Rabu, 30 Maret 2011

ScienceDaily Health Headlines

for Wednesday, March 30, 2011

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Thyroid hormone controls the eye‘s visual pigments throughout life (March 30, 2011) -- What part does the thyroid gland have in vision? Thyroid hormone is crucially involved in controlling which visual pigment is produced in the cones. Previously, it was assumed that the color sensitivity of the cones is fixed in the adult retina. ... > full story

Study illuminates the 'pain' of social rejection (March 30, 2011) -- Physical pain and intense feelings of social rejection "hurt" in the same way, a new study shows. ... > full story

Annual sonograms are needed to verify correct IUD position, obstetricians say (March 30, 2011) -- A retrospective study of women who became pregnant while using intrauterine devices shows that more than half of the IUDs were malpositioned. ... > full story

Household bleach can decontaminate food prep surfaces in ricin bioterrorist attack (March 30, 2011) -- Help for a bioterrorist attack involving ricin, one of the most likely toxic agents, may be as close at hand as the laundry shelf, according to a new report. It concluded that ordinary household bleach appears to be an effective, low-cost, and widely available way to decontaminate food preparation surfaces in homes, restaurants, and processing plants that are tainted with ricin. ... > full story

Frequency of fat talk associated with increased body dissatisfaction, regardless of waistline (March 30, 2011) -- College women who engage in "fat talk" (women speaking negatively about the size and shape of their bodies) face greater dissatisfaction with their bodies and are more likely to have internalized an ultra-thin body ideal than those who engage in fat talk less frequently, according to a review article. ... > full story

Scientists devise targeted therapy strategy for rare form of childhood cancer (March 30, 2011) -- Scientists have caused cells in a rare, lethal form of cancer to begin behaving like normal cells -- one of the longest-standing, and most rarely achieved, goals of cancer research. When the approach was tested in a child with an advanced case of NUT midline carcinoma, for which there are no other effective treatments, it slowed the course of the disease for several months. ... > full story

Bariatric surgery highly cost-effective treatment for type 2 diabetes in the obese, study suggests (March 30, 2011) -- Bariatric surgery is an especially cost-effective therapy for managing Type 2 diabetes in moderately and severely obese patients. ... > full story

Poor behavior doesn't always lead to poor academics (March 30, 2011) -- Despite popular belief, a new study finds that students who have poor behavior in the classroom do not always have poor grades. ... > full story

Deciphering hidden code reveals brain activity (March 29, 2011) -- By combining sophisticated mathematical techniques more commonly used by spies instead of scientists with the power and versatility of functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI), a neurologist has developed a new approach for studying the inner workings of the brain. A hidden pattern is encoded in the seemingly random order of things presented to a human subject, which the brain reveals when observed with fMRI. ... > full story

Exposure to chemicals in environment associated with onset of early menopause (March 29, 2011) -- A recent study found that higher levels of perfluorocarbons (PFCs) in the body are associated with increased odds of having experienced menopause in women between 42 and 64 years old. Women in this age group with high levels of PFCs also had significantly lower concentrations of estrogen when compared to women who had low levels of PFCs. ... > full story

New cancer drug heads to clinical trials (March 29, 2011) -- A new study showed that the drug AT-406 effectively targets proteins that block normal cell death from occurring. Blocking these proteins caused tumor cells to die, while not harming normal cells. The researchers believe the drug has potential to treat multiple types of cancer. ... > full story

New insight into how 'tidying up' enzymes work (March 29, 2011) -- New research sheds light on how molecules are broken down by the body -- a finding that promises to help pharmaceutical chemists design better drugs. ... > full story

Stepchildren relate to stepparents based on perceived benefits, researchers find (March 29, 2011) -- More than 40 percent of Americans have at least one step relative, according to a recent Pew Center study. Relationships between stepchildren and stepparents can be complicated, especially for children. Experts have found that stepchildren relate with stepparents based on the stepparents' treatment of them and their evaluations, or judgments, of the stepparents' behaviors. ... > full story

Mother's obesity may lead to infertility in the next generation (March 29, 2011) -- Levels of the hormone ghrelin are low in obese women and a recent study reports that mice whose mothers had low ghrelin levels were less fertile due to a defect in implantation. ... > full story

Ambulatory monitoring reveals many patients have 'white coat' hypertension (March 29, 2011) -- A third of patients thought to have resistant hypertension had "white coat" hypertension during 24-hour ambulatory monitoring, a large study reports. In ambulatory blood pressure monitoring, the patient's blood pressure is checked at regular intervals under normal living and working conditions. ... > full story

Weight loss surgery can significantly improve migraines, study finds (March 29, 2011) -- Obese migraine sufferers reported post-operative improvements in headache frequency, severity, and disability. Findings suggest weight loss may be an important part of a migraine treatment plan for obese patients. ... > full story

New 'nanodrug' breaks down barriers to attack breast cancer cells from the inside out (March 29, 2011) -- Unlike other drugs that target cancer cells from the outside with minimal effect, this "transport vehicle" carries multiple drugs that spare healthy cells, accumulate in tumor cells and strike cancer-specific molecular targets inside. ... > full story

New device uses submarine technology to diagnose stroke quickly (March 29, 2011) -- A medical device developed by retired US Navy sonar experts, using submarine technology, is a new paradigm for the detection, diagnosis and monitoring of stroke, says a team of interventional radiologists. ... > full story

Chemists' biosensor may improve food, water safety and cancer detection (March 29, 2011) -- A new nanotechnology-based biosensor under development may allow early detection of both cancer cells and pathogens, leading to increased food safety and reduced health risks. ... > full story

Women's body image based more on others' opinions than their own weight (March 29, 2011) -- Women's appreciation of their bodies is only indirectly connected to their body mass index (BMI), a common health measure of weight relative to height, according to recent research. The most powerful influence on women's appreciation of their bodies is how they believe important others view them, the study suggests. ... > full story

To better detect heart transplant rejections, scientists test for traces of donor's genome (March 29, 2011) -- Heart transplant recipients and their physicians are likely more concerned with the function of the donated organ than with the donor's DNA sequences that tag along in the new, healthy tissue. However, researchers have shown that an increase in the amount of the donor's DNA in the recipient's blood is one of the earliest detectable signs of organ rejection. ... > full story

Smoking in combination with immunosuppression poses greater risk for transplant-related carcinoma (March 29, 2011) -- Researchers have found that liver transplant recipients who quit smoking have a lower incidence of smoking-related malignancies (SRM) than patients who keep smoking. In fact, SRMs were identified in 13.5 percent of deceased patients and smoking was associated with a higher risk of malignancy in this study. ... > full story

Negative attitudes toward fat bodies going global, study finds (March 29, 2011) -- Stigma against overweight people is becoming a cultural norm around the world, even in places where larger bodies have traditionally been valued. That's according to a new cross-cultural study of attitudes toward obesity. ... > full story

Potential new medicines show promise for treating colon cancer, asthma (March 29, 2011) -- In what they described as the opening of a new era in the development of potentially life-saving new drugs, scientists have discovered of a way to tone down an overactive gene involved in colon cancer and block a key protein involved in asthma attacks. Those targets long had ranked among hundreds of thousands that many scientists considered to be "undruggable," meaning that efforts to reach them with conventional medicines were doomed to fail. ... > full story

Marijuana use may hurt intellectual skills in multiple sclerosis patients (March 29, 2011) -- Any possible pain relief that marijuana has for people with multiple sclerosis may be outweighed by the drug's apparent negative effect on thinking skills, according to new research. ... > full story

Childhood psychological problems have long-term economic and social impact, study finds (March 29, 2011) -- Analyzing information from a group of British residents followed for 50 years, researchers have found that psychological problems experienced during childhood can have a long-lasting impact on an individual's life course, reducing people's earnings and decreasing the chances of establishing long-lasting relationships. ... > full story

First identification of nicotine as main culprit in diabetes complications among smokers (March 29, 2011) -- Scientists report the first strong evidence implicating nicotine as the main culprit responsible for persistently elevated blood sugar levels -- and the resulting increased risk of serious health complications -- in people who have diabetes and smoke. The discovery also may have implications for people with diabetes who are using nicotine-replacement therapy for extended periods in an attempt to stop smoking. ... > full story

Avoiding health risks could prevent more than half of all cases of atrial fibrillation (March 29, 2011) -- Reducing cardiovascular risk factors like high blood pressure, smoking, diabetes and being overweight could potentially reduce more than half of all cases of atrial fibrillation, according to new research. ... > full story

Digital versus analog control over cortical inhibition in the brain (March 29, 2011) -- In the cerebral cortex, the balance between excitation and inhibition is thought to be mediated by the primary mode of neuronal communication: "all-or-none" action potentials, or spikes. However, researchers in China have discovered a new strategy by which the cortex can maintain this balance, by showing that the amount of inhibition depends on the membrane potentials in pyramidal cells, which represents an "analog" strategy. ... > full story

Human virus linked to deaths of endangered mountain gorillas; Finding confirms that serious diseases can pass to gorillas from people (March 29, 2011) -- For the first time, a virus that causes respiratory disease in humans has been linked to the deaths of wild mountain gorillas, reports a team of researchers in the United States and Africa. ... > full story

Viral replicase points to potential cancer therapy (March 29, 2011) -- Alpha viruses, such as Sindbis virus, carry their genetic information on a single strand of RNA. They use a protein, replicase, to produce double stranded RNA (dsRNA) inside infected cells, which initiates the host's immune response. New research demonstrates that an artificial plasmid coding for the replicase genes of Sindbis virus causes regression and destruction of lung cancer, or melanoma, cells in mice. ... > full story

Follow-up program helps detect melanoma earlier in high-risk patients (March 29, 2011) -- A follow-up program for patients at high risk of developing skin cancer appears to be associated with the detection of melanomas at early stages and with good prognosis, according to a new study. ... > full story

Malaria as a complication to landmines and war injuries (March 29, 2011) -- Malaria can complicate the course of disease in poor farmers with landmine injuries in underdeveloped countries, where both malaria and war injuries are frequent causes of illness and death. New research charts the extent and effect of malaria on war-injured people and studied the potential for preventing them contracting the disease. ... > full story

Will we hear the light? Surprising discovery that infrared can activate heart and ear cells (March 29, 2011) -- Scientists have used invisible infrared light to make rat heart cells contract and toadfish inner-ear cells send signals to the brain. The discovery someday might improve cochlear implants for deafness and lead to devices to restore vision, maintain balance and treat movement disorders like Parkinson's. ... > full story

Predicting serious drug side effects before they occur (March 29, 2011) -- All medications have side-effects from common aspirin to herbal remedies and from standard anticancer drugs to experimental immunosuppressants. However, predicting important side effects, serious adverse drug reactions, ADRs, is with current understanding almost impossible. However, a neural network technology trained with past data could give drug companies and healthcare workers a new tool to spot the potential for ADRs with any given medication. ... > full story

Pioneering treatment could help people with severe depression (March 29, 2011) -- Pioneering neurosurgical treatment, which very accurately targets brain networks involved in depression, could help people who suffer with severe and intractable depression. ... > full story

Many elderly men are undergoing unnecessary PSA screenings, researchers find (March 29, 2011) -- A new study on the use of prostate-specific antigen (PSA)-based prostate cancer screening in the United States found that many elderly men may be undergoing unnecessary prostate cancer screenings. Using data from surveys conducted in 2000 and 2005, researchers report that nearly half of men in their seventies underwent PSA screening in the past year -- almost double the screening rate of men in their early fifties, who are more likely to benefit from early prostate cancer diagnosis and treatment. Further, men aged 85 and older were screened just as often as men in their early fifties. ... > full story

Most U.S. states unclear about storage, use of babies' blood samples, new study finds (March 29, 2011) -- State laws and policies governing the storage and use of surplus blood samples taken from newborns for routine health screenings range from explicit to non-existent, leaving many parents ill-informed about how their babies' left over blood might be used, according to a new article. ... > full story

No two of us are alike -- even identical twins: Pinpointing genetic determinants of schizophrenia (March 28, 2011) -- Just like snowflakes, no two people are alike, even if they're identical twins according to new genetic research. Scientists have been working to determine the genetic sequencing of schizophrenia using identical or monozygotic twins. ... > full story

Acute myeloid leukemia: Researchers find genetic conspirators (March 28, 2011) -- Researchers have described how the most common gene mutation found in acute myeloid leukemia starts the process of cancer development and how it can cooperate with other mutations to cause full-blown leukemia. The researchers suggest that three critical steps can transform normal blood cells into leukemic ones. By charting the route towards cancer, the study identifies processes that might could be targets for new treatments for patients with acute myeloid leukemia. ... > full story

Some women worry too much about breast cancer returning, study finds (March 28, 2011) -- Most women face only a small risk of breast cancer coming back after they complete their treatment. Yet a new study finds that nearly half of Latinas who speak little English expressed a great deal of worry about recurrence. ... > full story

Cancer risk of backscatter airport scanners is low, analysis suggests (March 28, 2011) -- Calculations by researchers estimate that the cancer risk associated with one type of airport security scanners is low based on the amount of radiation these devices emit, as long as they are operated and function correctly. ... > full story

Twinkle, twinkle, quantum dot: New particles can change colors and tag molecules (March 28, 2011) -- Engineers have invented a new kind of nano-particle that shines in different colors to tag molecules in biomedical tests. These tiny plastic nano-particles are stuffed with even tinier bits of electronics called quantum dots. Like little traffic lights, the particles glow brightly in red, yellow, or green, so researchers can easily track molecules under a microscope. ... > full story

Taking blood pressure to new lows -- with lasting results (March 28, 2011) -- Interventional radiologists have completed the first human randomized controlled trial of a procedure that uses high-frequency energy to deactivate the nerves near the kidneys (or in the renal artery) that are linked to high blood pressure. These results confirm that this may be an effective therapy for reducing and controlling resistant hypertension when current medications have failed. ... > full story

Possible new target for treatment of multiple sclerosis (March 28, 2011) -- Multiple sclerosis is a disabling autoimmune disease in which nerve fibers are attacked by the patient's own immune system. Researchers have now identified a new mechanism that contributes to nerve fiber damage -- and shown that this damage can be reversed. ... > full story

Cancer drug shows promise for treating scleroderma (March 28, 2011) -- A drug approved to treat certain types of cancer has shown promising results in the treatment of patients with scleroderma, according to results from an open-label Phase II trial. While the drug's efficacy must be demonstrated in a Phase III trial, the gold standard for testing a drug, researchers are optimistic that Gleevec could potentially be a weapon against the chronic connective tissue disease for which a treatment has remained elusive. ... > full story

Genetic link to attempted suicide identified (March 28, 2011) -- A study of thousands of people with bipolar disorder suggests that genetic risk factors may influence the decision to attempt suicide. Researchers have identified a small region on chromosome 2 that is associated with increased risk for attempted suicide. This small region contains four genes, including the ACP1 gene, and the researchers found more than normal levels of the ACP1 protein in the brains of people who had committed suicide. This protein is thought to influence the same biological pathway as lithium, a medication known to reduce the rate of suicidal behavior. ... > full story

Scientists link DNA 'end-caps' length to diabetes risk; New role for short telomeres (March 28, 2011) -- New evidence has emerged from studies in mice that short telomeres or "caps" at the ends of chromosomes may predispose people to age-related diabetes, according to scientists. ... > full story

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