Selasa, 08 Maret 2011

ScienceDaily Health Headlines

for Tuesday, March 8, 2011

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Eating apples extends lifespan of test animals by 10 percent (March 8, 2011) -- Scientists are reporting the first evidence that consumption of a healthful antioxidant substance in apples extends the average lifespan of test animals, and does so by 10 percent. The new results, obtained with fruit flies -- stand-ins for humans in hundreds of research projects each year -- bolster similar findings on apple antioxidants in other animal tests. ... > full story

Spontaneous smoking cessation may be an early symptom of lung cancer, research suggests (March 8, 2011) -- Many longtime smokers quit spontaneously with little effort shortly before their lung cancer is diagnosed, leading some researchers to speculate that sudden cessation may be a symptom of lung cancer. ... > full story

Surprising behavior of cells during blood-vessel formation (March 8, 2011) -- Biologists look at cells in bulk, taking the average behavior as the norm and assuming that identical cells behave the same. Biomedical engineers now show a surprising variation in how cells behave during formation of a blood vessel. They have now characterized, for the first time, what happens when endothelial cells move from an initial dispersed state to capillary-like structures. ... > full story

New mathematical model of information processing in the brain accurately predicts some of the peculiarities of human vision (March 8, 2011) -- The human retina -- the part of the eye that converts incoming light into electrochemical signals -- has about 100 million light-sensitive cells. So retinal images contain a huge amount of data. High-level visual-processing tasks -- like object recognition, gauging size and distance, or calculating the trajectory of a moving object -- couldn't possibly preserve all that data: The brain just doesn't have enough neurons. So vision scientists have long assumed that the brain must somehow summarize the content of retinal images, reducing their informational load before passing them on to higher-order processes. ... > full story

Brain 'network maps' reveal clue to mental decline in old age (March 8, 2011) -- The human brain operates as a highly interconnected small-world network, not as a collection of discrete regions as previously believed, with important implications for why many of us experience cognitive declines in old age, a new study shows. Australian researchers have mapped the brain's neural networks and for the first time linked them with specific cognitive functions, such as information processing and language. ... > full story

Sea sponges: Tweak of nature in fight against cancer (March 8, 2011) -- Scientists in London are turning to sea sponges to help them learn more about anti-cancer drugs. ... > full story

New peptide could be effective treatment for triple negative breast cancer (March 8, 2011) -- A new leptin receptor antagonist peptide has demonstrated efficacy against triple negative breast cancer. ... > full story

Turning off stress (March 8, 2011) -- New research has revealed the actions of a family of proteins that "turn off" the stress response. The findings could be relevant to PTSD, anorexia, anxiety disorders and depression. ... > full story

Tobacco smoking impacts teens' brains, study shows (March 7, 2011) -- In a study comparing teenage smokers and non-smokers, researchers found that the greater a teen's addiction to nicotine, the less active an area of the brain called the prefrontal cortex (PFC) became. The PFC guides "executive functions" like decision-making, and is an area that is still developing structurally and functionally in adolescents. ... > full story

Gene variants in autism linked to brain development (March 7, 2011) -- New research on the genomics of autism confirms that the genetic roots of the disorder are highly complicated, but that common biological themes underlie this complexity. While the gene alterations are individually very rare, they mostly appear to disrupt genes that play important functional roles in brain development and nerve signaling. ... > full story

NASA studies the body's ability to fight infection (March 7, 2011) -- Why do some people get sick while others stay healthy? Since space shuttle Discovery launched into orbit Feb. 24, 2011, it has brought NASA scientists one step closer to helping astronauts and the public discover ways to battle and prevent serious illness and infection. ... > full story

Health benefits of eating tomatoes emerge (March 7, 2011) -- Eating more tomatoes and tomato products can make people healthier and decrease the risk of conditions such as cancer, osteoporosis and cardiovascular disease, according to a review article. ... > full story

Class of potent anti-cancer compounds discovered (March 7, 2011) -- Working as part of a public program to screen compounds to find potential medicines and other biologically useful molecules, scientists have discovered an extremely potent class of potential anti-cancer and anti-neurodegenerative disorder compounds. The scientists hope their findings will one day lead to new therapies for cancer and Alzheimer's disease patients. ... > full story

'Nano-Velcro' technology used to improve capture of circulating cancer cells (March 7, 2011) -- Researchers have announced the successful demonstration of a 2nd-generation CTC enrichment technology, capable of effectively identifying and capturing circulating tumor cells (CTCs) in blood samples collected from prostate cancer patients. This new approach could be even faster and cheaper than existing methods and captures a greater number of CTCs. ... > full story

Solving a traditional Chinese medicine mystery: Discovery of molecular mechanism reveals antitumor possibilities (March 7, 2011) -- Researchers have discovered that a natural product isolated from a traditional Chinese medicinal plant commonly known as thunder god vine, or lei gong teng, and used for hundreds of years to treat many conditions including rheumatoid arthritis works by blocking gene control machinery in the cell. The report suggests that the natural product could be a starting point for developing new anticancer drugs. ... > full story

Removing arsenic from drinking water (March 7, 2011) -- Pioneering technology which is transforming the lives of millions of people in Asia is now being used to create safer drinking water in the United States. ... > full story

Web use doesn't encourage belief in political rumors, but e-mail does (March 7, 2011) -- Despite the fears of some, a new study suggests that use of the internet in general does not make people more likely to believe political rumors. However, one form of internet communication -- e-mail -- does seem to have troubling consequences for the spread and belief of rumors. ... > full story

Multiple sclerosis blocked in mouse model: Barring immune cells from brain prevents symptoms (March 7, 2011) -- Scientists have blocked harmful immune cells from entering the brain in mice with a condition similar to multiple sclerosis (MS). ... > full story

New compound rids cells of Alzheimer protein debris (March 7, 2011) -- If you can't stop the beta-amyloid protein plaques from forming in Alzheimer's disease patients, then maybe you can help the body rid itself of them instead. At least that's what scientists were hoping for when they found a drug candidate to do just that. ... > full story

Stretchable balloon electronics get to the heart of cardiac medicine (March 7, 2011) -- Cardiologists may soon be able to place sensitive electronics inside their patients' hearts with minimal invasiveness, enabling more sophisticated and efficient diagnosis and treatment of arrhythmias. Scientists have successfully integrated stretchable electronics technology with standard endocardial balloon catheters. The balloon device can both map and ablate over large areas of the heart simultaneously, using integrated arrays of multifunctional sensors and ablation electrodes. ... > full story

Helicobacter pylori infection linked to decreased iron levels in otherwise healthy children (March 7, 2011) -- Children without previous iron deficiencies or anemia who remained infected with Helicobacter pylori (H. pylori) had significantly lower levels of iron compared to children who had the infection eradicated, according to researchers. ... > full story

Elderly see pedestrians half as often as younger drivers, according to new research (March 7, 2011) -- Researchers used two evaluation methods: driving in a traffic simulator while watching video of traffic scenes, and identifying hazardous situations. The video observation method showed that elderly drivers took longer to respond to pedestrian hazards. Approximately half of the pedestrian-related events presented in the videos were difficult for elderly drivers to perceive. The elderly group attempted to cope with hazards by reducing their driving speed by almost 20 percent, providing them more time to process the potential hazards. ... > full story

Enzyme enhances, erases long-term memories in rats; Can restore even old, fading memories, say scientists (March 7, 2011) -- Even long after it is formed, a memory in rats can be enhanced or erased by increasing or decreasing the activity of a brain enzyme. For the first time, a study in behaving animals with functioning brains has found that a single molecule, PKMzeta, is both necessary and sufficient for maintaining long-term memory. ... > full story

New gene regions identified that predispose people to heart attacks: Some hint at previously unknown mechanisms that increase risk (March 7, 2011) -- Scientists have identified 13 new gene sites associated with the risk of coronary artery disease and validated 10 sites found in previous studies. Several of the novel sites discovered in the study do not appear to relate to known risk factors, suggesting previously unsuspected mechanisms for cardiovascular disease. ... > full story

New test for 'pluripotent' stem cells (March 7, 2011) -- "Pluripotent" stem cells -- which have the potential to mature into almost any cell in the body -- are being widely studied for their role in treating a vast array of human diseases and for generating cells and tissues for transplantation. Now, scientists have created a quality control diagnostic test that will make it much easier for researchers to determine whether their cell lines are normal pluripotent cells. ... > full story

Human stem cells transformed into key neurons lost in Alzheimer's (March 7, 2011) -- Researchers for the first time have transformed a human embryonic stem cell into a critical neuron that dies early in Alzheimer's disease and is a major cause of memory loss. This ability to reprogram stem cells and grow a limitless supply of the neurons will enable a rapid wave of drug testing, allow researchers to study why the neurons die and could potentially lead to transplanting the new neurons into people with Alzheimer's. ... > full story

NASA light technology successfully reduces cancer patients painful side effects from radiation and chemotherapy (March 7, 2011) -- A NASA technology originally developed for plant growth experiments on space shuttle missions has successfully reduced the painful side effects resulting from chemotherapy and radiation treatment in bone marrow and stem cell transplant patients. ... > full story

Vaccinated children not at higher risk of infections or allergic diseases, study suggests (March 7, 2011) -- Do vaccinations put too much strain on or weaken children's immune systems? A recent evaluation showed that unvaccinated children and adolescents differ from their vaccinated peers merely in terms of the frequency of vaccine preventable diseases. These include pertussis, mumps, or measles. As expected, the risk of contracting these diseases is substantially lower in vaccinated children and adolescents. ... > full story

Brain rhythm predicts real-time sleep stability, may lead to more precise sleep medications (March 7, 2011) -- A new study finds that a brain rhythm considered the hallmark of wakefulness not only persists inconspicuously during sleep but also signifies an individual's vulnerability to disturbance by the outside world. ... > full story

Gene responsible for severe osteoporosis disorder discovered (March 7, 2011) -- Scientists have identified a single mutated gene that causes Hajdu-Cheney syndrome, a disorder of the bones causing progressive bone loss and osteoporosis. ... > full story

Loss of key protein boosts neuron loss in amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (March 7, 2011) -- Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, known as ALS or Lou Gehrig's disease, is a notorious neurodegenerative condition characterized by the progressive deterioration of brain and spinal cord neurons, resulting in the gradual but catastrophic loss of muscle control and ultimately, death. Scientists can now describe the profound and pervasive role of a key protein in ALS pathology called TDP-43. ... > full story

The better off sleep better (March 7, 2011) -- The employed and self-employed enjoy much better sleep than those out of work, according to Understanding Society, the world's largest longitudinal household study. Those who are unemployed are over 40% more likely to report difficulty staying asleep than those in employment (having controlled for age and gender differences). However, job satisfaction affects the quality of sleep with 33% of the most dissatisfied employees report poor sleep quality compared to only 18% of the most satisfied. ... > full story

Stem cell study could aid motor neuron disease research (March 7, 2011) -- Scientists have discovered a new way to generate human motor nerve cells in a development that will help research into motor neuron disease. Scientists have created a range of motor neurons -- nerves cells that send messages from the brain and spine to other parts of the body -- from human embryonic stem cells in the laboratory. ... > full story

Depression and anxiety differentially influence physical symptom reporting (March 7, 2011) -- Researchers have for decades hypothesized that negative emotions lead to inflated reports of common physical symptoms, like headaches or an upset stomach. But a new study suggests that two negative emotions -- depression and anxiety -- influence symptom reporting in different ways. ... > full story

Life-saving blood test for fungal meningitis, a leading cause of AIDS-related deaths in developing countries (March 7, 2011) -- A new, rapid blood test that could lead to early diagnosis and potentially save the lives of hundreds of thousands of people stricken with fungal meningitis, a leading cause of AIDS-related deaths in developing countries, is getting closer to market with a recent collaboration of researchers. ... > full story

Boron neutron capture therapy is effective in advanced head and neck cancer, study suggests (March 7, 2011) -- The years of work done on developing and clinically testing of BNCT -- or Boron Neutron Capture Therapy -- are now paying off. BNCT-based treatment has been successfully used to treat patients with advanced head and neck cancer who have not responded to previous treatments and generally have poor prognosis. ... > full story

Speedy generic approval may not benefit consumers as much as expected, mathematical model shows (March 7, 2011) -- Faster approval times for generic drugs will get them into consumers' hands quicker, but may not make the price any better, a pricing and marketing researcher has found. A mathematical model shows that fewer firms enter the marketplace because the chances of getting there first and commanding the best profits are dramatically smaller when drug approval times are shorter. ... > full story

Racial identity tied to happiness, study finds (March 7, 2011) -- African American people who identify more strongly with their racial identity are generally happier, according to a study by psychology researchers. ... > full story

Alcohol consumption after age 75 associated with lower risk of developing dementia (March 7, 2011) -- A new study investigates prospectively the relationship between current alcohol consumption (quantity and type of alcohol) and incident overall dementia and Alzheimer dementia. The authors conclusions suggests that light-to-moderate alcohol consumption is inversely related to incident dementia, also among individuals aged 75 years and older. ... > full story

Effects of alcohol on risk factors for cardiovascular disease (March 7, 2011) -- A summary paper on the effects of alcohol consumption on biologic mechanisms associated with coronary heart disease provides an excellent review of a large number of intervention studies in humans. Appropriate analyses were done and the results are presented in a very clear fashion, although there was little discussion of the separate, independent effects of alcohol and polyphenols on risk factors. ... > full story

Possible role of damaged DNA in tumor development (March 6, 2011) -- DNA provides the instruction manual for all life forms. Occasionally, instructions are not carried out properly, and bad messages are sent leading to the creation of mutant proteins and possible tumor development. ... > full story

Human cues used to improve computer user-friendliness (March 6, 2011) -- Researchers want computers to understand inputs from humans that go beyond the traditional keyboard and mouse. They have now developed ways to provide information to a computer based on where a user is looking as well as through gestures or speech. ... > full story

Cadmium in children’s jewelry: 100 times recommended maximum exposure if mouthed or swallowed (March 6, 2011) -- Young children who mouth or swallow jewelry containing cadmium may be exposed to as much as 100 times the recommended maximum exposure limit for the toxic metal, according to new research. The study measured bioavailability, or how much cadmium leached out of the jewelry. The research also found that damaged pieces of jewelry in some cases leached up to 30 times more cadmium than undamaged pieces. ... > full story

Novel mechanism for control of gene expression revealed (March 6, 2011) -- Scientists have recently discovered a novel, evolutionarily conserved mechanism for the regulation of gene expression. Normal cell growth, embryonic development, and responses to stress, require proper spatial and temporal control of gene expression. Studies on control of transcription (RNA biosynthesis) are typically centered on understanding how the RNA polymerase is recruited to the promoter, the control region of a gene. However, new work has revealed the existence of a second level of control in a yeast model system. ... > full story

Bone-creating protein could improve dental implant success (March 6, 2011) -- Using a bone-creating protein to augment the maxillary sinus could improve dental implant success, according to new research. ... > full story

Weight-loss surgery successful in treating overweight adolescents, study suggests (March 6, 2011) -- Bariatric surgery can result in significant weight loss in severely obese adolescents. ... > full story

Happy Hour linked to pub violence, UK study finds (March 6, 2011) -- A new study has established a link between pub violence and happy hour-style drinking promotions. The findings also show that pub staff themselves need to do more to stop heavily intoxicated customers from continuing to drink. ... > full story

Jekyll and Hyde: Cells' executioner can also stave off death (March 5, 2011) -- An enzyme viewed as an executioner, because it can push cells to commit suicide, may actually short circuit a second form of cell death, researchers have discovered. The finding could shift drug discovery efforts, by leading scientists to rethink how proposed anti-cancer and anti-inflammatory drugs that target the enzyme, called caspase 8, are supposed to work. ... > full story

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