Rabu, 16 Maret 2011

ScienceDaily Health Headlines

for Wednesday, March 16, 2011

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Malaria drug slows pancreatic cancer growth in mouse models (March 16, 2011) -- Scientists report they have used hydroxychloroquine, a drug routinely prescribed for malaria and rheumatoid arthritis, to shrink or slow the growth of notoriously resistant pancreatic tumors in mice. ... > full story

Unprecedented view of protein folding may help develop brain disease therapies (March 16, 2011) -- When vital proteins in our bodies are misfolded, debilitating diseases can result. If researchers could see the folding happen, they might be able to design treatments for some of these diseases. But many of our most critical proteins are folded, hidden from sight, inside tiny molecular chambers. Now researchers have gotten the first-ever peek inside one of these protein-folding chambers as the folding happened, and the folding mechanism they saw surprised them. ... > full story

Treatments for recurring TB infection failing the developing world, study finds (March 16, 2011) -- The standard approach to re-treating tuberculosis (TB) in low and middle income settings is failing, according to new research. Researchers call for improved access to rapid diagnostics for drug resistant TB, second-line TB treatment and antiretroviral HIV therapy. ... > full story

New study predicts cholera epidemic in Haiti will far exceed UN projections (March 16, 2011) -- A new study predicts that the cholera epidemic in Haiti this year will be far worse than United Nations' projections, which had estimated 400,000 cases of the diarrheal disease over the course of the epidemic. ... > full story

New microscope decodes complex eye circuitry (March 16, 2011) -- The properties of optical stimuli need to be conveyed from the eye to the brain. To do this efficiently, the relevant information is extracted by pre-processing in the eye. Using a novel microscopy method researchers have now discovered that the distribution of the synapses between ganglion cells and interneurons follows highly specific rules. ... > full story

New vaccine candidate shows strong potential to prevent highly contagious norovirus (March 16, 2011) -- Scientists have found that an experimental vaccine against human norovirus -- the bug behind 90 percent of highly contagious nonbacterial illnesses causing diarrhea and vomiting -- generates a strong immune response in mice without causing the animals any harm. Using a novel viral vector-based method to grow and deliver the vaccine that has shown promise in other agents designed to fight such infections as HIV and hepatitis C, they are the first to test this vaccine design method's effectiveness against the human norovirus. ... > full story

Vitamin D deficiency in cirrhosis (March 16, 2011) -- A research team from Denmark examined the vitamin D status in patients with alcoholic cirrhosis compared to those with primary biliary cirrhosis. They found that vitamin D deficiency in cirrhosis relates to liver dysfunction rather than etiology, with lower levels of vitamin D in alcoholic cirrhosis than in primary biliary cirrhosis. ... > full story

Association found between industry funding and promotional pieces on menopausal hormone therapy (March 16, 2011) -- There may be a link between receiving industry funding for speaking, consulting, or research, and the publication of apparently promotional opinion pieces on menopausal hormone therapy. Furthermore, such publications may encourage physicians to continue prescribing these therapies to women of menopausal age. ... > full story

Optical illusions show vision in a new light (March 15, 2011) -- Optical illusions have fascinated humans throughout history. Greek builders used an optical illusion to ensure that that their columns appeared straight (they built them with a bulge) and we are all intrigued by the mental flip involved in the case of the young girl/old woman faces. New research demonstrates a more serious use of these illusions in understanding how the brain assesses relative size. ... > full story

Why some people are apple-shaped and others are pear-shaped (March 15, 2011) -- Scientists have shed light on why some people are apple-shaped and others are pear-shaped. Researchers have pinpointed a protein that plays a part in how fat is stored in the body. ... > full story

Finding of long-sought drug target structure may expedite drug discovery (March 15, 2011) -- Researchers have solved the 3-D structure of a key biological receptor. The finding has the potential to speed drug discovery in many areas, from arthritis to respiratory disorders to wound healing, because it enables chemists to better examine and design molecules for use in experimental drugs. ... > full story

How tuberculosis bacteria manage to survive inside body’s macrophage cells (March 15, 2011) -- Tuberculosis kills two million people each year. Researchers in Sweden are now presenting new findings that show how the bacterium that causes the disease manages to survive inside the body’s macrophage cells in order eventually to blow them up and spread their infection. ... > full story

The new adulthood: Extended parental support as a safety net (March 15, 2011) -- A new study shows that contrary to popular anxieties about slacker young adults who refuse to grow up, or indulgent parents who stifle their adult children's development by continuing to support them, there is evidence that parental assistance in early adulthood promotes progress toward autonomy and self-reliance. ... > full story

Bilinguals see the world in a different way, study suggests (March 15, 2011) -- Scientists have found that regularly speaking in a second language makes you literally see the world in a different way. Color perception is an ideal way of testing bilingual concepts because there is a huge variation between where different languages place boundaries on the color spectrum. ... > full story

Lung cancer metastasis: Researchers find key component -- and possible way to block it (March 15, 2011) -- Researchers have discovered a new, key component in the spread of lung cancer as well as a likely way to block it with drugs now in clinical trial. ... > full story

Potentially pathogenic microbes growing on at least half of all orthodontic retainers, study suggests (March 15, 2011) -- Insufficient cleaning could allow build-up of microbes on orthodontic retainers, researchers have found. Researchers looked at the types of microbes which live on retainers. This study found potentially pathogenic microbes growing on at least 50% of the retainers. ... > full story

Why argue? Helping students see the point (March 15, 2011) -- Read the comments on any website and you may despair at Americans' inability to argue well. Thankfully, educators now name argumentative reasoning as one of the basics students should leave school with. ... > full story

Surgical technique helps adult male survivors of childhood cancer regain fertility (March 15, 2011) -- A new study has shown that a surgical technique called microdissection testicular sperm extraction can effectively locate and extract viable sperm in more than one-third of adult male childhood cancer survivors who were previously considered sterile due to prior chemotherapy treatment. ... > full story

New role for an old molecule: Protecting the brain from epileptic seizures (March 15, 2011) -- The aftermath of an epileptic seizure has some mysterious characters, including the molecule putrescine. In new research on tadpoles, which share similar brain chemistry with humans, putrescine emerges as a calming influence that conveys resistance to subsequent seizures. In the long run, the discovery could aid in developing drugs for young children with epilepsy. ... > full story

How pathogenic E. coli bacterium causes illness (March 15, 2011) -- Scientists have shown how the O157:H7 strain of Escherichia coli causes infection and thrives by manipulating the host immune response. The bacterium secretes a protein called NleH1 that directs the host immune enzyme IKK-beta to alter specific immune responses. This process not only helps the bacterium evade elimination by the immune system, it also works to prolong the survival of the infected host, enabling the bacterium to persist and ultimately spread to unaffected individuals. ... > full story

New understanding of male puberty (March 15, 2011) -- Scientists have uncovered a new understanding of how male puberty begins. The key to their findings lies with a protein known as SMAD3 and the rate at which it is produced. ... > full story

Stopping smoking shortly before surgery is not associated with increased postoperative complications (March 15, 2011) -- A meta-analysis of nine previous studies found that quitting smoking shortly before surgery was not associated with an increased risk of postoperative complications, according to a new study. ... > full story

Describing humor with an equation (March 15, 2011) -- A new theory of humor addresses questions of human attraction to errors and our susceptibility to ideas we know are bad for us, and summarizes it with an equation. The new theory suggests an equation for identifying the cause and level of our responses to any humorous stimuli: h = m x s. ... > full story

Tumor metastasis with a 'twist:' Protein is key to early embryonic development, but later promotes spread of cancer (March 15, 2011) -- In the early stages of human embryogenesis, a transcription factor called Twist1 plays a key regulatory role in how the embryo assumes form and function. Much later in life, however, researchers now say Twist1 can re-emerge, taking a darker and more deadly turn. ... > full story

Omega-3 fatty acid intake linked with reduced risk of age-related macular degeneration in women (March 15, 2011) -- Regular consumption of fish and omega-3 fatty acids found in fish is associated with a significantly reduced risk of developing age-related macular degeneration in women, according to a new study. ... > full story

Impact of a bad job on mental health as harmful as no job at all (March 15, 2011) -- The impact on mental health of a badly paid, poorly supported, or short term job can be as harmful as no job at all, new research indicates. ... > full story

Combining two peptide inhibitors might block tumor growth (March 15, 2011) -- A new study suggests that combining two experimental anticancer peptide agents might simultaneously block formation of new tumor blood vessels while also inhibiting the growth of tumor cells. The findings suggest that the double hit can stifle tumor progression, avoid drug resistance and cause few side effects, say the researchers who developed the agents and evaluated their effectiveness in laboratory and animal tests. ... > full story

Newer doesn't mean better when it comes to type 2 diabetes drugs (March 15, 2011) -- An inexpensive type 2 diabetes drug that has been around for more than 15 years works just as well and has fewer side effects than a half-dozen other, mostly newer and more expensive classes of medication used to control the chronic disease, new research suggests. ... > full story

The impact of sex selection and abortion in China, India and South Korea (March 15, 2011) -- In the next 20 years in large parts of China and India, there will be a 10 percent to 20 percent excess of young men because of sex selection and this imbalance will have societal repercussions, states a new analysis. ... > full story

Vitamin D insufficiency high among patients with early Parkinson disease (March 15, 2011) -- Patients with a recent onset of Parkinson disease have a high prevalence of vitamin D insufficiency, but vitamin D concentrations do not appear to decline during the progression of the disease, according to a new study. ... > full story

Use of generic drug programs could save society billions of dollars, U.S. study shows (March 15, 2011) -- If all eligible patients filled their prescriptions through a generic drug program, the societal savings could amount to nearly billion, according to new U.S. study. It is the first to evaluate the potential national savings from a broad use of the discounted generic medication programs that are available at many retail stores' pharmacies. ... > full story

Heavy drinking associated with increased risk of death from pancreatic cancer (March 15, 2011) -- Heavy alcohol consumption, specifically three or more glasses of liquor a day, is associated with an increased risk of death from pancreatic cancer, according to a new report. ... > full story

Guided care reduces the use of health services by chronically ill older adults (March 15, 2011) -- New report shows that older people who receive Guided Care, a new form of primary care, use fewer expensive health services compared to older people who receive regular primary care. ... > full story

Painkiller prescribing varies dramatically among family physicians (March 15, 2011) -- Some physicians are prescribing opioids such as OxyContin 55 times as often as others, according to a new study. The study found most opioid-related deaths occur among patients treated by physicians who frequently prescribe opioids, suggesting doctors who prescribe a lot of opioids may not be doing so safely. ... > full story

Key mutations act cooperatively to fuel aggressive brain tumor (March 14, 2011) -- Mutations in three pathways important for suppressing tumors cooperate to launch glioblastoma, an aggressive brain tumor that strikes children and adults. But new research shows those changes alone are not sufficient to cause cancer. Tumor formation requires additional mutations, some affecting different points in the same disrupted regulatory pathways. ... > full story

Early success of anti-HIV preventive oral drug regimen is promising, but questions remain (March 14, 2011) -- The first human studies of an oral drug regimen to prevent HIV infection in high-risk individuals yielded a promising near 50 percent reduction in HIV incidence, but a number of issues require additional research before oral pre-exposure prophylaxis can be implemented on a large scale, according to an article in AIDS Patient Care and STDs, a peer-reviewed journal published by Mary Ann Liebert Inc. ... > full story

Gender stereotypes about math develop as early as second grade (March 14, 2011) -- Researchers report that children express the stereotype that mathematics is for boys, not for girls, as early as second grade, before gender differences in math achievement emerge. ... > full story

Toxoplasmosis: The strain explains severity of infection (March 14, 2011) -- Providing clues into why the severity of a common parasitic infection can vary greatly from person to person, a new study shows that each one of three strains of the cat-borne parasite Toxoplasma gondii sets off a unique reaction in the nerve cells it invades. ... > full story

Benefits of bariatric surgery may outweigh risks for severely obese, study suggests (March 14, 2011) -- Bariatric surgery is a viable option for patients who are severely obese and are safe surgical candidates who have failed medical therapy for losing weight. When indicated, bariatric surgery often leads to long-term weight loss and significantly improved health. While there are risks, bariatric surgery is considered a relatively safe procedure, especially in centers that perform many of the procedures. ... > full story

Why people read magazines featuring envy-inspiring models (March 14, 2011) -- New research reveals why people read fitness and fashion magazines featuring photos of impossibly thin or muscular models -- models whose appearance highlight the readers' own flaws. Many previous studies have found that people who are unhappy with their physical appearance feel even more dissatisfied when they are shown photos of models who have "ideal" bodies. ... > full story

Antioxidants in pregnancy prevent obesity in animal offspring (March 14, 2011) -- New biological research may be relevant to the effects of a mother's high-fat diet during pregnancy on the development of obesity in her children. An animal study suggests that a high-fat, high-carbohydrate diet causes oxidative stress -- an excess of deleterious free radicals -- during pregnancy, predisposing the offspring to obesity and diabetes. Feeding rats antioxidants before and during pregnancy completely prevented obesity and glucose intolerance in their offspring. ... > full story

Tumor suppressor blocks viral growth in natural HIV controllers (March 14, 2011) -- Elevated levels of p21, a protein best known as a cancer fighter, may be involved in the ability of a few individuals to control HIV infection with their immune system alone. In a new study, researchers report that CD4 T cells from HIV controllers show highly increased expression of the p21 protein, and while capable of being infected by HIV, effectively suppress key aspects of the viral life cycle. ... > full story

Used woodwind and brass musical instruments harbor harmful bacteria and fungi, study suggests (March 14, 2011) -- Used woodwind and brass instruments were found to be heavily contaminated with a variety of bacteria and fungi, many of which are associated with minor to serious infectious and allergic diseases, according to a new study. ... > full story

Salmonella bacteria used to fight cancer (March 14, 2011) -- Researchers are using salmonella -- the bacteria commonly transmitted through food that sickens thousands of US residents each year -- to do what was once unthinkable: help people. Researchers believe salmonella may be a valuable tool in the fight against cancer in organs surrounding the gut -- such as the liver, spleen, and colon -- since that's where salmonella naturally infects the body. ... > full story

Multiple taste cell sensors contribute to detecting sugars (March 14, 2011) -- A new research study dramatically increases knowledge of how taste cells detect sugars, a key step in developing strategies to limit overconsumption. Scientists have discovered that taste cells have several additional sugar detectors other than the previously known sweet receptor. ... > full story

Monitoring blood for 'microparticles' useful in identifying earliest signs of emphysema (March 14, 2011) -- Monitoring blood for tiny particles released by cells lining the lungs may help clinicians diagnose emphysema in its earliest stages, according to researchers. The particles, called endothelial microparticles, are shed during the disease process as tiny blood vessels in the lungs, called pulmonary capillaries, are injured and die. ... > full story

Thrill-seeking females work hard for their next fix, rat study suggests (March 14, 2011) -- It seems that women become addicted to cocaine more easily than men and find it harder to give up. New research reinforces this position by showing that the motivation of female rats to work for cocaine is much higher than males. ... > full story

Potential way to protect neurons in Parkinson's, Alzheimer's, ALS (March 14, 2011) -- Neurons lacking a substance called caspase-2 were better able to withstand pesticide-induced damage to energy centers known as mitochondria, scientists have reported. This finding could have implications for development of therapeutics for conditions such as Parkinson's disease. ... > full story

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