Rabu, 26 Januari 2011

ScienceDaily Health Headlines

for Wednesday, January 26, 2011

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New TB vaccine provides stronger, longer-lasting protection (January 26, 2011) -- Researchers have found that a new vaccine strategy tested in mice provides stronger, more long-lasting protection from tuberculosis infection than the vaccine currently used in humans, known as BCG. ... > full story

Chemists document workings of key staph enzyme -- and how to block it (January 26, 2011) -- Researchers have determined the structure and mechanism of dehydrosqualene synthase (CrtM), an enzyme that performs the crucial first step in the formation of cholesterol and a key virulence factor in staph bacteria. The researchers already knew what CrtM looked like and its end product, but they didn't know how the enzyme did its job. Uncovering the mechanism of action will enable scientists to design better inhibitors, and even tailor them to other targets. ... > full story

Genetic diversity found in leukemic propagating cells (January 26, 2011) -- Cancer scientists have found that defective genes and the individual leukemia cells that carry them are organized in a more complex way than previously thought. ... > full story

Parental divorce linked to suicidal thoughts (January 26, 2011) -- Adult children of divorce are more likely to have seriously considered suicide than their peers from intact families, new research suggests. ... > full story

Biologists' favorite worm gets viruses: Finding means C. elegans may aid studies of human infections (January 26, 2011) -- A workhorse of modern biology is sick, and scientists couldn't be happier. Researchers have found that the nematode C. elegans, a millimeter-long worm used extensively for decades to study many aspects of biology, gets naturally occurring viral infections. The discovery means C. elegans is likely to help scientists study the way viruses and their hosts interact. ... > full story

Unfolding pathogenesis in Parkinson’s: Breakthrough suggests damaged proteins travel between cells (January 26, 2011) -- The misfolding of abnormal proteins in brain cells is a key element in Parkinson's disease development. A recent study suggests that the sick proteins slowly move between cells, eventually triggering the destruction of the new host cell. The discovery could potentially lead to new therapeutic strategies for neurodegenerative diseases aimed at blocking the spread of protein misfolding throughout the brain. ... > full story

HIV-positive head and neck cancer patients benefit from radiation therapy, study finds (January 26, 2011) -- HIV-positive head and neck cancer patients respond well to radiation therapy treatments and experience similar toxicity rates as non-HIV-positive patients, despite prior reports to the contrary, according to new study. ... > full story

Migraines and headaches present no risk to cognitive function, study finds (January 26, 2011) -- Significant and repetitive headaches are associated with a greater prevalence of small lesions in the brain, which are detectable by MRI imaging. However, they do not increase the risk of cognitive decline. This reassuring conclusion, reached by researchers in France, is based on a survey of a cohort of 780 individuals, over 65 years old. ... > full story

Human-made DNA sequences made easy: New method for rapidly producing protein-polymers (January 25, 2011) -- Bioengineers have developed a new method for rapidly producing an almost unlimited variety of human-made DNA sequences. ... > full story

Exercise improve symptoms in irritable bowel syndrome (January 25, 2011) -- Physical activity improves symptoms in patients with IBS and is protective against symptom deterioration, according to new research. ... > full story

Safety concerns about experimental cancer approach: Widespread vascular tumors, massive hemorrhage and death reported in mice (January 25, 2011) -- A new study has raised safety concerns about an investigational approach to treating cancer. The strategy takes aim at a key signaling pathway, called Notch, involved in the formation of new blood vessels that feed tumor growth. When researchers targeted the Notch1 signaling pathway in mice, the animals developed vascular tumors, primarily in the liver, which led to massive hemorrhages that caused their death. ... > full story

Cholera vaccination beneficial, post-outbreak (January 25, 2011) -- Researchers newly report evidence that vaccination against cholera can be beneficial even after an outbreak has begun. ... > full story

The language of young love: The ways couples talk can predict relationship success (January 25, 2011) -- We know that people tend to be attracted to, date, and marry other people who resemble themselves in terms of personality, values, and physical appearance. However, these features only skim the surface of what makes a relationship work. The ways that people talk are also important. A new study finds that people who speak in similar styles are more compatible. ... > full story

'Breast on a chip': Researchers create 'engineered organ' model for breast cancer research (January 25, 2011) -- Researchers have reproduced portions of the female breast in a tiny slide-sized model dubbed "breast on-a-chip" that will be used to test nanomedical approaches for the detection and treatment of breast cancer. The model mimics the branching mammary duct system, where most breast cancers begin, and will serve as an "engineered organ" to study the use of nanoparticles to detect and target tumor cells within the ducts. ... > full story

Caffeine energizes cells, boosting virus production for gene therapy applications (January 25, 2011) -- Give caffeine to cells engineered to produce viruses used for gene therapy and the cells can generate three- to eight-times more virus, according to a new paper. ... > full story

Dynamic systems in living cells break the rules (January 25, 2011) -- There is considerable interest in understanding transport and information pathways in living cells. It is crucial for both the transport of, for example, medicine into cells, the regulation of cell life processes and their signaling with their environment. New research shows surprisingly that the transport mechanisms do not follow the expected pattern. ... > full story

People aren't born afraid of spiders and snakes: Fear is quickly learned during infancy (January 25, 2011) -- There's a reason why Hollywood makes movies like Arachnophobia and Snakes on a Plane: Most people are afraid of spiders and snakes. A new article reviews research with infants and toddlers and finds that we aren't born afraid of spiders and snakes, but we can learn these fears very quickly. ... > full story

Vaccines for plague and bacterial pneumonias? (January 25, 2011) -- There is no licensed plague vaccine in the United States. Researchers are now working to develop a vaccine that will protect members of the armed services and public from a "plague bomb." ... > full story

New dishware sanitizers prove more effective at killing harmful bacteria (January 25, 2011) -- Researchers recently tested the merits of two new dishware sanitizers, and found them more effective at removing bacteria from restaurant dishes than traditional sanitizers. The two new sanitizers reflect the industry's recent efforts to develop more effective germ killers that are also environmentally friendly. ... > full story

Mathematicians use cell 'profiling' to detect abnormalities -- including cancer (January 25, 2011) -- Mathematicians are finding ways to tell the difference between healthy cells and abnormal cells, such as cancer cells, based on the way the cells look and move. They are creating mathematical equations that describe the shape and motion of single cells for laboratory analysis. ... > full story

Bartenders may have role in assisting troubled war veterans (January 25, 2011) -- For troubled war veterans, a friendly bartender can be the source of more than just drinks and a sympathetic ear. A pilot study suggests that some bartenders may be in a good position to identify veterans in need of mental health services and help connect them to the appropriate agency. ... > full story

Rising indoor winter temperatures linked to obesity? (January 25, 2011) -- Increases in winter indoor temperatures in the United Kingdom, United States and other developed countries may be contributing to rises in obesity in those populations, according to new research. ... > full story

Ultrasound and a blood test can increase survival after myocardial infarction (January 25, 2011) -- Two relatively simple methods, an ultrasound investigation and a blood test to measure the level of a substance known as BNP, can predict survival and future heart failure following acute coronary syndromes. ... > full story

Workers most invested in their jobs have highest stress levels (January 25, 2011) -- A workplace's key employees may be at the greatest risk of experiencing high levels of work stress, according to a new study. ... > full story

Research into synthetic antibodies offers hope for new diagnostics (January 25, 2011) -- Researchers have demonstrated a simple means of improving the binding affinity of synthetic antibodies, composed of random peptides. They also used random peptide sequences spotted onto glass microarray slides to mine information concerning the active regions or epitopes of naturally occurring antibodies. ... > full story

Biomarker test shows promise for melanoma diagnosis (January 25, 2011) -- A new study shows that a test of biomarkers for DNA methylation is technically feasible and could aid in earlier, more precise diagnosis of melanoma. Researchers tested whether DNA methylation profiling could be accomplished on melanoma and mole tissues that had been preserved in fixatives for typical pathology examination after biopsy. ... > full story

Accelerated evolution used to develop enzymes that provide protection against nerve gas (January 25, 2011) -- Protection against nerve gas attack is a significant component of the defense system of many countries around the world. Nerve gases are used by armies and terrorist organizations, and constitute a threat to both the military and civilian populations, but existing drug solutions against them have limited efficiency. Scientists have now succeeded in developing an enzyme that breaks down nerve agents efficiently before damage to nerves and muscles is caused. ... > full story

Chopin's hallucinations were probably caused by epilepsy, study suggests (January 25, 2011) -- The composer Frederic Chopin, who regularly hallucinated, probably had temporal lobe epilepsy throughout his short life, a new study suggests. Hallucinations typically feature in seizure disorders, researchers say. ... > full story

Cell death pathway linked to mitochondrial fusion (January 25, 2011) -- New research provides insight into why some body organs are more susceptible to cell death than others and could eventually lead to advances in treating or preventing heart attack or stroke. ... > full story

Uncovering the trail behind growing too old, too soon (January 25, 2011) -- Scientists have produced the world's first human cell model of progeria, a disease resulting in severe premature aging in one in four to eight million children worldwide. This model has allowed them to make new discoveries concerning the mechanism by which progeria works. ... > full story

New microscopy method opens window on previously unseen cell features (January 25, 2011) -- Researchers have pioneered a new technique capable of peering into single cells and even intracellular processes with unprecedented clarity. ... > full story

Childhood self-control predicts adult health and wealth (January 25, 2011) -- A long-term study has found that children who scored lower on measures of self-control as young as age 3 were more likely to have health problems, substance dependence, financial troubles and a criminal record by the time they reached age 32. ... > full story

Smoking may be associated with increased risk of breast cancer (January 25, 2011) -- Smoking before menopause, especially prior to giving birth, may be associated with a modest increase in the risk of developing breast cancer, according to a new study. ... > full story

Weight loss plus walking essential for older, obese adults (January 25, 2011) -- Walking more and losing weight can improve mobility as much as 20 percent in older, obese adults with poor cardiovascular health, according to a new study. ... > full story

Out of mind in a matter of seconds: Surprising rate at which neuronal networks in cerebral cortex delete sensory information (January 25, 2011) -- The dynamics behind signal transmission in the brain are extremely chaotic, scientists in Germany have found. In addition, the researchers calculated, for the first time, how quickly information stored in the activity patterns of the cerebral cortex neurons is discarded. At one bit per active neuron per second, the speed at which this information is forgotten is surprisingly high. ... > full story

Lowering blood pressure in middle-aged women reduces heart disease risk (January 25, 2011) -- Middle-aged women worldwide lowering their blood pressure could prevent a substantial amount of cardiovascular disease, according to new research. High systolic blood pressure is the most powerful predictor of heart disease in these women, followed by high cholesterol and smoking. Diagnosing and treating high blood pressure in midlife could improve their health and quality of life. ... > full story

Medication dosing errors for infants and children (January 25, 2011) -- Preparing small doses of medication from syringes may be inaccurate and can result in crucial dosing errors for infants and children, according to a new study. ... > full story

Egg donation: The way to happy motherhood, with risks and side effects (January 25, 2011) -- Women who have become pregnant after egg donation should be categorized as high-risk patients. Why that is the case, and which consequences egg donation may have for women is the subject of a new review article. ... > full story

Deep brain stimulation may help hard-to-control high blood pressure (January 24, 2011) -- Researchers were surprised to discover what may be a potential new treatment for difficult-to-control high blood pressure, according to a newly reported case. ... > full story

Cost to treat heart disease in United States will triple by 2030 (January 24, 2011) -- The cost of treating heart disease in the United States will triple by 2030, according to new projections. The 5 billion increase is due in part to an aging population. The skyrocketing financial burden makes it urgent to implement effective strategies to prevent heart disease and stroke. ... > full story

Unrealistic optimism appears common in early cancer trials and may compromise informed consent (January 24, 2011) -- Can optimism be ethically problematic? Yes, according to a new study, which found unrealistic optimism prevalent among participants in early-phase cancer trials and suggested that it may compromise informed consent. ... > full story

Humans' critical ability to throw long distances aided by an illusion, study finds (January 24, 2011) -- New research shows how humans, unlike any other species on Earth, readily learn to throw long distances. This research also suggests that this unique evolutionary trait is entangled with language development in a way critical to our very existence. Findings suggest the size-weight illusion is more than just curious or interesting, but a necessary precursor to humans' ability to learn to throw -- and to throw far. ... > full story

Gene mutated in one in three patients with common form of renal cancer (January 24, 2011) -- Scientists have identified a gene that is mutated in one in three patients with the most common form of renal cancer. The gene -- called PBRM1 -- was found to be mutated in 88 cases out of 257 clear cell renal cell carcinomas (ccRCC) analysed, making it the most prevalent to be identified in renal cancer in 20 years. ... > full story

Breakthrough in understanding hereditary emphysema (January 24, 2011) -- Researchers in Ireland have made a breakthrough in understanding the mechanisms behind the most severe form of hereditary emphysema and how protein treatments can improve the condition. The findings of this study may also lead to new treatments for patients with smoker’s emphysema. ... > full story

How does anesthesia disturb self-perception? (January 24, 2011) -- Scientists were interested in studying the illusions described by many patients under regional anesthetic. In their work, the researchers demonstrated that anesthetizing an arm affects brain activity and rapidly impairs body perception. ... > full story

Blocking rogue gene could stop spread of cancer, new research suggests (January 24, 2011) -- Scientists in the UK have discovered a rogue gene involved in the spread of cancer in the body. By blocking the gene, they believe, cancer could be stopped in its tracks. ... > full story

Anti-estrogen medication reduces risk of dying from lung cancer, study finds (January 24, 2011) -- A new study has found that tamoxifen, an anti-estrogen breast cancer medication, may reduce an individual's risk of death from lung cancer. The study supports the hypothesis that there is a hormonal influence on lung cancer and that estrogen levels play a role in lung cancer patients' prognosis. ... > full story

Study predicts risk of memory loss in healthy, older adults (January 24, 2011) -- The combined results of a genetic blood test and a five-minute functional MRI done by researchers successfully classified more than three-quarters of healthy older adults, many of whom were destined to develop cognitive decline within 18 months of testing. ... > full story

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