Selasa, 01 Februari 2011

ScienceDaily Health Headlines

for Tuesday, February 1, 2011

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Specific populations of gut bacteria linked to fatty liver (February 1, 2011) -- Rather than being controlled itself by diet, gut bacterial composition may control the body's key nutrients. A metagenomic study of gut bacteria during a choline-depletion experiment on patients with fatty liver predicted the nutrient restriction would modify gut microbial ecologies towards uniformity. Instead, results showed each individual's unique microflora bore a strong relationship to fatty liver susceptibility, indicating that two specific groups of bacteria may play significant roles in dietary choline availability. ... > full story

Signaling pathway crucial to acute lung injury discovered (February 1, 2011) -- Researchers have discovered a signaling pathway that is crucial to the devastating effects of acute lung injury (ALI). The data, obtained from cells, animals and ALI patients, suggest several potential therapeutic targets. Experimental blockade of one of the targets significantly reduced flooding of the lungs that is the hallmark of ALI. ... > full story

Nanotechnology: Detecting lethal diseases with rust and sand (February 1, 2011) -- The next big thing in medical diagnostics could be minutes particles of rust, iron oxide, coated with the material from which sand is formed, silicon dioxide. These magnetic nanoparticles, a mere 29 to 230 nanometers across, can be used to trap antibodies to the virus that causes cervical cancer and to the bacteria that causes potentially lethal diarrhea. ... > full story

Moderate aerobic exercise in older adults shown to improve memory (February 1, 2011) -- A new study shows that one year of moderate physical exercise can increase the size of the brain's hippocampus in older adults, leading to an improvement in spatial memory. ... > full story

When two rights make a wrong: Combating childhood heart disease (February 1, 2011) -- When the body can't distinguish its right side from its left during development, a child can develop a condition called heterotaxy in which the heart is severely malformed, leading to congenital heart disease. To improve survival in these children, researchers sought to identify the genes that cause heterotaxy. They have shown in a new study that patients with heterotaxy have considerably more copy number variations on their genomes than do control patients. ... > full story

Free radicals in cornea may contribute to Fuchs dystrophy, most common cause of corneal transplants (February 1, 2011) -- Scientists have found that free radicals (unstable molecules that cause the death of cells as the body ages) may also cause the damage in the eyes of patients with Fuchs endothelial corneal dystrophy, a hereditary disease that is one of the most common reasons for corneal transplants worldwide. ... > full story

Safety checklist use yields 10 percent drop in hospital deaths (February 1, 2011) -- A new safety checklist program that virtually eliminated bloodstream infections in hospital intensive-care units throughout Michigan appears to have also reduced deaths by 10 percent, a new study suggests. Although prior research showed a major reduction in central-line related bloodstream infections at hospitals using the checklist, the new study is the first to show its use directly lowered mortality. ... > full story

Novel immune system-based gene therapy induces strong responses in metastatic melanoma, sarcoma (January 31, 2011) -- Researchers have found that a novel form of personalized therapy that genetically engineers a patient's own anti-tumor immune cells to fight tumors could treat metastatic melanoma and metastatic synovial cell sarcoma, representing a potentially new therapeutic approach against these and other cancers. ... > full story

Little decline in hepatitis C infections among injection drug users, study finds (January 31, 2011) -- A recent 20-year study of injection drug users in Baltimore found a significant decline in new cases of HIV infection but only a slight decline in new cases of hepatitis C virus (HCV) infection. The findings suggest that efforts to curb blood-borne transmission of these viral infections have had success but must be expanded against the highly transmissible HCV. ... > full story

Megalomaniac CEOs: Good or bad for company performance? (January 31, 2011) -- According to a new study, dominant CEOs, who are powerful figures in the organization as compared to other members of the top management team, drive companies to extremes of performance. Unfortunately for shareholders, the performance of a company with an all powerful CEO can be either much worse than other companies, or much better. But there is one solution to an all powerful CEO: a strong board of directors. Companies with strong boards counteract powerful CEOS, and swing the tide of performance to the plus side. ... > full story

Deficiency of dietary omega-3 may explain depressive behaviors (January 31, 2011) -- How maternal essential fatty acid deficiency impact on its progeny is poorly understood. Dietary insufficiency in omega-3 fatty acid has been implicated in many disorders. Researchers have now studied mice fed on a diet low in omega-3 fatty acid. They discovered that reduced levels of omega-3 had deleterious consequences on synaptic functions and emotional behaviors. ... > full story

Scientists grow arteries with high level of elastic protein: Big step for living vascular grafts (January 31, 2011) -- Researchers have grown arteries that exhibit the elasticity of natural blood vessels at the highest levels reported to date, a development that could overcome a major barrier to creating living-tissue replacements for damaged arteries. The team used smooth muscle cells from adult baboons to produce arteries containing approximately 20 percent as much of the protein elastin -- which allows vessels to expand and retract in response to blood flow -- as an inborn artery. ... > full story

Seeing kidney injury, as it happens: Animal-model study offers glimpse at real-time changes in kidney (January 31, 2011) -- The current check for kidney disease is a simple blood test for serum creatinine, but it can take longer than two days for this metabolite to accumulate to levels that are significant enough to indicate kidney damage -- and by then it may be too late to intervene. Now a team of researchers is working to close the gap between kidney injury and diagnosis. ... > full story

Children's genetic potentials are subdued by poverty: Effects show by age 2 (January 31, 2011) -- Children from poorer families do worse in school, are less likely to graduate from high school, and are less likely to go to college. A new study finds that these differences appear surprisingly early: by the age of 2. It's not a genetic difference. Instead, something about the poorer children's environment is keeping them from realizing their genetic potentials. ... > full story

Hormone therapy begun at menopause may pose risk for breast cancer (January 31, 2011) -- Starting hormone therapy at around the time of menopause is associated with a greater risk of breast cancer compared to starting after a longer gap, according to a new study. ... > full story

Plankton inspires creation of stealth armor for slow-release microscopic drug vehicles (January 31, 2011) -- The ability of some plankton and bacteria to build an extra natural layer of nanoparticle-like armor has inspired chemists to devise a startlingly simple way to give drug bearing polymer vesicles (microscopic polymer based sacs of liquid) their own armored protection, and in some cases provide "stealth" capabilities which can avoid the body's defenses while releasing the drug. ... > full story

Young rats given polyphenols show less endothelial function deterioration with aging (January 31, 2011) -- A new study examined whether intake of red wine polyphenols, a rich source of natural antioxidants, prevents aging-related impairment of vascular function and physical exercise capacity. ... > full story

Super Bowl losses can increase cardiac death, study finds (January 31, 2011) -- A Super Bowl loss for a home team was found to be associated with increased death rates in both men and women and in older individuals, according to a new study. ... > full story

Stimulating the brain's immune response may provide treatment for Alzheimer's disease (January 31, 2011) -- CD45 molecule, a receptor on the surface of the brain's microglia cells, cells that support the brain's neurons and also participate in brain immune responses, may be a new target for the prevention of adverse immune responses identified as factors in the development of Alzheimer's disease. The researchers hope to apply these findings to develop new Alzheimer's disease treatments. ... > full story

What are the right food supplements during pregnancy? Study shows risky knowledge gaps (January 31, 2011) -- Mothers-to-be can cover increased demands for most nutrients, vitamins and minerals with a balanced diet, but where dietary supplements are needed during pregnancy, knowledge may be a missing ingredient. According to researchers in Germany, pregnant women often start taking appropriate dietary supplements too late or not at all. Other micronutrients, whose effects during pregnancy have not yet been studied, may be unwittingly overdosed. ... > full story

Shape-shifting sugars pinned down (January 31, 2011) -- Scientists have solved a 50-year-old puzzle about how, why or indeed if, sugar molecules change their shape. ... > full story

Casualties of war: Wounded veterans more likely to die of coronary heart disease (January 31, 2011) -- War-time stress may lead to an increased risk death by coronary heart disease in later life. Researchers surveyed a cohort of 55 year old Finnish WW2 veterans in 1980, and then carried out a follow-up study 28 years later. ... > full story

Antibiotic offers potential for anti-cancer activity (January 31, 2011) -- An antibiotic known for its immunosuppressive functions could also point the way to the development of new anti-cancer agents. ... > full story

Nerve cell molecule has antidepressant effect; animal study may lead to more effective treatments for depression (January 31, 2011) -- Mice that lack a molecule involved in regulating nerve cell signaling are more active and resilient to stressful situations, a new study shows. Mice lacking the molecule -- known as Cdk5 -- exhibited the same behaviors seen in mice given antidepressant drugs. ... > full story

Sprouts? Supplements? Team them up to boost broccoli's cancer-fighting power (January 31, 2011) -- A new study provides convincing evidence that the way you prepare and consume your broccoli matters, and also suggests that teaming broccoli with broccoli sprouts may make the vegetable's anti-cancer effect almost twice as powerful. ... > full story

Smoking habits are transmitted from mother to daughter and father to son, study suggests (January 31, 2011) -- A research group has studied how smoking habits are transmitted within the home. The results show that, in homes where both parents are present, there is a significant degree of inter-generational transmission of smoking habits between parents and children, particularly between individuals of the same gender. ... > full story

Adult skin cells converted directly to beating heart cells (January 31, 2011) -- Scientists have converted adult skin cells directly into beating heart cells efficiently without having to first go through the laborious process of generating embryonic-like stem cells. The powerful general technology platform could lead to new treatments for a range of diseases and injuries involving cell loss or damage, such as heart disease, Parkinson's, and Alzheimer's disease. ... > full story

Key mechanism governing nicotine addiction discovered (January 31, 2011) -- Scientists have identified a pathway in the brain that regulates an individual's vulnerability to the addictive properties of nicotine. The findings suggest a new target for anti-smoking therapies. ... > full story

Stem cell marker regulates synapse formation (January 31, 2011) -- Among stem cell biologists there are few better-known proteins than nestin, whose very presence in an immature cell identifies it as a "stem cell," such as a neural stem cell. As helpful as this is to researchers, until now no one knew which purpose nestin serves in a cell. ... > full story

Pre-surgical stress management boosts immune function, lowers mood disturbance in prostate cancer patients (January 31, 2011) -- Practicing stress management techniques before prostate cancer surgery may help activate the body's immune response leading to quicker recovery, as well as aid in lowering mood disturbance, according to a new study. ... > full story

Genetic clues to compulsive, self-injurious behavior in rare childhood disorder (January 31, 2011) -- Research provides new clues for the compulsive behavior and cognitive defects associated with a rare childhood neurological disease called Lesch-Nyhan Disease (LND). Two pathways found to be defective in LND are known to be associated with other neurodegenerative disease, such as Alzheimer's and Parknson's diseases, suggesting common causes of cognitive and behavioral defects in these neurological disorders. ... > full story

Recalled implantable cardioverter-defibrillator (ICD) leads fail in women, youths most often (January 31, 2011) -- The recalled Sprint Fidelis implantable cardioverter-defibrillator (ICD) leads failed more often in younger patients, women, and individuals with hereditary heart disease, according to a multi-center study. The researchers found that lead failure was not associated with death or serious injuries. ... > full story

MRI: An accurate method to evaluate iron overload (January 31, 2011) -- A research team from Iran investigated the accuracy of T2*-weighted magnetic resonance imaging (MRI T2*) in the evaluation of iron overload in beta-thalassemia major patients. The study showed that MRI T2* is a non-invasive, safe and reliable method for detecting iron load in patients with iron overload. ... > full story

A diagnostic marker in hepatocellular carcinoma (January 31, 2011) -- A research team from South Korea investigated the expression profile of E2F5 in primary hepatocellular carcinomas (HCCs) and explored the biological implications of E2F5 overexpression. They found that E2F5 is commonly overexpressed in primary HCC and that E2F5 knockdown significantly repressed the growth of HCC cells. ... > full story

Hepatic vein thrombosis following liver resection (January 31, 2011) -- A research team from France reported two cases of postoperative hepatic vein thrombosis after liver resection. They concluded that thrombosis of hepatic veins may occur after liver resection and is a potential source of pulmonary embolism. ... > full story

Scientists unlock the 'gates' on sudden cardiac death (January 30, 2011) -- Australian researchers have come one step closer to understanding how the rhythm of the heartbeat is controlled and why many common drugs, including some antibiotics, antihistamines and anti-psychotics, can cause a potentially fatal abnormal heart rhythm. ... > full story

Powerful 3-D X-rays for kids in braces should be the exception, not the rule (January 30, 2011) -- Some orthodontists may be exposing young patients to unnecessary radiation when they order 3-D X-ray imaging for simple orthodontic cases before considering traditional 2-D imaging, suggests a new article. ... > full story

New era of advances in brain research: As recording technology rapidly improves, neurons give up their secrets cell by cell (January 30, 2011) -- Thanks to improvements in technology and data analysis, our understanding of the functional principles that guide the development and operation of the brain could improve drastically in the next few years, scientists report. The advances could herald a neuroscientific revolution, much as increasing processor speeds paved the way for the computing revolution of the last half century. ... > full story

Powerful new painkiller with no apparent side effects or addictive qualities, may be ready in a year (January 30, 2011) -- A powerful new painkiller with no apparent side effects or addictive qualities, may now be only a year or two from the consumer market. ... > full story

Regenerative medicine advance: New 'cocktails' support long-term maintenance of human embryonic stem cells (January 30, 2011) -- A team of stem cell biologists and engineers, using a feedback system control scheme, has innovatively and efficiently identified an optimal combination and concentration of small molecule inhibitors from a very large pool of possibilities to support the long-term maintenance of human embryonic stem cells. This is a major advancement towards the quest to broadly transition regenerative medicine from the bench top to the clinic. ... > full story

Celiac disease and Crohn's disease share part of their genetic background (January 30, 2011) -- An investigation has found that celiac disease and Crohn's disease, both inflammatory diseases of the gastrointestinal tract, share at least four genetic risk loci. Researchers performed a combined meta-analysis of genome-wide data for celiac disease and Crohn's disease. This meta-analysis has identified two new shared risk loci and two shared risk loci that had previously been independently identified for each disease. ... > full story

Retired NFL players misuse painkillers more than general population, study finds (January 30, 2011) -- Retired NFL players use painkillers at four times the rate of the general population, according to a new study. The researchers say the brutal collisions and bone-jarring injuries associated with football often cause long-term pain, which contributes to continued use and abuse of pain-killing medications. ... > full story

Learn more quickly by transcranial magnetic brain stimulation, study in rats suggests (January 29, 2011) -- What sounds like science fiction is actually possible: thanks to magnetic stimulation, the activity of certain brain nerve cells can be deliberately influenced. What happens in the brain in this context has been unclear up to now. Medical experts have now shown that various stimulus patterns changed the activity of distinct neuronal cell types. In addition, certain stimulus patterns led to rats learning more easily. ... > full story

Mini-strokes leave 'hidden' brain damage (January 29, 2011) -- A transient ischemic attack is sometimes known as a mini-stroke. New research shows these attacks may not be transient at all. They in fact create lasting damage to the brain. ... > full story

Growth spurt? 'Catch-up' growth signals revealed (January 29, 2011) -- Researchers have uncovered molecular signals that regulate catch-up growth -- the growth spurt that occurs when normal conditions are restored after a fetus, young animal or child has been ill, under stress or deprived of enough food or oxygen to grow properly. ... > full story

Presence of peers heightens teens' sensitivity to rewards of a risk (January 29, 2011) -- Teenagers take more risks when they are with their friends. A new study sheds light on why. The findings demonstrate that when teens are with their friends they are more sensitive to the rewards of a risk than when alone. ... > full story

DNA caught rock 'n rollin': On rare occasions DNA dances itself into a different shape (January 29, 2011) -- DNA, that marvelous, twisty molecule of life, has an alter ego, research reveals. On rare occasions, its building blocks "rock and roll," deforming the familiar double helix into a different shape. ... > full story

Premature infants' lungs may improve with better nutrition (January 29, 2011) -- Improving lung function in premature babies with a severe lung disease may be linked to their feeding regimen, according to a new study. ... > full story

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