Kamis, 23 Desember 2010

ScienceDaily Health Headlines

for Thursday, December 23, 2010

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Component in common dairy foods may cut diabetes risk, study suggests (December 23, 2010) -- Scientists have identified a natural substance in dairy fat that may substantially reduce the risk of type 2 diabetes. ... > full story

Most common adult brain cancer linked to gene deletion, doctors say (December 23, 2010) -- A new study has identified an important gene deletion in up to one of every four cases of glioblastoma, the most common adult brain cancer. This deletion contributes to tumor development, promotes resistance to therapy and considerably worsens a patient's survival prospects. ... > full story

Photons vs. protons for treatment of spinal cord gliomas (December 23, 2010) -- A study comparing the long-term outcomes of patients with spinal-cord tumors following radiation therapy suggests that certain subsets of patients have better long-term survival, and that photon-based radiation therapy may result in better survival than proton-beam therapy, even in patients with more favorable characteristics. ... > full story

New annotated database sifts through mountains of sequencing data to find gene promoters (December 23, 2010) -- Researchers announce the release of an online tool that will help scientists find "gene promoters" -- regions along a DNA strand that tell a cell's transcription machinery where to start reading in order to create a particular protein. The Mammalian Promoter Database (MPromDb) integrates sequencing data generated at Wistar with publicly available data on human and mouse genomics. MPromDb pinpoints known promoters and predicts where new ones are likely to be found. ... > full story

Why do risks with human characteristics make powerful consumers feel lucky? (December 23, 2010) -- People who feel powerful are more likely to believe they can beat cancer if it's described in human terms, according to new study. ... > full story

Young female chimpanzees treat sticks as dolls: Growing evidence of biological basis for gender-specific play in humans (December 22, 2010) -- Researchers have reported some of the first evidence that chimpanzee youngsters in the wild may tend to play differently depending on their sex, just as human children around the world do. Scientists say female chimpanzees appear to treat sticks as dolls, carrying them around until they have offspring of their own. Young males engage in such behavior much less frequently. ... > full story

Genome-wide hunt reveals links to abnormal rhythms behind sudden death, heart damage (December 22, 2010) -- A study among almost 50,000 people worldwide has identified DNA sequence variations linked with the heart's electrical rhythm in several surprising regions among 22 locations across the human genome. ... > full story

Immunity in emerging species of a major mosquito carrer of malaria (December 22, 2010) -- A new study suggests that the mosquitoes' immune response to malaria parasites, mediated by a gene called TEP1, is one of the traits that differ between two evolving species of Anopheles gambiae. ... > full story

Climbing Mount Everest: Noble adventure or selfish pursuit? (December 22, 2010) -- Adventure seekers are plunking down more than ,000 to climb Mount Everest, but a new study finds that people who pay for transformative experiences often lack the communitarian spirit that usually defines such activities. ... > full story

Sex reversal gene: Male mice can be created without Y chromosome via ancient brain gene (December 22, 2010) -- Researchers in Australia are a step closer to unraveling the mysteries of human sexual development, following genetic studies that show male mice can be created without a Y chromosome -- through the activation of an ancient brain gene. ... > full story

Blue-green algae tested for treating amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (December 22, 2010) -- Spirulina, a nutrient-rich, blue-green algae, an ancient food source used by the Aztecs, may have a dual antioxidant and anti-inflammatory effect on motor neurons. Spirulina appeared to provide neuroprotective support for dying motor neurons in a mouse model of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis. ... > full story

Tumor cells in blood may signal worse prognosis in head and neck cancer patients (December 22, 2010) -- A new study suggests that the presence of tumor cells in the circulating blood of patients with squamous cell cancer of the head and neck might predict disease recurrence and reduced survival. An increased number of circulating tumor cells (CTCs) also correlates with a worse outcome. The findings of the ongoing, prospective study suggest that CTCs might be a prognostic marker to help further individualize therapy. Currently, no prognostic blood test exists for this malignancy. ... > full story

Eating healthier means living longer (December 22, 2010) -- The leading causes of death have shifted from infectious diseases to chronic diseases such as cardiovascular disease and cancer. In a new study, researchers investigated empirical data regarding the associations of dietary patterns with mortality through analysis of the eating patterns of over 2500 adults between the ages of 70 and 79 over a ten-year period. They found that diets favoring certain foods were associated with reduced mortality. ... > full story

Smoking may worsen pain for cancer patients (December 22, 2010) -- The relationship between smoking and cancer is well established. In a new study, researchers report evidence to suggest that cancer patients who continue to smoke despite their diagnosis experience greater pain than nonsmokers. They found that for a wide range of cancer types and for cancers in stages I to IV, smoking was associated with increased pain severity and the extent to which pain interfered with a patient's daily routine. ... > full story

Gene alteration identified that predisposes to syndrome with high risk of cancer (December 22, 2010) -- Researchers have identified a new genetic alteration that predisposes individuals to Cowden syndrome, a rare disorder that is characterized by high risks of breast, thyroid and other cancers, according to preliminary research. ... > full story

Stress can enhance ordinary, unrelated memories (December 22, 2010) -- Stress can enhance ordinary, unrelated memories, a team of neuroscientists has found in a study of laboratory rats. Their results may bolster our understanding of post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and could offer a pathway for addressing PTSD and related afflictions. ... > full story

Obesity increases risk of death in severe vehicle crashes, study shows (December 22, 2010) -- Moderately and morbidly obese persons face many health issues -- heart disease, diabetes, hypertension, stroke, gallbladder disease and others. Now, increased chances of dying while driving during a severe auto accident can be added to the list. ... > full story

Biomarkers could predict death in AIDS patients with severe inflammation (December 22, 2010) -- A new study suggests that AIDS patients with cryptococcal meningitis who start HIV therapy are predisposed to immune reconstitution inflammatory syndrome -- an exaggerated inflammatory immune response that kills up to one-third of affected people -- if they have biomarkers (biochemicals) in their blood showing evidence of a damaged immune system that is not capable of clearing the fungal infection. ... > full story

Neuroimaging helps to predict which dyslexics will learn to read (December 22, 2010) -- Researchers have used sophisticated brain imaging to predict with 90 percent accuracy which teenagers with dyslexia would improve their reading skills over time. ... > full story

Natural supplement, echinacea, may reduce common-cold duration by only half a day (December 22, 2010) -- An over-the-counter herbal treatment believed to have medicinal benefits has minimal impact in relieving the common cold, according to new research. ... > full story

Pen to measure and reduce stress (December 22, 2010) -- In the future, more and more products will be able to interpret what users are feeling and use that information in a smart way. To illustrate the power of this theory, researchers have developed a pen which can measure the stress levels of the person using it, and can actually help to reduce that stress. In experiments, the heart rate of people who used the anti-stress pen fell by an average of five percent. ... > full story

New breathing therapy reduces panic and anxiety by reversing hyperventilation (December 22, 2010) -- A new treatment that helps people with panic disorder to normalize their breathing works better to reduce panic symptoms and hyperventilation than traditional cognitive therapy, according to a new study. The new 'CART' treatment was found to be better than traditional cognitive therapy at altering hyperventilation and panic symptoms. ... > full story

Membership in many groups leads to quick recovery from physical challenges (December 22, 2010) -- Being a part of many different social groups can improve mental health and help a person cope with stressful events. It also leads to better physical health, making you more able to withstand -- and recover faster from -- physical challenges, according to a new study. ... > full story

Genetic trait could triple odds of whites' susceptibility to heavy cocaine abuse (December 22, 2010) -- Nearly one in five whites could carry a genetic variant that substantially increases their odds of being susceptible to severe cocaine abuse, according to new research. This genetic variant, characterized by one or both of two tiny gene mutations, alters the brain's response to specific chemical signals. In the study, the variant was associated with a more than threefold increase in the odds that carriers will be susceptible to severe cocaine abuse leading to fatal overdosing, compared to non-carriers. ... > full story

Spread of tuberculosis in prisons increases the incidence of TB in the general population (December 22, 2010) -- The risk of tuberculosis (TB) and latent TB (in which the bacteria that cause TB lie dormant but can reactivate later to cause active TB disease) is higher in the prison population than in the general population, according to new research. ... > full story

Smarter systems help busy doctors remember (December 22, 2010) -- Busy doctors can miss important details about a patient's care during an office exam. To prevent that, researchers have created a whip smart-assistant for physicians -- a new system using electronic health records that alerts doctors during an exam when a patient's care is amiss. A yellow light on their computer alerts them to problems. The new system, tied to doctor performance reviews, improved patient care and boosted preventive screenings. ... > full story

Use the right metaphor to get patients to enroll in clinical trials (December 22, 2010) -- The language that doctors use with low-income, rural patients can help determine whether these patients agree to participate in clinical trials testing new cancer treatments, a new study found. Researchers found that the metaphors doctors used to help explain what happens in such trials played a big role in whether patients would agree to participate. ... > full story

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

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