Senin, 07 Februari 2011

ScienceDaily Health Headlines

for Monday, February 7, 2011

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Neural communication: Weak electrical fields in the brain help neurons fire together (February 7, 2011) -- The brain -- awake and sleeping -- is awash in electrical activity, and not just from the individual pings of single neurons communicating with each other. In fact, the brain is enveloped in countless overlapping electric fields, generated by the neural circuits of scores of communicating neurons. The fields were once thought to be a "bug" occurring during neural communication but new work suggests they do much more -- and may represent an additional form of neural communication. ... > full story

Second member in Alzheimer's toxic duo identified (February 7, 2011) -- Armed with new evidence, scientists hope to disrupt signals that turn on target genes in Alzheimer's disease. ... > full story

‘Cornell dots’ that light up cancer cells go into clinical trials (February 7, 2011) -- "Cornell Dots" -- brightly glowing nanoparticles -- may soon be used to light up cancer cells to aid in diagnosing and treating cancer. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has approved the first clinical trial in humans of the new technology. It is the first time the FDA has approved using an inorganic material in the same fashion as a drug in humans. ... > full story

Mountain bike-related injuries down 56 percent, according to a U.S. national study (February 7, 2011) -- The number of mountain bike-related injuries decreased 56 percent over the 14-year study period (1994 to 2007) -- going from a high of more than 23,000 injuries in 1995 to just over 10,000 injuries in 2007. ... > full story

Jumping genes caught in the act: New evidence that the genome contains many mobile elements (February 7, 2011) -- An ambitious hunt for actively "jumping genes" in humans has yielded compelling new evidence that the genome, anything but static, contains numerous pesky mobile elements that may help to explain why people have such a variety of physical traits and disease risks. ... > full story

29 genome regions linked to common form of inflammatory bowel disease (February 7, 2011) -- Researchers have made new links between 29 regions of the genome and ulcerative colitis -- a common form of inflammatory bowel disease (IBD). ... > full story

Still hope for Arctic sea ice (February 7, 2011) -- The substantial decline of Arctic sea ice in recent years has triggered some fears that the ice cover might be approaching a “tipping point” beyond which the loss of the remaining sea ice would become unstoppable. However, new research now indicates that such tipping point is unlikely to exist for the loss of Arctic summer sea ice. The sea-ice cover reacts instead relatively directly to the climatic conditions at any given time. Hence, the ongoing loss of Arctic sea ice could be slowed down and eventually stopped if global warming were to be slowed down and eventually stopped. ... > full story

Breast cancer cells outsmart the immune system and thrive (February 7, 2011) -- Scientists discovered a new way breast cancer cells dodge the immune system and promote tumor growth, providing a fresh treatment target in the fight against the disease. While comparable mechanisms to avoid the immune system have been identified in mice with breast and other cancers, the study tested human breast tumor cells, putting researchers closer to understanding how the disease progresses in real patients. ... > full story

Sun-triggered protein drives skin cancer, researchers find (February 6, 2011) -- An unexpected immune protein exacerbates cancer due to sun exposure, report researchers. The study suggests that drugs blocking the protein might halt tumor growth in skin cancer patients. ... > full story

Gene critical for heart function identified (February 6, 2011) -- Researchers have found that if you have low levels of the DOT1L enzyme, you could be at risk for some types of heart disease. ... > full story

Air pollutants from fireplaces and wood-burning stoves raise health concerns (February 6, 2011) -- Danish scientists have found that the invisible particles inhaled into the lungs from breathing wood smoke from fireplaces have multiple adverse effects. ... > full story

Adult ADHD significantly increases risk of common form of dementia, study finds (February 6, 2011) -- Adults who suffer from attention-deficit and hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) are more than three times as likely to develop a common form of degenerative dementia than those without. Researchers confirmed the link during a study of 360 patients with degenerative dementia and 149 healthy controls, matched by age, sex and education. ... > full story

Lead exposure may affect blood pressure during pregnancy (February 6, 2011) -- Even minute amounts of lead may take a toll on pregnant women, according to a new study. Although the levels of lead in the women's blood remained far below thresholds set by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and standards set by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration, women carrying more lead had significantly higher blood pressure. ... > full story

Incidence of skin cancer rising at alarming rate (February 6, 2011) -- For many young adults, the serious health consequences of tanning have been shown to have little impact on their behavior when it comes to sun exposure. But with spring break around the corner, dermatologists are urging people -- particularly young adults -- to practice proper sun protection and understand the importance of early detection of skin cancer, the most common type of cancer. ... > full story

Study on effects of TV ad violence on kids has Super Bowl implications (February 6, 2011) -- The Super Bowl annually produces the year's largest TV audience, making it a prime event for advertisers to debut their flashy, new commercials. But ads with violent content aired during a sporting event that also contains violence may amplify aggressive thoughts in kids, the authors of a new study say. ... > full story

How the body’s frontline defense mechanism determines if a substance is a microbe (February 5, 2011) -- Researchers have now described how the first line of defense of the human immune system distinguishes between microbes and the body's own structures. The basis of this recognition mechanism has been unclear since the key protein components were discovered over 30 years ago -- and has now finally been cracked. ... > full story

A loose grip provides better chemotherapy (February 5, 2011) -- Researchers have found that cancer patients may get a bigger bang and fewer side effects with a new take on a drug delivery system. By using noncovalent bonds to link light-activated anti-cancer drugs to coated gold nanoparticles, they were able to activate treatment in two hours instead of two days. The scientists expect the targeted delivery system will cut dosage by a factor of 10 or more. ... > full story

Benefits of outdoor exercise confirmed (February 5, 2011) -- A systematic review has analyzed existing studies and concluded that there are benefits to mental and physical well-being from taking exercise in the natural environment. ... > full story

HPV vaccine works for boys: Study shows first clear benefits (February 5, 2011) -- A 4,000-patient clinical trial that spanned 18 countries has shown the first published data that the HPV vaccine works in young men and boys. ... > full story

Blood-clotting protein linked to cancer and septicemia (February 5, 2011) -- Scientists have discovered how stressed cells boost the production of the key blood-clotting factor, thrombin. Their work shows how cancer cells may be taking advantage of this process, and opens new possibilities for fighting back against cancer and septicemia. ... > full story

Gas stations pollute their immediate surroundings, Spanish study finds (February 5, 2011) -- In Spain, it is relatively common to come across gas stations surrounded by houses, particularly in urban areas. Researchers have studied the effects of contamination at gas stations that is potentially harmful to health, which can be noted in buildings less than 100 meters from the service stations. ... > full story

Children's BMI found to rise the longer their mothers work (February 5, 2011) -- Using U.S national longitudinal data on 900 children in grades 3, 5 and 6, researchers have found that children's body mass index rose the more years their mothers worked over their children's lifetimes. Surprisingly, changes in children's physical activity, unsupervised time, and TV time didn't explain the link. The reasons for these findings are not entirely clear, though one possibility is that working parents may rely more on eating out or eating prepared foods. ... > full story

New induced stem cells may unmask cancer at earliest stage (February 4, 2011) -- By coaxing healthy and diseased human bone marrow to become embryonic-like stem cells, a team of scientists has laid the groundwork for observing the onset of the blood cancer leukemia in the laboratory dish. ... > full story

Mechanism involved in breast cancer's spread to bone discovered (February 4, 2011) -- In a discovery that may lead to a new treatment for breast cancer that has spread to the bone, researchers have unraveled a mystery about how these tumors take root. ... > full story

Cross-species strategy might be a powerful tool for studying human disease (February 4, 2011) -- A new study takes advantage of genetic similarities between mammals and fruit flies by coupling a complex genetic screening technique in humans with functional validation of the results in flies. The new strategy has the potential to be an effective approach for unraveling genetically complex human disorders and providing valuable insights into human disease. ... > full story

Working more than 20 hours a week in high school found harmful (February 4, 2011) -- A new shows that among high school students, working more than 20 hours/week during the school year can lead to academic and behavior problems. The researchers used advanced statistical methods to reanalyze longitudinal data collected in the 1980s on 1,800 middle class teens in 10th and 11th grades. The researchers also found that things didn't get better when teens who were working more than 20 hours/week cut back their hours or stopped working altogether. ... > full story

Boosting body's immune response may hold key to HIV cure (February 4, 2011) -- Scientists have successfully cleared a HIV-like infection from mice by boosting the function of cells vital to the immune response. Researchers showed that a cell signaling hormone called interleukin-7 reinvigorates the immune response to chronic viral infection, allowing the host to completely clear virus. ... > full story

For stem cells, a way to assure quality (February 4, 2011) -- Ever since researchers devised a recipe for turning adult cells into cells that look and act like embryonic stem cells, there has been lingering doubt in the field about just how close to embryonic stem cells each of those cell lines really is at a molecular and functional level. Now, researchers have developed a systematic way to lay those doubts about quality to rest. ... > full story

Early childhood education program yields high economic returns (February 4, 2011) -- For every invested in a Chicago early childhood education program, nearly is projected to return to society over the children's lifetimes -- equivalent to an 18 percent annual return on program investment, according to a new study. ... > full story

Want more efficient muscles? Eat your spinach (February 4, 2011) -- After taking a small dose of inorganic nitrate for three days, healthy people consume less oxygen while riding an exercise bike. A new study traces that improved performance to increased efficiency of the mitochondria that power our cells. The researchers aren't recommending anyone begin taking inorganic nitrate supplements based on the new findings. Rather, they say that the results may offer one explanation for the well-known health benefits of fruits and vegetables, and leafy green vegetables in particular. ... > full story

Scientists unlock one mystery of tissue regeneration (February 4, 2011) -- Researchers have now identified a genetic switch that controls oxidative stress in stem cells and thus governs stem cell function. ... > full story

Quality and quantity of maternal milk impacts stress response of adult offspring (February 4, 2011) -- Two studies highlight how maternal care makes the baby's brain less vulnerable to stress. The quality and quantity of maternal milk and maternal-infant contact impact the stress response of the adult offspring, according to recent research. ... > full story

Obesity has doubled since 1980, major global analysis of risk factors reveals (February 4, 2011) -- The worldwide prevalence of obesity has nearly doubled since 1980, according to a major study on how three important heart disease risk factors have changed across the world over the last three decades. The study looked at all available global data to assess how body mass index, blood pressure and cholesterol changed between 1980 and 2008. ... > full story

Deadly tool discovered in Salmonella's bag of tricks (February 4, 2011) -- The potentially deadly bacterium Salmonella possesses a molecular machine that marshals the proteins it needs to hijack cellular mechanisms and infect millions worldwide. Researchers have discovered how Salmonella, a major cause of food poisoning and typhoid fever, is able to make these proteins line in up in just the right sequence to invade host cells. ... > full story

Powerful new methodology for stabilizing proteins developed (February 4, 2011) -- Scientists have discovered a new way to stabilize proteins — the workhorse biological macromolecules found in all organisms. Proteins serve as the functional basis of many types of biologic drugs used to treat everything from arthritis, anemia, and diabetes to cancer. ... > full story

Children more likely to transmit flu to those of same sex, UK study finds (February 4, 2011) -- Boys predominantly pass on flu to other boys and girls to girls, according to a new study of how swine flu spread in a primary school during the 2009 pandemic. The results also suggest that flu transmission is most intensive between children of the same class, but that sitting next to an infected person does not significantly increase a child's risk of catching flu. The data will help researchers to model how epidemics spread and how interventions such as school closures can help contain an outbreak. ... > full story

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

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