Jumat, 28 Januari 2011

ScienceDaily Health Headlines

for Friday, January 28, 2011

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How bacteria keep ahead of vaccines and antibiotics (January 28, 2011) -- A new study has used DNA sequencing to provide the first detailed genetic picture of an evolutionary war between Streptococcus pneumoniae bacteria and the vaccines and antibiotics used against it over recent decades. By looking at the genomes of 240 samples, the scientists could precisely describe the recent evolution and success of a drug-resistant lineage of the bacteria. They suggests that their technique could improve infection control measures against bacterial diseases in the future. ... > full story

Biomarkers of poor outcomes in preemies identified (January 28, 2011) -- Researchers have identified biomarkers of poor outcomes in preterm infants that may help identify new approaches to prevention. ... > full story

Membrane molecule keeps nerve impulses hopping (January 28, 2011) -- New research describes a key molecular mechanism in nerve fibers that ensures the rapid conductance of nervous system impulses. ... > full story

New test better predicts breast cancer outcomes (January 28, 2011) -- Researchers have discovered a gene signature that can accurately predict which breast cancer patients are at risk of relapse, thereby sparing those who are not from the burdens associated with unnecessary treatment. ... > full story

Weighing the costs of disaster (January 28, 2011) -- Disasters -- both natural and humanmade -- can strike anywhere and they often hit without warning, so they can be difficult to prepare for. But what happens afterward? How do people cope following disasters? Researchers now review the psychological effects of disasters and why some individuals have a harder time recovering than do others. ... > full story

Protein related to aging holds breast cancer clues (January 28, 2011) -- A new study shows how a deficiency in an aging-associated protein may set the stage for a common, age-associated type of breast cancer. ... > full story

Newborn screening increases survival outcome for patients with severe combined immunodeficiency (January 28, 2011) -- Severe combined immunodeficiency (SCID) occurs in just one out of every 50,000 to 100,000 births in the United States, yet it is the most serious primary immunodeficiency disorder. A new study demonstrates that babies with SCID who are diagnosed at birth and receive a hematopoietic stem cell transplant, which is the transplantation of blood-forming stem cells, have significantly improved survival. ... > full story

New computer tool for elderly and disabled (January 28, 2011) -- Disabled and elderly people could find it easier to navigate around town and city centers with a new hand-held computer being developed by a geographical information systems. ... > full story

Mother's happier when babies are six months old than when three years old, Norwegian study suggests (January 28, 2011) -- The baby and toddler phase is not necessarily the happiest time in life for new mothers. Satisfaction with life and one's relationship can deteriorate for most new mothers. However, those who are satisfied with their relationship during pregnancy are most satisfied three years later. General satisfaction with life increased in the first months after birth and peaked when the child reached 6 months old. ... > full story

Brain 'GPS' illuminated in migratory monarch butterflies (January 27, 2011) -- A new study takes a close look at the brain of the migratory monarch butterfly to better understand how these remarkable insects use an internal compass and skylight cues to navigate from eastern North America to Mexico each fall. The research provides key insights into how ambiguous sensory signals can be integrated in the brain to guide complex navigation. ... > full story

Discovery could lead to new therapies for asthma, COPD (January 27, 2011) -- Researchers have proved that a single "master switch" enzyme, known as aldose reductase, is key in producing excess mucous that clogs the airways of people with asthma and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease. ... > full story

Origins of the pandemic: Lessons of H1N1 (January 27, 2011) -- As H1N1 "swine flu" returns to the national headlines, a new research paper reveals the key lessons about the origins of the 2009 pandemic. The article reveals how the pandemic challenges the traditional understanding of "antigenic shift", given that the virus emerged from an existing influenza subtype. ... > full story

Women in Congress outperform men on some measures, study finds (January 27, 2011) -- Congresswomen consistently outperform their male counterparts on several measures of job performance, according to a new study. The study authors argue that because women face difficult odds in reaching Congress -- women account for fewer than one in six representatives -- the ones who succeed are more capable on average than their male colleagues. ... > full story

Bacteria possible cause of preterm births (January 27, 2011) -- The type of bacteria that colonize the placenta during pregnancy could be associated with preterm birth and other developmental problems in newborns according to new research. ... > full story

NSAID receptor responsible for olive oil's 'cough' and more (January 27, 2011) -- Scientists report that two structurally unrelated anti-inflammatory compounds both activate the TRPA1 receptor. One, oleocanthal, is found in extra virgin olive oil while ibuprofen is an over-the-counter non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drug. The researchers also localized the TRPA1 receptor to the back of the throat, which is where the distinctive irritating sting from olive oil is felt. The findings may provide novel insights into anti-inflammatory pharmacology. ... > full story

Early antibiotic use can lead to increased risk of childhood asthma, study suggests (January 27, 2011) -- When babies are given antibiotics, their risk of developing asthma by age 6 may increase by 50 percent. ... > full story

Secondhand smoke laws may reduce childhood ear infections, study suggests (January 27, 2011) -- Researchers have found that a reduction in secondhand smoking in American homes was associated with fewer cases of otitis media, the scientific name for middle ear infection. ... > full story

Potential 'cure' for type 1 diabetes? (January 27, 2011) -- Type 1 diabetes could be converted to an asymptomatic, non-insulin-dependent disorder by eliminating the actions of a specific hormone, new findings suggest. ... > full story

HIV causes rapid aging in key infection-fighting cells, study suggests (January 27, 2011) -- A new study suggests that HIV pushes a specific subset of the CD4+ "helper" T-cell toward more rapid aging by as much as 20 to 30 years over a three-year period. These findings could partially explain why older HIV-positive people progress to AIDS more rapidly than younger ones. They could also explain why younger HIV-positive people develop illnesses more common to older people. ... > full story

New lab-on-chip advance uses low-cost, disposable paper strips (January 27, 2011) -- Researchers have invented a technique that uses inexpensive paper to make "microfluidic" devices for rapid medical diagnostics and chemical analysis. The innovation represents a way to enhance commercially available diagnostic devices that use paper-strip assays. ... > full story

Getting more anti-cancer medicine into the blood (January 27, 2011) -- Scientists are reporting successful application of the technology used in home devices to clean jewelry, dentures, and other items to make anticancer drugs like tamoxifen and paclitaxel dissolve more easily in body fluids, so they can better fight the disease. The process can make other poorly soluble materials more soluble, and has potential for improving the performance of dyes, paints, rust-proofing agents and other products. ... > full story

Eight percent of fans legally drunk after attending professional sports games, study finds (January 27, 2011) -- A new study finds that blood alcohol content (BAC) levels can be measured using a breath tester on fans as they exit football and baseball events. And the results show that 60 percent of the fans had zero BAC, 40 percent had a positive BAC, and nearly 8 percent were legally drunk. ... > full story

Ancient body clock discovered that helps keep all living things on time (January 27, 2011) -- The mechanism that controls the internal 24-hour clock of all forms of life from human cells to algae has been identified by scientists. ... > full story

Household bugs: A risk to human health? (January 27, 2011) -- Superbugs are not just a problem in hospitals but could be also coming from our animal farms. New research indicates insects could be responsible for spreading antibiotic resistant bacteria from pigs to humans. ... > full story

Key enzyme that affects radiation response identified (January 27, 2011) -- Cancer researchers have discovered that targeting an enzyme called uroporphyrinogen decarboxylase can sensitize diseased tissue to radiation and chemotherapy, which could mean fewer side effects for individuals with head and neck cancer. ... > full story

Gender and hygiene: Could cleanliness be hurting girls? (January 27, 2011) -- Little girls growing up in western society are expected to be neat and tidy -- "all ribbon and curls" -- and one researcher who studies science and gender differences thinks that emphasis may contribute to higher rates of certain diseases in adult women. ... > full story

Natural growth factor enhances memory, prevents forgetting in rats (January 27, 2011) -- A naturally occurring growth factor significantly boosted retention and prevented forgetting of a fear memory when injected into rats' memory circuitry during time-limited windows when memories become fragile and changeable. In a new study, animals treated with insulin-like growth factor excelled at remembering to avoid a location where they had previously experienced a mild shock. The researchers say IGF-II could become a potential drug target for enhancing memory. ... > full story

Traffic noise increases the risk of having a stroke, study suggests (January 27, 2011) -- Exposure to noise from road traffic can increase the risk of stroke, particularly in those aged 65 years and over, according to a new study. The study found that for every 10 decibels more noise the risk of having a stroke increased by 14 percent among the 51,485 study participants. ... > full story

Nervous system as a 3-D map: First complete map of special connections of nerve cells in zebrafish (January 27, 2011) -- Researchers have succeeded in creating the first complete map of all axons which use dopamine as a messenger in a vertebrate, namely in the model organism zebrafish. ... > full story

3-D MRI helps kids with ACL tears: Surgery without harming the growth plate (January 27, 2011) -- New technology has made it possible for surgeons to reconstruct anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) tears in young athletes without disturbing the growth plate. ... > full story

'Difficult' patients more likely to experience worse symptoms (January 27, 2011) -- 'Difficult' patient-clinician encounters have a negative impact on patients' health outcomes in the short-term, according to a new study. Nearly 18 percent of patients are perceived as difficult by their physicians and are less likely to trust or be satisfied with their doctor. Importantly, these patients are also more likely to report worse symptoms two weeks after the consultation. ... > full story

Mediator of blood pressure regulation in the liver identified; Pressor reflex triggered simply by drinking water (January 27, 2011) -- For 60 years, scientists have puzzled over the possibility of a hepatic osmoreceptor that influences blood pressure regulation. Now, researchers in Germany have discovered a new group of sensory neurons in the mouse liver which mediates the regulation of blood pressure and metabolism. This peripheral control center outside of the brain is triggered simply by drinking water and leads to an elevation of blood pressure in sick and elderly people. ... > full story

DMP1 protein inhibits angiogenesis, could lead to new treatments against cancer and other diseases (January 27, 2011) -- Researchers in Belgium have demonstrated that the DMP1 protein has previously unsuspected anti-angiogenic activities which could be used for the development of new treatments against cancer, but also against diseases in which angiogenesis (the formation of new blood vessels) plays a major role, such as psoriasis, rheumatoid arthritis or diabetic retinopathy. ... > full story

Highly interactive training helps workers in dangerous jobs avoid deadly mistakes (January 27, 2011) -- Hands-on safety training for workers in highly hazardous jobs is most effective at improving safe work behavior, according to psychologists who analyzed close to 40 years of research. However, less engaging training can be just as effective in preparing workers to avoid accidents when jobs are less dangerous. ... > full story

How pathogenic bacteria hide inside host cells (January 27, 2011) -- A new study into Staphylococcus aureus, the bacterium which is responsible for severe chronic infections worldwide, reveals how the bacteria have developed a strategy of hiding within host cells to escape the immune system as well as many antibacterial treatments. The research demonstrates how 'phenotype switching' enables bacteria to adapt to their environmental conditions, lie dormant inside host cells and become a reservoir for relapsing infections. ... > full story

Molecular network influences development of chronic lymphocytic leukemia (January 27, 2011) -- The three most common chromosome changes seen in chronic lymphocytic leukemia (CLL) disrupt a molecular network that includes several important genes and strongly influence the outcome of the disease. The study provides important new information about how CLL develops and could improve CLL diagnose, and it identifies new molecular targets for the development of new treatments. ... > full story

Pay-for-performance does not improve patient health, finds UK hypertension study (January 27, 2011) -- A large UK-based study involving nearly 500,000 patients and spanning seven years found that in cases of hypertension, patient health did not improve under a pay-for-performance program. ... > full story

Organic food in pregnancy (January 27, 2011) -- Who eats organic food when they are pregnant? Is it just certain groups? What kind of organic foods are most popular? A recent study provides some answers. ... > full story

Non-alcoholic energy drinks may pose 'high' health risks, experts argue (January 26, 2011) -- Highly-caffeinated energy drinks -- even those without alcohol -- may pose a significant threat to individuals and public health, say researchers. In a new commentary, they recommend health providers educate patients, voluntary disclosures by manufacturers and new federal labeling requirements. ... > full story

Neuroscientists learn how channels fine-tune neuronal excitability (January 26, 2011) -- Scientists have discovered a new mechanism that nerve cells (neurons) use to fine-tune their electrical output. The discovery provides new insights about how the activity of the nervous system is regulated at the cellular level ... > full story

Eyewitnesses are not as reliable as one might believe (January 26, 2011) -- Eyewitnesses play a key role in police investigations. But how likely is it that they remember correctly? Today the police place far too much emphasis on eyewitness accounts, according to experts. ... > full story

New way to prevent infections in dialysis patients (January 26, 2011) -- Researchers have discovered that a drug used to treat dialysis catheter malfunction in kidney dialysis patients may now also help prevent both malfunction as well as infections. ... > full story

Food-borne bacteria causes potentially fatal heart infection (January 26, 2011) -- Researchers have found that particular strains of a food-borne bacteria are able to invade the heart, leading to serious and difficult to treat heart infections. ... > full story

Shockable cardiac arrests are more common in public than home, study finds (January 26, 2011) -- Cardiac arrests that can be treated by electric stimulation, also known as shockable arrests, were found at a higher frequency in public settings than in the home, according to a new study. ... > full story

Eating poorly can make you blue: Trans-fats increase risk of depression, while olive oil helps avoid risk (January 26, 2011) -- Researchers have shown that trans-fats increase the risk of depression, and that olive oil helps avoid this risk. ... > full story

New anti-HIV gene therapy makes T-cells resistant to HIV infection (January 26, 2011) -- An innovative genetic strategy for rendering T-cells resistant to HIV infection without affecting their normal growth and activity is described in a new research paper. ... > full story

Discovery of a biochemical basis for broccoli's cancer-fighting ability (January 26, 2011) -- Scientists are reporting discovery of a potential biochemical basis for the apparent cancer-fighting ability of broccoli and its veggie cousins. They found for the first time that certain substances in the vegetables appear to target and block a defective gene associated with cancer. ... > full story

Infiltrating cancer's recruitment center: How beneficial cells are subverted to support cancer growth (January 26, 2011) -- Scientists have shown for the first time that the fibroblasts can be "recruited" to support inflammation and stimulate tumor growth. The researchers hope their work will lead to better cancer drugs, and to a deeper understanding of the long-suspected link between inflammation and cancer. ... > full story

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