Rabu, 09 Maret 2011

ScienceDaily Health Headlines

for Wednesday, March 9, 2011

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Chemist discovers shortcut for processing drugs (March 9, 2011) -- Highly pressurized carbon dioxide at room temperature could replace the time consuming and expensive methods currently used to manufacture certain pharmaceutical drugs, new research suggests. ... > full story

'Cross-talk' research may pave the way to understanding and controlling chronic pain (March 9, 2011) -- Researchers have discovered a "cross-talk" between two major biological pathways that involve pain -- research that may pave the way to new approaches to understanding and controlling chronic pain. ... > full story

A new stem cell enters the mix: Induced conditional self-renewing progenitor cells (March 9, 2011) -- Generated from progenitor cells, ICSP cells are easier to produce than iPS cells and show therapeutic benefit in a rodent stroke model. ... > full story

Neurologists predict more cases of stroke, dementia, Parkinson's disease and epilepsy (March 9, 2011) -- As the population ages, neurologists will be challenged by a growing population of patients with stroke, dementia, Parkinson's disease and epilepsy. ... > full story

Text messaging helps smokers break the habit: Studies demonstrate brain activity link and use a new technology to monitor smoking (March 9, 2011) -- New studies have isolated the brain regions most active in controlling urges to smoke and demonstrated the effectiveness of text-messaging to measure and intervene in those urges. ... > full story

Right-handers, but not left-handers, are biased to select their dominant hand (March 8, 2011) -- The vast majority of humans -- over 90 percent -- prefer to use their right hand for most skilled tasks. For decades, researchers have been trying to understand why this asymmetry exists. Why, with our two cerebral hemispheres and motor cortices, are we not equally skilled with both hands? ... > full story

Function of 'junk DNA' in human genes (March 8, 2011) -- Part of the answer to how and why humans differ from other primates may lie in the repetitive stretches of the genome that were once considered "junk." A new study finds that when a particular type of repetitive DNA segment, known as an Alu element, inserts into existing genes, they can alter the rate of protein production -- a mechanism that could contribute to the evolution of different biological characteristics in different species. ... > full story

Stroke survivors with irregular heartbeat may have higher risk of dementia (March 8, 2011) -- Stroke survivors who have an irregular heartbeat called atrial fibrillation may be at higher risk of developing dementia than stroke survivors who do not have the heart condition, according to new research. ... > full story

Cleansing the soul by hurting the flesh: The guilt-reducing effect of pain (March 8, 2011) -- Lent in the Christian tradition is a time of sacrifice and penance. It also is a period of purification and enlightenment. Pain purifies. It atones for sin and cleanses the soul. Or at least that's the idea. Theological questions aside, can self-inflicted pain really alleviate the guilt associated with immoral acts? A new study explores the psychological consequences of experiencing bodily pain. ... > full story

An Alzheimer's vaccine in a nasal spray? (March 8, 2011) -- Scientists are working on a nasal vaccine that repairs vascular damage in the brain caused by stroke, restoring cognitive impairment and preventing brain tissue damage. In early pre-clinical studies, results show that it also has a prophylactic effect against many strokes associated with Alzheimer's. ... > full story

Genetic makeup and duration of abuse reduce the brain's neurons in drug addiction (March 8, 2011) -- Drug addicted individuals who have a certain genetic makeup have lower gray matter density -- and therefore fewer neurons -- in areas of the brain that are essential for decision-making, self-control, and learning and memory, a new study shows. ... > full story

Malaria’s weakest link: Class of chemotherapy drugs also kills the parasite that causes malaria (March 8, 2011) -- Researchers in Europe have discovered that a class of chemotherapy drugs originally designed to inhibit key signaling pathways in cancer cells also kills the parasite that causes malaria. The discovery could quickly open up a whole new strategy for combating this deadly disease. ... > full story

Big games, close scores lead to more auto fatalities for winning fans (March 8, 2011) -- Closely contested major sporting events are followed by a significant increase in traffic fatalities for fans of the winning team, according to new research. It turns out there may be more on the line than many sports fans bargained for. ... > full story

New weight loss discovery moves us closer to 'the Pill' for obesity (March 8, 2011) -- A discovery in mice may make a big difference in people's waistlines thanks to scientists who found that reducing the function of a transmembrane protein, called Klotho, in obese mice with high blood sugar levels produced lean mice with reduced blood sugar. This protein exists in humans, suggesting that targeting Klotho could lead to new drugs that reduce obesity and possibly type 2 diabetes. ... > full story

Key mechanism of childhood respiratory disease identified (March 8, 2011) -- Researchers have identified a critical part of the process by which one of the world's most common and dangerous early childhood infections, respiratory syncytial virus, causes disease. ... > full story

Physician's empathy directly associated with positive clinical outcomes (March 8, 2011) -- It has been thought that the quality of the physician-patient relationship is integral to positive outcomes but until now, data to confirm such beliefs has been hard to find. Researchers have now been able to quantify a relationship between physicians' empathy and their patients' positive clinical outcomes, suggesting that a physician's empathy is an important factor associated with clinical competence. ... > full story

High levels of 'good' cholesterol may cut bowel cancer risk (March 8, 2011) -- High levels of "good" (high density lipoprotein) HDL cholesterol seem to cut the risk of bowel cancer, suggests new research. ... > full story

Experts develop tool to predict course of Haiti's cholera outbreak, offer disease control strategies for immediate implementation (March 8, 2011) -- A new study outlines the path of the cholera outbreak in Haiti and identifies immediate strategies for controlling the epidemic. Control strategies are needed, as Haiti is in the midst of a cholera epidemic that has killed 4,000 people, and sickened at least 217,000 more in all of Haiti's ten geographical "departments." ... > full story

People would rather let bad things happen than cause them, especially if someone is watching (March 8, 2011) -- People are more comfortable committing sins of omission than commission -- letting bad things happen rather than actively causing something bad. A new study suggests that this is because they know other people will think worse of them if they do something bad than if they let something bad happen. ... > full story

Laboratory-grown urethras implanted in patients, scientists report (March 8, 2011) -- For the first time, medical researchers have used a patients' own cells to build tailor-made urinary tubes and successfully replaced damaged tissue. ... > full story

Body's clock may lead to increased risk for fainting during the nighttime (March 8, 2011) -- The circadian system may contribute to the daily pattern of vasovagal syncope via its influences on physiological responses to changes in body posture. ... > full story

Acupuncture curbs severity of menopausal hot flushes, study suggests (March 8, 2011) -- Traditional Chinese acupuncture curbs the severity of hot flushes and other menopausal symptoms, suggests a small study. ... > full story

Microbial forensics used to solve the case of the 2001 anthrax attacks (March 8, 2011) -- Researchers working with the FBI have published the first scientific paper based on their investigation into the anthrax attacks of 2001. The case was groundbreaking in its use of genomics and microbiology in a criminal investigation, a new field called microbial forensics. More than 20 people contracted anthrax from spores mailed in letters in 2001, and five people died. ... > full story

Exercise can curb marijuana use and cravings, study finds (March 8, 2011) -- Researchers are studying heavy users of marijuana to help understand what exercise does for the brain, contributing to a field of research that uses exercise as a modality for prevention and treatment. Participants saw a significant decrease in their cravings and daily use after just a few sessions of running on the treadmill, according to a new study. ... > full story

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

HBV infection decreases risk of liver metastasis in colorectal cancer patients (March 8, 2011) -- A research team from China evaluated the effect of hepatitis B virus (HBV) infection on liver metastasis of colorectal cancer. The study showed that HBV infection decreases the risk of liver metastasis in patients with colorectal cancer and elevates the surgical resection rate of liver metastatic lesions. ... > full story

A novel prognostic marker for biliary atresia (March 8, 2011) -- A research team from China characterized the differentially expressed gene profiles in livers from biliary atresia (BA) patients. They found that RRAS gene and its related MAPK pathway are important regulatory modules in the pathogenesis of BA, which may serve as a novel prognostic marker for BA. ... > full story

The safety of daily magnesium oxide treatment for children with chronic constipation (March 8, 2011) -- A research team from Japan determined serum magnesium concentration in children with functional constipation treated with daily magnesium oxide. The results showed that serum magnesium concentration increased significantly, but not critically, after daily treatment with magnesium oxide in constipated children with normal renal function. ... > full story

Eating disorders and body dissatisfaction is double in Muslim teenagers than in Christian, Spanish study finds (March 8, 2011) -- Researchers in Spain are addressing the relationship between religion, eating disorders and body image perception among adolescents. To carry out this study, researchers took a sample of 494 students aged 12-20 years from three public schools in Ceuta, Spain. The incidence of eating disorders was found to be 2.3-fold higher among Muslim adolescents than among their Christian classmates. Similarly, body dissatisfaction was 1.8-fold higher in the former group. ... > full story

Rituximab combined with a TNF inhibitor and methotrexate shows no safety signal in rheumatoid arthritis treatment, study finds (March 8, 2011) -- A recent trial of rituximab in combination with a tumor necrosis factor (TNF) inhibitor and methotrexate (MTX) in patients with active rheumatoid arthritis (RA) found the safety profile to be consistent with other RA trials with TNF inhibitors. While the trial reported no new safety risks, clear evidence of an efficacy advantage in RA patients receiving the combination therapy was not observed in this study sample. ... > 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

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