisoning. A new kind of marker makes it easier to see if shellfish are filled with toxin-producing organisms. ... > full story

Zebrafish provide new hope for cancer treatment (December 20, 2010) -- The imaging of tumor growth in zebrafish has revealed for the first time how newly formed cancer cells have the capacity to co-opt the immune system into spreading the disease, leading the way for investigations into potential therapies for eliminating early stage cancer in humans. ... > full story

Study links emotional and neural responses to musical performance (December 20, 2010) -- It is well known that music arouses emotions. But why do some musical performances move us, while others leave us flat? Why do musicians spend years perfecting the subtle nuances that bring us to tears? Scientists have now identified key aspects of musical performance that cause emotion-related brain activity, and they have shown for the first time how these performance nuances work in the brain, in real-time. ... > full story

Fighting flu in newborns begins in pregnancy, study suggests (December 20, 2010) -- A three-year study has found that vaccinating pregnant women against influenza is over 90 percent effective in preventing their infants from being hospitalized with influenza in the first six months of life. ... > full story

The stemness of cancer cells (December 20, 2010) -- Researchers have found that the tumor suppressor p53, long thought of as the "Guardian of the Genome," may do more than thwart cancer-causing mutations. It may also prevent established cancer cells from sliding toward a more aggressive, stem-like state by serving as a "Guardian against Genome Reprogramming." ... > full story

Y-90 radioembolization offers promise for late-stage liver cancer (December 20, 2010) -- The latest weapon against inoperable liver cancer is so tiny that it takes millions of them per treatment, but according to interventional radiologists, those microscopic spheres really pack a therapeutic punch. ... > full story

Psychologists show how accent shapes our perception of a person (December 20, 2010) -- The accent someone talks in plays a crucial role in the way we judge this person, according to psychologists in Germany. "The accent is much more important than the way a person looks," Dr. Tamara Rakic sums up one of the key findings of the study. ... > full story

High activity staves off pounds, especially for women (December 20, 2010) -- People will gain significantly less weight by middle age -- especially women -- if they engage in moderate to vigorous activity nearly every day of the week starting as young adults. A new study shows women particularly benefited from high activity over 20 years, gaining less weight than men with similar activity levels. It may be because highly active men ate more to compensate than women. ... > full story

Elevated zinc concentrations in Colorado waterway likely a result of climate change (December 20, 2010) -- Rising concentrations of zinc in a waterway on Colorado's Western Slope may be the result of climate change that is affecting the timing of annual snowmelt, says a new study. ... > full story

Faster and more reliable ovarian cancer diagnosis (December 20, 2010) -- It is crucial to differentiate between benign and malignant ovarian cysts and tumors in a fast and reliable manner. This improves the surgical management and prognosis of the patient. New research has validated that ultrasound-based simple rules may reliably distinguish between malignant and benign tumors. ... > full story

Hemodynamic responses to the mother's face in infants by near-infrared spectroscopy (December 20, 2010) -- Scientists found that there was the different hemodynamic response in the temporal cortex between infants' perceptions of their own mother and of female strangers. The presentation of mother's face elicited increased hemodynamic responses in the bilateral temporal cortex. ... > full story

Unlocking the secrets of our compulsions (December 20, 2010) -- Researchers have shed new light on dopamine's role in the brain's reward system, which could provide insight into impulse control problems associated with addiction and a number of psychiatric disorders. ... > full story

Despite longer life spans, fewer years are disease-free (December 20, 2010) -- A 20-year-old today can expect to live one less healthy year than a 20-year-old a decade ago, even though life expectancy has grown. We spend fewer years of our lives without disease, even though we live longer. ... > full story

Delaying surgical procedures increases infection risk and health care costs, new research finds (December 20, 2010) -- Delaying elective surgical procedures after a patient has been admitted to the hospital significantly increases the risk of infectious complications and raises hospital costs, according to a new study. ... > full story

Virus-based gene therapy for metastatic kidney cancer developed (December 19, 2010) -- Researchers have developed a novel virus-based gene therapy for renal cell carcinoma that has been shown to kill cancer cells not only at the primary tumor site but also in distant tumors not directly infected by the virus. ... > full story

Soft substrate promotes pluripotent stem cell culture (December 19, 2010) -- Researchers have found a key to keeping stem cells in their neutral state: It takes a soft touch. The researchers demonstrated that culturing mouse embryonic stem cells on a soft gel rather than on a hard plate or dish keeps them in their pluripotent state, a ground state with the ability to become any type of tissue. The soft substrate maintains homogeneous pluripotent colonies over long periods of time -- without the need for expensive growth chemicals. ... > full story

Fighter pilots' brains are 'more sensitive' (December 19, 2010) -- Cognitive tests and MRI scans have shown significant differences in the brains of fighter pilots when compared to a control group, according to a new study. ... > full story

Insight offers new angle of attack on variety of brain tumors (December 19, 2010) -- Scientists have associated a mutation found in many kinds of brain tumors with a molecular process that affects metabolism genes. The discovery may open the door to developing new treatments for the deadly cancers. ... > full story

Concussed high school athletes who receive neuropsychological testing sidelined longer (December 19, 2010) -- When computerized neuropsychological testing is used, high school athletes suffering from a sports-related concussion are less likely to be returned to play within one week of their injury, according to a new study. Unfortunately, concussed football players are less likely to have computerized neuropsychological testing than those participating in other sports. ... > full story

You only live once: Our flawed understanding of risk helps drive financial market instability (December 19, 2010) -- Our flawed understanding of how decisions in the present restrict our options in the future means that we may underestimate the risk associated with investment decisions, according to new research. The research suggests how policy makers might reshape financial risk controls to reduce market instability and the risk of market collapse. ... > full story

Does fluoride really fight cavities by 'the skin of the teeth?' (December 18, 2010) -- In a study that the authors describe as lending credence to the idiom, "by the skin of your teeth," scientists are reporting that the protective shield fluoride forms on teeth is up to 100 times thinner than previously believed. It raises questions about how this renowned cavity-fighter really works and could lead to better ways of protecting teeth from decay, the scientists suggest. ... > full story

Protein disables p53, drives breast cells toward cancer transition (December 18, 2010) -- The recently identified TRIM24 protein plays an active role in pushing normal breast cells into rapid cell proliferation and, potentially, into breast cancer. ... > full story

Drinking alcohol during a rich meal slows down digestion, but doesn't increase indigestion, study finds (December 18, 2010) -- People can be reassured that while alcohol may slow down digestion after a rich calorific meal, enjoyed by many during the Christmas season, it will not cause indigestion symptoms such as heartburn, belching and bloating, finds new research. ... > full story

Prions mutate and adapt to host environment (December 18, 2010) -- Scientists have shown that prions, bits of infectious protein that can cause fatal neurodegenerative disease such as bovine spongiform encephalopathy (BSE) or "mad cow disease," have the ability to adapt to survive in a new host environment. ... > full story

Major shift in understanding how eczema develops (December 18, 2010) -- In eczema patients the skin barrier is leaky, allowing pollen, mold, pet dander and other irritants to be sensed by the skin and subsequently wreak havoc on the immune system. While the upper-most layer of the skin has been pinned as the culprit in previous research, a new study found that a second skin barrier structure is also faulty in eczema patients and likely plays a role in the development of the disease. ... > full story

Researchers develop mouse model to help find how a gene mutation leads to autism (December 18, 2010) -- Researchers have found that when one copy of the SHANK3 gene in mice is missing, nerve cells do not effectively communicate and do not show cellular properties associated with normal learning. This discovery may explain how mutations affecting SHANK3 may lead to autism spectrum disorders. ... > full story

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