Σάββατο, 29 Μαρτίου 2014

ScienceDaily: Latest Science News

ScienceDaily: Latest Science News


Gene may predict if further cancer treatments are needed

Posted: 28 Mar 2014 09:10 AM PDT

A new predictive tool that could help patients with breast cancer and certain lung cancers decide whether follow-up treatments are likely to help is being developed by researchers. The findings offer insight into helping patients assess treatment risk. Radiation therapy and chemotherapy that can destroy tumors also can damage surrounding healthy tissue. So with an appropriate test, patients could avoid getting additional radiation or chemotherapy treatment they may not need.

Ancient African cattle first domesticated in Middle East, study reveals

Posted: 28 Mar 2014 09:10 AM PDT

The genetic history of 134 cattle breeds from around the world has been completed by a group of researchers. In the process of completing this history, they found that ancient domesticated African cattle originated in the 'Fertile Crescent,' a region that covered modern day Iraq, Jordan, Syria and Israel.

Good bacteria that protects against HIV identified

Posted: 28 Mar 2014 07:30 AM PDT

By growing vaginal skin cells outside the body and studying the way they interact with 'good and bad' bacteria, researchers think they may be able to better identify the good bacteria that protect women from HIV infection and other sexually transmitted infections.

Religion, spirituality influence health in different but complementary ways

Posted: 28 Mar 2014 07:30 AM PDT

Religion and spirituality have distinct but complementary influences on health, new research indicates. A new theoretical model defines the two distinct pathways. "Religion helps regulate behavior and health habits, while spirituality regulates your emotions, how you feel," explains one of the authors.

Gastric surgery halves risk of heart attack in obese people

Posted: 28 Mar 2014 07:30 AM PDT

Obese people who have stomach surgery to help them lose weight will halve their risk of heart attack according to new research. Death rates were reduced by 40 percent and heart attacks in particular were reduced by half -- compared to obese people who did not have surgery. The procedures, known as bariatric surgery, involve techniques such as gastric banding.

More male fish 'feminized' by pollution on Basque coast

Posted: 28 Mar 2014 07:30 AM PDT

Evidence of 'feminization' of male fish in the estuaries of Gernika, Arriluze, Santurtzi, Plentzia, Ondarroa, Deba and Pasaia has been discovered. The first cases -- 2007-2008 -- were detected in Urdaibai, and the most recent data confirm that they are also taking place in other estuaries. Pollutants acting as estrogens are responsible for this phenomenon which, among other changes, is causing ovocytes to appear in male fish.

Underweight people at as high risk of dying as obese people, new study finds

Posted: 28 Mar 2014 07:30 AM PDT

Being underweight puts people at highest risk of dying, just as obesity does, new research has found. The connection between being underweight and the higher risk of dying is true for both adults and fetuses. This is so even when factors such as smoking, alcohol use or lung disease are considered, or adults with a chronic or terminal illness are excluded, the study found.

Brain scans link concern for justice with reason, not emotion

Posted: 28 Mar 2014 07:29 AM PDT

People who care about justice are swayed more by reason than emotion, according to new brain scan research. Psychologists have found that some individuals react more strongly than others to situations that invoke a sense of justice — for example, seeing a person being treated unfairly, or with mercy. The new study used brain scans to analyze the thought processes of people with high "justice sensitivity."

Erectile dysfunction can be reversed without medication

Posted: 28 Mar 2014 07:29 AM PDT

Men suffering from sexual dysfunction can be successful at reversing their problem by focusing on lifestyle factors and not just relying on medication, according to research. Researchers have highlighted the incidence of erectile dysfunction and lack of sexual desire among Australian men aged 35-80 years.

Quality early childhood programs help prevent adult chronic disease, research shows

Posted: 28 Mar 2014 07:29 AM PDT

High-quality early childhood development programs with health care and nutritional components can help prevent or delay the onset of adult chronic disease, research shows. Based on more than three decades of data, the study shows that children who participated in the intervention combining early education with early health screenings and nutrition had much lower levels of hypertension, metabolic syndrome and obesity in their mid-30s than a control group that did not participate in early learning program.

Revolutionary solar cells double as lasers

Posted: 28 Mar 2014 05:55 AM PDT

Latest research finds that the trailblazing 'perovskite' material used in solar cells can double up as a laser, strongly suggesting the astonishing efficiency levels already achieved in these cells is only part of the journey.

Marriage linked to lower heart risks in study of more than 3.5 million adults

Posted: 28 Mar 2014 05:55 AM PDT

People who are married have lower rates of several cardiovascular diseases compared with those who are single, divorced or widowed, according to research. The relationship between marriage and lower odds of vascular diseases is especially pronounced before age 50. For people aged 50 and younger, marriage is associated with 12 percent lower odds of any vascular disease. This number drops to 7 percent for people ages 51 to 60 and only 4 percent for those 61 and older.

TV linked to poor snacking habits, cardiovascular risk in middle schoolers

Posted: 28 Mar 2014 05:55 AM PDT

Middle school kids who park themselves in front of the TV for two hours or more each day are more likely to consume junk food and have risk factors for cardiovascular disease, even compared to those who spend an equal amount of time on the computer or playing video games, according to research.

Eating fruits, vegetables linked to healthier arteries later in life

Posted: 28 Mar 2014 05:55 AM PDT

Women who ate a diet high in fresh fruits and vegetables as young adults were much less likely to have plaque build-up in their arteries 20 years later compared with those who consumed lower amounts of these foods, according to research. This new finding reinforces the importance of developing healthy eating habits early in life.

Number of babies mom has may play role in future cardiovascular health

Posted: 28 Mar 2014 05:55 AM PDT

Women who give birth to four or more children are much more likely to have evidence of plaque in their heart or thickening of their arteries -- early signs of cardiovascular disease -- compared with those having fewer pregnancies, according to research.

Concerning number of kids have elevated cholesterol

Posted: 28 Mar 2014 05:55 AM PDT

Roughly one out of three kids screened for high cholesterol between the ages of 9 and 11 has borderline or high cholesterol, potentially placing them at greater risk for future cardiovascular disease, according to research. In one of the largest studies of outpatient pediatric clinic visits to date, researchers examined the medical records of 12,712 children who had screening for cholesterol levels as part of a routine physical exam. Of these, 4,709, or 30 percent, had borderline or elevated total cholesterol.

Is laughter the best medicine? Cartoons could help patients cope with chronic conditions

Posted: 28 Mar 2014 04:58 AM PDT

Cartoons could be a beneficial way of educating patients and empowering them to cope better with their long term conditions, research indicates. "Humor is frequently and naturally used by people with chronic illnesses to help them adjust and understand what is happening to them," explains the study's leader. "Our study has shown that cartoons could provide clarity to patients and be a way to engage with them. It is an untapped resource and could be a potential approach to support self-management."

HIV as a chronic disease: Dealing with lifelong treatment in Africa

Posted: 28 Mar 2014 04:58 AM PDT

Since 2004, the number of patients on antiretroviral drugs increased 24-fold in Sub-Saharan Africa to 6.9 million. HIV has become a chronic disease which demands lifelong strict adherence to treatment. However, health systems in Southern Africa are not equipped to keep an unprecedented large number of patients in lifelong treatment. Alternatives are therefore urgently needed, a researcher concludes.

Great earthquakes, water under pressure, high risk

Posted: 28 Mar 2014 04:58 AM PDT

The largest earthquakes occur where oceanic plates move beneath continents. Water trapped in the boundary between both plates has a dominant influence on the earthquake rupture process. Analyzing the great Chile earthquake of February, 27th, 2010, a group of scientists found that the water pressure in the pores of the rocks making up the plate boundary zone takes the key role.

Esophageal function implicated in life-threatening experiences in infants, study suggests

Posted: 28 Mar 2014 04:57 AM PDT

A study of apparent life-threatening events — called ALTEs for short — suggests that infants who experience them have abnormal regulation of esophageal and airway function compared to healthy babies. The findings offer new information about the mechanisms behind ALTEs and what clinicians and parents can do to avoid them.

New treatment for those at high risk of breast, ovarian cancer

Posted: 27 Mar 2014 07:24 PM PDT

A breakthrough in research could signal new treatments for women at high risk of breast and ovarian cancer. The new discovery may mean women affected with BRCA1 could use drugs, which are already available, to reduce their risk of developing the disease, rather than undergo irreversible surgery.

New Parkinson's disease chemical messenger discovered

Posted: 27 Mar 2014 07:24 PM PDT

A new chemical messenger that is critical in protecting the brain against Parkinson's disease has been identified by scientists. The research team had previously discovered that mutations in two genes -- called PINK1 and Parkin -- lead to Parkinson's. Now they have made a completely unexpected discovery about the way the two genes interact, which they say could open up exciting new avenues for research around Parkinson's and offer new drug targets.

What psychosocial factors can help IVF patients?

Posted: 27 Mar 2014 07:23 PM PDT

Researchers have highlighted which key psychosocial factors could help identify patients at high risk of stress, after reviewing research that explored which psychosocial factors are associated with the emotional adjustment of IVF patients. The aim of the study was to find out what types of coping strategies, social circumstances and personality traits -- called psychosocial factors -- help people through IVF treatment, and which types are linked to especially high stress levels, and can lead to depression and anxiety disorders.

Stool samples provide marker for bowel disease

Posted: 27 Mar 2014 07:23 PM PDT

A novel method for distinguishing different types of bowel disease using the stool samples of patients has been created by a group of researchers. It works by analyzing the chemical compounds emitted from the samples and could provide cheaper, quicker and more accurate diagnoses, at the point of care, for a group of diseases that have, up until now, been very hard to distinguish.

Using tobacco to thwart infectious disease?

Posted: 27 Mar 2014 07:23 PM PDT

A new generation of potentially safer and more cost-effective therapeutics against West Nile virus, and other pathogens has been developed by an international research group. The therapeutics, known as monoclonal antibodies and their derivatives, were shown to neutralize and protect mice against a lethal dose challenge of West Nile virus -- even as late as four days after the initial infection.

Public smoking bans linked with rapid fall in preterm births, child hospital visits for asthma

Posted: 27 Mar 2014 07:22 PM PDT

The introduction of laws banning smoking in public places and workplaces in North America and Europe has been quickly followed by large drops in rates of preterm births and children attending hospital for asthma, according to the first systematic review and meta-analysis examining the effect of smoke-free legislation on child health.

Gulf war illness not in veterans' heads but in their mitochondria

Posted: 27 Mar 2014 07:22 PM PDT

Veterans of the 1990-91 Persian Gulf War who suffer from "Gulf War illness" have impaired function of mitochondria – the energy powerhouses of cells, researchers have demonstrated for the first time. The findings could help lead to new treatments benefitting affected individuals -- and to new ways of protecting servicepersons (and civilians) from similar problems in the future.

US clean-air efforts stay on target

Posted: 27 Mar 2014 02:00 PM PDT

National efforts in the last decade to clear the air of dangerous particulate matter have been so successful that most urban areas have already attained the next benchmark, according to new research. All but one of the regions studied reported they had met the goal by deadline.

Consistent blood pressure control may cut rate of second stroke in half

Posted: 27 Mar 2014 02:00 PM PDT

Stroke survivors who consistently control their blood pressure may reduce the likelihood of a second stroke by more than 50 percent. Less than a third of stroke survivors maintained consistent blood pressure control more than 75 percent of the time. Researchers determined results after controlling for age, sex and prior history of stroke, heart disease and other factors. Blood pressure was considered "controlled" at 140 mmHg over 90 mmHg or lower.

Autumn ending later in northern hemisphere, research shows

Posted: 27 Mar 2014 11:00 AM PDT

On average, the end of autumn is taking place later in the year and spring is starting slightly earlier, according to research. A team of researchers examined satellite imagery covering the northern hemisphere over a 25 year period (1982 - 2006), and looked for any seasonal changes in vegetation by making a measure of its 'greenness'. They examined in detail, at daily intervals, the growth cycle of the vegetation - identifying physical changes such as leaf cover, color and growth.

Depression, anxiety linked to poor diabetes management among Mexican Americans

Posted: 27 Mar 2014 10:57 AM PDT

Rates of diabetes are unusually high among Mexican-Americans who live near the U.S. Mexico border and new research finds that those dealing with depression and anxiety in this population are less likely to properly manage their diabetes. "Given the high prevalence of depression and anxiety found in this border community, providers should regularly assess for depression and anxiety and either provide or refer to treatment when symptoms arise," concluded the main author.

Autism prevalence continues to rise: Interview with Expert

Posted: 27 Mar 2014 10:57 AM PDT

The estimated prevalence of autism among 8-year-olds in New Jersey rose in the latest reporting year, 2010, to nearly 22 children per thousand, or approximately one child in 45. That figure represents the "highest ever reported for a single site" since the CDC started closely monitoring 11 U.S. states in 2000. Researchers seen numbers of cases more than double in a decade.

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