Rabu, 23 Maret 2011

ScienceDaily Health Headlines

for Wednesday, March 23, 2011

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Scientists grow personalized collections of intestinal microbes (March 23, 2011) -- Scientists have shown they can grow and manipulate personalized collections of human intestinal microbes in the laboratory and pluck out particular microbes of interest. The research sets the stage for identifying new probiotics and evaluating in preclinical trials whether microbe transplants can restore the natural balance of intestinal bacteria in "sick" microbial communities. ... > full story

Pre-eclampsia: Genetic errors linked to life-threatening pregnancy disorder (March 23, 2011) -- Scientists have identified genetic errors in women with autoimmune diseases that increase the risk of pre-eclampsia, a potentially life-threatening condition that occurs in 10 percent of all pregnancies. ... > full story

Scientists crack molecular code regulating neuronal excitability (March 23, 2011) -- A key question in protein biochemistry is how proteins recognize "correct" interaction partners in a sea of cellular factors. Nowhere is that more critical to know than in the brain, where interactions governing channel protein activity can alter an organism's behavior. A team of biologists has recently deciphered a molecular code that regulates availability of a brain channel that modulates neuronal excitability, a discovery that might aid efforts to treat drug addiction and mental disorders. ... > full story

Periocular treatment improves eye comfort and quality of life for patients with facial paralysis (March 23, 2011) -- Patients with facial paralysis who underwent surgical treatment for a condition that leaves them unable to completely close their eyes reported improvement in comfort around the eyes and overall quality of life, according to a new study. ... > full story

The killer within: A novel bacterial suicide mechanism (March 23, 2011) -- The zeta toxins are a family of proteins that are normally present within various pathogenic bacteria and can mysteriously trigger suicide when the cells undergo stress. Researchers in Germany have now found the mechanism underlying this programmed bacterial cell death. ... > full story

The importance of clarifying language in mathematics education (March 23, 2011) -- The way in which teachers and textbooks use language and different metaphors in mathematics education determines how pupils develop their number sense, according to new research from Sweden. ... > full story

Hippocampal volume and resilience in posttramatic stress disorder (March 23, 2011) -- The hippocampus, a brain region implicated in memory and interpreting environmental contexts, has been the focus of a controversy in post-traumatic stress disorder. A new study has found that larger hippocampal volume is associated with recovery of PTSD. ... > full story

Chikungunya: The key role of 'innate immunity' (March 23, 2011) -- Chikungunya is transmitted by mosquitoes of the genus Aedes. The disease is spreading in the world and periodically sparks new outbreaks. Blood analyses conducted during the 2007 Gabonese epidemic recently showed the key role of innate immunity, the organism's first line of defense, in the clinical course of the infection. Control of the disease thus closely depends on the underlying configuration of each patient's immune system. ... > full story

'New' welfare reforms in UK hark back to Victorians, historian argues (March 23, 2011) -- A historian draws parallels between past and present medical negligence in the UK. ... > full story

Hydrocortisone therapy for trauma patients associated with reduced hospital-acquired pneumonia risk (March 22, 2011) -- Patients admitted to a hospital with major trauma and treated with the steroid hydrocortisone were less likely to be diagnosed with hospital-acquired pneumonia than patients who received placebo, according to a new study. ... > full story

Elderly victims of abuse often use alcohol or drugs, study says (March 22, 2011) -- Victims of severe traumatic elder abuse are more likely to be female, suffer from a neurological or mental disorder, and to abuse drugs or alcohol, according to new research. ... > full story

Stress affects the balance of bacteria in the gut and immune response (March 22, 2011) -- Stress can change the balance of bacteria that naturally live in the gut, according to new research. ... > full story

Protein associated with allergic response causes airway changes in asthma patients (March 22, 2011) -- Changes that occur in the airways of asthma patients are in part caused by the naturally occurring protein interleukin-13 (IL-13) which stimulates invasion of airway cells called fibroblasts, according to a new study. The study is the latest effort by researchers to better understand the processes that are involved in airway remodeling that can cause breathing difficulties in patients with asthma. ... > full story

Feeling angry? Say a prayer and the wrath fades away, study suggests (March 22, 2011) -- Saying a prayer may help many people feel less angry and behave less aggressively after someone has left them fuming, new research suggests. A series of studies showed that people who were provoked by insulting comments from a stranger showed less anger and aggression soon afterwards if they prayed for another person in the meantime. ... > full story

Forensics: Overweight people really are big-boned (March 22, 2011) -- One of the blind spots in forensic science, particularly in identifying unknown remains, is the inability of experts to determine how much an individual weighed based on his or her skeleton. New research moves us closer to solving this problem by giving forensic experts valuable insight into what the shape of the femur can tell us about the weight of an individual. ... > full story

Newly discovered virus implicated in deadly Chinese outbreaks (March 22, 2011) -- Outbreaks of a mysterious and deadly disease in central China have been linked to a previously unknown virus. Five years ago, large numbers of farmers in central China began falling victim to an mysterious disease marked by high fever, gastrointestinal disorder and an appalling mortality rate -- as high as 30 percent in initial reports. ... > full story

Protein could be used to treat alcohol effects on pancreas (March 22, 2011) -- A protein provides protection against the effects of alcohol in the pancreas. The findings could lead to the development of new treatments to reduce the chances of people developing pancreatic cancer. ... > full story

Is that 911 call a real emergency? Emotion detector made for call centers (March 22, 2011) -- A system for emergency call centers that can assess a caller's stress levels or emotional state, and hence the urgency of the call, could reduce the impact of any given crisis and improve the emergency response. Scientists have now just developed one. ... > full story

Metabolite levels may be able to improve diabetes risk prediction (March 22, 2011) -- Measuring the levels of small molecules in the blood may be able to identify individuals at elevated risk of developing Type 2 diabetes as much as a decade before symptoms of the disorder appear. ... > full story

Key protein suppresses prostate cancer growth in the laboratory (March 22, 2011) -- Cancer researchers have discovered an important protein, produced naturally inside cells, that appears to suppress the growth of prostate cancer cells in the laboratory. The findings offer promising leads for research towards new treatments. ... > full story

Children of mothers who smoked during pregnancy at increased risk of becoming smokers, mouse study suggests (March 22, 2011) -- New research has revealed that prenatal exposure to nicotine increases the vulnerability to nicotine self-administration in adolescent mice. The results support the hypothesis that adolescents with prenatal nicotine exposure are more likely to start smoking earlier than their peers and that they are also more susceptible to the addictive effects of nicotine, especially as a result of stress and peer pressure. ... > full story

New treatment may desensitize kids with milk allergies, study suggests (March 22, 2011) -- Milk allergy is the most common, affecting 2.5 percent of children under age 3. In a small clinical study, scientists report effectively desensitizing milk-allergic patients by increasing their exposure to milk in tandem with an allergy drug called omalizumab, allowing children to build up resistance quickly with limited allergic reactions. ... > full story

How different strains of parasite infection affect behavior differently (March 22, 2011) -- Toxoplasma gondii infects approximately 25 percent of the human population. The protozoan parasite is noted for altering the behavior of infected hosts. Researchers have found clear differences in the manipulation of host gene expression among the three clonal lineages that predominate in Europe and North America, despite the high level of genetic similarity among them. ... > full story

Resolved to quit smoking? Brain scans predict likely success (March 22, 2011) -- Brain scans can predict if you'll stop smoking more accurately than you can yourself. ... > full story

Changes in taste function related to obesity and chronic ear inflammation (March 22, 2011) -- Children with chronic inflammation of the middle ear can experience changes in their sense of taste, and these changes may be related to childhood obesity, according to a new study. ... > full story

Compound from Chinese medicine blocks biofilm formation on medical implant materials (March 22, 2011) -- A compound that is an active ingredient in plants commonly used in Chinese medicine prevents biofilm formation on polystyrene and polycarbonate surfaces by Staphylococcus aureus. The research suggests that this compound, 1,2,3,4,6-Penta-O-galloyl-beta-D-glucopyranose (PGG) is highly promising for clinical use in preventing biofilm formation by S. aureus. ... > full story

Neuroscientists find memory storage, reactivation process more complex than previously thought (March 22, 2011) -- The process we use to store memories is more complex than previously thought, neuroscientists have found. New research underscores the challenges in addressing memory-related ailments, such as post-traumatic stress disorder. ... > full story

Streptococcus enzyme could compete with toothbrushes, dental floss (March 22, 2011) -- Investigators from Japan show in vitro that the bacterium Streptococcus salivarius, a non-biofilm forming, and otherwise harmless inhabitant of the human mouth, actually inhibits the formation of dental biofilms, otherwise known as plaque. Two enzymes this bacteria produces are responsible for this inhibition. ... > full story

New statement offers advice on treating dangerous, deep blood clots (March 22, 2011) -- More than 250,000 Americans are hospitalized yearly because of blood clots that form in veins deep inside the body. A new American Heart Association statement gives doctors guidance on diagnosing and treating these potentially deadly blockages. ... > full story

Canadian Avalanche victims die significantly quicker than Swiss counterparts, study finds (March 22, 2011) -- Avalanche victims buried in Canada die significantly quicker than those buried in Switzerland, according to new research. ... > full story

A better test for human papillomavirus (March 22, 2011) -- A new test for human papillomavirus (HPV) is just as sensitive as the old one, but more specific for detecting cervical cancer, meaning that it has fewer false positive results, according to a new study. ... > full story

New model for studying Parkinson's: Swiss researchers develop new, working mammalian model to combat genetic causes of the disease (March 22, 2011) -- Evidence is steadily mounting that genetic factors play an important role in many cases of Parkinson's disease (PD). Researchers in Switzerland now report a new mammalian model for studying a specific gene mutation commonly found in PD sufferers, opening the door to new drugs to fight the malady. ... > full story

Breakthrough in Niemann-Pick Type C research (March 22, 2011) -- Researchers explain how use of a histone deacetylase inhibitor corrects the damage done by the genetic disorder Niewmann-Pick Type C and allowed once-diseased cells to function normally. ... > full story

Teenagers, parents and teachers unaware of social networking risks (March 22, 2011) -- A report into the legal risks associated with the use of social networking sites has found that while 95 percent of students surveyed in years 7 to 10 use social networking sites, nearly 30 percent did not consider social networking to hold any risks. ... > full story

Smoke-free air law had no effect on off-track betting facility business activity, Indiana study finds (March 22, 2011) -- A new study found that a smoke-free air law implemented in an Indiana community did not hurt business at the off-track betting facility in that community. ... > full story

Research practices must be changed to minimize fraud, deception, physicians argue (March 22, 2011) -- In a new commentary, two physicians call for changes throughout the research process to adjust expectations for researchers that conduct studies, the journals that publish results and the public that responds to the findings. ... > full story

Spacebound bacteria inspire earthbound remedies (March 21, 2011) -- Recent research aboard the Space Shuttle is giving scientists a better understanding of how infectious disease occurs in space and could someday improve astronaut health and provide novel treatments for people on Earth. ... > full story

Cigarette smoking associated with increased risk of developing amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (March 21, 2011) -- Cigarette smoking may be associated with an increased risk of developing the muscle-wasting disease amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, according to a new article. ... > full story

A dose of safflower oil each day might help keep heart disease at bay (March 21, 2011) -- A daily dose of safflower oil, a common cooking oil, for 16 weeks can improve such health measures as good cholesterol, blood sugar, insulin sensitivity and inflammation in obese postmenopausal women who have Type 2 diabetes, according to new research. This finding comes about 18 months after the same researchers discovered that safflower oil reduced abdominal fat and increased muscle tissue in this group of women after 16 weeks of daily supplementation. ... > full story

Trauma patients protected from worse outcomes associated with so-called 'weekend effect' (March 21, 2011) -- Patients who've been hurt in car or bike crashes, been shot or stabbed, or suffered other injuries are more likely to live if they arrive at the hospital on the weekend than during the week, according to new research. ... > full story

Molecular determinant of cell identity discovered (March 21, 2011) -- If a big bunch of your brain cells suddenly went rogue and decided to become fat cells, it could cloud your decision-making capacity a bit. Fortunately, early in an organism's development, cells make firm and more-or-less permanent decisions about whether they will live their lives as, say, skin cells, brain cells or, well, fat cells. ... > full story

Treatment breakthrough for rare disease linked to diabetes (March 21, 2011) -- Scientists have led an international team to discover new treatments for a rare and potentially lethal childhood disease that is the clinical opposite of diabetes mellitus. ... > full story

Multi-tasking on the street not a good idea for older people (March 21, 2011) -- Older adults may put themselves at risk by talking on cell phones while crossing the street, researchers report in a new study. The researchers found that adults aged 59 to 81 took significantly longer than college students to cross a simulated street while talking on a mobile phone, and their heightened cautiousness in initiating crossing did nothing to improve their safety. Older adults on cell phones also were more likely to fail to cross in the time allotted for the task. ... > full story

Stem cells may show promise for people with rapidly progressing multiple sclerosis (March 21, 2011) -- A long term study reports about the effectiveness of replacing bone marrow, purposely destroyed by chemotherapy, with autologous (self) stem cell rescue for people with aggressive forms of multiple sclerosis (MS). ... > full story

Cardiovascular disease: Polypill appears safe and accepted by physicians and patients in developing countries (March 21, 2011) -- A new study provides evidence that a CVD polypill may be a viable option for developing countries, where CVD is strongly emerging and the demand for cost-effective, low maintenance treatment is high. ... > full story

Does social anxiety disorder respond to psychotherapy? Brain study says yes (March 21, 2011) -- When psychotherapy is helping someone get better, what does that change look like in the brain? This was the question a team of psychological scientists set out to investigate in patients suffering from social anxiety disorder. ... > full story

Organic nanoparticle uses sound and heat to find and treat tumors (March 21, 2011) -- Scientists have created an organic nanoparticle that is completely non-toxic, biodegradable and nimble in the way it uses light and heat to treat cancer and deliver drugs. ... > full story

Newer antimalarials more effective than quinine against severe malaria (March 21, 2011) -- Quinine should no longer be the drug of choice for treating severe malaria, according to an updated systematic review. It is now evident that the antimalarial drug artesunate, which is derived from herbs used in Chinese medicine, is more effective at preventing death in patients with severe malaria. ... > full story

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