Senin, 31 Januari 2011

ScienceDaily Health Headlines

for Monday, January 31, 2011

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Scientists unlock the 'gates' on sudden cardiac death (January 30, 2011) -- Australian researchers have come one step closer to understanding how the rhythm of the heartbeat is controlled and why many common drugs, including some antibiotics, antihistamines and anti-psychotics, can cause a potentially fatal abnormal heart rhythm. ... > full story

Powerful 3-D X-rays for kids in braces should be the exception, not the rule (January 30, 2011) -- Some orthodontists may be exposing young patients to unnecessary radiation when they order 3-D X-ray imaging for simple orthodontic cases before considering traditional 2-D imaging, suggests a new article. ... > full story

New era of advances in brain research: As recording technology rapidly improves, neurons give up their secrets cell by cell (January 30, 2011) -- Thanks to improvements in technology and data analysis, our understanding of the functional principles that guide the development and operation of the brain could improve drastically in the next few years, scientists report. The advances could herald a neuroscientific revolution, much as increasing processor speeds paved the way for the computing revolution of the last half century. ... > full story

Powerful new painkiller with no apparent side effects or addictive qualities, may be ready in a year (January 30, 2011) -- A powerful new painkiller with no apparent side effects or addictive qualities, may now be only a year or two from the consumer market. ... > full story

Regenerative medicine advance: New 'cocktails' support long-term maintenance of human embryonic stem cells (January 30, 2011) -- A team of stem cell biologists and engineers, using a feedback system control scheme, has innovatively and efficiently identified an optimal combination and concentration of small molecule inhibitors from a very large pool of possibilities to support the long-term maintenance of human embryonic stem cells. This is a major advancement towards the quest to broadly transition regenerative medicine from the bench top to the clinic. ... > full story

Celiac disease and Crohn's disease share part of their genetic background (January 30, 2011) -- An investigation has found that celiac disease and Crohn's disease, both inflammatory diseases of the gastrointestinal tract, share at least four genetic risk loci. Researchers performed a combined meta-analysis of genome-wide data for celiac disease and Crohn's disease. This meta-analysis has identified two new shared risk loci and two shared risk loci that had previously been independently identified for each disease. ... > full story

Retired NFL players misuse painkillers more than general population, study finds (January 30, 2011) -- Retired NFL players use painkillers at four times the rate of the general population, according to a new study. The researchers say the brutal collisions and bone-jarring injuries associated with football often cause long-term pain, which contributes to continued use and abuse of pain-killing medications. ... > full story

Learn more quickly by transcranial magnetic brain stimulation, study in rats suggests (January 29, 2011) -- What sounds like science fiction is actually possible: thanks to magnetic stimulation, the activity of certain brain nerve cells can be deliberately influenced. What happens in the brain in this context has been unclear up to now. Medical experts have now shown that various stimulus patterns changed the activity of distinct neuronal cell types. In addition, certain stimulus patterns led to rats learning more easily. ... > full story

Mini-strokes leave 'hidden' brain damage (January 29, 2011) -- A transient ischemic attack is sometimes known as a mini-stroke. New research shows these attacks may not be transient at all. They in fact create lasting damage to the brain. ... > full story

Growth spurt? 'Catch-up' growth signals revealed (January 29, 2011) -- Researchers have uncovered molecular signals that regulate catch-up growth -- the growth spurt that occurs when normal conditions are restored after a fetus, young animal or child has been ill, under stress or deprived of enough food or oxygen to grow properly. ... > full story

Presence of peers heightens teens' sensitivity to rewards of a risk (January 29, 2011) -- Teenagers take more risks when they are with their friends. A new study sheds light on why. The findings demonstrate that when teens are with their friends they are more sensitive to the rewards of a risk than when alone. ... > full story

DNA caught rock 'n rollin': On rare occasions DNA dances itself into a different shape (January 29, 2011) -- DNA, that marvelous, twisty molecule of life, has an alter ego, research reveals. On rare occasions, its building blocks "rock and roll," deforming the familiar double helix into a different shape. ... > full story

Premature infants' lungs may improve with better nutrition (January 29, 2011) -- Improving lung function in premature babies with a severe lung disease may be linked to their feeding regimen, according to a new study. ... > full story

Voice-saver: Light therapy for early-stage laryngeal cancer (January 29, 2011) -- A new study finds light, or photodynamic therapy, can help preserve the voice in patients with early stage laryngeal cancer. Photodynamic therapy works by destroying deadly cancer cells without harming surrounding healthy tissue by using a powerful laser and a nontoxic, light-activated drug. It also has fewer side-effects than radiation and surgery. ... > full story

Helping others helps alcoholics stay on the road to recovery (January 29, 2011) -- Participating in community service activities and helping others is not just good for the soul; it has a healing effect that helps alcoholics and other addicts become and stay sober, new research shows. ... > full story

Infants ascribe social dominance to larger individuals (January 28, 2011) -- Psychologists have found that infants less than one year old understand social dominance and use relative size to predict who will prevail when two individuals' goals conflict. The lead author says the work suggests we may be born with -- or develop at a very early age -- some understanding of social dominance and how it relates to relative size, a correlation ubiquitous across human cultures and the animal kingdom. ... > full story

Novel surgery removes rare tumor, rebuilds trachea (January 28, 2011) -- Using a novel surgical approach, it's possible to rebuild the trachea and preserve a patient's voice after removing an invasive throat tumor, according to a new article. This case study is the first of its kind to not only document a successful technique to create a fully functional trachea, or windpipe, but also report a rare type of malignant tumor in an adult's trachea. ... > full story

Smoking widespread among youth with diabetes, raising heart disease risk (January 28, 2011) -- A study found cigarette smoking is widespread among children and young adults with diabetes yet few health care providers are counseling children and young adults with diabetes to not smoke or stop smoking. Children and young adults with diabetes are already at high risk for heart disease before they take up smoking but few studies have examined the association between cigarette smoking and heart disease risk factors in youth with diabetes. ... > full story

The Oscar curse? Oscar win for best actress increases the risk of divorce, study suggests (January 28, 2011) -- Will Academy Award nominees Nicole Kidman and Annette Bening be at higher risk for a divorce if they win the Oscar for best actress next month? A new study finds that Oscar winners in the Best Actress category are at a higher risk of divorce than nominees who do not win. By contrast, Best Actor winners do not experience an increase in the risk of divorce after an Oscar. ... > full story

Exposure to worm infection in the womb may protect against eczema, study suggests (January 28, 2011) -- Exposure to worm infections in the womb may protect a newborn infant from developing eczema, a new study suggests. A large trial in Uganda showed that treating a pregnant woman for worm infections increased her child's chances of developing the allergic skin disease. This research supports the so-called 'hygiene hypothesis', which proposes that exposure to infections in early childhood can modify the immune system and protect the child from allergies later in life. ... > full story

Understanding the human neurosystem by researching locust brains (January 28, 2011) -- Scientists have successfully cultured brain cells taken from the desert locust to delve deeper into the workings of the mammalian neurosystem. Easier to work with than human neurons, the use of these insect neurons allow the team to observe the neurons form a network, providing enormous benefits to researchers. The cells are basic enough to be applicable to any system, including the human neurosystem, researchers say. ... > full story

New therapies and gene target advance the treatment and understanding of hard-to-treat leukemias (January 28, 2011) -- Over the past decade, significant advances have been made in the treatment of leukemia through the ongoing development of gene-based targeted therapies. New research provides greater understanding of the optimal use of several BCR-ABL inhibitors for the treatment of acute lymphoblastic leukemia and chronic myeloid leukemia, and how a new gene target functions for several myeloid malignancies. ... > full story

Perception of time spent with fathers can lead to bullying (January 28, 2011) -- Do your children think you work too much and don't spend enough time with them? If so, their perception could lead to bullying behavior, according to new research. ... > full story

Cancer drug aids regeneration of spinal cord after injuries (January 28, 2011) -- After a spinal cord injury a number of factors impede the regeneration of nerve cells. Two of the most important of these factors are the destabilization of the cytoskeleton and the development of scar tissue. While the former prevents regrowth of cells, the latter creates a barrier for severed nerve cells. Scientists have now shown that the cancer drug Taxol reduces both regeneration obstacles. ... > full story

Age of onset of puberty predicts adult osteoporosis risk: Later puberty results in lower bone mass (January 28, 2011) -- Researchers have determined that the onset of puberty was the primary influence on adult bone mineral density, or bone strength. ... > full story

On the hunt for universal intelligence (January 28, 2011) -- How do you use a scientific method to measure the intelligence of a human being, an animal, a machine or an extra-terrestrial? So far this has not been possible, but researchers have taken a first step towards this by presenting the foundations to be used as a basis for this method, and have also put forward a new intelligence test. ... > full story

Cold cases gone hot: Researchers solve decades-old medical mysteries using genetics (January 28, 2011) -- The mystery began in 1976. A patient was diagnosed with a rare form of cancer associated with the occurrence of multiple tumors in his stomach and colon. His medical team was stumped and was unable to answer the most important questions for him and his family: the cause of his disease and the risk for future generations. Now, 35 years later, the answers are at hand thanks to a new genetic study. ... > full story

Unlocking the secrets of DNA (January 28, 2011) -- Neutron scattering has provided the first experimental data showing how DNA structure changes as it 'melts'. This knowledge is a step towards technological applications of DNA, such as computer components. ... > full story

How fusion protein triggers cancer (January 28, 2011) -- What happens when two proteins join together? In this case, they become like a power couple, where the whole is greater than the sum of the parts. The fusion protein API2-MALT1 joins with the enzyme NIK and cuts it in two, making NIK a renegade protein that fuels lymphoma. ... > full story

Yearly mammograms from age 40 save 71 percent more lives, study shows (January 28, 2011) -- A new study questions the controversial US Preventative Service Task Force recommendations for breast cancer screening, with data that shows starting at a younger age and screening more frequently will result in more lives saved. ... > full story

High school biology teachers in U.S. reluctant to endorse evolution in class, study finds (January 28, 2011) -- The majority of public high school biology teachers in the U.S. are not strong classroom advocates of evolutionary biology, despite 40 years of court cases that have ruled teaching creationism or intelligent design violates the Constitution, according to political scientists. A mandatory undergraduate course in evolutionary biology for prospective teachers, and frequent refresher courses for current teachers, may be part of the solution, they say. ... > full story

Stem cells show promise in repairing a child's heart (January 28, 2011) -- A study shows promise that heart damage in children could be repaired by using stem cells from patient's own heart. ... > full story

Scientists link protein to the insulation of the nervous system's wiring (January 28, 2011) -- Researchers have pinpointed a crucial function for a key player in the development of the nervous system. They found that this player -- a protein called Erk -- is necessary for nerve fibers to be wrapped with an insulating substance called myelin, which allows messages to be sent from the brain to the peripheral limbs and back again. ... > full story

New training instrument allows surgeon to feel grasp force in keyhole surgery (January 28, 2011) -- The number of complications following keyhole surgery can be reduced by giving the surgeons a better feeling of how hard they are grasping the tissue with their operating instruments. This is made possible by designing the instrument in such a way that it sends tangible feedback signals to the handle held by the surgeon. ... > full story

Marriage is good for physical and mental health, study finds (January 28, 2011) -- The "smug marrieds" may have good reason to feel pleased with themselves, as experts now confirm that long-term committed relationships are good for mental and physical health and this benefit increases over time. ... > full story

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

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