Jumat, 24 Desember 2010

ScienceDaily Health Headlines

for Friday, December 24, 2010

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You are what your father ate, too: Paternal diet affects lipid metabolizing genes in offspring, research suggests (December 24, 2010) -- We aren't just what we eat; we are what our parents ate, too. That's an emerging idea that is bolstered by a new study showing that mice sired by fathers fed on a low-protein diet show distinct and reproducible changes in the activity of key metabolic genes in their livers. Those changes occurred despite the fact that the fathers never saw their offspring. ... > full story

Protein involved in early steps of melanoma development revealed (December 24, 2010) -- A protein required for early stages of melanoma development can also predict melanoma outcome, according to new research. ... > full story

Designer probiotics could reduce obesity (December 23, 2010) -- Specially designed probiotics can modulate the physiology of host fat cells say scientists. The findings could lead to specialized probiotics that have a role in the prevention or treatment of conditions such as obesity. ... > full story

How cells running on empty trigger fuel recycling (December 23, 2010) -- Researchers have discovered how AMPK, a metabolic master switch that springs into gear when cells run low on energy, revs up a cellular recycling program to free up essential molecular building blocks in times of need. ... > full story

Simple screen can help isolate virulent parts of pathogenic bacteria gene structures (December 23, 2010) -- Researchers have developed a new approach to studying potentially deadly disease-causing bacteria which could help speed up the process of finding vaccines. The scientists have pioneered a simple screen which can help isolate the virulent parts of the gene structures of pathogenic bacteria. The screen allows researchers to simultaneously run thousands of tests where genes from the pathogen are pitted against the human blood cells that normally attack them. ... > full story

Shouldering family demands and worries bumps up angina risk (December 23, 2010) -- Shouldering family demands and worries seems to increase the risk of angina, the precursor to coronary artery disease, reveals new research. ... > full story

'Un-growth hormone' increases longevity, researchers find (December 23, 2010) -- A compound which acts in the opposite way as growth hormone can reverse some of the signs of aging, a research team has shown. The finding may be counter-intuitive to some older adults who take growth hormone, thinking it will help revitalize them. ... > full story

Invention could improve cancer drug delivery, lessen harmful effects of chemotherapy (December 23, 2010) -- A new invention may provide a way to deliver chemotherapeutic drugs to cancer tissues in controlled doses without harming healthy body cells. ... > full story

Complementary medicines can be dangerous for children, experts say (December 23, 2010) -- Complementary medicines can be dangerous for children and can even prove fatal, if substituted for conventional medicine, indicates an audit of kids' CAM treatment. ... > full story

Does equality increase status spending? (December 23, 2010) -- People are happier when goods are more equally distributed, but equality makes people want to spend more to get ahead of their neighbors, according to a new study. ... > full story

Placebos work -- even without deception (December 23, 2010) -- Patients who were knowingly given placebos for irritable bowel syndrome experienced significant symptom relief when compared with controls who were given nothing. ... > full story

Breakthrough in melanoma research: Protein suppresses progression of melanoma (December 23, 2010) -- In a breakthrough that could lead to new treatments for patients with malignant melanoma, researchers have discovered that a particular protein suppresses the progression of melanoma through regulation of an oncogene, or gene responsible for cancer growth. ... > full story

Some cancer drugs may block cellular 'cross talk' but not kill cancer cells (December 23, 2010) -- A class of drugs thought to kill cancer cells may in fact block "cross talk" between the cancer cell and normal immune cells, resulting in reduced cancer growth and spread -- a discovery that could significantly alter the way cancer drugs are evaluated in the future. ... > full story

Measuring fatigue through the voice: Speech 'flattens' after 24 hours awake (December 23, 2010) -- Researchers in Australia have developed a new method to analyze the effect of fatigue on the central nervous system. They describe how sustained wakefulness slows speech and diminishes variations in pitch and tone -- findings relevant to public safety officials, military leaders, and employers concerned with fatigue among their workers. ... > full story

Discovery suggests a new way to prevent HIV from infecting human cells (December 23, 2010) -- Researchers have discovered how HIV binds to and destroys a specific human antiviral protein called APOBEC3F. ... > full story

Eating less healthy fish may contribute to America's stroke belt (December 23, 2010) -- People living in the "stroke belt" states eat more fried fish than people living in the rest of the country, which may contribute to the high rate of death from stroke in those states, according to a new study. ... > full story

Scientist uncovers switch controlling protein production (December 23, 2010) -- Scientist have discovered a molecular switch that controls the synthesis of ribosomes. Ribosomes are the large machineries inside all living cells that produce proteins, the basic working units of any cell. These new findings offer a novel target for potential treatments for a range of diseases, including cancer. ... > full story

When will runners and swimmers reach their physical limit? (December 23, 2010) -- Running and swimming records are broken again and again at almost every international athletics event, But, can human performance continue to improve indefinitely? Will runners continue to accelerate off the starting blocks and reach the finish line in faster and faster times? Will swimmers always be able to dive into the record books with a quicker kick? ... > full story

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

Study on effects of resveratrol and quercetin on inflammation and insulin resistance (December 23, 2010) -- A study was carried out to examine the extent to which quercetin and trans-resveratrol prevented inflammation or insulin resistance in primary cultures of human adipocytes treated with tumor necrosis factor-a (TNF-a) -- an inflammatory cytokine elevated in the plasma and adipose tissue of obese, diabetic individuals. ... > 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

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