Jumat, 04 Februari 2011

ScienceDaily Health Headlines

for Friday, February 4, 2011

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Destined for disease: Breast cancer mutation regulates cell fate (February 4, 2011) -- Breast tissue cells from certain individuals make abnormal cell-fate decisions even before cancer develops. This provides exciting new insights into the mechanisms behind one of the most lethal types of breast cancer. ... > full story

The 'death switch' in sepsis also promotes survival (February 4, 2011) -- Researchers have identified a protein that plays a dual role in the liver during sepsis. The protein, known as RIP1, acts both as a "death switch" and as a pro-survival mechanism. The ability to identify the triggers for these functions may play a key role in treating sepsis in the future. ... > full story

Childhood obesity linked to health habits, not heredity, study finds (February 4, 2011) -- Are some children genetically tuned to be overweight, or is lifestyle to blame for childhood obesity? Check-ups of 1,003 Michigan sixth graders showed obese children tend to have the same habits, such as eating school lunch and spending two hours or more watching TV or video games. ... > full story

A stem cell origin of skin cancer and the genetic roots of malignancy unmasked (February 4, 2011) -- Researchers have unmasked a long sought stem cell origin of carcinoma and identified the genetic lesions occurring within these cells that spur them on to malignancy. The scientists have found that increased activity of a powerful oncogene called Ras combined with overly exuberant activity of a protein called ”Np63±, stimulates the population of skin stem cells that produce keratin 15 -- one of many keratin proteins found in the skin -- promoting carcinoma development. ... > full story

New undertsanding of gut hormones and gut function sheds light on obesity (February 4, 2011) -- Gastric function, as well the activities of the autonomic nervous system are impaired in obese individuals in both fasting and fed states, which could lead to over-eating, according to a new study. In a separate study of 35 patients undergoing Roux-en-Y gastric bypass surgery, the rate of weight loss was correlated with only one circulating hormone, obestatin, a peptide produced in the gut which may have a role in appetite suppression. ... > full story

Duchenne muscular dystrophy: Scientists closer to finding treatment for life-threatening hereditary disease (February 3, 2011) -- Scientists have reported encouraging results in a new gene-based therapy for Duchenne muscular dystrophy (DMD), which at present has no known cure and affects one in 3,000 young boys. ... > full story

Communication pathways within proteins may yield new drug targets to stop superbugs (February 3, 2011) -- A biophysicist has developed a new method to identify communication pathways connecting distant regions within proteins. With this tool, the researcher has identified a mechanism for cooperative behavior within an entire molecule, a finding that suggests that in the future it may be possible to design drugs that target anywhere along the length of a molecule's communication pathway rather than only in a single location as they do today. ... > full story

Deaths reduced with cardiac resynchronization therapy (February 3, 2011) -- Cardiac resynchronization therapy shows major benefit in reducing mortality in people with heart failure when combined with optimal medical therapy or implantable cardioverter defibrillator, according to a new study. ... > full story

Energy-efficient intelligent house can monitor health, prototype shows (February 3, 2011) -- A prototype of an energy-efficient house which can send alerts if its residents are ill has been developed. ... > full story

Why do our emotions get in the way of rational decisions about safety products? (February 3, 2011) -- A new study explores why people reject things that can make them safer. ... > full story

Assisted reproductive technologies: Uterine health more important than egg quality, study shows (February 3, 2011) -- For women seeking pregnancy by assisted reproductive technologies, such as in-vitro fertilization, a new study shows that the health of the uterus is more relevant than egg quality for a newborn to achieve normal birth weight and full gestation. The study offers new information for women with infertility diagnoses considering options for conceiving. ... > full story

Sideline test accurately detects athletes' concussions in minutes, study shows (February 3, 2011) -- A simple test performed at the sideline of sporting events can accurately detect concussions in athletes, according to a new study. Current sideline tests can leave a wide amount a brain function untested following concussion. Researchers showed that this simple test was superior to current methods and accurately and reliably identified athletes with head trauma. ... > full story

Scientists climb Mt. Everest to explain how hearts adapt and recover from low oxygen (February 3, 2011) -- From the highest mountaintop comes a new research report that gets to the bottom of what happens to the hearts of people when exposed to low-levels of oxygen, such as those on Mount Everest or in the intensive care unit of a hospital. ... > full story

Poor work ability may predict faster deterioration of health (February 3, 2011) -- Poor work ability in midlife may be associated with an accelerated deterioration of health and functioning in old age, according to a new study. ... > full story

New clue to lupus: Failed autoimmune suppression mechanism (February 3, 2011) -- Researchers have identified a regulatory defect that drives lupus. Correcting the defect may represent an effective therapeutic approach to systemic lupus erythematosus-like autoimmune disease, researchers suggest. ... > full story

Future surgeons may use robotic nurse, 'gesture recognition' (February 3, 2011) -- Surgeons of the future might use a system that recognizes hand gestures as commands to control a robotic scrub nurse or tell a computer to display medical images of the patient during an operation. ... > full story

Simple interventions reduce newborn deaths in Africa (February 3, 2011) -- Training community birth attendants in rural Zambia in a simple newborn resuscitation protocol reduced neonatal deaths by nearly 50 percent -- a finding that shows high potential to save lives in similar remote settings. ... > full story

Coffee, energy drinkers beware: Many mega-sized drinks loaded with sugar, nutrition expert says (February 3, 2011) -- Americans should be wary of extra calories and sugar in the quest for bigger, bolder drinks, according to a nutrition expert. ... > full story

Learning causes structural changes in affected neurons (February 3, 2011) -- When a laboratory rat learns how to reach for and grab a food pellet -- a pretty complex and unnatural act for a rodent -- the acquired knowledge significantly alters the structure of the specific brain cells involved, which sprout a whopping 22 percent more dendritic spines connecting them to other motor neurons. ... > full story

Lampreys give clues to evolution of immune system (February 3, 2011) -- Biologists have discovered that primitive, predatory lampreys have structures within their gills that play the same role as the thymus, the organ where immune cells called T cells develop in mammals, birds and fish. The finding suggests that in vertebrate evolution, having two separate organs for immune cell development -- the bone marrow for B cells and the thymus for T cells -- may have preceded the appearance of the particular features that mark those cells, such as antibodies and T cell receptors. ... > full story

Early infusion of donor T cells prevents graft versus host disease in blood cancer patients, study suggests (February 3, 2011) -- Scientists have developed a potential new strategy for preventing graft-versus-host disease and promoting the patient's immune system recovery after hematopoietic stem cell transplantation. ... > full story

Drug-abusers have difficulty to recognize negative emotions as wrath, fear and sadness, study finds (February 3, 2011) -- Scientists in Spain have analyzed the relation between drug abuse and recognition of basic emotions (happiness, surprise, wrath, fear, sadness and disgust). This study was carried out with a sample including 123 polysubstance abusers and 67 no-drug users. ... > full story

Molecular predictor of metastatic prostate cancer found (February 3, 2011) -- Prostate tumors that carry a "signature" of four molecular markers have the potential to become dangerously metastatic if not treated aggressively, researchers now report. The discovery lays the groundwork for the first gene-based test for determining whether a man's prostate cancer is likely to remain dormant within the prostate gland, or spread lethally to other parts of the body. ... > full story

Cell reprogramming leaves a 'footprint' behind (February 3, 2011) -- Reprogramming adult cells to recapture their youthful "can-do-it-all" attitude appears to leave an indelible mark, researchers found. When researchers scoured the epigenomes of so-called induced pluripotent stem cells base by base, they found a consistent pattern of reprogramming errors. ... > full story

Why folic acid may prevent a first heart attack, but not a second (February 3, 2011) -- A perplexing medical paradox now has an explanation according to new research. The paradox is that taking folic acid, a B vitamin, lowers homocysteine in the blood which, epidemiological evidence indicates, should lower the risk of heart attack, but clinical trials of folic acid have not shown the expected benefit. ... > full story

Children's genes influence how well they take advantage of education, twin study shows (February 3, 2011) -- New research on twins shows that measures used to judge the effectiveness of schools are partly influenced by genetic factors in students. ... > full story

Electric thinking cap? Flash of fresh insight by electrical brain stimulation (February 3, 2011) -- Are we on the verge of being able to stimulate the brain to see the world anew -- an electric thinking cap? Researchers suggests that this could be the case. ... > full story

Potential vaccine to prevent gastritis, ulcer disease, gastric cancer (February 3, 2011) -- A new study has identified a potential vaccine capable of reducing colonization of Helicobacter pylori (H. pylori) -- a known cause of gastritis, ulcer disease and cancer. ... > full story

Roasting coffee beans a dark brown produces valued antioxidants, scientists find (February 3, 2011) -- Food scientists have been able to pinpoint more of the complex chemistry behind coffee's much touted antioxidant benefits, tracing valuable compounds to the roasting process. ... > full story

First new C. difficile drug in a generation superior to existing treatments (February 3, 2011) -- Clostridium difficile infection is a significant problem in hospitals, but no new drugs to treat the condition have been developed in several decades. However, a large-scale, Phase 3 trial shows that the new antibiotic Fidaxomicin is superior to existing treatments, demonstrating a 45 percent reduction in recurrences vs. the existing licensed treatment. ... > full story

Taking unpleasant surprises out of cosmetic surgery (February 3, 2011) -- New software aims to improve the outcome of cosmetic surgery. Scientists have built a tool that generates a far more anatomically accurate after-surgery image than ever before. The research will permit surgeons to avoid unexpected results and determine the most favorable outcome for their patients. ... > full story

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

Current use of biodiesel no more harmful than regular diesel, Norwegian study finds (February 3, 2011) -- Up to 7 percent biodiesel blended in regular diesel will presumably not cause greater health risks for the population than the use of pure fossil diesel, according to a new Norwegian assessment. ... > 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

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