Senin, 21 Maret 2011

ScienceDaily Health Headlines

for Monday, March 21, 2011

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Making viruses pass for 'safe' (March 21, 2011) -- Viruses can penetrate every part of the body, making them potentially good tools for gene therapy or drug delivery. But with our immune system primed to seek and destroy these foreign invaders, delivering therapies with viruses is currently inefficient and can pose a significant danger to patients. ... > full story

How inherited genes contribute to a common, incurable neurodegenerative disease (March 21, 2011) -- A team of scientists has developed a new model for how inherited genes contribute to a common but untreatable and incurable neurodegenerative disease. The disease, frontotemporal lobar degeneration, is the second most common cause of dementia before age 65, after Alzheimer's disease. ... > full story

New gene sites affecting nonalcoholic fatty liver disease discovered (March 21, 2011) -- Five genetic variants in humans -- four new -- associate with nonalcoholic fatty liver disease, according to a study. ... > full story

Mutant prions help cells foil harmful protein misfolding (March 21, 2011) -- Misfolded proteins are implicated in many incurable neurological diseases. A new and improved understanding of how naturally occurring variants keep proteins from bunching up and spreading provides more options for developing a treatment than scientists had realized. ... > full story

Hormone pathway to fatty liver disease uncovered (March 21, 2011) -- Scientists have discovered how a change in growth hormone activity in mice leads to fatty liver disease, a condition whose human counterpart is of rising concern worldwide. ... > full story

Message to postmenopausal women: 'Increase yearly dental checkups,' researcher urges (March 21, 2011) -- Postmenopausal women have a new health message to hear. Two annual dental checkups aren't enough. Older women need more, according to new research findings. That message comes from a comparison study of women on and off bone-strengthening bisphosphonate therapies for osteoporosis. ... > full story

Important structure in the transmission of light signals deciphered (March 21, 2011) -- Scientists have made a new discovery in the basics of signal transduction research. They were able to clarify for the first time, in an important information carrier in the human body, the receptor protein rhodopsin, how such a protein must be designed to accommodate a light signal. ... > full story

Psychosocially hazardous neighborhoods associated with worse cognitive function in some older adults (March 21, 2011) -- Residing in a psychosocially hazardous neighborhood is associated with worse cognitive function in older age for persons with the apolipoprotein E µ4 allele (an alternative form of the gene), according to a new report. ... > full story

Masked fears: Are fears that are seemingly overcome only hidden? (March 20, 2011) -- Fear is a natural part of our emotional life and acts as a necessary protection mechanism. However, fears sometimes grow beyond proportions and become difficult to shed. Scientists have now used computer simulations to understand the processes within the brain during the formation and extinction of fears. ... > full story

Economics and evolution help scientists identify new strategy to control antibiotic resistance (March 20, 2011) -- Scientists have taken lessons from Adam Smith and Charles Darwin to devise a new strategy that could one day slow, possibly even prevent, the spread of drug-resistant bacteria. The scientists show that bacterial gene mutations that lead to drug resistance come at a biological cost not borne by nonresistant strains. ... > full story

Modified mRNA is the key to novel anti-cancer therapy, experts offer (March 20, 2011) -- Modern gene therapies raise hopes of combating many diseases until now considered terminal. Today, however, the methods are expensive and carry a risk of severe complications. Modifications to ribonucleic acid mRNA may offer safer and more effective gene drug alternatives. Clinical trials of the first new-generation anti-cancer vaccine will begin later this year. ... > full story

Virtual conversation simulator found beneficial for adults with autism (March 20, 2011) -- Simulated interactions in which adults with autism converse with a virtual partner may help them develop better social interaction skills, according to a novel study. ... > full story

Researchers find indirect path to attack breast cancer stem cells (March 20, 2011) -- Scientists have identified a potential new way of attacking breast cancer stem cells, the small number of cells in a tumor that fuel its growth and spread. ... > full story

Tests on century-old equipment show how far X-rays have come (March 20, 2011) -- Researchers recently tested first-generation x-ray equipment from 1896 and found that it produced radiation doses and exposure times that were vastly higher than those of today's systems, according a new study. ... > full story

Are whole-body image scanners used for U.S. airport security safe? (March 20, 2011) -- The Transportation Security Administration has begun to use whole-body imaging scanners as a primary screening measure on travelers passing through airport security checkpoints. One type of scanner currently deployed at airports uses backscatter X-rays that expose the individual being screened to very low levels of ionizing radiation. Two new articles address the question of what potential long-term public health threats backscatter X-ray systems pose. ... > full story

Tai chi beats back depression in the elderly, study shows (March 20, 2011) -- To fight depression in the elderly, researchers combined a weekly Tai chi exercise class with a standard depression treatment for a group of depressed, elderly people. The found greater improvement in their level of depression, along with improved quality of life, better memory and cognition, and more overall energy. ... > full story

U.S. death rate falls for 10th straight year (March 20, 2011) -- The age-adjusted death rate for the U.S. population fell to an all-time low of 741 deaths per 100,000 people in 2009 -- 2.3 percent lower than the 2008 rate, according to preliminary 2009 death statistics. This marks the 10th year in a row that U.S. deaths rates have declined. ... > full story

Radiation risks to health: A joint statement from leading scientific experts (March 20, 2011) -- The growing concern surrounding the release of radiation from an earthquake and tsunami-stricken nuclear complex in Japan has raised fears of radiation exposure to populations in North America from the potential plume of radioactivity crossing the Pacific Ocean. Experts have issued a statement to help Americans understand their radiation-related health risks. ... > full story

Americans like their drinks 'sickeningly sweet' but new labeling may make a difference (March 20, 2011) -- Americans may like their drinks "sickeningly sweet" but a new labeling initiative may discourage us from pouring on the unnecessary calories, said a medical weight-loss specialist. ... > full story

New insight into the brain's ability to reorganize itself (March 19, 2011) -- New research brings scientists one step closer to to isolating the mechanisms by which the brain compensates for disruptions and reroutes neural functioning -- which could ultimately lead to treatments for cognitive impairments in humans caused by disease and aging. ... > full story

Enzyme can steer cells or possibly stop them in their tracks (March 19, 2011) -- Researchers have discovered that members of an enzyme family found in humans and throughout the plant and animal kingdoms play a crucial role in regulating cell motility. Their findings suggest an entirely new strategy for treating conditions ranging from diabetic ulcers to metastatic cancer. ... > full story

Secrets of plague revealed through super-resolution microscopy technique (March 19, 2011) -- In work that is pushing the "diffraction barrier" associated with microscopic imaging of living cells, researchers have demonstrated the power of a new super-resolution microscopy technique called Stochastic Optical Reconstruction Microscopy (STORM), which can simultaneously image multiple molecules in living immune cells. ... > full story

Terminology matters in parents' willingness to enroll their children in research (March 19, 2011) -- When presented with different terms to describe a clinical trial, parents were far more likely to consent to enroll their child if it was called a "research study" than if it was called a "medical experiment" or a "research project," in large part because they perceived the former as safer, even though that was not necessarily the case, according to a new report. ... > full story

Transmissible treatment proposed for HIV could target superspreaders to curb epidemic (March 19, 2011) -- Researchers propose a fundamentally new intervention for the HIV/AIDS epidemic based on engineered, virus-like particles that could subdue HIV infection within individual patients and spread to high-risk populations that are difficult for public health workers to reach. A model shows that their approach could work in concert with current treatments for HIV infection and lower the prevalence of infection more effectively than current drugs or proposed vaccines alone. ... > full story

Allergies? Pollen also appears outside flowering season (March 19, 2011) -- Researchers have shown that the pollen levels of certain plants, such as grasses and cupressaceae, can appear before or after the peak moment of flowering. This phenomenon is caused by the "resuspension" of pollen, and its dispersal over large distances, and this is of great use in predicting allergies. ... > full story

World record for DNA analysis (March 19, 2011) -- Until recently, researchers have been limited to running just a few DNA samples at a time, at a cost of about ,000 U.S. per run. Now researchers have hit upon a new method that allows 5,000 samples to be run at the same time and at the same price. This cuts the cost per sample result considerably and constitutes a world record for the number of tests run in a single DNA sequencing analysis. ... > full story

Electricity sparks interest in new technologies and cosmeceuticals for aging skin (March 19, 2011) -- It may seem as if new developments to combat aging skin are being introduced faster than the speed of light. At the forefront of the research, dermatologists are underpinning these advancements, refining the basic understanding of how the skin ages in order to develop more effective non-invasive cosmetic procedures and products. Now, as an alternative to laser light -- used successfully for years to make skin appear younger -- dermatologists are investigating electricity. ... > full story

Human prejudice has ancient evolutionary roots (March 18, 2011) -- The tendency to perceive others as "us versus them" isn't exclusively human but appears to be shared by our primate cousins, a new study has found. ... > full story

'Bilingual' neurons may reveal the secrets of brain disease (March 18, 2011) -- Researchers have discovered a type of "cellular bilingualism" -- a phenomenon that allows a single neuron to use two different methods of communication to exchange information. ... > full story

Human gender roles influence research on animals, Swedish biologists argue (March 18, 2011) -- Biologists have shown that animals' and plants' traits and behavior in sexual conflicts are colored by a human viewpoint. They want to raise awareness of the issue and provoke discussion among their colleagues in order to promote objectivity and broaden the research field. ... > full story

Epilepsy and coordination disorders: Important role for the cerebellum (March 18, 2011) -- Hereditary diseases such as epilepsy or various coordination disorders may be caused by changes in nerve cells of the cerebellum, which do not set in until after birth. ... > full story

Sad dads spank more, read less, study finds (March 18, 2011) -- Depression in fathers can negatively affect a young child's health and development. Compared to their non-depressed counterparts, depressed fathers are nearly four times more likely to report spanking their child, according to a new study. Depressed dads are also less likely to read to their children, the study found. ... > full story

New blood analysis chip could lead to disease diagnosis in minutes (March 18, 2011) -- A major milestone in microfluidics could soon lead to stand-alone, self-powered chips that can diagnose diseases within minutes. The device is able to process whole blood samples without the use of external tubing or external components. ... > full story

Hospital infections: Unique antibody from llamas provide weapon against Clostridium difficile (March 18, 2011) -- Researchers say they are gaining a deeper understanding of virulent hospital infection and are closer to developing a novel treatment using antibodies from llamas. ... > full story

New study adds weight to diabetes drug link to heart problems (March 18, 2011) -- A new study adds to mounting evidence that rosiglitazone -- a drug used to treat Type 2 diabetes -- is associated with an increased risk of major heart problems. ... > full story

Scientists take a look at systems biology and cellular networking (March 18, 2011) -- Systems biology holds promise for advances in such important areas as pharmaceuticals, environmental remediation and sustainable energy, but, according to two leading authorities, its most profound impact is that it might one day provide an answer to the central question: What is life? ... > full story

Japanese tsunami underscores need for elder disaster preparedness (March 18, 2011) -- The oldest segment of Japan's population will likely be the hardest hit as a result of the recent earthquake and subsequent tsunami, based on data from previous catastrophic events. Approximately 23 percent of Japanese citizens currently are age 65 and above. ... > full story

New targeted drug helps smokers quit (March 18, 2011) -- Researchers have been developing a targeted drug that could aid in smoking reduction therapy. The new drug slows down the metabolism of nicotine, which would help smokers to cut down their smoking. ... > full story

Insight into parasite 'family planning' could help target malaria (March 18, 2011) -- Fresh insight into the way the parasite that causes malaria reproduces could lead to new treatments to help curb the spread of the disease. ... > full story

Self-administered light therapy may improve cognitive function after traumatic brain injury (March 18, 2011) -- At-home, daily application of light therapy via light-emitting diodes placed on the forehead and scalp led to improvements in cognitive function and post-traumatic stress disorder in patients with a traumatic brain injury, according to a new study. ... > full story

World first: Localized delivery of an anti-cancer drug by remote-controlled microcarriers (March 18, 2011) -- Soon, drug delivery that precisely targets cancerous cells without exposing the healthy surrounding tissue to the medication's toxic effects will no longer be an oncologist's dream but a medical reality, new research suggests. Using a magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) system, scientists have successfully guided microcarriers loaded with a dose of anti-cancer drug through the bloodstream of a living rabbit, right up to a targeted area in the liver, where the drug was successfully administered. ... > full story

Personlized dendritic cell vaccine increases survival in patients with deadly brain cancer (March 18, 2011) -- A dendritic cell vaccine personalized for each individual based on the patient's own tumor may increase median survival time in those with a deadly form of brain cancer called glioblastoma, an early phase study has found. ... > full story

Cranky? On a diet? How self-control leads to anger (March 18, 2011) -- People who make an effort to exert self-control are attracted to aggressive art and public policy appeals, according to a new study. They also don't appreciate messages that nag them to control their behavior. ... > full story

Depression drugs -- SSRIs -- may reorganize brain plasticity, new research suggests (March 18, 2011) -- Selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRI) such as Prozac are regularly used to treat severe anxiety and depression. However it can take weeks of treatment before a patient feels any effect and both beneficial effects and side effects can persist after treatment is stopped. New research investigates physiological changes within the brain that may be caused by SSRI treatment. ... > full story

Possible biomarker and therapeutic target for melanoma discovered (March 18, 2011) -- Researchers have identified a potential new biomarker and therapeutic target for melanoma. The novel cell screening method used in the study also clarifies the process behind tumor metastasis and may allow the identification of biomarkers for other aggressive cancers. ... > full story

A mutation causing wrinkled skin of Shar-Pei dogs is linked to periodic fever disorder (March 18, 2011) -- An international investigation has uncovered the genetics of the Shar-Pei dog's characteristic wrinkled skin. The researchers, led by scientists at Uppsala University and the Broad Institute, have connected this mutation to a periodic fever disorder and they propose that the findings could have important human health implications. Details appear on March 17 in the open-access journal PLoS Genetics. ... > full story

Resveratrol may be useful tool for reducing body fat (March 18, 2011) -- Scientists have studied the fat-reducing effect of CLA and resveratrol. Resveratrol reduces the accumulation of triglycerides, in part by activation of lipolysis, in both the adipocytes of mice and of humans, new research suggests. Resveratrol is found in red grape skins and red wine. ... > full story

Psychologists design 60-minute exercise that raises GPAs of minority students (March 18, 2011) -- What could you do for an hour in the first year of college that would improve minority students' grades over the next three years, reduce the racial achievement gap by half and, years later, make students happier and healthier? The answer, psychologists suggest, involves an exercise to help make students feel confident they belong in college. ... > full story

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