Σάββατο, 19 Απριλίου 2014

ScienceDaily: Top Health News

ScienceDaily: Top Health News


ADHD: Scientists discover brain's anti-distraction system

Posted: 18 Apr 2014 11:12 AM PDT

Psychologists have made a brain-related discovery that could revolutionize doctors' perception and treatment of attention-deficit disorders. This discovery opens up the possibility that environmental and/or genetic factors may hinder or suppress a specific brain activity that the researchers have identified as helping us prevent distraction.

Mom's diet mirrors child's food allergies

Posted: 18 Apr 2014 11:08 AM PDT

A long-term study evaluating maternal diet's impact on food allergy in later life is expected to uncover causes of allergy in children. A particular focus for the project is the different effects of allergenic foods in different contexts.

Impact of childhood bullying still evident after 40 years

Posted: 17 Apr 2014 06:25 PM PDT

The negative social, physical and mental health effects of childhood bullying are still evident nearly 40 years later, according to new research. The study is the first to look at the effects of bullying beyond early adulthood. Just over a quarter of children in the study (28%) had been bullied occasionally, and 15% bullied frequently -- similar to rates in the UK today. Individuals who were bullied in childhood were more likely to have poorer physical and psychological health and cognitive functioning at age 50. Individuals who were frequently bullied in childhood were at an increased risk of depression, anxiety disorders, and suicidal thoughts.

Recalculating costs of combination vaccines

Posted: 17 Apr 2014 04:20 PM PDT

One of the most popular vaccine brands for children may not be the most cost-effective choice. And doctors may be overlooking some cost factors when choosing vaccines, driving the market toward what is actually a more expensive option, according to a new study. The researchers encourage physicians and advisory boards to take all factors into account when determining how to administer the best combination of vaccines for the lowest cost.

Multitarget TB drug could treat other diseases, evade resistance

Posted: 17 Apr 2014 04:20 PM PDT

A drug under clinical trials to treat tuberculosis could be the basis for a class of broad-spectrum drugs that act against various bacteria, fungal infections and parasites, yet evade resistance, according to a study. The team determined the different ways the drug SQ109 attacks the tuberculosis bacterium, how the drug can be tweaked to target other pathogens from yeast to malaria -- and how targeting multiple pathways reduces the probability of pathogens becoming resistant.

Target for treating dengue fever discovered

Posted: 17 Apr 2014 04:17 PM PDT

New research may help scientists develop treatments or vaccines for dengue fever, West Nile virus, yellow fever, Japanese encephalitis and other disease-causing flaviviruses. More than 40 percent of people around the world are at risk of being bitten by mosquitoes infected with the virus that causes Dengue fever and more than 100 million people are infected. This new work explains how flaviviruses produce a unique RNA molecule that leads to disease.

How the immune system protects children from malaria

Posted: 17 Apr 2014 04:17 PM PDT

Children who live in regions of the world where malaria is common can mount an immune response to infection with malaria parasites that may enable them to avoid repeated bouts of high fever and illness and partially control the growth of malaria parasites in their bloodstream. The findings may help researchers develop future interventions that prevent or mitigate the disease caused by the malaria parasite.

Malaria pathogen's cellular skeleton under super-microscope

Posted: 17 Apr 2014 04:17 PM PDT

The tropical disease malaria is caused by the Plasmodium parasite. For its survival and propagation, Plasmodium requires a protein called actin. Scientists used high-resolution structural biology methods to investigate the different versions of this protein in the parasite. Their results may in the future contribute to the development of tailor-made drugs against malaria -- a disease that causes more than half a million deaths per year.

Gene variant raises risk for aortic tear, rupture

Posted: 17 Apr 2014 04:17 PM PDT

The significance of a genetic variant that substantially increases the risk of a frequently fatal thoracic aortic dissection or full rupture has been confirmed by researchers. Thoracic aortic aneurysms, or bulges in the artery wall, can develop without pain or other symptoms. If they lead to a tear -- dissection -- or full rupture, the patient will often die without immediate treatment. Therefore, better identification of patients at risk for aortic aneurysm and dissection is considered essential.

Novel stapled peptide nanoparticle combination prevents RSV infection, study finds

Posted: 17 Apr 2014 04:17 PM PDT

A combination of advanced technologies may lead to a therapy to prevent or treat respiratory syncytial virus, a potentially lethal respiratory infection affecting infants, young children and the elderly, new research suggests. Despite a wide range of anti-RSV efforts, there are no vaccines or drugs on the market to effectively prevent or treat the infection.

Tracking flu levels with Wikipedia

Posted: 17 Apr 2014 04:16 PM PDT

Can monitoring Wikipedia hits show how many people have the flu? Researchers have developed a method of estimating levels of influenza-like illness in the American population by analyzing Internet traffic on specific flu-related Wikipedia articles.

Our brains are hardwired for language

Posted: 17 Apr 2014 04:16 PM PDT

People blog, they don't lbog, and they schmooze, not mshooze. But why is this? Why are human languages so constrained? Can such restrictions unveil the basis of the uniquely human capacity for language? New research shows the brains of individual speakers are sensitive to language universals. Syllables that are frequent across languages are recognized more readily than infrequent syllables. Simply put, this study shows that language universals are hardwired in the human brain.

Deadly human pathogen Cryptococcus fully sequenced

Posted: 17 Apr 2014 04:16 PM PDT

A ten-year effort by an international team has sequenced the entire genome and all the RNA products of the most important pathogenic lineage of Cryptococcus neoformans, a strain called H99.These genetic instructions can give valuable insight into why a fungus responsible for a million cases of pneumonia and meningitis every year is so malleable and dangerous.

Proteomics discovers link between muscle damage and cerebral malaria

Posted: 17 Apr 2014 04:16 PM PDT

Malaria-related complications remain a major cause of death for children in many parts of the world. Why some children develop these complications while others don't is still not understood. Scientists now report results of a systematic proteomics approach to the question.

Gene variant increases risk of colorectal cancer from eating processed meat

Posted: 17 Apr 2014 04:16 PM PDT

A common genetic variant that affects one in three people appears to significantly increase the risk of colorectal cancer from the consumption of processed meat, according to a new study.

Building 'smart' cell-based therapies

Posted: 17 Apr 2014 01:42 PM PDT

A technology for engineering human cells as therapies has been developed by scientists. The the technology becomes activated only in diseased tissues. It sits on the surface of a cell and can be programmed to sense specific external factors. For example, the engineered cell could detect big, soluble protein molecules that indicate that it's next to a tumor. When the biosensor detects such a factor, it sends a signal into the engineered cell's nucleus to activate a gene expression program, such as the production of tumor-killing proteins or chemicals.

Inhibited children become anxious adults: Examining the causes and effects of early shyness

Posted: 17 Apr 2014 12:59 PM PDT

Three little girls sit together in a room, playing with the toys surrounding them. One of the girls -- "Emma" -- has clearly taken charge of the group, and the others happily go along with her. A fourth girl -- "Jane" -- enters the room, hiding her face while clinging to her mother. The first three continue to play, while mom sits Jane down with some toys a few feet away from the group. After mom leaves, however, Jane sits alone against the wall. Emma makes her way over to Jane, inviting her to play with the rest of the group. Jane -- looking trapped -- starts to cry, then stands up and tries desperately to open the door.

Is Parkinson's an autoimmune disease?

Posted: 17 Apr 2014 12:12 PM PDT

The cause of neuronal death in Parkinson's disease is still unknown, but a new study proposes that neurons may be mistaken for foreign invaders and killed by the person's own immune system, similar to the way autoimmune diseases like type 1 diabetes, celiac disease, and multiple sclerosis attack the body's cells.

Loud talking, horseplay in car results in more serious incidents for teen drivers

Posted: 17 Apr 2014 11:19 AM PDT

Adolescent drivers are often distracted by technology while they are driving, but loud conversations and horseplay between passengers appear more likely to result in a dangerous incident, according to a new study. Researchers ecruited 52 North Carolina high-school age drivers to have in-vehicle cameras mounted in their cars and trucks to observe distracted driving behaviors and distracted conditions when teen drivers were behind the wheel. Young drivers were recorded in a variety of real-world driving situations over six months -- with parents in the car, with other teens in the car and alone.

How vision makes sure that little fish do not get carried away

Posted: 17 Apr 2014 09:47 AM PDT

Our eyes not only enable us to recognize objects, they also provide us with a continuous stream of information about our own movements. The world glides by us and leaves a characteristic motion trace on our retinas. Seemingly without effort, our brain calculates self-motion from this "optic flow." This way, we can maintain a stable position and a steady gaze during our own movements. Scientists have now discovered an array of new types of neurons, which help the brain of zebrafish to perceive, and compensate for, self-motion.

Adrenaline does little to increase patient's survival after cardiac arrest, study finds

Posted: 17 Apr 2014 09:45 AM PDT

Giving patients adrenaline after they suffer a cardiac arrest outside of a hospital does not increase their prospects of surviving long-term, according to new research. When a person has a cardiac arrest, his or her heart stops beating. Unless the heart is restarted within minutes, the person usually dies. More than 90 per cent of people who experience a cardiac arrest outside of a hospital will die before reaching a hospital or soon after.

Refining language for chromosomes

Posted: 17 Apr 2014 09:44 AM PDT

A new classification system that may standardize how structural chromosomal rearrangements are described has been proposed by a team of researchers. Known as Next-Gen Cytogenetic Nomenclature, it is a major contribution to the classification system to potentially revolutionize how cytogeneticists worldwide translate and communicate chromosomal abnormalities.

Neurons in brain tune into different frequencies for different spatial memory tasks

Posted: 17 Apr 2014 09:43 AM PDT

Your brain transmits information about your current location and memories of past locations over the same neural pathways using different frequencies of a rhythmic electrical activity called gamma waves, report neuroscientists. The research may provide insight into the cognitive and memory disruptions seen in diseases such as schizophrenia and Alzheimer's, in which gamma waves are disturbed.

Surprise: Lost stem cells naturally replaced by non-stem cells, fly research suggests

Posted: 17 Apr 2014 09:41 AM PDT

An unexpected phenomenon in the organs that produce sperm in fruit flies has been discovered: When a certain kind of stem cell is killed off experimentally, another group of non-stem cells can come out of retirement to replace them. This study has been using the fruit fly as a model living system in which to study stem cells in their natural state. Most stem cell research is done on cells grown in the laboratory, but in real life, stem cells reside in tissues, where they are sequestered in tiny spaces known as niches. Adult stem cells keep dividing throughout life to make various kinds of cells, like new blood cells and germ cells.

Conceptual representation in the brain: Towards mind-reading?

Posted: 17 Apr 2014 06:05 AM PDT

Your measured brain signals can reveal whether you are thinking about an animal or a tool. That's what neuroscientists discovered during her research, where she investigated the conceptual representation of words and objects in the human brain. This knowledge is useful for the development of tools that convert brain signals into speech.

Distracted driving among teens threatens public health and safety

Posted: 17 Apr 2014 06:05 AM PDT

Motor vehicle crashes rank as the leading cause of teen deaths and in 2008, 16% of all distraction-related fatal automobile crashes involved drivers under 20 years of age. These grim statistics, coupled with an increasing nationwide awareness of the dangers of distracted driving for all ages, prompted the publication of important research that explores the causes of distracted driving and offers practical recommendations to reduce the incidence of distracted driving among teens.

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