Rabu, 02 Februari 2011

ScienceDaily Health Headlines

for Wednesday, February 2, 2011

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Natural molecule indirectly prevents stable clot formation (February 2, 2011) -- A scientist has identified a new role for a natural signaling molecule in preventing blood clot formation. The molecule could become a target for the development of novel and cost-effective treatments for blood clotting diseases such as Hemophilia A. ... > full story

High levels of circulating DNA may signal faster progression of lung cancer (February 2, 2011) -- High levels of circulating DNA may indicate faster progression of lung cancer and lower overall survival, according to a new study. ... > full story

Too many pitches strike out youth athletes early, new 10 year study suggests (February 2, 2011) -- For years, sports medicine professionals have talked about youth pitching injuries and the stress the motion causes on developing bones and muscles. In a new, 10-year study, researchers showed that participants who pitched more than 100 innings in a year were 3.5 times more likely to be injured. ... > full story

Do chimpanzees mourn their dead infants? (February 2, 2011) -- For the first time, researchers report in detail how a chimpanzee mother responds to the death of her infant. The chimpanzee mother shows behaviors not typically seen directed toward live infants, such as placing her fingers against the neck and laying the infant's body on the ground to watch it from a distance. The observations provide unique insights into how chimpanzees, one of humans' closest primate relatives, learn about death. ... > full story

Yeast used to detect proteins involved in neurodegenerative diseases (February 2, 2011) -- Researchers have developed and patented a method using Saccharomyces cerevisiae yeast to detect in human proteins the formation of oligomers, small toxic aggregations of molecules which can initiate the assembly of amyloid fibers found in neurodegenerative diseases. The test allows validating the efficacy of compounds which could dissolve or inhibit these aggregates, as well as studying at basic level the therapeutic potentiality of a large number of molecules. ... > full story

Computer-assisted diagnosis tools to aid pathologists (February 2, 2011) -- Researchers are leveraging powerful Ohio Supercomputer Center resources to develop computer-assisted diagnosis tools for diagnosing Follicular Lymphoma. Accurate grading of the pathological samples generally leads to a promising prognosis, but diagnosis depends solely upon a labor-intensive process that can be affected by fatigue, reader variation and bias. These computer-assisted procedures will provide pathologists grading cancerous Follicular Lymphoma samples with quicker, more consistently accurate diagnoses. ... > full story

African-Americans have better stroke survival rates (February 2, 2011) -- A new study shows that African Americans have a better survival rate compared to whites after being hospitalized for a stroke. This conclusion contradicts prevailing wisdom and is one piece in a growing body of evidence that points to the important role that patients -- and the decision they and their families make in terms of treatment -- may play on mortality rates. ... > full story

Teens with HIV at high risk for pregnancy, complications, research finds (February 2, 2011) -- Teenage girls and young women infected with HIV get pregnant more often and suffer pregnancy complications more frequently than their HIV-negative peers, according to new research. ... > full story

Sleep selectively stores useful memories: Brain evaluates information based on future expectations, study suggests (February 1, 2011) -- After a good night's sleep, people remember information better when they know it will be useful in the future, according to a new study. The findings suggest that the brain evaluates memories during sleep and preferentially retains the ones that are most relevant. ... > full story

New study alters long-held beliefs about shingles (February 1, 2011) -- For decades, medical wisdom about shingles has been that it's a once-in-a-lifetime experience. The commonly-held belief is that patients are protected from a recurrence of the herpes zoster virus, which causes shingles, after one episode. But according to a new study, recurrences of shingles may be significantly more common than doctors have suspected. ... > full story

Intermittent preventive treatment of malaria in children and insecticide-treated bednets reduce prevalence of infection by up to 85 percent (February 1, 2011) -- Two separate studies -- carried out in Burkina Faso and Mali -- have found that combining intermittent preventive treatment of malaria in children with insecticide-treated bednets can substantially reduce the incidence of severe malaria. ... > full story

Opiate abuse: Protracted abstinence revisited (February 1, 2011) -- Opiate abuse is a chronic disorder and maintaining abstinence represents a major challenge for addicts. Individuals recovering from opiate dependence have long reported that while the acute withdrawal symptoms from opiates may pass relatively quickly, they do not feel quite right for several weeks or even months thereafter. Called the “protracted abstinence syndrome,” this cluster of vague depressive-like symptoms can include reduced concentration, low energy level, poor sleep quality, and anhedonia. New data in animals now implicates the serotonin system in this phenomenon. ... > full story

Bacteria in the gut may influence brain development (February 1, 2011) -- Scientists have found that gut bacteria may influence mammalian brain development and adult behavior. ... > full story

Early tests find nanoshell therapy effective against brain cancer (February 1, 2011) -- Researchers have successfully destroyed tumors of human brain cancer cells in the first animal tests of a minimally invasive treatment that zaps glioma tumors with heat. The researchers reported that four of seven mice that received the new treatment for glioma tumors had no signs of cancer more than three months after treatment. ... > full story

Microbubble ultrasound and breast biopsies (February 1, 2011) -- Using "microbubbles" and ultrasound can mean more targeted breast biopsies for patients with early breast cancer, helping to determine treatment and possibly saving those patients from undergoing a second breast cancer surgery, a new study shows. ... > full story

Bilinguals find it easier to learn a third language (February 1, 2011) -- Researchers set out to examine what benefits bilingualism might have in the process of learning a third language. They found that students who know two languages have an easier time gaining command of a third language than students who are fluent in only one language. ... > full story

Inhalable measles vaccine tested (February 1, 2011) -- Sustained high vaccination coverage is key to preventing deaths from measles. Despite the availability of a vaccine, measles remains an important killer of children worldwide, particularly in less-developed regions where vaccination coverage is limited. Researchers have developed and successfully tested a dry powder, live-attenuated measles vaccine that can be inhaled. The novel vaccine was studied in rhesus macaques. ... > full story

PET scans may allow early prediction of response to targeted therapy of thyroid cancer (February 1, 2011) -- Positron emission tomography (PET) can image metabolic changes following treatment with the protein kinase inhibitor vandetanib, helping to define the therapy response or the effectiveness of the therapeutic agent, according to new research. Currently being tested in clinical trials, vandetanib inhibits the function of the RET (rearranged-during-transfection protein) proto-oncogene and other protein kinases involved in the development and progression of cancer. ... > full story

Gestures provide a helping hand in problem solving (February 1, 2011) -- Talking with your hands can trigger mental images that help solve complex problems relating to spatial visualization, an important skill for both students and professionals, according to new research. ... > full story

Researchers unlock the potential for exploring kidney regeneration (February 1, 2011) -- It is estimated that up to 10 percent of the US population may have some form of renal disease, with 450,000 patients with end stage renal disease requiring hemodialysis. Researchers have identified a cell in zebrafish that can be transplanted from one fish to another to regenerate nephrons, providing the potential to improve kidney function. ... > full story

Brain can learn to overcome sleep apnea, study suggests (February 1, 2011) -- New research could provide some restful nights for the 18 million North Americans who suffer from obstructive sleep apnea. ... > full story

Physical activity linked to political participation (February 1, 2011) -- How is going for a jog like voting for president? As far as our brains are concerned, physical activity and political activity are two sides of the same coin. Scientists found that people who live in more active states are also more likely to vote. And in an experiment, volunteers who were exposed to active words like "go" and "move" said they were more likely to vote than did people who saw words like "relax" and "stop." ... > full story

New probiotic combats inflammatory bowel disease (February 1, 2011) -- You know the probiotics in your peach yogurt are healthful, but now it appears they may also be a powerful treatment for disease. A genetically tweaked version of a common probiotic in yogurt and cheese appears to be an effective therapy for inflammatory bowel diseases including Crohn's disease and ulcerative colitis. Researchers found the novel probiotic significantly halted disease progression in a preclinical study. It may also be useful in treating colon cancer, researchers suggest. ... > full story

Dogs can accurately sniff out early stage bowel cancer (February 1, 2011) -- Dogs can sniff out bowel cancer in breath and stool samples, with a very high degree of accuracy -- even in the early stages of the disease -- reveals new research. ... > full story

High-spending hospitals may save more lives (February 1, 2011) -- When hospitalized for a major acute medical condition -- including heart attack, stroke and pneumonia -- patients were less likely to die in high-spending hospitals, according to a new study. ... > full story

Understanding the autistic mind: Evidence that autistic patients have trouble understanding other people's intentions (February 1, 2011) -- Neuroscientists have revealed that high-functioning autistic adults appear to have trouble using theory of mind to make moral judgments in certain situations. ... > full story

Smart lasers could make cancer biopsies painless, help speed new drugs to market (February 1, 2011) -- Biopsies in the future may be painless and noninvasive, thanks to smart laser technology. To test for skin cancer, patients today must endure doctors cutting away a sliver of skin, sending the biopsy to a lab and anxiously awaiting the results. Using laser microscopes that deploy rapid, ultra-short pulses to identify molecules, doctors may soon have the tools to painlessly scan a patient's troublesome mole and review the results on the spot, new research suggests. ... > full story

Altered cell metabolism has role in brain tumor development (February 1, 2011) -- Scientists have discovered that genetic mutations found in brain tumors can alter tumor metabolism. This work could help lead to new designs for anti-cancer drugs based on the unique properties of these tumors. ... > full story

Explosive- and drug-sniffing dog performance is affected by their handlers' beliefs (February 1, 2011) -- Drug- and explosives-sniffing dog/handler teams' performance is affected by human handlers' beliefs, possibly in response to subtle, unintentional handler cues, a new study has found. The study found that detection-dog/handler teams erroneously "alerted," or identified a scent, when there was no scent present more than 200 times -- particularly when the handler believed that there was scent present. ... > full story

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

More doctors must join nurses, administrators in leading efforts to improve patient safety, outcomes, experts argue (February 1, 2011) -- Efforts to keep hospital patients safe and continually improve the overall results of health care can't work unless medical centers figure out a way to get physicians more involved in the process, a new commentary argues. ... > full story

Arranged marriages and distrust: Influence of parental choice on mate guarding (February 1, 2011) -- Mate guarding is classified as excessive or unwarranted jealous or protective behavior towards a spouse or mate. This is common among many different species and can be useful to defend territory, guarantee paternity, or prevent disease. The authors of a new study have discovered that this behavior is more common in societies which practice arranged marriages or in cultures that place a high value on parental influence in the choice of mate for their children. Furthermore, the authors comment on the fact that mate guarding is not an exclusively male phenomenon, and women can be just as forceful in protecting their monogamous relationships. ... > full story

Go green to give a boost to employee morale (February 1, 2011) -- In a global recession, most people are thankful to have a job, but a new study suggests that employees are more likely to be satisfied with their jobs if they are working for a company that is perceived to be "green." The financial performance of companies fails to correlate with employee happiness. ... > full story

Lung societies unveil new international classification of lung adenocarcinoma (February 1, 2011) -- Three of the world's top lung associations have published a new international multidisciplinary classification of lung adenocarcinoma, the first revision to the classification in six years. ... > 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

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