Jumat, 14 Januari 2011

ScienceDaily Health Headlines

for Friday, January 14, 2011

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Virus might fight brain tumors better if armed with bacterial enzyme, study shows (January 14, 2011) -- New research shows that oncolytic viruses, which are engineered to destroy cancer cells, might be more effective in treating deadly brain tumors if equipped with an enzyme that helps them penetrate the tumor. The enzyme removes sugar chains that branch from proteins that fill the narrow spaces between cells. By cutting away these branches, the enzyme clears a path that enables the virus to spread through the tumor. ... > full story

New light shed on river blindness parasite (January 14, 2011) -- Scientists have found how a parasitic worm in cattle, similar to that which causes river blindness in humans, survives due to bacteria that protect it from the body's immune system. ... > full story

Why PSA levels reflect prostate cancer progression (January 14, 2011) -- Researchers who have been studying prostate cancer cells for decades now think they know why PSA (prostate-specific antigen) levels reflect cancer progression. ... > full story

Is 'breast only' for first six months best? (January 14, 2011) -- Current guidance advising mothers in the UK to exclusively breast feed for the first six months of their baby's life is being questioned by child health experts. ... > full story

'Longevity' protein SIRT1 may ward off precursor to prostate cancer (January 14, 2011) -- Researchers have discovered new evidence that suggests the "longevity" protein SIRT1, known for its life-spanning effects in different species, can inhibit the development of a known precursor to prostate cancer, prostatic intraepithelial neoplasia. ... > full story

Deep genomics: In the case of DNA, the package can be as important as its contents, new work with fruit flies reveals (January 14, 2011) -- The modENCODE project is a massive ongoing effort to map all the elements in model organisms that affect whether genes are silenced or expressed. The research is part of the burgeoning new field of epigenetics and the eventual goal in the words of the Washington University team leader is "to put flesh on the bones" of the Human Genome Project. ... > full story

Baby-led weaning is feasible but could cause nutritional problems for minority of infants (January 14, 2011) -- Most babies can reach out for and eat finger food by six to eight months, according to a study of 602 children from north-east England. But baby-led weaning -- babies feeding themselves solid foods, rather than being spoon fed purees -- could lead to nutritional problems for the small number of children who develop later than average. That is why researchers recommend combining self-feeding with solid finger food with traditional spoon feeding. ... > full story

Popular sleep medicine puts older adults at risk for falls, cognitive impairment (January 13, 2011) -- Adults who take one of the world's most commonly prescribed sleep medications are significantly more at risk for nighttime falls and potential injury, according to a new study. ... > full story

Private room intensive care units associated with lower infection rates (January 13, 2011) -- Converting hospital intensive care units to private rooms is associated with a reduction in the rate at which patients acquire infections, according to a new study. ... > full story

Writing about worries eases anxiety and improves test performance (January 13, 2011) -- Students can combat test anxiety and improve performance by writing about their worries immediately before the exam begins, according to a new study. Researchers found that students who were prone to test anxiety improved their high-stakes test scores by nearly one grade point after they were given 10 minutes to write about what was causing them fear. ... > full story

Overexpression of repetitive DNA sequences discovered in common tumor cells (January 13, 2011) -- Researchers have discovered massive overexpression of satellite repeats -- certain DNA sequences that do not code for proteins -- in some common tumor cells, findings that may improve knowledge of tumor development and lead to a novel cancer biomarker. ... > full story

Bisphenol A may have role in ovarian dysfunction (January 13, 2011) -- A recent study found higher bisphenol A (BPA) levels in women with polycystic ovary syndrome compared to controls. Furthermore, researchers found a statistically significant positive association between male sex hormones and BPA in these women suggesting a potential role of BPA in ovarian dysfunction. ... > full story

Neuroscientists explain 'Proustian effect' of small details attached to big memories (January 13, 2011) -- Neuroscientists have uncovered why relatively minor details of an episode are sometimes inexplicably linked to long-term memories. ... > full story

Courtship affects gene expression in flies, study finds (January 13, 2011) -- Biologists have made an important step toward understanding human mating behavior by showing that certain genes become activated in fruit flies when they interact with the opposite sex. Their research shows that courtship behaviors may be far more influenced by genetics than previously thought. In addition, this new understanding as to why and how these genes become activated within social contexts may also lead to insight into disorders such as autism. ... > full story

Measles virus, a weapon against cancer? (January 13, 2011) -- Scientists believe that modified measles viruses can be "re-targeted" to attack only tumor cells, and thus transformed into a powerful new therapy for cancer. ... > full story

More breaks from sitting are good for waistlines and hearts (January 13, 2011) -- It is becoming well accepted that, as well as too little exercise, too much sitting is bad for people's health. Now a new study has found that it is not just the length of time people spend sitting that can make a difference, but also the number of breaks that they take. Plenty of breaks, even if they are as little as one minute, seem to be good for people's hearts and their waistlines. ... > full story

Drug reduces the increase in fear caused by previous traumatic experiences in mice (January 13, 2011) -- Living a traumatic experience favors the persistence of fear associated with an aversive stimulus, known as fear conditioning. Scientists in the US and Spain have now found that such an effect, in mice, can be suppressed with a single dose of 7,8-Dihydroxyflavone, a type of flavonoid which boosts the ability to acquire new emotional behaviors. Researchers believe that the drug could also be used as an effective treatment of post-traumatic stress, panic and phobia disorders in humans. ... > full story

New measure trumps high-density lipoprotein (HDL) levels in protecting against heart disease (January 13, 2011) -- A new study shows that a different metric, a measure of HDL function called cholesterol efflux capacity, is more closely associated with protection against heart disease than HDL cholesterol levels themselves. Findings from the study could lead to new therapeutic interventions in the fight against heart disease. ... > full story

New microscope records firing of thousands of individual neurons in 3-D (January 13, 2011) -- Neuroscientists have collaborated with physicists to develop a non-invasive, ultra high-speed microscope that can record the firing of thousands of individual brain cells -- neurons -- as they communicate or miscommunicate with each other. ... > full story

New method will triple amount of genetic information from newborn blood spot screenings (January 13, 2011) -- Researchers have developed a method that can yield more information from archived newborn blood that has implications for a vast array of research, including population health studies and answering questions about diseases in infants and children. ... > full story

Energy drinks don't blunt effects of alcohol, study finds (January 13, 2011) -- While marketing efforts that encourage mixing caffeinated "energy" drinks with alcohol often try to sway young people to believe that caffeine will offset the sedating effects of alcohol, a new study has found that the addition of caffeine to alcohol -- mixing a caffeinated drink with vodka, for example -- has no effect on enhancing performance on a driving test or improving sustained attention or reaction times. ... > full story

Biomedical breakthrough: Blood vessels for lab-grown tissues (January 13, 2011) -- Researchers have broken one of the major roadblocks on the path to growing transplantable tissue in the lab; they've found a way to grow the necessary blood vessels and capillaries needed to keep tissues alive. ... > full story

Antibiotics best treatment for ear infections in toddlers, study finds (January 13, 2011) -- Adding new evidence to the debate on the best treatment for middle-ear infections, or acute otitis media, in young children, clinical researchers have found antibiotics to be more effective than a placebo in relieving symptoms. ... > full story

Pandemic H1N1 influenza vaccine effective in 2009-10 flu season (January 13, 2011) -- One dose of the pandemic flu vaccines used in seven European countries conferred good protection against pandemic H1N1 influenza in the 2009-10 season, especially in people aged less than 65 years and in those without any chronic diseases. ... > full story

Cancer costs projected to reach at least 8 billion in 2020 (January 13, 2011) -- Based on growth and aging of the US population, medical expenditures for cancer in the year 2020 are projected to reach at least 8 billion (in 2010 dollars) -- an increase of 27 percent over 2010. If newly developed tools for cancer diagnosis, treatment, and follow-up continue to be more expensive, medical expenditures for cancer could reach as high as 7 billion. Projections are based on the most recent data available on cancer incidence, survival and costs of care. ... > full story

Adrenaline receptor 'frozen in action' by researchers (January 13, 2011) -- Adrenaline, the hormone that prepares our body to fight or flight, acts on a hyperdynamic receptor. This molecule switches so fast between several positions, that it was impossible to image it. Until now. Scientists have "frozen the molecule in action" using Xaperones, tiny, stable antibodies. ... > full story

Two medicines taken together improve control of blood pressure (January 13, 2011) -- New research shows that starting treatment of blood pressure with two medicines rather than the one produces better and faster results and fewer side effects -- findings that could change clinical practice world-wide. ... > full story

Family, friends, social ties influence weight status in young adults (January 13, 2011) -- Does obesity tend to "cluster" among young adults? And if so, what impact does it have on both their weight and weight-related behaviors? That's what researchers set out to answer to better understand how social influences affect both weight status and weight loss intentions in this difficult-to-reach age group. ... > full story

Tinnitus treatment: Rebooting the brain helps stop the ring of tinnitus in rats (January 13, 2011) -- Targeted nerve stimulation could yield a long-term reversal of tinnitus, a debilitating hearing impairment affecting at least 10 percent of senior citizens and up to 40 percent of military veterans, according to a new article. ... > full story

Robotic surgery of 'tremendous benefit' to patients (January 13, 2011) -- Robot-assisted surgery dramatically improves outcomes in patients with uterine, endometrial, and cervical cancer. Moreover, because of fewer post-operative complications and shorter hospital stays, robotic procedures also cost less. ... > full story

Comparison of medications for heart failure finds difference in risk of death (January 13, 2011) -- In a comparison of the angiotensin II receptor blockers candesartan and losartan, used by patients with heart failure, candesartan was associated with a lower risk of death at 1 and 5 years, according to a new study. ... > full story

People neglect who they really are when predicting their own future happiness (January 13, 2011) -- Humans are notoriously bad at predicting their future happiness. A new study suggests that part of the reason for these mispredictions lies in failing to recognize the key role played by one's own personality when determining future emotional reactions. ... > full story

Delivering a potent cancer drug with nanoparticles can lessen side effects (January 12, 2011) -- Researchers have shown that they can deliver the cancer drug cisplatin much more effectively and safely in a form that has been encapsulated in a nanoparticle targeted to prostate tumor cells and is activated once it reaches its target. ... > full story

MicroRNA-TP53 circuit connected to chronic lymphocytic leukemia (January 12, 2011) -- The interplay between a major tumor-suppressing gene, a truncated chromosome and two sets of microRNAs provides a molecular basis for explaining the less aggressive form of chronic lymphocytic leukemia, an international team of researchers reports. ... > full story

New laboratory aims to revolutionize surgery with real-time metabolic profiling (January 12, 2011) -- Metabolic profiling of tissue samples could transform the way surgeons make decisions in the operating theater, say researchers at a new laboratory being launched in the UK. Scientists have installed a high resolution solid state nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR) spectrometer to analyze intact tissue samples from patients taking part in studies, to investigate whether it can ultimately give surgeons detailed diagnostic information while their patients are under the knife. ... > full story

Middle school is when the right friends may matter most (January 12, 2011) -- As adolescents move from elementary school into their middle or junior-high years, changes in friendships may signal potential academic success or troubles down the road, say researchers. ... > full story

Musical chills: Why they give us thrills (January 12, 2011) -- Scientists have found that the pleasurable experience of listening to music releases dopamine, a neurotransmitter in the brain important for more tangible pleasures associated with rewards such as food, drugs and sex. ... > full story

Lab-on-a-chip developed for fast, inexpensive blood tests: Smartphone app next (January 12, 2011) -- While most blood tests require shipping a vial of blood to a laboratory for analysis and waiting several days for the results, a new device invented by a team of engineers and students uses just a pinprick of blood in a portable device that provides results in less than 30 minutes. The next step will turn blood testing into a smartphone application. ... > full story

New insight into neuronal survival after brain injury (January 12, 2011) -- A new study identifies a molecule that is a critical regulator of neuron survival after ischemic brain injury. The research may lead to new therapies that reduce damage after a stroke or other injuries that involve an interruption in blood supply to the brain. ... > full story

Virus killer gets supercharged: Discovery greatly improves common disinfectant (January 12, 2011) -- Researchers report that adding silicone to titanium dioxide, a common disinfectant, dramatically increases its ability to degrade aerosol- and water-borne viruses. ... > full story

How partners perceive each other's emotion during a fight has a huge impact on their reactions (January 12, 2011) -- Some of the most intense emotions people feel occur during a conflict in a romantic relationship. Now, psychologists show that how each person perceives the other partner's emotion during a conflict greatly influences different types of thoughts, feelings and reactions in themselves. ... > full story

Critical link between Down syndrome and Alzheimer's disease discovered (January 12, 2011) -- Researchers have discovered that the genetic mechanism which destroys brain cells is responsible for early development of Alzheimer's disease in people with Down syndrome and for development of Alzheimer's disease in general population -- providing a potential new target for drugs that could forestall dementia in people with either condition. ... > full story

'Thirdhand smoke' may be bigger health hazard than previously believed (January 12, 2011) -- Scientists are reporting that so-called "thirdhand smoke" -- the invisible remains of cigarette smoke that deposits on carpeting, clothing, furniture and other surfaces -- may be even more of a health hazard than previously believed. The study extends the known health risks of tobacco among people who do not smoke but encounter the smoke exhaled by smokers or released by smoldering cigarette butts. ... > full story

MicroRNAs could increase the risk of amputation in diabetics (January 12, 2011) -- New research has found one of the smallest entities in the human genome, micro-RNA, could increase the risk of limb amputation in diabetic patients who have poor blood flow. ... > full story

Emotional stress can change brain function (January 12, 2011) -- New research has shown that a single exposure to acute stress affected information processing in the cerebellum -- the area of the brain responsible for motor control and movement coordination and also involved in learning and memory formation. ... > full story

Scientists discover way to stop pancreatic cancer in early stages, study suggests (January 12, 2011) -- Cancer researchers have found a way to stop early stage pancreatic cancer in research models -- a result that has far-reaching implications in chemoprevention for high-risk patients. ... > full story

Eating vegetables gives skin a more healthy glow than the sun, study shows (January 12, 2011) -- New research suggests eating vegetables gives you a healthy tan. The study showed that eating a healthy diet rich in fruit and vegetables gives you a more healthy golden glow than the sun. ... > full story

Zoster vaccine associated with lower risk of shingles in older adults (January 12, 2011) -- Vaccination for herpes zoster, a painful rash commonly known as shingles, among a large group of older adults was associated with a reduced risk of this condition, regardless of age, race or the presence of chronic diseases, according to a new study. ... > full story

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