Kamis, 03 Februari 2011

ScienceDaily Health Headlines

for Thursday, February 3, 2011

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Giant virus, tiny protein crystals show X-ray laser's power and potential (February 3, 2011) -- Two new studies demonstrate how the unique capabilities of the world's first hard X-ray free-electron laser could revolutionize the study of life. In one study, researchers used the laser to demonstrate a shortcut for determining the 3-D structures of proteins. In a separate paper, the same team reported making the first single-shot images of intact viruses, paving the way for snapshots and movies of molecules, viruses and live microbes in action. ... > full story

Migraine surgery offers good long-term outcomes, study finds (February 3, 2011) -- Surgery to "deactivate" migraine headaches produces lasting good results, with nearly 90 percent of patients having at least partial relief at five years' follow-up, researchers report. In about 30 percent of patients, migraine headaches were completely eliminated after surgery, according to the new study. ... > full story

Many rheumatoid arthritis patients not getting recommended drugs, researchers find (February 3, 2011) -- Despite medical guidelines recommending that patients receive early and aggressive treatment for rheumatoid arthritis with these medications, only 63 percent of Medicare-managed care patients diagnosed with the disease received any amount of the prescription drugs, according to a new study. ... > full story

Older adults often excluded from clinical trials (February 3, 2011) -- Older adults are a large and growing patient population but more than half of clinical trials exclude them based on age or age-related conditions, according to a new study. It's a concern because doctors can't be certain clinical trial results apply to their older patients. ... > full story

Metabolic syndrome linked to memory loss in older people (February 3, 2011) -- Older people with larger waistlines, high blood pressure and other risk factors that make up metabolic syndrome may be at a higher risk for memory loss, according to a new study. ... > full story

Genetic cause of new vascular disease identified (February 3, 2011) -- Clinical researchers have identified the genetic cause of a rare and debilitating vascular disorder not previously explained in the medical literature. The adult-onset condition is associated with progressive and painful arterial calcification affecting the lower extremities, yet spares patients' coronary arteries. ... > full story

How cancer gene MMSET functions (February 3, 2011) -- For several decades, researchers have been linking genetic mutations to diseases ranging from cancer to developmental abnormalities. What hasn't been clear, however, is how the body's genome sustains such destructive glitches in the first place. Now scientists provide an unprecedented glimpse of a little-understood gene, called MMSET, revealing how it enables disease-causing mutations to occur. ... > full story

Having a strong community protects adolescents from risky health behaviors (February 3, 2011) -- Children who grow up in poverty have health problems as adults. But a new study finds that poor adolescents who live in communities with more social cohesiveness and control get some measure of protection; they're less likely to smoke and be obese as adolescents. ... > full story

Human genome's breaking points: Genetic sequence of large-scale differences between human genomes (February 2, 2011) -- Scientists have identified the genetic sequence of an unprecedented 28,000 structural variants -- large portions of the human genome which differ from one person to another. The work could help find the genetic causes of some diseases and also begins to explain why certain parts of the human genome change more than others. ... > full story

MicroRNA cocktail helps turn skin cells into stem cells (February 2, 2011) -- A new technique removes several hurdles in generating induced pluripotent stem cells, smoothing the way for disease research and drug development. ... > full story

One donor cornea, two patients helped: New surgical approach may help meet demand for donor corneas (February 2, 2011) -- A German researcher has developed a new surgical strategy that uses a single donor cornea to help two patients with differing corneal diseases. His team restored good vision to patients with Fuchs' dystrophy or keratoconus while achieving their aim, to help solve the donor cornea supply problem. ... > full story

When a blockbuster becomes lackluster: Not all movie-watching experiences are created equal (February 2, 2011) -- A psychology professor has conducted two studies that show we may not enjoy watching a movie for two reasons: what we're watching and who we're watching it with. Particularly, the combination of watching a steamy love scene with your parents proved to be most unpleasant. ... > full story

Lower back disease may be in your genes: New study indicates predisposition to lumbar disc disease could be inherited (February 2, 2011) -- Symptomatic lumbar disc disease, a condition caused by degeneration or herniation of the discs of the lower spine, may be inherited, according to a new study. ... > full story

In tiny fruit flies, researchers identify metabolic 'switch' that links normal growth to cancer (February 2, 2011) -- Until now, researchers have known nothing about the metabolic state that occurs when cells divide during early development. Human genetics researchers show in a new study that this cell division in Drosophila depends on a metabolic state much like when cells run amok to form cancerous tumors. ... > full story

Transplanted human placenta-derived stem cells show therapeutic potential in stroke models (February 2, 2011) -- Stem cells derived from human placenta proliferated and differentiated when transplanted into test tube and animal models of stroke. The cells interacted with melatonin receptor MT1, offering a potentially therapeutic response, but the same cells did not perform similarly when interacting with melatonin receptor MT2. The researchers suggest that MT1 "solicited" a growth factor and provided a 'cross talk' between MT1 and the stem cells. ... > full story

New nanoparticles make blood clots visible (February 2, 2011) -- For almost two decades, cardiologists have searched for ways to see dangerous blood clots before they cause heart attacks. Now, researchers report that they have designed nanoparticles that find clots and make them visible to a new kind of X-ray technology. ... > full story

New tumor-tracking technique for radiotherapy spares healthy tissue, could improve cancer treatment (February 2, 2011) -- Medical physicists have demonstrated a new real-time tumor-tracking technique that can help minimize the amount of radiation delivered to surrounding healthy tissue in a patient -- up to 50 percent less in some cases -- and maximize the dose the tumor receives. ... > full story

Ritalin may ease early iron deficiency damage (February 2, 2011) -- Ritalin may help improve brain function in adolescent rats that were iron deficient during infancy, according to a neuroscientists. This may have implications for iron-deficient human infants as well. ... > full story

Engineered cells could usher in programmable cell therapies (February 2, 2011) -- In work that could jumpstart the promising field of cell therapy, in which cells are transplanted into the body to treat a variety of diseases and tissue defects, researchers have engineered cells that could solve one of the key challenges associated with the procedure: control of the cells and their microenvironment following transplantation. ... > full story

Safer way to make induced pluripotent stem cells developed (February 2, 2011) -- Researchers have found a better way to create induced pluripotent stem cells -- adult cells reprogrammed with the properties of embryonic stem cells -- from a small blood sample. This new method, described last week in Cell Research, avoids creating DNA changes that could lead to tumor formation. ... > full story

Good cop beats bad cop, research shows; Study explores why dialogue yields better results than coercion (February 2, 2011) -- Even the most horrible criminals feel guilt, and according to new research, playing on that sentiment might be a good way to extract a confession. ... > full story

Targeted particle fools brain's guardian to reach tumors (February 2, 2011) -- A targeted delivery combination selectively crosses the tight barrier that protects the brain from the bloodstream to home in on and bind to brain tumors, a research team reports. ... > full story

Key to understanding cause of lupus (February 2, 2011) -- Potentially impacting future diagnosis and treatment of lupus, an immune illness affecting more than five million people worldwide, researchers have likely uncovered where the breakdown in the body's lymphocyte molecular regulatory machinery is occurring. ... > full story

Video games are good for girls, if parents play along (February 2, 2011) -- Researchers have conducted a study on video games and children between 11 and 16 years old. They found that girls who played video games with a parent enjoyed a number of advantages. Those girls behaved better, felt more connected to their families and had stronger mental health. ... > full story

Level of tumor protein indicates chances cancer will spread (February 2, 2011) -- Researchers have discovered that high levels of a particular protein in cancer cells are a reliable indicator that a cancer will spread. ... > full story

Race gap narrows for some cancers in African-Americans; continues to increase for others (February 2, 2011) -- While the overall death rate for cancer continues to drop among African-Americans, the group continues to have higher death rates and shorter survival of any racial and ethnic group in the US for most cancers. ... > full story

Preschool beneficial, but should offer more, study finds (February 2, 2011) -- As more states consider universal preschool programs, a new study suggests that two years of pre-K is beneficial -- although more time should be spent on teaching certain skills. ... > full story

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

Multiple genome sequencing yields detailed map of structural variants behind our genetic differences (February 2, 2011) -- The 1000 Genomes Project reports that the global team has created the most comprehensive map yet of genomic structural variants. These new revelations about the base layer of DNA that begins to distinguish us from one another move the project closer to its overall goal of using genetic data to understand in fine detail how genetics influence human health and development. ... > full story

Researchers develop new framework for analyzing genetic variants (February 2, 2011) -- Advances in DNA sequencing technology have revolutionized biomedical research and taken us another step forward in personalized medicine. Now, scientists have developed a new framework for analyzing key genetic variations that previously were overlooked. ... > full story

New U.S. state scorecard on children's health care finds wide geographic disparities (February 2, 2011) -- Two years after the reauthorization of the Children's Health Insurance Program, a new Commonwealth Fund state scorecard evaluating how the health care system is working for children finds that federal and state action has helped preserve, and expand, health coverage for children, despite the severe recession. Yet wide differences persist among states on children's health insurance coverage, affordability of care for families, preventive care and treatment, and the opportunity for children to lead healthy lives. ... > 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

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