Rabu, 09 Februari 2011

ScienceDaily Health Headlines

for Wednesday, February 9, 2011

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Border patrol: Immune cells protect body from invaders (February 9, 2011) -- Barrier sites -- the skin, gut, lung -- limit the inner body's exposure to allergens, pollutants, viruses, bacteria, and parasites. Understanding how the immune system works in these external surfaces has implications for understanding such inflammatory diseases as asthma, psoriasis, IBD, and food allergies, all of which occur at the body's barriers. Researchers have identified an immune cell population that acts as the body's border patrol with the outside world. ... > full story

The hitch in the drug? The itch in the drug: Scientists discover clue to ending chronic itching side effect of certain drugs (February 9, 2011) -- Scratching deep beneath the surface, a team of researchers the U.S. and South Korea have identified two distinct neuronal signaling pathways activated by a topical cream used to treat a variety of skin diseases. One pathway produces the therapeutic benefit; the other induces severe itching as a side effect. ... > full story

Method to identify fleetingly ordered protein structures identified (February 9, 2011) -- Scientists have developed a novel technique to observe previously unknown details of how folded structures are formed from an intrinsically disordered protein. The insights could help scientists to better understand the mechanism of plaque formation in neurodegenerative disorders such as Parkinson's and Alzheimer's diseases. ... > full story

Huge decline in HIV rates in Zimbabwe driven by fear of infection, says study (February 9, 2011) -- The big drop in the numbers of people infected with HIV in Zimbabwe is because of mass social change, driven by fear of infection, according to an international study. The scientists unravelling the reasons behind this unexpected downturn now reveal what they hope are the most important lessons in the fight against the disease for the rest of Africa. ... > full story

Why HIV-uninfected babies born to mothers with HIV might be more vulnerable to infections (February 9, 2011) -- Babies whose mothers have HIV, but who are not HIV-infected themselves, are born with lower levels of specific proteins in their blood called antibodies, which fight infection, compared with babies not exposed to HIV, a new study has found. The finding might explain in part why uninfected babies born to women with HIV have a higher risk of illness and death early in life. ... > full story

Second pathway for antidepressants: New fluorescent assay reveals TREK1 mechanism (February 9, 2011) -- Researchers have developed a unique cell-based fluorescent assay that enabled them to identify a means by which fluoxetine, the active ingredient in Prozac, suppresses the activity of the TREK1 potassium channel. TREK1 could be an important new target for antidepressant drugs. ... > full story

Limited lymph node removal for certain breast cancer does not appear to result in poorer survival (February 9, 2011) -- Among patients with early-stage breast cancer that had spread to a nearby lymph node and who received treatment that included lumpectomy and radiation therapy, women who just had the sentinel lymph node removed (the first lymph node to which cancer is likely to spread from the primary tumor) did not have worse survival than women who had more extensive axillary lymph node dissection (surgery to remove lymph nodes found in the armpit), according to a new study. ... > full story

Heavy drinking in older teenagers has long- and short-term consequences (February 9, 2011) -- In a systematic review of current evidence, researchers conclude that there is enough evidence to recommend that reducing drinking during late adolescence is likely to be important for preventing long-term adverse consequences of drinking, as well as protecting against more immediate harms. ... > full story

Turning bacteria against themselves (February 8, 2011) -- Bacteria often attack with toxins designed to hijack or even kill host cells. To avoid self-destruction, bacteria have ways of protecting themselves from their own toxins. Now, researchers have described one of these protective mechanisms, potentially paving the way for new classes of antibiotics that cause the bacteria's toxins to turn on themselves. ... > full story

Generic drug may improve the effectiveness of cancer nanotherapies (February 8, 2011) -- Low doses of losartan, an FDA-approved generic hypertension medication, may improve the results of nanotherapeutic approaches to cancer treatment by modifying the network of abnormal collagen fibers that characterizes most solid tumors. ... > full story

Male cancer survivor offspring slightly higher risk of congenital birth abnormalities (February 8, 2011) -- The incidence of major congenital birth abnormalities was slightly higher in the offspring of male cancer survivors compared with children of fathers with no history of cancer, according to a new study. ... > full story

Charismatic leadership can be measured, learned, study finds (February 8, 2011) -- How do you measure charisma? Much has been written in business management textbooks and self-help guides about the role that personal charisma plays in leadership. But according to a newly published study, until recently no one was able to describe and measure charisma in a systematic way. ... > full story

Brief diversions vastly improve focus, researchers find (February 8, 2011) -- A new study overturns a decades-old theory about the nature of attention and demonstrates that even brief diversions from a task can dramatically improve one's ability to focus on that task for prolonged periods. ... > full story

Delayed-enhancement MRI may predict, prevent strokes, study shows (February 8, 2011) -- Researchers have found that delayed-enhancement magnetic resonance imaging holds promise for predicting the risks of strokes, the third leading cause of death in the US. ... > full story

Figuring out fetal alcohol syndrome in fruit flies (February 8, 2011) -- Drinking excess alcohol while pregnant can harm an unborn baby, often causing fetal alcohol syndrome (FAS) or even death. FAS is the leading cause of congenital mental retardation in the Western world, resulting in severe behavioral problems and stunted growth. However, despite its harmful effects, alcohol consumption during pregnancy is common. Researchers now show that a simple experimental system -- the fruit fly -- can be used to study how alcohol causes damage during development. ... > full story

What your TV habits may say about your fear of crime (February 8, 2011) -- When it comes to prime-time crime shows, do you like dramas like "CSI" or real-life tales like "The First 48" better? Your answer to that question says a lot about your fears and attitudes about crime, a study finds. ... > full story

Processed food diet in early childhood may lower subsequent IQ (February 8, 2011) -- A diet, high in fats, sugars and processed foods in early childhood may lower IQ, while a diet packed full of vitamins and nutrients may do the opposite, suggests new research. ... > full story

Combining brain imaging, genetic analysis may help identify people at early risk of Alzheimer's (February 8, 2011) -- A new study has found evidence suggesting that a variation of a specific gene may play a role in late-onset Alzheimer's, the disease which accounts for over 90 percent of Alzheimer's cases. This innovative study has combined genetics and brain imaging to determine who may be at risk for developing late-onset Alzheimer's disease long before symptoms appear. ... > full story

Sleep deprivation: Late nights can lead to higher risk of strokes and heart attacks, study finds (February 8, 2011) -- New research shows that prolonged sleep deprivation and disrupted sleep patterns can be linked to strokes, heart attacks and cardiovascular disorders which often result in early death. ... > full story

Lack of sleep found to be a new risk factor for colon cancer (February 8, 2011) -- An inadequate amount of sleep has been associated with higher risks of obesity, heart disease, diabetes, and death. Now colon cancer can be added to the list. In a ground-breaking new study, researchers found that individuals who averaged less than six hours of sleep at night had an almost 50 percent increase in the risk of colorectal adenomas compared with individuals sleeping at least seven hours per night. ... > full story

Conceptualizing cancer cells as ancient 'toolkit' (February 8, 2011) -- In a new paper, astrobiology researchers seek to explain why cancer cells deploy so many clever tricks in such a coherent and organized way. ... > full story

Hope for stroke victims (February 8, 2011) -- Two new studies from Spain provide conclusive evidence that a new approach could speed recovery from stroke and head trauma. ... > full story

Bad things seem even worse if people have to live through them again (February 8, 2011) -- When people think unpleasant events are over, they remember them as being less painful or annoying than when they expect them to happen again, pointing to the power of expectation to help people brace for the worst, according to new studies. ... > full story

Sun exposure, vitamin D may lower risk of multiple sclerosis (February 8, 2011) -- People who spend more time in the sun and those with higher vitamin D levels may be less likely to develop multiple sclerosis, according to a new study. MS is a chronic disease of the brain and spinal cord, usually with recurrent flare-ups of symptoms. It is often preceded by a first episode (or event) of similar symptoms lasting days to weeks. ... > full story

Urine-sniffing dogs: Early detection of prostate cancer (February 8, 2011) -- Researchers report the evaluation of the efficacy of prostate cancer (PCa) detection by trained dogs on human urine samples. ... > full story

New link between genes and stress response, depression: Neuropeptide Y (February 8, 2011) -- Researchers have found that people whose genes predispose them to produce lower levels of brain molecule neuropeptide Y are more responsive to negative stimuli in key brain circuits related to emotion -- and are therefore less resilient in the face of stress and may be at higher risk for developing a major depressive disorder. ... > full story

Antipsychotics for schizophrenia associated with subtle loss in brain volume (February 8, 2011) -- Patients with schizophrenia who take antipsychotic medications appear to lose a small but measurable amount of brain tissue over time, according to a report in the February issue of Archives of General Psychiatry, one of the JAMA/Archives journals. ... > full story

Evolution led to genetic variation that may affect diabetes, scientist says (February 8, 2011) -- The root causes of complex diseases such as type-2 diabetes and obesity have been difficult to identify because the diseases are, well, complex. They occur at the dicey biological intersection of genes and environment, and, because they arose in our relatively recent past, it's not easy to simply compare DNA sequences from "then" and "now" to pinpoint likely genetic culprits. Now researchers have identified genetic variations in a hormone involved in the secretion of insulin -- a molecule that regulates blood sugar levels -- that occur more frequently in some human populations than others. ... > full story

Lifestyle affects life expectancy more than genetics, Swedish study finds (February 8, 2011) -- How long your parents lived does not necessarily affect how long you will live. Instead it is how you live your life that determines how old you will get, reveals research from Sweden. ... > full story

Psychotic illness appears to begin at younger age among those who use cannabis (February 8, 2011) -- Cannabis use appears to be associated with an earlier onset of psychotic illness, according to a meta-analysis of previously published studies. ... > full story

Risk of cancer increases with exposure to low-dose radiation from cardiac imaging, study finds (February 8, 2011) -- Exposure to low-dose radiation from cardiac imaging and other procedures after a heart attack is associated with an increased risk of cancer, a new study finds. ... > full story

Digital signal processing helps researchers get a grip on nervous system's receptors (February 8, 2011) -- A digital signal processing technique long used by statisticians to analyze data is helping scientists understand the roots of memory and learning, Alzheimer's and Parkinson's diseases and stroke. ... > full story

Therapy to prevent heart failure more effective in women than men (February 8, 2011) -- Never before has a therapy proven more beneficial for women than men in preventing heart disease -- until now. A new study found that women receive a significantly greater benefit -- a 70 percent reduction in heart failure and a 72 percent reduction in death -- from cardiac resynchronization therapy with defibrillator than men. Reduction of heart failure in females was twice that of males -- 70 percent vs. 35 percent. ... > full story

Play was important -- even 4,000 years ago (February 8, 2011) -- Play was a central element of people’s lives as far back as 4,000 years ago, according to new research that investigates the social significance of the phenomenon of play and games in the Bronze Age Indus Valley in present-day Pakistan. ... > full story

Researchers turn Salmonella into antiviral gene therapy agent (February 8, 2011) -- Researchers have converted Salmonella bacteria from a food-borne pathogen into a safe delivery vehicle for antiviral agents. They inserted virus-stopping ribozymes into Salmonella that had its ability to cause disease disabled, and then used the bacteria to effectively treat mice infected with cytomegalovirus. It is the first time bacteria have been successfully engineered to treat a viral infection. ... > full story

Indoor coal use associated with possible impairment of early childhood growth (February 8, 2011) -- Children raised in homes using indoor coal for cooking or heating appear to be about a half-inch shorter at age 36 months than those in households using other fuel sources, according to a new study. ... > full story

Math may help calculate way to find new drugs for HIV and other diseases (February 8, 2011) -- Using mathematical concepts, researchers have developed a method of discovering new drugs for a range of diseases by calculating which physical properties of biological molecules may predict their effectiveness as medicines. ... > full story

Use of atypical antipsychotics in treatment of dementia declined after FDA warning (February 8, 2011) -- A warning issued by the Food and Drug Administration regarding the use of atypical antipsychotics for the treatment of dementia was associated with a significant decline in the use of these medications for treating dementia symptoms in elderly patients, according to a new study. ... > full story

Contact with the criminal justice system may be associated with suicide risk (February 8, 2011) -- Men and women who have had contact with the criminal justice system -- even if they have never received a jail or prison sentence or a guilty verdict -- appear to have a significantly higher rate of suicide than the general population, according to a new study. ... > full story

Childhood cancer research in danger, report says (February 8, 2011) -- At a time when the effects of pediatric oncology research have meant that more and more children survive cancer, its funding is too low and dependent on short-term grants to be able to sustain this improvement in the long-term, says a report supported by the EU-funded 7th Framework Programme project Eurocancercoms. ... > full story

Possible crimes against humanity by Burmese military in Chin State, Burma (February 8, 2011) -- The health impacts of human rights violations in Chin State, home to the Chin ethnic minority in Burma, are substantial and the indirect health outcomes of human rights violations probably dwarf the mortality from direct killings. ... > full story

Portsmouth woman receives UK’s first totally implanted hearing aid (February 8, 2011) -- A woman from Portsmouth has received the UK’s first totally implantable hearing aid thanks to the work of the South of England Cochlear Implant Centre (SOECIC), based at the University of Southampton. ... > full story

The brain knows what the nose smells, but how? (February 7, 2011) -- Biologists have developed a new technique to trace neural pathways across the brain. They have mapped the path of odor signals as they travel to the higher centers of a mouse brain, illuminating the ways mammalian brains process smells. ... > full story

Protein may be key to new treatment in a childhood cancer (February 7, 2011) -- After analyzing hundreds of proteins produced by the DNA of tumor cells, researchers have identified one protein that may be central to a new treatment for the often-fatal childhood cancer neuroblastoma. Oncologists hope to translate the finding into pediatric clinical trials of a drug that blocks the protein's activity. ... > full story

Unexpected new mechanism behind rheumatoid arthritis (February 7, 2011) -- A team of researchers in Sweden has identified an enzyme that protects against inflammation and joint destruction. Made when the researchers blocked production of the enzyme GGTase-I in transgenic mice, this unexpected discovery could lead to the identification of new mechanisms that control the development of inflammatory disorders, as well as new medicines. ... > full story

Emergency detection systems for senior citizens (February 7, 2011) -- Elderly people living alone have a dangerous life: after a fall, they often spend hours lying on the floor before their situation comes to anyone's attention and a doctor is contacted. A new system automatically detects predicaments like this and informs a trusted person. This makes it possible to live an independent life in one's own four walls. ... > full story

'He loves me, he loves me not...': Women are more attracted to men whose feelings are unclear (February 7, 2011) -- Are you still looking for a date for Valentine's Day? Here's some dating advice straight from the laboratory: It turns out there may be something to "playing hard to get." A new study finds that a woman is more attracted to a man when she is uncertain about how much he likes her. ... > full story

Gene therapy: Save messengers -- modified mRNAs open up new therapeutic possibilities (February 7, 2011) -- Gene therapy holds great promise for the cure of many diseases but synthetic DNA sequences which are introduced directly into the genome bear a significant risk of cancer. Researchers have now developed a new method which makes use of modified RNA and avoids both the risk of cancer and immune reactions provoked by conventional RNAs. ... > full story

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